Tik Tik Tik art director Moorthy on creating space shuttles: If not for director's vision, couldn't have pulled it off

Haricharan Pudipeddi

Jun,13 2018 10:32:45 IST

Tamil cinema’s first space film, Tik Tik Tik, which features Jayam Ravi in the titular role, is gearing up for release on 22 June. The film is riding high on expectations, especially after the highly positive feedback it received since the release of its trailer. Ahead of the film’s release, Firstpost caught up with art director Moorthy to talk about the experience of building space shuttles on a limited budget, attempting a film in a genre and space never explored before in Kollywood and more.

A poster of Tik Tik Tik. YouTube

A poster of Tik Tik Tik. YouTube

The whole attempt to make Asia’s maiden space film came across as quite challenging when director Shakti Soundar Rajan pitched the idea, but the excitement to work on something never done before gave Moorthy the confidence he needed. “Shakti and I go a long way. I’ve worked with him in his last film as well. We share a great understanding. At first, doing a space film sounded very challenging, but both of us knew if we succeed, we’d share the joy of being part of something very special. Shakti’s confidence in the story and in me was all that was needed to get started.”

At the music launch of the film earlier this year, Jayam Ravi could not stop raving about the sets that were built for the film. A humble Moorthy diverts all the credit to his director. “If not for his vision, we couldn’t have pulled this off. Shakti sir knew what he exactly wanted and that clarity really helped us in execution.” Three space shuttles were built from scratch for the film’s shoot. “We spent about eight to nine months on research. Since there were no Indian or even Asian films for reference, we had to rely a lot on information available on the internet. Unlike Hollywood, where they shoot extensively using green mat and then enhance the product using VFX, we had to build sets and shoot because we can’t afford the budgets for visual effects. We built three space shuttles. We tried to recreate part by part everything that one can find inside a space shuttle. From every wire to button, we recreated every minute detail. It was challenging and equally exciting.”

Elaborating further on how they built the sets, Moorthy said, “Since we had budget constraints, we made miniature versions of each set just to be clear of what we wanted. We used fiber to construct the interiors of the space shuttle. On an average, over 30 people would work on a set which took us a few weeks to complete.” To assist Moorthy, the makers roped in students from College of Fine Arts, Chennai.

Moorthy said he did not find it challenging to shoot on a limited budget, especially while making something as ambitious as a space film. “It’ good to have control over budget. Otherwise, we might end up spending more than required. On a creative level, we were given the full freedom to innovate and make what we want. When audiences watch what we’ve achieved with this project, I’m sure they won’t nit-pick about the budget.”

On a concluding note, Moorthy reinstated that Tik Tik Tik will set a benchmark for space films in Tamil filmdom. “A lot of people felt we can’t make a space film. We will prove them wrong when they watch our film. It’s a very ambitious effort and one that will encourage other filmmakers to explore this space more.”

Also starring Nivetha Pethuraj and Jayaprakash, the film also stars popular Singaporean actor Aaron Aziz. Shakti says he was cast because they wanted an actor of Asian descent. D Imman has composed music for the film which happens to be his 100th album.

Updated Date: Jun 13, 2018 10:32 AM