What happens when a 52 year old father is found to be having an affair with a girl who is just half of his age? A fairly interesting thought, isn’t it? Yes, this line of thought is the basic idea for a short film, THE AFFAIR which was directed by one of the upcoming talents in the film fraternity, Mr. Surrya Narayanan. This movie gave him a good recognition in terms of awards and also a whooping million views on YouTube! I got awestruck when I watched this movie and immediately decided to call him for a thoughtful discussion on his Filmmaking style and journey. After the screening of the movie (AFFAIR), we had an interactive session with the director. Some of the excerpts from the discussion have been listed below.
‘The One Liner was from my Own Experience’
When asked about how this one line was generated, he said that he got the idea when seeing a girl scolding her father for some other reason. This got his thoughts running. He started to think about an affair set on a prejudice. How will the society and his own family see a married man who is in close relationship with a girl half his age.
The Whole Project happened within Two days.
The script was written within a single day and he went for the shoot the very next day The main reason for this speedy production was because of his love towards the script but more importantly the team that was behind. A script written and shot in two days, without any compromise in quality is certainly not a small affair.
Unexpected Things Occurred.
He says that ‘he never expected a response of this kind for this movie’ and believes that he is now assured to be capable enough to work on a feature film which is on the similar lines. The whole budget of this movie was around a 35 thousand rupees but the return from the film festivals was about a lump sum of 2 lakhs.
Inputs to the Cinematographer and the Music composer
‘The inputs given to the cinematographer was quite simple’ he says. He had given around 5 different colour tones for his respective scenes which were decided during the writing process itself. He says ‘since my cinematographer was an associate of P.C Sreeram sir, he obviously managed to produce it on the frame quite evidently’. The reason for using only strings in BGM was that he believed strings were mostly employed in delivering dark emotions in many films from which he was influenced.
‘My first Film was a Tele Film which was shown in front of 800 People’
He started doing his films from the age of 16, and he still feels that his first film that ran for about 1-1/2 hours which was shot way back before his college days had made him learn so many aspects in filmmaking. Out of sheer curiosity, he screened his first film (a Tele film in fact) in front of 800 people and to his much surprise, the film received little interest from the crowd but looking back Surya believes that was a reward in disguise. Yes it was totally unexpected which helped him understand the rhythm of people’s expectation in films. During our discussion, Surya often uses the word “EVOLVE” and yeah! we could see a streamlined transformation in his film making style. I’m happy that my dad insisted me to read books which became an habit in my life now, he says. Later, he was so keen in reading books that helped him “EVOLVE” as a filmmaker.
‘According to me Screenplay is like a Cricket game’
The strategy he uses in screenplay is like a cricket match being played. In a cricket match we desire unexpected events to occur every now and then. Likewise in a screenplay, the ‘engaging factor’ is given a lot of significance. If there are 3 sixes every over, it is going to be a joyful ride for the viewers in from the start. But if that six is going to be hit in the last over which wins the match, that also is an equally engaging one. Similarly he says that his film is of the ‘last ball six’ type (high point in the film) and not like managaram where every over had a six!
Get away from Self Imposed Pain
According to the film maker, he thinks that depression mainly occurs to film makers due to self imposed pain and says he also faced this agony in his thoughts. But after reading books of writers like OSHO, he made himself clear that to be confident in yourself you must get away from the self imposed pain.
Do Vomit Writing Consistently
Every filmmaker has to write continuously and the skill can be developed and furnished only when one does vomit writing. He uses this strategy on a daily basis where he used to sit and write whatever he thinks.
These are some of the important aspects that one could infer from this filmmaker who is currently assisting a feature film and also writing his own feature.
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