Award winning internationally known cameraman turned director Santosh Sivan is elated that his work in Vijay’s AR Murgadoss directed Thuppakki has been appreciated and the film is turning out to be a blockbuster. In an exclusive interview to SREEDHAR PILLAI, Sivan opens up on Thuppakki and a lot more. Excerpts
As a cameraman you are known for doing off-beat films with directors like Mani Ratnam, Shaji and others. How come you did a mass Vijay movie like Thuppakki with AR Murgadoss a top commercial director?
All my films with Mani Ratnam right from Thalapathy were commercial films. I had worked with Rajini sir in that film, so you can’t say I have not worked with big stars. I have nothing against commercial cinema though as a director I make films close to my heart. Please note every filmmaker wants to make a commercially viable film.
Tell us why you signed up to do Thuppakki ?
How was it working with Vijay?
Vijay is very disciplined and complete professional in his work and had no star airs. In Mumbai he worked like any other unit member and is keen to learn more. I like his skin tone in Thuppakki where all the other characters are north Indians, loved the contrast.
What about Vidyut Jamwal ?
Vidyut Jamwal is hero material and I think he is doing a film in Hindi as the lead character.
How did Thuppakki become such a big hit ?
I think everything fell into a place. It had good content, a star with a huge reach and a director who led from the front. More than anything else it was team work of the entire unit who worked in the film.
The song ‘Google, Google ‘has become a hit and its picturisation is being talked about. Please comment.
I loved doing that song. We shot the song in four days in an actual Bangkok night club using two cameras. There is lot of colour in every frame of that song and maybe I liked it more because for a fleeting second the camera is focussed on me and Murgadoss. (Laughs)
I’m flooded with offers to do camera work. Murgadoss and Akshay wanted me to do the Hindi Thuppakki, but I don’t want to do another remake. I’m taking a break and have no plans to work as a cinematographer for some time to come. Right now I’m immersed in my next film as director, which is a subject close to my heart but too early to talk about.