What is Vetri
Maaran’s contribution to editing in Aadukalam?
My award belongs to Vetri sir
have won National Award for Editing. How does
is an unexpected one and very definitely belongs
to Vetri sir and Dhanush sir. Aadukalam is
the result of hard work of many people. I
am very happy about my award and doubly happy
for the entire crew too.
It is not only me but any other editor in my place
also would have got an award because of Vetri sir.
He edits the film in the scripting stage itself. Hence
that leaves only a minor job at the editing table.
Vetri gives me the mood of the scene and my task is
only to sustain and enhance it further. And he also
gives me the freedom. One can learn a lot from Vetri
sir. I learnt the proper mode of editing from Lenin
and V T Vijayan sir. From Vetri sir, I learnt how
to skip the obvious things and edit.
while editing Aadukalam
To a certain extent, it was the rooster fight but
I would not call it challenging but it was interesting.
Although the entire film will move on in an interesting
fashion, the tournament footage was the highlight
and was the most important thing for the story. It
was shot for more than hour and we needed to edit
it. To enjoy this sequence, it is imperative that
you know the rules of the game. Hence we decided to
touch upon this segment and also the important features.
When we saw the edited version, we were all very happy.
Working in Eeram
and director Arivazhagan
Eeram was a debut project for four of us – me,
director Arivazhagan, cinematographer Manoj Paramahamsa
and music director Thaman. Director Shankar who produced
Eeram felt that the budget can be bigger and Arivazhagan
can hire experienced hands as the technical factors
in the film are on the high. But Arivazhagan felt
happy to have young newcomers and we were on board.
If you had noticed, at least one of the four would
have featured in that year’s award or nomination
list. Arivazhagan worked hard for the film. I got
many offers while I was working in Eeram but as Arivazhagan
wanted Eeram to be my debut project, he asked me to
forego them. I also had lots of freedom and I was
given the script. The corrections were carried out
only in the last stage.
180 is another Eeram for me. Cinematographer Balasubramaniem
introduced me to Jayendra sir. I would like to recall
an interesting incident as regards Jayendra sir. I
had learnt from Vijayan and Lenin sir to edit the
filmed footage shots in a proper and sequential manner.
When Jayendra sir asked me to edit the completed
portions, I did the job taking in all the ranges
and showed the end result to him. I waited for his
feedback, expecting an appreciation from him. Hardly
one scene would have passed by and he stopped it
and said it was like seeing the rush. I was totally
shocked. Jayendra said that he did not want all
the shots that he had filmed and instead only the
relevant ones which are important for the story.
He did not mind even if some of his shots have not
been used at all. He also said that he expected
a lot from me and said that my assistants are enough
to do the job which I had shown him. I was stunned
as no one else had talked to me in such an honest
and open manner. I liked it a lot.
What is the contribution
of a cinematographer to editing?
Jayendra wanted the first footage
wanted my unique style and stamp to narrate
his story in an interesting manner. I wanted
time and Jayendra did not mind as he wanted
his project to come out best. He wanted the
first footage itself as final. I was very
happy and withdrew from other projects giving
some excuse as I took it as a challenge to
satisfy Jayendra sir.
Some of them give suggestions with regard to a song
sequence or an action shot which can be incorporated.
Otherwise there is not much from their side.
Who is your role
model in editing?
There is no particular person as such. If I like some
aspect in a person, I take them as my role model.
When I am hard pressed for time, I give some of my
assignments to my assistants. They would have done
it in the wrong way but still there would be some
learning from it. The mood of the scene should be
conveyed properly. People who do such work are my
Eeram, Payanam and Aadukalam. Each one of them was
challenging in its own way.
Raghava Lawrence’s Kanchana, A R Murugadoss’s
production venture, Nanda sir’s film for the
film festival focusing on Eelam and Sasi sir’s
assistant’s film. There are three more projects
in the pipeline but they are yet to be finalized
mentors are V T Vijayan sir and Lenin sir.
They have taught me that character is as important
as work. They have also taught me that editing
is not cutting beginning and ending. The intelligence
to understand the script is very vital. If
a correction is sought for, it should be done
by taking the script in a holistic manner.
They have also told me to look at the film
from an audience view point and also to have
a sharp memory. They always say that when
you work properly, work will come in your
Character is as important as
If you work properly, work will
come in your pursuit
Polladhavan I worked as an associate and had
done quite a few jobs. That’s when Vijayan
sir asked Vetri sir to put my name as editor
in the title. He also recommended me to Vetri
sir for his next film. Promoting assistants
and thinking about their future is such a
virtuous feature that you will see in my mentors.
After I completed Aadukalam when I met him,
he blessed me saying that I would get national
award and good recognition for my work. His
blessings have come true today. It is important
that everyone gets the right kind of boss.
If I am at this point in my career today,
only 5% is my part and the rest is due to
Lenin sir and V T Vijayan sir.