Screen writing is a process which is neglected and ignored most of the time in our film industry. People are unaware that a good writing is the secret of success for a film. The right people who can actually give credit sometimes fail to do so, I would say they are the unsung heroes of film-making and the backbone of a well-made film.
Among this huge crowd of aspiring filmmakers and screenwriters emerged a teen who graduated with a vis-com degree and went straight in to Kamal Hassan’s workshop, which worked in her favour. Let me introduce you to a fiery screen writer Dhivya, who idolizes Quentin Tarentino for his peculiar approach to film-making. And has a keen eye for detailing which most of us just whisk it off while watching a movie. We’ll see how it all started and what her future plans are.
How did your journey in the industry begin?
I had applied for the workshop and got short listed among the top 250 from India, That’s how my journey started with Kamal sir.
I finished my Visual communication degree from WCC, at that time in 2009 there was a screen writing workshop organized by Kamal sir at IIT Chennai. Lot of famous screenwriters like Anjum Rajabali were part of it, “I had applied for the workshop and got short listed among the top 250 from India, That’s how my journey started with Kamal sir”. It was a 7 day workshop and we were supposed to make short films at the end of it, I came all the way among the top 60 contestants. Apparently the short films didn’t happen.
That’s when Kamal-50 happened, which was a big event and I was put on to Star Vijay and was the co-director of that show, which marked my beginning with the channel.
What was your role in Star Vijay?
I got my own show “Coffee with DD”, and I would call that as my first baby.
I started as the co-director with Kamal-50 event and continued as a show producer then it went on to co-director and then show director. I have directed Vijay Awards, Yuvan Shankar Raja’s first in concert was directed by me. Then “I got my own show “Coffee with DD”, and I would call that as my first baby”.
How did he journey at Star Vijay end?
I was with the channel for 5 years and when the Hollywood film “BTM” happened and I was heading the project, eventually I had to quit the job at Star Vijay.
Were you sure about the path you were heading?
I was involved on the levels of final drafting and consulting. This increased my love all the more for films and I should thank my boss for this incredible opportunity.
Mr. Mahendran who was my boss and also my mentor in STAR Vijay put me on to Fox. I was involved on the levels of final drafting and consulting. This increased my love all the more for films and I should thank my boss for this incredible opportunity he gave me. I’m proud to be associated with “Engaeyum Eppothum”, “Cuckoo” , “Raja Rani” and their upcoming films..
How far your career has come through?
I kind of feel that only I can do justice to what I write.
Not completely I would say, because I wanted to sort of direct. Write a film and then direct. I kind of feel that only I can do justice to what I write. Being a show director it helps a lot, because budgeting concern is as big as a film and putting together big events.
Is directing a show, as big as directing a film?
Definitely the process is tedious and it takes 2-3 months of pre-production work. For example as and when the Vijay Awards gets over in July we get back on that again in October. Apart from that we have other shows, being in Television industry we have to churn out content every day, this involves multitasking. We can’t just let go of main event and have to creative at the same time to decide what has to go on to the show. The events are impromptu, and you have to make it look like impromptu, that becomes a task.
One common complaint which we hear is women are not taken seriously in this industry?
We were the only teens in that crowd and Kamal sir saw the potential in both of us.
I’ve been taken seriously by the right people, for example Kamal sir. He identified my potential in the beginning I was 18 at that time, and one of the youngest in that workshop. There was a 12 year old chap who was full of Martin Scorsese and Akira Kurosawa. He had the knowledge and potential what a 35 year old would have. We were the only teens in that crowd and Kamal sir saw the potential in both of us. Without even his knowledge he is mentoring me, I’ve directed many shows with Kamal sir like Vishwaroopam special show, Manmadhan Ambu Special show.
Have you been part of Kamal sir’s movies?
Unfortunately never been part of his movies.
How did “Woolfell” happen?
It happened 4 years back, when Hari and I were sitting thinking what we’re going to do. We go way back with each other. We started off as a calendar reel for his studio. Calendar reel is something what we can show his company can do in terms of VFX, something like a show reel. He was into this Ironman kind of stuff, but I told him if he has a script we can sit down and discuss further. That’s when he pitched the idea of Woolfell which is set in hyper-utopian time. So I said we will build on this and we went on building with “n” number of drafts which finally became a movie.
Screenwriting then direction….did you ever had an inclination towards acting?
No I’m very shy, if you take a selfie with me I can’t pose properly.
No I’m very shy, if you take a selfie with me I can’t pose properly. I have been offered though, there were couple of Tamil projects but I didn’t take it up.
Apart from Woolfell, can you let us know what your future projects are?
I’m writing my own script actually, I wanted to make couple of musical videos. I’m in talks with big names in the industry, who will be featured in this music video. It won’t be a cheesy one, but will relate to humanity.
What are your favourite pass time?
I watch film, loads of them. Sometimes 8-9 films a day. I sit with my Mac and have a hard disk full of movies. It is very easy to please me, if you give me lot of movies I’ll be very happy.
How do you find the scene of screenwriting here in Kollywood?
Direction has become robotic and second handed these days
Honestly speaking it’s pathetic, people take screenwriters for granted especially the big names which I don’t want to mention. They think just because they got the name and have artist value, they really don’t take it seriously and don’t convey the story how it is supposed to. I don’t see any mainstream directors put in that kind of effort whereas the assistant directors work their sweat off. For example the assistant director is ready with a new script by the time the director has finished the movie and once it is done they just start off again. Direction has become robotic and second handed these days.
Among the ignorant mainstream directors, we have emerging new-gen directors….who is your pick?
I like Karthick Subbaraj, he’s really good and like a breath of fresh air to the industry. Apart from him I like Ajay Gnanamuthu of Demonte colony fame and Balaji Tharaneetharan of NKPK. Also RajuMurugan of cuckoo, he’s really good, he gave so much of time to the script and was inspired by true events.
Any plans outside Kollywood?
Definitely, mostly with Bollywood other than Hollywood. But I’m not comfortable with other languages. I liked “Shaitaan”, even there it’s only 75% but yeah we have a decent scope for talent, as they equally surprise most of the time.
Who is your favourite director from Tamil industry?
Thiagarajan Kumararaja of “Aaranya Kaandam”. I’m still waiting for his next movie.
Could you tell me in brief about the script you have ready for your feature film?
It will be in Tamil as I wanted to do debut as a director in my mother tongue. It won’t be experimental, but will be a quirky one and will be fun. It will be based on relationship dynamics, probably next year.