National Award-winning Tamil film director Vetri Maaran is penning his first web series, titled ‘Nilamellam Ratham’, for ZEE5.
Vetrimaaran will not only be penning the script, but will also be the show runner and producing it through his Grassroot Film Company. The series is to be directed by Ramesh Balakrishnan.
The web series will feature director Ameer in the lead and have music by Yuvan Shankar Raja. Interestingly, this will be the first time that Vetrimaaran and Yuvan will be working together.
Participating in an event arranged by ZEE5 called ‘Oru Awesome Thodakkam’, Vetrimaran said, “Director Ameer called me one day and said I have an idea, see if we can do it. I kept giving him suggestions and he kept watching me for a while and then said, ‘Why don’t you write it.’ I agreed and we started discussing.”
Explaining how they arrived upon the idea to make a web series instead of a film, Vetri Maaran said, “We thought that this would be great if it was the pitch for a web series. I have been having this thought for a long time. I believe that this is a golden era for screenwriters. As long as you have content to say and as long as you have someone with a platform to back you, you can write as much as you want, whatever you want.
“There is a lot of creative freedom in this space. If you want to do a script for a film, you are bound by a maximum of 250 pages. That’s all. But if you are doing a web series, you can explore as much as you want. It is very exciting and challenging.”
The well known director said, “In Tamil, we are trained to take movies for mainstream theatrical release. We have not had parallel movement. We believe we can overcome some limitations which we face while making movies for mainstream Tamil audiences through this medium. Kaushik, who is with ZEE5, and I have known each other for some 23 or 24 years.
“When I was working on ‘Kadhai Neram’ as an assistant, he was acting. We’ve known each other from then. He called me one day and asked me for this story. He came to my office and I gave him the pitch after which we have locked the script and are working on the details.”
On the occasion, ZEE5 also announced a series of other projects including web series and films that it intends to release.
Some of the web series announced include ‘Kolaigara Kairegaigal’ that is to be directed by filmmaker S R Prabhakaran, ‘Thalaimai Seyalagam’ by director Vasantabalan, ‘Five Six Seven Eight’ by director A L Vijay and ‘Paper Rocket’ by Kiruthiga Udhayanidhi.