It was the year 2006. It was a time when 500 rupees was not a small sum of money. Petrol cost less than 50 rupees then! I was just out of engineering and unsure as to how to start my career in cinema. On an uneventful evening, a bunch of us friends were sitting at our regular tea shop and talking when my friend Karthik Prashanth gave me an idea. ‘Let’s make a short film on cigarette’ he said excitedly. I wasn’t very impressed with the idea. My friend wasn’t discouraged. ‘Let’s not make it the regular way’ he said, ‘Lets add some fun to it! Imagine a guy trying to light a cigarette. Out of nowhere comes this aunty who pours a bucket of water over him. How will that be?!’ . We all burst out into laughter. The flame was lit and I was really excited. We sat down for a couple of days brainstorming the possible series of events. We never realized back then that what we were creating was, in fact, a screenplay. We decided that it shouldn’t become one of the regular message oriented films. It should rather be an enjoyable film with a message at the end. We then proceeded to observe smokers for a few days to see what they would go through. A week later, we were all set to shoot. The next daunting question was, who would fit the lead character? I was very convinced that I needed a serious looking guy who would carry the film than a run of the mill comedian. My instant choice was Karthik Ram. Karthik and I were friends since 2005. It’s ironic that he was one of the friends on my list whom I had asked for a chance to act! Karthik liked the idea and agreed. The stage was set.
The next day was the big day when I would shoot my NO BUDGET SHORT FILM with a professional actor.
In the Next column: My experience directing a NO BUDGET SHORT FILM
CUT TO CLIMAX : ‘TIMEPASS’ is the name of the short film. It got good reviews in the conventional film
festivals. Many in fact suggested that I make a feature film on the same theme …Hmmm … Let me think…