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Production designer Suresh Selvarajan talks about Iru Mugan

In a free-flowing conversation with Behindwoods, Iru Mugan's production designer, Suresh Selvarajan talks about his professional journey and lots more about the much awaited Iru Mugan

1. Tell us something about yourself. And what made you choose art direction?

I’m a production designer based out of Bombay but I’m basically a Tamil speaking guy. I’ve worked as an art director in films like Krrish 3, Agneepath and Yaan. I’ve a Bachelor’s degree in painting from Bharathiyar Palkalai Koodam, University of Pondicherry.

I’ve always had the passion for painting. When I was very young, I used to watch interviews of great art directors like Thotta Tharani and Sabu Cyril with an astonishment on how they are popular in spite of choosing art direction as their fore profession. That gave me the initial spark to choose this field. My parents have always been supportive. What’s more fun than to do what you desire?

I’ve been an assistant for Sabu Cyril sir for 9 years. Working with him gave me a great degree of confidence. I’ve been in his battalion for 14 films and I have also assisted him for many ad films. Now, here I’m working on my 2nd Tamil film.

2. How did Iru Mugan happen?

Ravi K Chandran sir recommended my name to the production team of Iru Mugan. And at the same time RD Rajasekar sir also proposed my name. He spotted my name while watching Brothers. On seeing a Tamil name he tried sourcing few information about me. Since my name got noticed by the team from multiple sources, I was offered to take up the production designer role.

3. How did you handle huge projects like Krrish 3, Brothers and now Iru Mugan when you’re just in your early 30’s? 

I’m from the school of Sabu Cyril; he is someone who used to do multiple multi-crore projects at the same time. I’ve been by his side for many giant size projects and those were all my learning experiences. I completed my education at a very young age and I have been in this field for quite some time now.

4. Your Iru Mugan experience?

Like I said before, I’ve been a part of big projects like Robot and Ra One, but Iru Mugan was a first of its kind experience for me. We have treated it like a Hollywood film by constantly thinking it to be out of the box. It was a fun and nice experience.

5. Colors that never go missing in your design?

An art director should never have any reservation for colors. A set needs to travel along with the script and should tell a story by itself. Dark tone red is the color that comes instantaneously in many of my designs.

6. An attribute that an art director needs to possess?

In today’s industry, every art director needs to be budget conscious. You can make masterpiece art work but you should also keep the producer in mind while making them.

7. Things that you learnt from Sabu Cyril?

Punctuality, sincerity and humbleness are his major traits according to me. I made a mask for Salman Khan’s Kick. That happens to be India’s 1st 3D mask and I was credited as special property designer in the film. I learnt such out of the box thoughts from Sabu sir.

8. Did Vikram appreciate you at the sets of Iru Mugan?

Yes, he would have personally appreciated me 4 to 5 times. There were a couple of sets that he was really in awe of and Vikram is someone who doesn’t shy away from complimenting a good work. The moment he sees a set that he likes, he calls “Hey, art director enga paa”.

I had worked as a last assistant in his film Arul long back. And to work as a production designer in his film feels great.

9. Word or two about Anand Shankar?

To work with him was a fun ride. After having worked in big projects with so much of pressure and deadline, I get to work with fun and friendly director now. It is for sure a memorable experience for me.

Not to forget my producer Shibu Thameens. He was so art director friendly; helped me work freely without any budget restrictions.

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Production designer Suresh Selvarajan talks about Iru Mugan

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