"RUNTIME OF THUPPAKKI WAS 2 HOURS 54 MINUTES, YET THE FILM IS A TRENDSETTER FOR AN ENGAGING FILM"

Interview Team : Arvind Sundaram, Ameenuddin, Jyothsna, Jeya Suriya

An editor is the second director and the first audience for a film. Going by that, here we catch up with Bhuvan Srinivasan, the editor of recently released Chiyaan Vikram's Iru Mugan, who also has films like Arima Nambi, Demonte Colony and Kanithan to his credit. 


Tell us about yourself. How did your journey towards cinema start?

I wanted to get into direction, but then due to family concerns, I opted for editing

First and foremost, I do not come from a cinema background. My father was a professor in Loyola college. I did not study any media course and am a B.Com graduate, but, I was very passionate about watching movies, which made me grow an ambition towards film making and direction. I wanted to get into direction. But then due to family concerns, I opted for editing and did a 1-year course on editing at LV Prasad. During that time, I got an opportunity to meet Sreekar Prasad sir, who gave me an opening to work as an assistant editor. My very first film as an assistant editor was Mani sir's Raavanan.  This is how it all happened.



So, can we say that you became an editor by accident?

Me becoming an editor was a planned accident

Well, it was a planned accident. Even now, I have the passion for directing films. Due to reasons, I couldn't pursue it, but, by doing editing, I am keeping my directorial dreams alive. If I master the craft of editing, it would be an added advantage when I get to direct a film. So, I planned it perfectly to become an editor so that I can travel in the media line and continue with my dreams.



Your earlier three films were made on a smaller scale. Now Iru Mugan, a different league altogether. How do you see this difference?

I do not see Demonte Colony and Iru Mugan different. Both are equal to me

I do not see any difference as such. I do not see Demonte Colony and Iru Mugan different. Both are equal to me. Each project is very  important for me. I put my entire soul and heart into the film and work. In the 4 years of my journey as an editor, I have worked only in 3 films, and Iru Mugan is just fourth. I want to be choosy about my projects.



You worked in films like Arima Nambi, Demonte Colony and Kanithan. Going by that, are you a favorite for Murugadoss sir's assistants especially?

Haha...(laughs). Maybe. Anand Shankar and Santhosh were associate directors, and Ajay was the first AD in Thuppakki, while I was the associate editor in the same. Since then, we have been very good friends. We get along really well and have confidence in each other's work.


An editor is the second director and the first audience for a film. In that case, how is your working equation with Anand Shankar?

It has been very smooth and easy. We both know each other's working style and share a good rapport. He might not be present at the edit table sometimes, but even then, I would edit the film and show him the output, as I know his level of expectation.


Your editing has always been unique and different from the mainstream pattern. What have you experimented in Iru Mugan's edit?

A film is a team work and I shouldn't enforce the cuts according to my interests

I do not wantedly make a different style of cut. Whatever the script demands, whatever the film demands, I go by that. A film is a team work and I shouldn't enforce the cuts according to my interests. With regards to Iru Mugan, there would be few flashback portions in the second half, which are treated quite differently. We have approached it in a subtle manner.



Was any scene in the film cut, due to length issues or other constraints?

No, not at all. No scenes were cut. Anand is very clear about what he wants. In the scripting stages itself, we exclude the scenes which aren't necessary, so that there wouldn't be any waste of time shooting it. Even for Arima Nambi, we didn't delete any scene. Only needed scenes were shot.


Did Vikram give you any feedback after seeing the film?

Vikram sir loved the film very much and appreciated my work too

We have known each other since the Raavanan days (since 2009). And yes, he loved the film very much and appreciated my work too. The team of Iru Mugan, as a whole, saw the film last week and is quite happy with the final product.



Are you tensed about Iru Mugan's post-release reception?

No film can fulfill the expectations of every single person in this world

No, actually I am pretty cool. We, as a team, have done our best with the available resources. No film can fulfill the expectations of every single person in this world, but we do hope to satisfy the most. If the film doesn't click with some people, we will definitely have something to learn. Cinema, in itself, is a never-ending learning process.



Don't you feel that revealing Love character was a spoiler?

We haven't shown everything in the trailer. Lots more is present in the film

No. During the pre-production stages of the film itself, we decided to show the Love character in the trailer. We planned to end the teaser with a glimpse of Love's mask and start the trailer with an introduction about him. In today's market, the lifespan of a film is very short. In that case, it is important to build in the curiosity factor and bring the audience to the theatre. We haven't shown everything in the trailer. Lots more is present in the film. So, I don't think it was a spoiler.  To be precise, there were only 7 shots of Love in the trailer. Just that the whole trailer talks about him, the impact is bigger.  Revealing Love was a strategic plan.



The runtime of Iru Mugan is 155 minutes. Out of the 150 films that have released so far in 2016, only 10 films have had a running time of over 150 minutes. Don't you think it is challenging to keep the audience engaged throughout the 150 minutes?

The runtime of Thuppakki is 2 hours 54 minutes, yet the film is a trendsetter

Definitely. It is very much challenging. Iru Mugan will have an interesting factor or give a lead to another scene for every five minutes. It will be a very engaging film. Duration doesn't matter when the film is engaging and presented well. Take, Thuppakki for instance, the film in which both Anand and I worked. The runtime of Thuppakki is 2 hours 54 minutes, yet the film is a trendsetter for an engaging film. We can have an 180-minute long movie engaging, and a 90-minute film boring. It all depends on how you present the film.



Tell us about your experience working in Iru Mugan

It was a wonderful experience. I have earlier worked in big films, of this canvas. The only difference between now and then is, I was working as an assistant editor that time, and now I am a full-fledged editor by myself.


Any recent film that you liked very much?

24 was a very bold and experimental film, that too, coming from a star like Suriya sir, was very much appreciable

I have been very busy for the past two-three months. I still haven't seen films like Kabali and Joker. I happened to see 24 and loved it. 24 was a very bold and experimental film, that too, coming from a star like Suriya sir, was very much appreciable. Even as a producer, it takes guts to trust and travel in that kind of a script, which is new for Tamil cinema audience. Though Indru Netru Naalai dealt with time travel, it was made on a smaller scale. But, 24 was made on a bigger scale and I liked its approach.



Future projects?

There is Arun Vijay's Kuttram 23 gearing up for release. It will be the first film in which I have collaborated with a non-A.R.Murugadoss assistant, Arivazhagan sir. I am doing a film called Vidhi Madhi Ulta , produced by Rameez Raja of 'Darling 2' fame, and a rural drama film directed by Mani sir's associate. I have also signed Ajay Gnanamuthu's Imaikkaa Nodigal.



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This page hosts exclusive interviews with actors, actresses, film technicians and related celebrities. The interviews are generally personal views of the guest about their projects and film related matters. People looking for information about actors, actresses, directors, music directors, cameramen and other technicians will find this page useful.