Music composer G.V. Prakash Kumar who has taken to production and acting talks to udhav naig about exploring his interests in the other realms of cinema
In the five minutes I spent waiting inside G.V. Prakash Kumar’s modest studio in Nandanam, I can hear the composer politely whispering at least a dozen instructions, reminding his team of the deadlines. “They want it tomorrow, please try to finish it by today,” he tells a musician. The young composer has his hands full with work. Ever since the composer gave in to his long-held desire to venture into movie production and into acting, time has been of the essence. Prakash seems to have caught the ‘good cinema’ virus recently. He tells me that he wants to make ‘path-breaking movies’ within the contours of ‘Middle Cinema’ — the kind which receives critical acclaim and recovers the money invested. “It was awesome when Ugly (Anurag Kashyap’s film for which Prakash is the composer) got a standing ovation at Cannes,” he says, of his experience there. Throughout the conversation, Prakash mentions the names of Anurag Kashyap and Farhan Akhtar several times. “I really admire their work,” he insists.
What was the first lesson he learnt as a producer? “That putting together a good team is the most important task of making a good film. I also understood that you cannot control your film,” he says, and adds, “The director, actor and the cinematographer were handpicked by me. I only told them to make the movie in such a way that, by the time Madha Yaanai Kootam is ready for release, they should have signed on new films. I am glad that it has happened,” he says.
Madha Yaanai Kootam, he says, will be a documentation of Madurai’s culture. “The film with rural underpinnings will have a modern approach. It is a thriller,” he informs. Predictably, he talks of his plans of sending the film to Berlin and other international film festivals. Despite everyone discouraging him from turning producer, he wanted to give it a try. “If you don’t take a risk, then you will remain as just another person in the industry,” he affirms.
Having sold his film to a well-known distributor, Prakash has moved onto Pencil, in which he plays the lead. With a sparkle in his eyes, he says, “The film will be an urban, new-age thriller.”
While he is yet to face the camera (he has only completed a photo shoot) for Pencil, Prakash is squeezing in rehearsals between his composing sessions. “Director Vetrimaaran has been helping me with some acting lessons. Pencil will belong to the growing list of new-age films such as Soodhu Kavvum and Pizza,” he says.
While it is certainly noteworthy that he is trying to come out of his comfort zone, does he have a coherent strategy to stay ahead in the extremely competitive film music market?
“It’s true that many youngsters, some of them with formal education in music, have been recognised, and it is good for the industry. I am especially impressed with Santhosh Narayanan. There have been times when I have done movies for the money or for the names associated with the project. Here on, I will try to do films which I truly want to associate myself with. I am hoping to produce and act in at least one film every year,” he says.
How does he hope to find time? “ I will make time for it,” he says. Prakash is excited about his work in Anurag’s Ugly and Bala’s yet-to-be-titled film. “In Ugly, I have explored dub-step, while for Bala’s film, I am experimenting with karagattam.”
So far, Prakash admits that he hasn’t been in total control of what he has to do. “I have had to deliver what my producer and director wanted.” For the first time in his life, he is in a position to make use of the resources at his disposal to do what he wants. What would be his dream project? “I want to produce a film with Ajith. That would be a dream-come-true,” he says.