Interview Team : Thanveer, Ashok Kumar, Jyothsna, Jeevakaran T, Venkat
The man behind the camera is the man who gives us a peep into a story’s premise. He is the one responsible for carrying the script from the sheets to screens. He is also the one who is likely to give us loads of information on a much awaited project like 24 in which he has worked as the DOP. Yes, our conversation with 24’s DOP Tirru is full of info on the project.

As a creative person, you would have framed a lot of things in your mind before starting work for 24. What were the things you told yourself before preparing for 24?

The first thing I asked them was “who’s the art director?”

First when I heard the story of 24, I understood that the plot was a sort of a roller coaster ride. The characters seemed very unique in the sense that they had both surreal and realistic touch to them.The first thing I asked them was “who’s the art director?” Because good cinematography needs to be supported by good production design. For 24, I wanted to create a space-I needed a lab to design methods for creating the characters, a house in accordance to the script and scenario, near a lake. I told the production heads that if they were ready to arrange all this for me I will take it up. What is visually new is what is visually stunning. Everything in this film will thus have a surreal edge to it. And that was what I wanted to do right from the start.

As the film’s production spearheads, what was the requirement of Suriya and Vikram Kumar from your side?

When we presented the story to Rahman sir, he was impressed

When we presented the story to Rahman sir, he was impressed and said he liked the story. But after giving confirmation that he will compose music for 24 he asked Vikram, “The story is beautiful,but how are you going to make a movie out of it?” This was a question everyone had in their minds. When I boarded the sets their requirement from me was that I have to bear this task of turning the script to screen.

What are the risky shots that feature in the film?

In the bridge scene, the cameraman had to jump along with Suriya.

There were a lot of risks taken during the filmmaking. In that sense, Suriya’s makeup itself was a big risk taken by him. Even though prosthetics were involved, any mistake while removing the makeup would have resulted in Suriya’s skin peeling off. Like this, be it the bridge sequence or the train jump sequence Suriya has given his heart and soul to this movie. Lots of risks were taken while filming, for eg, in the bridge scene, the cameraman had to jump along with Suriya. But many of these shots were taken in Poland, where there seemed to be no room for the word risk. Every shot was rigged properly any threats to safety were totally avoided.

What have you tried experimentally in 24?

The whole film will portray a completely different existence

Equipment or technique wise nothing experimental has been tried. But the whole film will portray a completely different existence. To package the screen elements, to achieve that unique feel we used a lot of new methods of handling things. We muted the chalky, contemporary colors to lift the earthly, ethnic colors and planted the characters inside this new feel.

Even as amateur photographers,we usually would like to capture some actions of a person. In that way what did you love capturing in Samantha and Nithya Menen?

Nithya Menen I would say is a gift to this era of filmmakers

Samantha comes as a contemporary girl, a typical middle class girl in the movie. The thing about her is her spontaneity. Her first shot will always be the best shot.  In Poland when we were shooting, the temperature had fallen below -3 degrees. Samantha’s costume was a skirt and a top. While we were all wearing three to four gloves and socks to cover ourselves, her dedication to work (we could see her shivering) is astounding. Nithya Menen I would say is a gift to this era of filmmakers. She has that unique look which is suitable for portraying characters belonging to the past. If you wish to portray a Goddess, Nithya Menen’s face is the best suited. Her face itself has lots of stories to say. In that way I liked capturing her fascinating face and natural charm.

How much did you rejoice the fact that Rahman was going to compose for your visuals?

Rahman’s Thiruda Thiruda tracks are close to my heart

Rahman’s Thiruda Thiruda tracks are close to my heart since I worked as an associate in that film. When it comes to filmmaking,it’s the musician's role to compose music that will compliment the cinematographer’s work. Now there was a problem with A.R.Rahman’s music that I experienced. Not even for a single song did I feel satisfied that my visuals had matched the level of his music. Something I felt was lacking on my side. I even talked to Suriya about this but he felt everything was as it should be. This being my first film with A.R.Rahman, I hope my visuals would have inspired him.

Your last Tamil film was Kanchivaram in 2008. Why the long gap before your next Tamil film?

The truth is I never got a Tamil film to work on

The truth is I never got a Tamil film to work on. What happened was, I got settled in Mumbai, working for many ad films and for Bollywood. At that time when many directors from Kollywood approached me, I wasn't able to engage myself with their projects. So as I kept giving them reasons as to not being able to work with them, gradually a thought that I don't wish to work for Kollywood got formed. I wish to convey that I'm very much willing to work in Kollywood projects which have a strong story to tell.

Tags : 24, Tirru



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