Renowned cinematographer Ravi K. Chandran, who is making his directorial debut with forthcoming Tamil film ‘Yaan’, says he was planning to direct for long but never found the time because of his busy work commitments.
“Direction has been on my mind for long but since I was too busy working behind the lens with great filmmakers like Mani Ratnam, Shankar and Sanjay Leela Bhansali, I didn’t find the time to write and direct,” Ravi K. Chandran told IANS.
“I wanted to finish one round of working with all these legends to learn as much as I could before I start my career as a director,” he said.
Chandran had written the first draft of ‘Yaan’ way back in 2006, but he started working on it only two years ago.
“I had written a small story idea based on a news article. My friend and co-writer of ‘Yaan’ said we should develop it into a script. We kept talking and finally even wrote a draft of the script but we didn’t follow up,” he said.
“I never had the time to develop my script. I couldn’t take a break for about six months to pursue an actor and get things fall in place for my project. Even before a film goes on floors, you need to meet a producer and convince him to fund your film. I didn’t do all that,” he added.
It was only after Hrithik Roshan’s ‘Agneepath’; Chandran decided to take a break from shooting and started meeting actors for his project. The word of advice came from his best friend K.V Anand, a successful cinematographer-turned-director.
“At one point even Suriya read the script. A lot of actors read the script but I never chased them to work on the film. I remember meeting Suriya few months after he read my script but I didn’t even try to convince him,” he said.
‘Yaan’, which will releases in cinemas Thursday, features Jiiva and Thulasi Nair in the lead roles.
Chandran cast Jiiva because he felt “he’s one of the most natural actors in Tamil cinema”, while Thulasi after she was recommended by Mani Ratnam and cinematographer Rajeev Menon.
He realised having worked as a cinematographer for nearly 25 years, he could take time off to make his own film. “That’s when I took the decision to direct ‘Yaan’, and gradually everything else fell in place,” he said.
Chandran decided to don the director’s hat as he wanted to “make his own stories in his own way”.
“As a cinematographer you can’t tell your own story. You can only help the director to achieve his/her goal. Be it a music director, writer or even an editor, they all help a director achieve his vision but never get to tell their own stories,” he added.