Actors go behind the camera

Actor and director M G Srinivas (left) feels it is important to stay calm when on the sets.

Actors turning directors continues to be a trend in the Kannada film industry. Many of them get behind the camera right after portraying a significant role in a movie.

Actor M G Srinivas’s cameo role in ‘Just Maath Maathalli’, which was directed by Sudeep who also acted in it, fetched him attention. “My role as a music freak in the film with the perfect comic elements helped me gain a lot of confidence,” he says. 

Right after the film, Srinivas helmed the feature film ‘Topiwala’ with Upendra in it.

“Having watched Sudeep play the actor’s and director’s role with finesse encouraged me a lot. Working with Upendra was also easy as he has also directed movies which he acted in,” says Srinivas.    

Acting and directing together can be quite tricky, he says. “I have to continually keep shifting my focus which can be quite hard. When acting I am only that character, but when directing I have to keep a check on all the people involved in the scene. As a director, it is easy to lose one’s cool,” says Srinivas.  

Actor Ashwin Rao Pallakki has a similar story to share. “I got noticed as a Sandalwood film artiste only because of ‘Kirik Party’. My role as Ravi, a fun-loving college student who loves to flirt with girls,  was a dream come true as it gave me a chance to work with Rakshit Shetty. The energy the actor-turned-director has encouraged me to make my own film,” says Ashwin.

The shooting of ‘Kirik Party’ proved as a training ground for Ashwin.

“I was always near the monitor trying to understand each scene. It was during the filmmaking process that I learnt about the nuances and technicalities of the camera and each scene.”

“This helped me a lot in the making of my upcoming film ‘Curious Cases of Yedebedita’,” he says.

Actor-cum-director Arjun Kishore Chandra, who got noticed for his role in the short film ‘Mauna’, took up the task of directing and acting a feature film ‘Life 360’, as he felt encouraged by the audience’s feedback.

“I also worked as an assistant cameraman in ‘Thithi’, where I learnt that good movies can be made without elaborate budgets. Good content is the only requisite for a film to click,” says Arjun.   

Sujay Shastry who was seen as Benki in ‘Srinivasa Kalyana’ learnt a lot about filmmaking while he was on the sets of the film.

“After being involved in the setting of lights, costumes, direction, art design and production work, the movie worked as a great training ground. Benki, which means flame, actually triggered me to explore myself as an actor and more,” he says. 

Sujay, who will also be seen in ‘Birbal Trilogy’, will be directing and acting in ‘Gubbi Mele Brahmastra’ soon.

“We have Kavitha from ‘Srinivasa Kalyana’ also acting in the film. As I progress with my film, I have learnt that I need to keep my roles of being an actor and director separate,” he adds. 

Challenging path 

“From the art department to the lights, anything can go wrong on a set. When a director is also acting in his project it is important to stay calm and come back for the shot with the right attitude. The variance of mood should be balanced well.”

M G Srinivas, actor and director

The three T’s

“Being an actor and director in a film requires the magical three T’s -- a good team, theme and management of time for the project to work out.”

Arjun Kishore Chandra, actor

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Actors go behind the camera

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