Interview Team : Jyothsna, Sudharshan, Ganesh

Director Shiv Mohaa makes his debut through Zero that hits the screens today, the 25th March. The engineer turned director talks to Senior Editor Jyothsna Bhavanishankar about his film in detail.


Can you tell us something about yourself?

I am B.E. (EEE) graduate. I have worked as an assistant in three films- Akku, Kulir 100 degree and Maryan. I did my film making course from Loyola College.


These days we see a steady influx of engineers into the film industry. What made you take up this profession?

When I was in college, I realized I wanted to be in this field. Until then I had no idea what I was going to do. I draw, I write stories and I thought films would be an ideal platform to showcase my talent. That’s how I came into the tinsel town.


How did your folks react to your decision?

Of course, there were resistance and opposition. But after a while, they just reconciled with my decision.


When was Zero conceived?

I got inspired from a holy book

I have a lot of scripts and Zero was one of them. I read a lot from my younger days. I got inspired from a holy book and that sort of acted as the point of origin for Zero story. I did not think at that time that it would be an inspiration for my film. But now I feel it would be apt to give the credit. In short, I can say that Zero was not conceived recently.


Did you pitch the story to many producers?

I had pitched this story to just one person, my producer Balaji Kappa and he Okayed it. In our very first meeting, he told me that he was not keen to make the usual family comedy drama and was eager to make something different. In my next meeting, I told him the story and he liked it. Within two months, we began this project.


What is Zero all about?

Zero is a supernatural romantic thriller

Zero is a supernatural romantic thriller. I can’t draw a parallel for my film with any other Tamil film. It will be a new experience for the audience.


What does the title Zero signify?

Zero denotes the beginning of everything.

It denotes the beginning of everything. The film is about an incident that happened when this universe was created. It is the beginning of everything. That’s why this title.


In an industry that is ridden with a lot of sentiments, did not people dissuade you from having such a title for your debut project?

People said, it is a negative title

Yes, there were many who did that. But, this is a very catchy and intriguing title. The producer himself was curious as to why this story was titled as Zero. The title was a next step of sorts for people to listen to the script and get interested in it. Of course people said, it is a negative title, but in my team, no one felt that way. Zero has been conveyed in a positive manner in the film, to clean the slate and to start afresh; that’s another meaning to the title.


Ashwin Kakumanu

Ashwin has satisfied my expectations

Ashwin plays a social worker in Zero. In his earlier films, he had donned on irresponsible or negative characters. I thought, let me give a different shade to him in my film. I felt he would suit the role with a slight get up change. He has satisfied my expectations and has done a great work. In the film, there were quite a few scenes that had required hard work. A specific scene needed, 5-6 Ashwins in the same shot. Each Ashwin would be like a different character. I felt he could do all this and he justified my selection of him.


Sshivada Nair

We had hung Sshivada upside down from a rope for two days

Sshivada had done a good job in Nedunchalai and that’s how I thought about casting her in Zero. She plays a housewife in this film. I wanted a homely looking girl. I felt Ashwin and Sshivada made a perfect couple. And she also had to do a lot of stunts. We had hung her upside down from a rope for two days. We made her stand on the parapet wall in a 13 storied building for a whole day. She was very cooperative and has delivered well.


JD Chakravarthy

It is a positive role, but JD has played it negatively

I never thought he would agree to do this role. Till now he has done negative roles mostly, but in zero, it is a little different. He plays the role of someone with gifted special powers. It is a positive role, but he has played it negatively. I just mailed the synopsis of the script and he immediately called me. He is a very friendly person and we started getting along well. I went to Hyderabad to meet him. He was more interested in the story rather than his part.  He is also an award making  film maker and I learnt from him a lot on acting and film making. I am very happy to have worked with him.


In the current times, we are having many films that are based on the horror/supernatural genre. So, how would your film be different from these?

You can’t expect jump scares or gore makeup or blood splash

Mine is not a horror movie, but is a supernatural thriller. You can’t expect jump scares or gore makeup or blood splash. It is more like a psychological thriller with supernatural elements. That is the difference I would say.


Music for such films is very important. In that sense, can you elaborate on Nivas K Prasanna’s work?

Nivas's music will bring the movie together

Thegidi’s music was the key reason that made us rope in Nivas as the music composer for Zero. It is a music driven film and I was confident that Nivas can pull it off with élan. His music will bring the movie together. Nivas has taken the film to a very different level beyond our expectations. When you get out of the theatre after watching Zero, you would definitely realize Nivas’s music’s worth. All his songs will be classy which will go with the romance part of the film.


Who is your inspiration in the industry?

He has the knack of telling something new to our audiences, but with a lot of clarity

Shankar sir is one of my inspirations. I love his movies. I love the way he narrates his story. He has the knack of telling something new to our audiences, but with a lot of clarity. Everybody can understand his content. I like that aspect of Shankar. I always look up to him when I am writing my story or script.





Wish you the best Shiv Mohaa!


Jyothsna Bhavanishankar


Tags : Shiv Mohaa, Zero



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