Director Gautham Ramachandran describes the scripting process of his maiden, yet-untitled Tamil directorial, featuring popular Malayalam actor Nivin Pauly as one "hell of a writing session".
"In June 2015, we had set up an office in Chennai, and since then we've been working on the script. It took us nearly 40 drafts over a period of nine months to finally lock the script. It was one crazy, hell of a writing session," Gautham told IANS.
The team, however, is very happy with the final draft of the script.
"The effort we have put in has paid off," says the lawyer-turned-filmmaker, admitting that they couldn't have pulled it off without Nivin's contribution.
"Till a few days ago, we were making changes to the script. Nivin was very actively involved in the scripting stage and he's the sort of actor who has a great eye for details and understands all the appreciation moments of a scene," he said, adding that Nivin doesn't stop until he gets what he wants from a project.
Explaining about Nivin's involvement, Gautham shared: "While working on the last draft, recently, Nivin sat through one whole day -- from morning to night -- and finalised everything. My team was shocked by his commitment and his passion towards the project".
The film was speculated to be made in Tamil and Malayalam as a bilingual, but Gautham, a former associate of film-maker Mysskin, denied such reports.
"Nivin insisted we make the film only in Tamil. We were supposed to work in the past and back then he gave me an option to work in Malayalam. However, I wasn't comfortable. So, Nivin suggested we wait for the right project to work in Tamil," he said, adding that they've known each other for about four years.
"After 'Neram', I had run a few ideas past him. We didn't get the right platform to collaborate these last few years, but this time almost all the departments fell in place for this project," said Gautham.
The film is based on critically-acclaimed Kannada thriller Ulidavaru Kandanthe.
"We've taken a few elements from the original and weaved a new story around it. It's not a frame-to-frame remake. Since the director of that movie is a close friend, we decided to buy the remake rights and adapt it," he said.
Contrary to rumours, Varalaxmi Sarath Kumar is not the leading lady. The makers have a few options including a newcomer.
The project will go on the floors from mid-May, and the technical crew features mostly Gautham's close friends.
Cinematographer Pandi Kumar was his roommate in film institute, while editor Atul, art director Jaya and music composer Ajaneesh Loknath are his pals.
The film's producers, Anand Kumar and Vinod Shornur, are Nivin's