From the Diary of a Debut Director – Part 5

Anyone who’s had experience shooting with children will know how tough it is and what big a responsibility it is. Shooting with an eight-month-old baby breaks all the planning, organizing and scheduling. First of all, the baby had to get comfortable with us. For that, I had to take my time to become friendly with him. Without snatching him from his mother’s arms, I had to make him trust me and come to me. I had to frequently give him tours of every newly lit set-up to make him comfortable in every different location before I started shooting with him… (Otherwise he used to freak out and scream when we brought him to a new environment). I made sure Ajmal and Rupa spent most of their break times playing with him. I had to give frequent breaks for the baby to sleep, get fed or cleaned… either of which may happen at any time. Our target of trying to shoot two to three scenes per day went haywire… and out schedule extended by ten more days.

The whole team had to learn to work differently in the baby’s presence. They had to learn to be quiet and refrain themselves from giving any distracting movements when the baby is in the shot. Ajmal and Rupa had to memorize their lines beforehand and rehearse with a dummy baby doll before we brought the baby for the actual take. And most of the times, the baby would give us barely two decent takes in which the actors also had to be perfect. If they make any mistake, everything would go down the drain.

Every day we get prepared, but in spite of all that, the baby would still cry… either because the lights are too harsh for his eyes or Rupa’s accessories were pricking him or he saw some lightman’s scary face or he is sleepy or he is moody or just wants to go to his mom. All those times, we had to stop our work and give what the baby wants… I would try my best to cheer him up and bring him back for the shot. I think I must be the only director in the world who carried a baby in one arm and directed most of her film. On the last day of shoot, Dharshan’s mother thanked me for personally taking good care of the baby. Today many people ask me how I managed to get such cute expressions from the baby. It was all worth it.

Without your family’s support it is next to impossible to survive or succeed in this industry. My father, mother, brother and husband have been the four strong pillars of support throughout. I am grateful to my producers Mr.Jayendra, Mr.Senthil and Mr. ArunVeerappan from Real Image, and Mr. Swaroop Reddy and Mr. Kiran Reddy from Sathyam Cinemas for trusting a new director like me and giving such a huge opportunity.

I also feel lucky to have found like-minded friends and colleagues who have been extremely supportive and have strived for the film’s progress at every stage.

A director needs good assistants to effectively execute a project. I have to appreciate my associate Guru Prakash and assistants Manikandan, Loganathan, Sabrish and G who stuck by me even during the worst of times. I can put down the whole list of people that I want to thank… but that already comes in the rolling end credits of our movie.

I have surely learnt a lot in course of making this film. I came to know that… to succeed in any career, you need to have talent, perseverance, will power, determination strength and hard work. But to successfully complete a movie, you need to have TOLERANCE and PATIENCE more than anything else… Getting along with people is the art to have to master more than the craft of filmmaking.

‘Thiru Thiru Thuru Thuru’ is not a perfect film without flaws. But people say that it is a good film and a decent film that can be enjoyed with the whole family. It has got wonderful reviews and is being supported generously by the television media, papers and internet press. It is generally difficult to please the critics and the mass public at the same time. It is also difficult to balance logic and comedy at the same time. I am happy that I managed to deliver a film which has earned a good name with common public, film industry people and critics evenly. I pray and hope to make better and more successful films in the coming future.

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