Sankagiri Rajkumar, the independent filmmaker who directed the film Vengayam earlier, has now come out with a first-of-its-kind attempt. His second film, titled ‘All One’, has been made all by the director himself — right from scripting till the final post-production works.
“I decided to make the film as an experimental project. At the same time, I did not want to cheat by having a script like 127 Hours or Buried, where the film is about a single character. This script is something that wouldn’t be out of place in a big-budget film, with a lot of characters, multiple locations and visual effects,” says the director.
The story, Rajkumar informs, is about four friends who lose their way in a forest and stumble onto a chemical factory that has been shut down.
“The factory was the base for an aborted science experiment — of freezing the world for a few days, and what happens when these four guys lay their hands on the equipment is what the plot is all about,” he says.
The entire movie has only one actor — Rajkumar himself — even though the number of characters is over 500! In one scene, to show an audience watching a film inside a theatre, the director filmed himself sitting in every one of the seats. “I have also ensured that the camera isn’t static. I have used trolleys and cranes to film many of the scenes. Since I’d be acting after switching on the camera, I used my engineering background to come up with a motor that would enable the movement of the equipment,” he says.
Rajkumar, who was an assistant of Velu Prabhakaran, has also done the visual effects. “When I was an assistant director, I used to learn visual effects and animation in the evenings after the shoot, and used that knowledge here,” he says.
The director has also recorded the way he has made the movie, to offer as evidence in case someone questions his claim. “Every day, once I reach the shooting spot with the equipment, I would switch on a camera that would record all my activities. This making-of video will be proof of what I did,” he says.
Since he was the one handling every department of filmmaking, Rajkumar says that the stress resulted in him having a breakdown. “Forget those around me, even I started questioning my decision to make this film. I even consulted a doctor, who, unable to get what I was doing, wanted to visit the set for a day. After spending a day watching me work, he told me to drop the project, as he feared that I could go insane in a few months. For me, it was a case of having crossed the river half way. I did not want to turn back, because that one, too, would be extremely difficult. I stopped work for a few days, but deep down, I couldn’t be at peace with myself unless I had finished the film,” he elaborates.
Quiz him if he has made this film to enter the record books, and he says, “Not at all. I wanted to show that it is possible to make a movie all alone. Looking at this project, in the future, if a filmmaker decides to gather some 10 people and make a film, I would consider that my achievement.”
Source: The Times of India