At a time when filmmakers are turning to smarter technology, Arun Prabhu has gone back in time! The director has shot a portion of his upcoming film Vaazhl using a film camera, the popularity of which has plummeted since 2000s, after the advent of digital movie cameras.
“We’d used different cameras according to the requirement of the screenplay. And for a small portion, which is set in the 1930s, we’ve used a film camera because we felt it would be the best way to authentically show that time period,” says Arun, adding that it was a tough task to rent a film camera. “Ippo adhellam suthamave illa,” he says, “We got in touch with some people who are trying to maintain such cameras. Even though we’ve used film-based camera to shoot only a part of the film, that portion will stand out.”
Interestingly, Arun narrated the script of Vaazhl, featuring mostly newcomers, to Sivakarthikeyan first. “It was in 2010, and this was the script that I wanted to debut with. I’d narrated the story to SK anna; he was doing Manam Kothi Paravai then I think. However, I couldn’t proceed with the film because of the budget it required. I soon started working on Aruvi. Now, he’s producing the script that I narrated to him,” says Arun, who informs us that it took him 11 months of prep work before going on floors.
“We had script reading sessions for about four months with the cast, including Pradeep Antony, TJ Bhanu, Diva Dhawan, Aahrav and Bhat, who play important roles. We also did test shoots with them. Recce for the locations alone took us nine months. When I wrote the script, I described how the waterfalls should be and how the roads should wind. But appadi endha naatula irukko, onnum puriyala! We finally shot in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka, and also at several islands in Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. They were relatively newer destinations and we did find a waterfall that suited our description; the locals said it doesn’t have a name and we could christen it,” he laughs.