: Jyothsna Bhavanishankar & Inian | Camera : P.Ganesh
Babu & Hamananth | Text : Jyothsna Bhavanishankar
Pandiya is ready to hit the marquee soon and its young
director Siddharth Chandrashekhar is an excited man.
Commencing his career in the ad world, he has been involved
in publicity work for many prestigious films. Bale Pandiya
is Siddharth’s maiden outing as a director and
he is extremely satisfied with the way the film has
shaped up. Senior Editor Jyothsna Bhavanishankar caught
up with him in this freewheeling chat in his aesthetically
done office in T Nagar.
us something about your entry into filmdom
I have been in the advertising for the past 15 years.
My company Mithra Media is in the field for the past
12 years. We are into advertising and design. Ten years
back we got into doing movie publicity. So that can
be described as my entry into films. Once I was getting
to know the film industry, I wanted to do something
beyond design. While I was looking at different career
options, I felt direction is something that sums up
everything. So that’s how I have landed in what
I’m doing right now.
You do not have
any filmi background. How did you get interested in
I have been associated and working in the industry for
the past 10 years and I have been involved in major
films in its publicity right from the concept stage.
I was involved with Ghajini from the beginning when
Suriya was signed. Similarly I have been with Karthi
in Paruthi Veeran. I understand the evolution of a film
and also the process but did not have a practical knowledge.
It has only been theory. I have not been involved 100%
in everything but have seen through it. I had the idea
but application wise Bale Pandiya is the film where
I have gone from A to Z in film making process. It has
been a nice, humbling and learning experience and at
the same time extremely satisfying too. I have finished
a film and at the same time have learnt a lot through
is Bale Pandiya (BP) all about?
Bale Pandiya would be a wholesome
entertainer. It is not for any particular group
and it is for everyone. The characters are highly
relatable and the events would have occurred
in everybody’s life. BP is about how the
characters interpret the events that are happening
around them and the ensuing decision. It is
a fun film to watch.
Bale Pandiya would be a
Is there a link with the old Bale Pandiya?
There is a small one line link but it has got nothing
to do with the original story.
to you is the USP of Bale Pandiya?
It is a refreshingly new film. It has a refreshing new
music, visuals and a refreshing manner of story telling.
About the cast?
Vishnu is the hero who had featured in Vennila Kabadi
Kuzhu. In VKK, Vishnu was one of the characters and
he did not have any major heroic activities (like stunts)
in the film but in BP, he is a full fledged hero. He
has danced, fought and has done comedy and BP is a well
packaged film for a hero. Pia is the heroine who has
done a cheerful, bubbly happy-go-lucky kind of a character.
Vivek is there in the film and I have introduced many
new faces. Gibran, the SS music VJ is doing a role in
BP. Amarendran, a new artist has played an important
role in the first half of the film. There are a lot
of new faces and there is a new look to the film.
I know Devan for the past 10 years and he has been my
good friend. He was into his music and I was into my
design and our work did not clash. When I was toying
with the idea of whom to approach for music direction,
I asked for a suggestion from Devan. He immediately
said - won’t I do it? So it was Devan who suggested
himself for the film and that’s how he became
the music director of BP.
This film has two cinematographers - one is Soundar
and the other is Gurudev and both of them come from
P C Sreeram’s disciples, K V Anand and Jeeva.
Soundar has worked with K V Anand and Gurudev has apprenticed
under Jeeva. I am happy that both my cinematographers
have an impressive pedigree and they have done a great
Where did you shoot
Pondycherry, Chennai and Puket.
BP is produced by Kalpathi Agoram brothers. Their approach
to production is very unique and they don’t look
at it as just putting in money. It is beyond that. It
is to create a winning project and to make an entertaining
project. They basically love the industry and they watch
films, give feedback, they appreciate good work, listen
to music. There has been an active collaboration from
the production side, active participation from the producer
which helps director like me to enhance and embellish
What are your future
Right now, I have not thought about anything. I try
to live the present. I am currently involved in finishing
BP and getting into theatres.
Shankar sir has been the major
influence for me in film making
is your inspiration?
In the film industry, there are many inspirations
for me - Jeeva, Shankar, S P Jananadan, cameraman
Ekambaram who is very close to me, Pushkar - Gayathri,
Murugadoss, Lingusamy and many more. There is
so much to learn from everyone. I am Ekalavya
and I have many Dronas. I have many teachers as
I have worked with many of them and have learnt
many things from them. Shankar sir has been the
major influence for me in film making. I have
been working with him in many of this films and
I have learnt quite a deal from him.
genre of films you like to make?
Personally I don’t
like to stick to any specific genre and I watch
all kinds of films. It basically depends on
the idea that you stumble upon. It is like asking
a sculptor with what material he sculpts his
works. It could be marble, sandstone or granite
depending on the availability. Currently I have
got this idea and have worked on it; later it
may be something else. I am not sure if the
film should be based on a particular genre.
Perhaps my next film would be a thriller. However
horror is not my cup of tea, so I may try a
romantic comedy or an action comedy. I don’t
know. I’m just waiting for it to happen.
horror is not my cup of tea
How did you zero in on Vishnu and Piaa?
I decided on Piaa when I saw Poi Solla Porom. My PRO
Nikil put me on to Vishnu because I had not seen Vennila
Kabadi Kuzhu then. Nikil felt that Vishnu would be an
ideal choice for the character in Bale Pandiya. Nikil
and I met Vishnu and I knew Vishnu would fit the role.
He also agreed to do the role and that’s how Vishnu
is part of Bale Pandiya.
One needs a lot of patience to
make a film like Angadi Theru
are the films that you saw recently?
I saw Angadi Theru and fell in love with it instantly.
There is a huge difference to see the film as
a viewer and as a film maker. One needs a lot
of patience to make a film like Angadi Theru.
The unit must have really toiled hard for the
film. It is extremely difficult to bring out such
liveliness. As a film maker, I understand the
pain and the efforts that went into the making.
The casting is brilliant and was spot on. On the
whole, the film is fantastic.