Tik Tik Tik director Shakti Rajan on making a space thriller: 'I aim to make films with a new visual experience'
After making his directorial debut through heist-thriller Naanayam, director Shakti Rajan wielded the megaphone for Naaigal Jaakirathai, a suspense thriller which featured a Belgian Shepherd dog in a central role. Through his third film Miruthan, he delivered Tamil cinema's first zombie outing with Jayam Ravi in the lead role. Now, his second consecutive collaboration with Ravi, Tik Tik Tik, which is billed as India's first space thriller, has released worldwide today on 22 June.
"I aim to make films that have a new visual experience. My first two films, Naanayam and Naaigal Jaakirathai, were not new genres but their visual experience was different. I believe that the audiences will want to watch such movies in theatres rather than to wait for their satellite release or online downloads," Shakti Rajan told Firstpost in this exclusive chat.
Shakti Rajan feels Tamil audiences are quite intelligent and is also hopeful that they would embrace a new genre like space thriller. "I think the Tamil audiences are knowledgeable and they are bang on about something that is scientific. And we had a story that will thrill the viewers because not just where the story happens but the screenplay also does matter to the audience. So I felt they would want to watch the film," he observed.
Creating a particular soundscape for the film was one of the challenges for the team. "The nuances of designing the soundscape for a space movie is essential. If we had hired a regular sound engineer, it would have been challenging to communicate every scene and to design sound as per the logic of space sounds. But with our sound designer Sachin, it was pretty easy. Even Imman did the re-recording keeping the logic in mind. So there will be no logical flaws in the film regarding sound," he explained.
Talking about his second continuous film with Jayam Ravi, Shakti said, "Ravi is highly competent; While shooting the dual roles for Aadhi Bhagavan and Nimirndhu Nil, no motion control cameras were used. He would mark his position during a shot and come back to play the other character to the exact spot. In Tik Tik Tik, Ravi had extensive rope sequences, green mat shots and also tricks to perform. He was always ready to set out. The film required a lot of endurance and when Nivetha Pethuraj told me that she was trained in martial arts, it was an immediate decision to sign her for the movie."
Shakti said it took almost nine months to complete the entire script work. "Usually, in a script, it is a practice to mention the shot as interior or exterior, day or night. But in space, there's no day or night. We had to tie the camera upside down and shoot some scenes. Every day on the sets was a new experience. The audience will also feel the experience. We got in touch with an ISRO scientist from Bangalore. He helped us in the details about how communication happens between the space and base," he said.
Shakti says he has cut down the masala aspects that we usually associate with a Tamil movie. "There is an emotional track between Ravi and his son. But there is no scope for romance in this film. There are only less than 10 proper space films in Hollywood too. So viewers have only a few movies to compare to Tik Tik Tik (smiles)."
Asked about the difficult shooting experiences, Shakti shared, "All the space shots needed the use of rope harness. Once the artists wear it and get tied themselves to rope, it will take quite some time to get rid of the harness because it takes almost two full hours to get them back to their position. So when we have breaks, they have to relax in their positions on air. They can't just climb down and sit; it's not that easy."
Tik Tik Tik also marks the onscreen debut of Jayam Ravi's eight-year-old son Aarav. "I have worked with many child artists. They usually test our patience a lot. That is their nature. But I have seen Aarav as an exception. He grasps things easily for his age. When we had to shoot double schedules, he had sacrificed his sleep to complete his sequences. He will achieve great feats," said Shakti on a concluding note.
Updated Date: Jun 22, 2018 09:47:07 IST