Be it a police station setting or a
court room setting we work on it
according to you is the role of the art director
in a movie?
a movie you see the artists but all that is
surrounding them is created by an art director.
The sets, props and every article on screen
is designed and set by the art director. Be
it a police station setting or a court room
setting we work on it from scratch. Art direction
is therefore a very important part in the
film making process as it creates the environment
and the appearance on screen.
About Mankatha- your latest project
Mankatha is a big film with big star cast. It is bigger
than I imagined. We have created sets for most of
the things which cannot be shot in the actual location.
It is hard to shoot on the roads and public places
with Ajith sir. Even if it is just a small hotel,
when we try to shoot with Ajith sir there a big crowd
which makes it hard for us. So we have been creating
huge sets for almost every scene. We have to keep
changing the sets and making new ones and that is
why the movie is getting delayed.
with Venkat Prabhu
Prabhu is sure about what kind of sets he
wants. He will just tell me his ideas and
give me a go ahead and never interferes otherwise.
He gives me creative freedom and trusts me
to give him my best. From our very first film
to Mankatha now, I used to ask him to see
the sets and ask him to say if there are any
changes to be made. But he will say, “You
would have done it right”. In the end
I myself will check if the sets are perfect
and give it finishing touches. That much is
his confidence on me.
Venkat Prabhu gives me
creative freedom and trusts me
About Venkat Prabhu
Venkat Prabhu is a very good friend of mine. I doubt
if anyone can be as friendly and easy going with everyone
like Venkat sir is. He is very cool and never gets
angry or tensed. Whatever it is he will explain things
calmly and is always jovial. As a director he is a
very good one. He is clear about what he wants and
he shoots just that. Even while editing, he will clearly
tell what is needed, what has to be removed. He takes
his movies to the point and makes sure it is not dragging.
He is one of the best directors today.
During the pre production time itself, we will sit
together and he will tell the story in an interesting
and jovial manner. As far as art direction is concerned,
he will imagine then and there how things should look
on screen and tell me about it. He is clear and creative
about what he needs.
Ajith sir has great team spirit and
makes sure he works in unison
sir is very co-operative and has no starry
airs. He will never command and ask us to
change things. He is very friendly and open.
He has great team spirit and makes sure he
works in unison with everyone. He will keep
cooking during his free time and offer to
everyone there. He will make chicken soup
and much more and invite everyone to eat.
He doesn’t take no for an answer when
invited. He literally drags us into his caravan
and makes us eat his delicious cooking. He
is very simple and down to earth.
is your favorite director?
My favorite director is Venkat Prabhu sir
for he never gets angry and never screams.
He respects everyone and is calm and composed
My favorite director is Venkat
every aspect of art direction from
learnt a lot under Sabu Cyril sir. I have
made plenty of miniatures when I worked under
him. He uses the required colors that give
a rich look and is very specific about things
like that. Personally I like Thotta Dharini’s
sets better because he uses a nice mix of
colors and experiments a lot and makes sure
that the sets look beautiful and perfect.
Both of them are great and I have learnt maximum
from Sabu sir. I learnt how exactly to go
about making sets and placing it and every
aspect of art direction from Sabu sir.
about the materials used for making sets
used materials like plywood and others. Actually
we use every material available to make sets.
We can even transform sponge into a nice,
good looking object for a set. If the director
asks for a particular set we use any material
to make it look perfect. We use glass, acrylic,
and wood and even card boards. For a set to
look like however it is demanded for, we use
any kind of material. The list is very vast.
We can even transform
sponge into a nice, good looking
object for a set
The most challenging film for me
challenging film you worked in
most challenging one was Naanayam. Mainly
because almost everything in the movie were
sets including the banks and houses. People
who saw it will never believe that they are
sets. I had to do it that perfectly. The movie
was also a good one and I worked very hard
on it. So that would be the most challenging
set I worked on till now.
kind of films you want to work?
has been my long time desire to work for a
period film as it offers a lot of scope. I
have never worked in any period film before
and it would be great if an offer for such
a film comes up. If I get a chance to do it
I will do it in a big level and give my best.
It has been my desire
to work for a period film as it
offers a lot of scope
What sort of colors you use for your sets?
I always use realistic colors. I don’t do much
mixing and make things look artistic because I like
to keep it real. If I use extravagant colors I myself
feel it is a bit too much than what is required. I
like off-white and use that color in a lot of places.
Are there any
courses for art direction?
There is no particular course for art direction. What
matters is experience and interest. If a person is
really interested in doing it and has passion for
it he can work as an assistant to big art directors
and learn the tricks of the trade. The learning process
of art direction starts from there. It totally depends
on experience. It is not easy being an art director.
To be creative and successful one would need at least
5 years of experience under someone else.