Wednesday, 20 December 2017

In The Lime Light: Karthik Shamalan (Part 2)

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Link to Part 1 of In The Lime Light With Karthik Shamalan

If a random person walks up to you and says he/she wants to be a film director, what would be the first thing you tell them.

"First thing is make sure you know the basics and make sure you have the interest to keep learning. I still have the fear in me because I didn’t have the basic film background. When I first started, I was condemned. People kept asking what does this guy knows about cinema. What they ask wasn’t wrong.

The first thing people asked me was “do you know what is 3 act structure?” At that point I really didn’t know what that was but I knew that a movie should start like this and end like this. I was surprised when people asked me this and the person who asked me this was a very big person.

After that I took a decision that moving forward no one should ever ask me a question like this and I should be ready for any type of question. Therefore, until today I am constantly learning because I am always worried that tomorrow a big director asks me some other term and thinks that what la this guy doesn’t even know this. I have that fear.

And that’s the same thing I will tell those who asks me about wanting to be a film director. It hurts when someone condemns you, but you shouldn’t see it that way and turn it around as weapon for yourself.

You should learn the basics and come. Doesn’t mean you have to go to a film college, but if you go it is better. It is okey if you didn’t. Google is there and everything you need is there. That is how I learned as well. All you need is the interest to learn.

You need to know the basics of what is script writing, why scripting writing, what is direction and why direction. I always ask them what do you do as a director. They need to know that."

What do you think about our people reviewing films. Should it be encouraged. How would you define a properly done review?

"I’ll be honest with you. The moment you are letting someone to view your product, you must accept the feedback that comes from that person. Especially if they are paying to watch your product, then they have all the rights to say whatever they want because they have paid for that.

At the same time, you must remember one more thing. If a person who pays RM 15 and watch a film can say so many things, you as a director/producer who puts in RM 150, 000 has the rights to take in what only I need to hear. If this is understood, reviews won’t be an issue and it should be encouraged.

In fact, I think reviews are one of the best thing that came to Malaysian Tamil Cinema and it should develop more as it allows film makers to learn from it.

For example, you told that you felt EVT was a little draggy at parts. I did it intentionally, but you were not the only one to say it. Which means next time, if I am going to do something like that again, I should treat it in a different way where you don’t feel draggy.

There is no such thing as a proper review. There are 2 types of audience. One who understands films and another who doesn’t. A reviewer should be able to give a review which satisfy both these audience which is understandable for them."

In your opinion, despite various directors providing quality films, theater occupancy reminds low. How can we unlock this issue to get more audience?

"End of the day you need to know 2 things. One, you really need to be strong with your marketing. Which means you need at least RM 100,000 to RM 150,000 in your hands just for marketing.

Second, if you don’t have this money, then you need to be ready to sacrifice your movie to build an audience for the Malaysian Tamil Film Industry. You need to do either one of it. It is either you sacrifice your movie with low collection and build your audience for your next film or have the money to do good marketing and build your audience."

Who would you nominate next to be interviewed by Boggler Blogger?

"I think you should interview Shanjhey Kumar Perumal of "Jagat". He is a man who is really living for Malaysian. I think Malaysians should really appreciate him and celebrate him. I think you should interview him next."

With that, this is the end of In The Limelight With Karthik Shamalan. I hope to come back to you with another big name interview soon. Stay tuned and don't forget to like our Facebook Page in the link below

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