Perhaps, there is nothing special about Nadhaswaram , a Tamil mega-serial, completing a thousand episodes. When Thirumurugan, director of Nadhaswaram , wanted to do something different in Tamil television, he came up with a dramatic idea: he wanted to do a live telecast of Nadhaswaram’ s1000th episode on Sun TV. The popular director, who shot to fame with Metti Oli , has done similar such whacky experiments on the small screen. Previously, he has filmed an episode without any dialogues. But this was going to be difficult because of the challenges that he was faced with.
After Sun TV green lighted the experiment, Thirumurugan put his entire team through a gruelling three- day schedule. Two days before the live telecast on March 5, he got his actors together and started rehearsing. “Almost 90 per cent were newcomers,” he says and adds, “We did around six rehearsals before going for the live telecast. The rehearsals went on till 3 a.m. in the morning.”
Thirumurugan was trying to pull this off for a Guinness World Record. The biggest challenge that he had to overcome was in the sound department. Considering the fact that the majority of actors working in Nadhaswaram had very little experience, he had to find a way to get them to do their dubbing live on TV. “Some of them would speak too loudly and some too softly. Also, we had to sync the re-recording as the action was happening,” he says. To have a crack at the record, composer Sanjeev Rathan had to sync the background score according to the action. This meant that he had to be present on the set even as the action was happening. “It was tricky because if we missed a beat, the entire experiment would go haywire,” says Sanjeev.
The episode, which was filmed in a single shot, runs for about 23 minutes and 25 seconds. “I wanted the audience to say that the episode was recorded and that we weren’t doing it live on TV. We even switched off and on the light to imply a shot transition,” he says.
While it is obvious that it wouldn’t have been possible to do this without the support of the 96-member crew, Thirumurugan says that the people of Pallathur (a village near Karaikudi) also pitched in. “They were so supportive and made sure there was absolutely no noise on the roads. Some even took their kids to their relative’s place.”
On March 7, the feat by Sun TV Network and director and producer of Nadhaswaram , director Thirumurugan was officially recognised by the Guinness World Records officials.