Editor T.S.Suresh is a promising young technician in Tamil cinema. Recently, his work was much appreciated in films like Inam and Maya. Director Deekay’s Kavalai Vendam, releasing today, has also been handled by Suresh. Over to him in this interview to Kaushik LM for Only Kollywood,
“Kavalai Vendam is my first release after Maya last year. I am not being deliberately selective; there have been delays and stoppages in some of the projects which I had committed to. But I want to be somewhat choosy going forward, with good scope for my work. The coming year will have 5 to 8 of my releases, hopefully.”
Did you being a good friend of Deekay smoothen the editing process of Kavalai Vendam?
“Deekay is a good friend since long and he was my senior at SRM College, where we studied Visual Communication. He was a rank holder at the university and I used to hear a lot about him. We have a lot of common friends and also worked together as assistants in Ayan. We are working together as a team now.
Our friendship and vibe definitely helped during the edits of Kavalai Vendam. I came onboard only towards the end of the shooting process. I really liked the bound script that he gave me. Deekay doesn’t put any pressure, he just gives his inputs and will give his final feedback once I do my work. I didn’t have any hesitation to convey my thoughts to Deekay and he also had the liberty to tell me whatever he felt like. It was a nice collaborative effort in perfect sync.”
Going by the rocking promos, Kavalai Vendam seems to be high on double meaning dialogues?
“The double meaning promos are just to pull the youth. There are other moments in the film, with a particularly nice romance feel between the lead pair. And, there is one key scene with Mayilsamy sir and Jiiva, where both of them have delivered a lovely performance. Like what Nagesh sir did in Nammavar, this particular scene would be an example of Mayilsamy sir’s capabilities in emotional scenes and would open up more avenues for him.”
How have you treated this breezy rom-com?
“I didn’t have to change the edit pattern that much, as Deekay had decided the edit patterns and flow in his script itself. It was all pre-planned! My challenge was to handle the combination scenes with the large number of artistes and to not miss the timing in the comedy. There would be a slight non-linear style in the narration to aid the interest factor of the film. And the title sequence will hopefully make you smile.”
The Jiiva – Kajal pair has apparently sizzled in the film …
“Like in Endrendrum Punnagai, Jiiva plays a jolly, bubbly boy. Girls will love him and he’ll be like one among a group of friends. It is a role which the youth can easily relate to.
Kajal has done really well in some of the emotional scenes, where she has actually cried without glycerin. We have showcased her talent really well in the film and this’ll open up more opportunities for her, with respect to female-oriented films. It’s a strong character for her and her lip sync is also very good.”
You are working on one more Jiiva film too, the interestingly titled Sangili Bungili Kadhava Thora …
“Sangili Bungili Kadhava Thora would be technically top-notch in the visuals, sound design etc. It has a star-studded cast as well. Content-wise, it’ll be a mass entertainer like Kanchana and the technical presentation will have a touch of class. We have tried to maintain a balance and it has come out well. Fox Star’s promotions would be great, needless to say.”
“I have a Hindi film with Abhay Deol and also two festival projects. I want to balance festival circuit films and the mainstream ones. Being exposed to festival filmmakers and their story telling styles, helps my edits for mainstream films too.”
What’s your take on the much-debated social media trends and reviews?
“Social interactions used to happen in tea shops before. Now, everyone can express their opinions on social media, irrespective of their following. One suggestion that I would make is to avoid commenting on films that one doesn’t like or sub-standard films in general. Of course, one can promote good films and these hashtag trends are also helpful, if used wisely. Important information can reach out to even outsiders, who aren’t regular consumers of Tamil cinema content, thanks to these trends.”
Editors are generally an unheralded lot. How’s the editing scene now?
“Compared to the past 5 years, it’s really good now. There are new budding editors coming in and it is not restricted to few top editors anymore. There are a variety of technicians with different work styles and presentation styles. Films like Kirumi and Sathuranga Vettai stood out for their fresh content. The respect for editors has gone up and our suggestions on the film’s run-time and other aspects are welcomed by makers. Pay-wise, it hasn’t changed drastically but it’s better.“
How has editor Kishore’s stress-induced death made a difference to the fraternity?
“I can’t be working in the same place always and I need diversions and changes in setting. After his death, all of us have started thinking more about our health and family life. I have my alternate work options in place too, in the form of ad films, corporate films and cutting trailers selectively. It is not just feature films all the way, and hence my stress factor is lower and I also enjoy my work. Plus, I’m mature enough now to pick and choose what I want and leave aside the rest.”
Finally, your take on your guru Anthony’s stunning recent work for AYM’s ‘Thalli Pogathey’?
“I was an assistant for Gautham sir – Anthony sir’s Vettaiyadu Vilaiyadu, Vaaranam Aayiram and Pachaikili Muthucharam, and have closely observed them work. They gel so well! Gautham sir sometimes shoots specifically based on Anthony sir’s edit style as he knows how those shots will be used by Anthony sir on the table. ‘Thalli Pogathey‘ is one of the greatest cuts obviously, but there are other hidden things and minor details in AYM, which a common man can’t notice. Hopefully someone blogs about them.”
Best wishes Suresh. Looking forward to more of your work.
Interviewed by Kaushik LM