With the indie film ‘Get Happy’ gearing up for release, Manoj Annadurai the debut director is all happy. He is proud of the fact that the flick has been recognized and awarded at theMontreal Film Festival and Manhattan Film Festival. With D-day nearing we engage in a light chit chat with him,
How did you get into filmmaking in the first place? What inspired you?
Right from when I was a child, I was fascinated with filmmaking. I wanted to create something. I founded a technology company but filmmaking was my passion. I made a lot of friends in the industry and managed to grab an opportunity when it came by.‘Get Happy’ is my debut venture.
Why did you choose happiness as the central theme of the venture?
One of the major reasons is that we always try to be happy. In this age when so many things are vying for our attention, happiness should be our primary goal. We read a lot of books, watch videos and documentaries on how to be happy.
But being happy in the 21st century comes with a string of thoughts. I thought this idea would be easy for people to relate to and the second reason was that I had a limited budget. I cannot get into making an action thriller immediately so rom-com was the best choice.
How did you make happiness sellable?
What makes you happy, may not make me happy. Happiness keeps evolving and is highly relative. We decided to make it tangible and worked it out to be a rom-com. Because at the end of the day, all of us want to be happy.
So happiness is a destination? Not the journey in itself?
No, I disagree with that, the movie also throws light on it. Scientifically, happiness comes with a purpose in life. Positive thinking and happiness go hand in hand. I would say remove negative influences from life and remember to vent it all out, that is important to be happy.
Happiness is found in reality checks? Like irony of life?
Yeah, that’s what I have tried to show with two extreme characters- Charlie and Bobby. When you force two extremes together, I suppose humor accompanies it as well.
Few lines about the movie?
‘Get happy’ is touted to be a romantic comedy but in real it is a drama. It also has a dash of emotions. It showcases the fact that self discovery is a goal and happiness comes along with it.
What were the challenges you faced while canning the movie?
When we were canning the movie in 2014, we faced one issue or the other continuously. There was a snow blizzard and the schedules kept getting postponed. Making an independent movie in a foreign location comes with cons of course. We lost a car right on the first day of the shoot and also found that some props went missing too. The entire movie was completed within 19 days. Unlike Indian cinema, we worked for 12 hours a day and needless to say, the team was extremely professional indeed.
Thank you Manoj! We’re waiting to see the movie in theatres as well.