November 27, 2016
Participating in a short-film workshop in Coimbatore was how director Ramu Chellappa started his journey into Tamil cinema.
After having assisted acclaimed directors like Selvaraghavan and Pandiraj, Ramu has now come out with his debut movie in Tamil named “Engitta Modhathey”. The movie, starring Natarajan Subramaniam (Natty), Rajaji (of Moodar Koodam fame), Parvathy Nair and Sanchita Shetty in lead roles, is all set to release soon. Even as he is busy with the post-production work, director Ramu shares with Covai Post his views and experiences with Tamil cinema.
How did you come into cinema? Where did it all start?
It all started suddenly. I attended the film workshop in Coimbatore and got interested in cinema. I didn’t go study in any film institute. I went to Chennai and joined as an assistant director to Selvaraghavan sir. Being an assistant helped me learn about cinema.
Where did you get the spark for your debut script “Engitta Modhathey”?
I had a lot of ideas and scripts in mind for my first movie. But I wanted a story that the audiences could easily connect with. In the process, I remembered two guys from my village who drew movie cut-outs and banners of film stars. I thought why not make a movie with their characters forming the main plot of the story. When I started learning about their lifestyle, I came know that a lot of politics, fan club issues, friendship, love, everything was involved. Thus the story “Engitta Modhathey”.was conceived.
Tell us about the casting of the movie.
When I started writing the script I didn’t have anyone in mind. It took me three months to finish the script. A lot of background study was done and after finishing the final script I approached director/actor Sasikumar. He liked the script and suggested Natty – Natarajan Subramaniam. Then I approached Natty and everything was confirmed. The others like Rajaji was later chosen as I wanted to work with someone whom I knew well and was comfortable working with.
How much importance have you given to the female leads in the movie?
A woman is always present in everyone’s life. I have not given any special importance to their characters in the film. I have depicted them in a casual and natural way, how we see them in our daily lives.
What is your opinion on piracy? How are you planning to handle it with your movie?
It is a very sad thing that piracy is growing at such a rapid pace. Nothing can be done from our side. Producers have to take care of it. The Producers Council should take some serious action to curb piracy.
What are your future plans? Whom do you want to work with?
As of now I don’t have any plans. I have a lot of ideas. But I will think about it only after the release of my first movie. As an aspiring filmmaker, I want to do a movie with Kamal Haasan. Let’s hope things go well.