Editor Pradeep E Raghav impressive cuts
Editor Pradeep E Raghav – Impressing everyone with ‘Ti(C)Ks’ for sleek cuts
A film’s fate is decided on Two Tables – Script and Editing! Of course, it’s been an irreversible theory, which is accepted as the substantial paradigm over ages. In particular, the responsibilities of a ‘FILM EDITOR’ involve more baggage to carry upon. It’s not just about the eyes and hands hooked to monitors and mouse rolls, but a sort of task, where the entire hard work process of output of hundreds and thousands in a team finds it relish. Especially, for an editor like Pradeep E Ragav, who is basked in glory over the fantabulous reception for his ‘Cuts’ in Tik Tik Tik, the scenarios should have been more challenging.
In this exclusive interaction with Richard Mahesh Rajakumar, he unveils the journey behind the making of Country’s first ever Space based thriller, which has turned the spotlights from nook and corners of Tinsel Town.
Apparently, before reaching him for this interaction, I was confined to my assumptions that after a painstaking process of editing ‘Tik Tik Tik’, this young handsome editor should be literally a tiresome personality in a post-hectic phase. But to my surprise, his invigorating enthusiasms sparked diminishing my ideas. Obviously, the first thing I wanted to ask him about the excruciating phase that he would have undergone as an editor for India’s first ever space based thriller.
When filmmaker Sakthi Soundarajan surprised with 5-hr work per day
In contrast, Pradeep gleefully says, “Even I had certain plans and supposals filling my mind before editing Tik Tik Tik. But to my surprise, Sakthi Soundarajan sir told me something that left me frozen. He surprised me coming up with ‘5-hr per day’ pattern, which left me perplexed. It happens as a regular phase that editing process would take 16 hours per day that will stretch out for a month long phase. But sir insisted us that we work merely for 5 hours. He didn’t miss to justify the reason claiming that in all 16 hours of work, the exact work would happen for 5 hours. So it’s best to stick with this limited duration. Precisely, this made our working sessions a much jolly experience and more focus was emphasized on work as the time was short. We would start our work by 11.30 a.m. that will continue till 4.30 p.m. This kept our entire team of editors in a sangfroid condition, where we could spend our time for personal space and with family as well.”
Sakthi Soundarajan – The efficient planning of economics and human values
Adding more upon the brilliant planning of filmmaker Sakthi Soundarajan, Pradeep says, “I really loved the way Sakthi sir visualized the entire process. It wasn’t just about his innovative scripting, but the way he worked to keep his producer in safe zone. Usually, it happens that a film’s footage would have a running length of 4hrs, which later gets trimmed half its time. Obviously, this has been a ritual practice in Hollywood as well. But for its vast audiences, the budget spent on the deleted footages wouldn’t be a greater loss. Nevertheless, it happens that being able to present our movie to only limited audiences, the budget constraints had to be kept in mind. Henceforth, Sakthi sir insisted that the editing is done first and only the final footage should be sent for VFX processing, which will not be a means of economical savings for producer, but save the energy of technicians as well. So I would say, he isn’t just a great planner of economical means, but someone who gives respect to human values as well.”
A promo song that took for a leap into Tik Tik Tik
While sharing the story behind his inclusion in Tik Tik Tik, Pradeep says, “It all happened with Naaigal Jaakirathai. I was working for Praveen KL sir as assistant. It was during this juncture, I was asked to work on a unique pattern editing for the song ‘En Nenjil’. Significantly, I tried something different and it eventually got a good reception. Sooner, I was surprised to hear from Praveen sir that Sakthi Soundarajan sir wanted to meet me. Later, he congratulated me for my work and that’s how I got familiar with him. In this context, I must say that Praveen KL sir is such a genuine person, where he wouldn’t hesitate to openly give his credits to assistants.
When the announcement regarding Tik Tik Tik was made with the first look, where there wasn’t any information on technicians, I was stunned. I have been an addict to space ever since my school days and as an audience, it kindled my curiosity towards the project. I just decided to take a blind chance and approached Sakthi sir. They asked me to wait for a month and while I wasn’t even confident, they surprised me with advance cheque. For few minutes, I was like numbed and they asked me if I am not happy about it. Such was that instantaneous frozen moment.
Challenges involved in ‘Transits’ and ‘Cuts’ of Tik Tik Tik
To be honest, it was a pretty challenging phase in my career. Usually, the footages we would receive for a film consists of proper shoot and with the musical assistance, the editing for me would be pretty clear. Whereas in Tik Tik Tik, the scenario was completely an alien to me for it would consist only of Green Mattes and the artists swinging with ropes. Yes, despites the fact that Jayam Ravi, Nivetha Pethuraj and others’ hard work was so much evident, it was quite a challenging thing to perceive the exact representation of the script paper. At least, Sakthi sir would be aplomb as he knows the process. But for a producer like Nemichand Jhabak, who had taken huge risk investing a big number, it would have definitely been a walk on needle moment. However, what made him special was his blind trust upon us and we’re happy that he is getting the appreciations for it all over the places.
About Pradeep E Raghav
A Visual communication graduate, who joined as assistant to National award winning Praveen KL. His debut film as an independent editor was Vishal starrer ‘Kathakali’ following which, he worked in many projects including GV Prakash’s recent release Semma. He has lined up huge projects in the pipeline, which will have the official announcements made shortly.