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‘Be it for 60 seconds or two hours, we need to keep viewers hooked’
Ace director Gautham Vasudev Menon talks about his first TVC shoot that released on International Women’s Day earlier this week and how the business models of Tamil cinema doesn’t bog him down
Gautham Menon’s recent TV commercial which was released on Women’s Day was a lot like his films where women have always taken the center stage. “I liked the concept. The TVC is about the intricacies that we fail to notice in a woman and how they deserve to be admired. I immediately agreed to take it up,” he tells DT Next. Talking about telling a story in 60 seconds, he says, “Be it one minute or two and a half hours, the intention is the same. We need to keep the audience engaged. Moreover, people have also gotten used to watching short videos and look for a meaningful story in it. That is what I focused on when directing this.”
Gautham is also simultaneously busy with the post-production of Joshua: Imai Pol Kaakha. Talking about the film, he says, “We have completed the shoot of Joshua and are planning it to release on April 14.” He also gives us an update on the highly-anticipated Dhruva Natchathiram and says, “We are in talks on completing Dhruva Natchathiram. Things are looking positive.” Post lockdown, several films that were yet to see the light of the day have been unearthed by producers and distributors who have released it in theatres after years. “We will see more of it. The situation has changed. The way people perceive films has changed during the lockdown. There are sets of audiences for theatres and also people who consume OTT content. If it is a two-and-a-half-hour film, we break it into several emotions, and then there is an interval and emotions that run high towards the climax. For an anthology like Paava Kathaigal, the writing works the same way as it is for a film. The emotions have to be split based on the screen time to make it look appealing to the audience.”
Gautham’s films ran into trouble due to financial issues. However, he says that he hasn’t been bogged down by the callousness of the revenue models in Tamil cinema. “I have made films only out of passion. The last three films probably I have made them for money. But that doesn’t mean I wasn’t passionate about them. We see what we could do aesthetically within the given space and deliver the best.” Recently his Minnaale celebrated 20 years and Kaakha Kaakha will turn 18 in August. He assures that his upcoming films will celebrate their landmarks. “I set out to make films every day keeping this in mind. Inniku naan padam panna 20 varusham apramum audience paapangala nu (Will my films appeal to the audience after 20 years),” he concludes.
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