The long & short of it

It began as a short film. But its popularity led director Vinod Chan to remake Kurangu Manasu, which attracted thousands of hits when released on YouTube, as a feature film.

Vinod was a VisCom student at The American College, Madurai. “As a kid growing up in Simmakkal, I was fascinated by sound. I started listening to music on stereo players and was interested in the technicality of sound. That’s how I entered the visual communication course against the wishes of my parents.”

Vinod has assisted cinematographer Sugumar in movies such as Thadayara Thakka, Kumki, Porali and Nimirndhu Nil.

Though interested in film direction, Vinod wanted to first strengthen his technical skills. “I wanted to achieve in films and cinematography appealed to me. I thought it would be a good platform to learn,” he says.

As a college student, Vinod was part of a campus band, Flaming Strings, and would experiment with film songs. He also learnt to play the piano and this helped his understanding of sound and music.

“I watched Hangover with friends and I was totally impressed. I attempted to dub the movie in Tamil as a fun experiment. Surprisingly, it came off well and the response from my friends and acquaintances was positive. That’s when I thought that I could direct a short film,” says Vinod.

His perception of Hollywood movies changed when he watched Forrest Gump starring Tom Hanks. “Till then, I thought Hollywood movies were full of action sequences. But Forrest Gump totally changed my view. And I wanted to make a film like that.”

Kurangu Manasu is about how money corrupts young minds. “The film was released on YouTube and received much acclaim. It was selected for a short film festival at Chennai and the viewership increased,” says Vinod.

“It belongs to the wordplay comedy genre, which only few like Crazy Mohan and Kamal Hassan have attempted in Tamil. They are my inspirations too.”

Seeing the overwhelming response, Vinod reworked the script and made it into a feature film. After nine months of struggle, the 90-minute film is ready for release in August, thanks to timely help from his friends and family.

“But unfortunately, no theatre has come forward to release the film, as it is shorter than the usual films. Also there is no female lead,” says Vinod. “As I am a Kung fu master, I have also choreographed the stunts. My love for martial arts made me to add ‘Chan’ to my name.”

He learnt editing through YouTube tutorials and has a full-fledged editing suite at his home.

His friends Manoj, Rajasekhar, Ashok, Natesh and Mohan helped in a big way. “We pooled in money, talent and interest to make it a success. My friends are in different professions, yet we came together as a single unit for the film,” says Vinod, who is working on the script for his next feature film.

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Printable version | Jun 18, 2021 1:46:05 PM |

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