SJ Surya, a 32-year-old creative director, made just two films, Vaali and Kushi. But these two films show the class of the director. Idlebrain.com met him in his office at T Nagar, Chennai and spoke to this charming, hospitable and creative director at length. Here are the excerpts of the interview that took more than one hour!
Tell us about how you landed up in films?
I am basically from down south of Tamil Nadu. I was very much interested in watching films since my childhood days. At that time, I wanted to join films. After finishing my +2 I came to Chennai and joined B.Sc (Physics) in Loyala College. I did not join my engineering though I got a B.E seat in Madhurai, as stay at Chennai can facilitate a chance to meet film directors.
After graduating from Loyola, I decided that I not should be living on my parent's money. Hence I worked in all kinds of hotels as a cashier and steward to earn my living. I used to work for 8 hours a day in Hotels and keep the rest of 16 hours to get my dreams realized, i.e. to meet all the directors and learn about direction. After six years of struggle, I got an offer as an apprentice for a Bhagyaraja film. After that I worked with Mr. Vasanth as an assistant for Ajith's film 'Aasai'. Then I worked with Mr. Livingston for 'Sundara Purushan'. Later on, when I was working for Ullasam, I met Ajith again. At that time, Ajith asked me if I was still an assistant director. He asked me to give him a good script and he would make me a director. Then I narrated the script of Vaali to Ajith and he approached Mr. Chakravathy, the producer to make a film. That's how 'Vaali' happened. Mr. Ajith helped me a lot and I am very thankful to him.After watching the premier show of Vaali, Mr. AM Ratnam offered me another film. That's how Kushi is shaped up. I have approached Vijay and narrated the script. Then we took Jyotika as the heroine.