Web Report: From Books to screen- A real Challenge

Report by R. B. Kavya

The Department of Visual Communication -VLB Janakiammal College of Arts and Science, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu is organizing a 5-day webinar series. The first inaugural session was held today with a one-hour interactive webinar session with the legendary Indian film director Mr. Suresh Krissna. The session was also graced by the college Principal K Sundaram and Dept Head in-charge and Assistant Professor Mrs. J Sudha Priya. The session was filled with comprehensive learnings and experiences of Mr. Suresh over the years and the journey of an idea from the visual to the reality.

Mr. Suresh started his career in the Mumbai office of L.V.Prasad as an account manager after completing his graduation in economics.  Later he became an executive assistant to L.V.Prasad and also taking care of Prasad Productions Mumbai office. When L. V. Prasad started production of Ek Dujhe Ke Liye directed by K.Balachander, he assisted Prasad Productions on location, and after completion of the film he went on to work for K. Balachander.

Screen grab from Webinar

He gave credit for all the learnings and on-field learnings he got to Balachander sir whom he considers as his mentor. He taught him how to bring characters alive in a film and how to visualize a scene and bring it to reality, he got a first-hand experience when he was working with Balachander sir for the 1985 Tamil film – Sindhu Bhairavi.

Mr Suresh believes in the philosophy of ‘learning never ends.’ He gave an example of how once he was notified to direct a Superstar Rajinikanth starrer Tamil film ‘Annamalai’ only 48 hours prior to the film’s shooting but the film turned out to be one of the biggest blockbusters in Tamil cinema. Because, he used the learnings he got from the making of Sindhu Bhairavi. He played a shot 4 ½ minute appreciation post by an audience about Mr. Suresh’s direction in the film and went on to explain the importance of body language to explore the character in depth.

Suresh Krissna with K. Balachander[1]

While talking about his experience in filmmaking, he also mentioned the challenges one will face during the shoot. Movie making does not go according to a fixed schedule there might be several external and internal factors that may affect one’s shoot and that is where edit plays its part. While talking about the power of edit he took an example of his own experience while shooting for Annamalai in Bombay, it was supposed to be a 3-hour long shoot but they had got permission only for 30 mins and it was an important scene as they had to show the transformation of the main lead from poor to rich and how it came out in the edits beautifully done by Mr. Ganesh Kumar stitching the film together.

The character graph was another important element he mentioned about and how he successfully showed that in the film Annamalai where the character of Rajini sir changes from being kiddish to a more serious one. He believes that your camera shots and cuts should build in anticipation in the audience about the character reaction so that they are hooked to the screens.

While taking another example of his 1999 Musical/Romance film Sangamam he said “creativity does not have an end” hence when he was watching the final film in the preview theatre he was not happy and felt something was missing and then he added few bits on the climax in the films beginning on the edit table and it gave the entire film a new feel. This talks about the power of edit and satisfaction after achieving the best possible outcome.

He ended this seminar by wishing luck in their future endeavor talking about the importance of visualizing the scenes from the audience point of view because they are the end product we are catering to and seeing them appreciate all the hard work put in making the film when they watch it in the theatres gives any person part of the team the joy they deserve. He believes no work can be done to its fullest potential without team-work only when the team comes together, and they show passion there is an energy in the workplace because making films is not all about glamour it’s about hard work and passionate people.

[1] https://www.goodreads.com/author_blog_posts/7771337-k-balachander-will-remain-always-alive-in-us

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