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Chitchat with Anthony
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Anothy is one of the hotshot editors today with three of the biggest projects (Chiranjeevi’s Stalin, Rajnikant’s Sivaji and Kama Hassan’s Magadheera) in this hand. His work in Kakha Kakha (Gharshana) and Ghazani got him tremendous appreciation. met Anthony at Rama Naidu Studios on 30th of January 2006 for an exclusive chitchat when he was editing for Ravi Babu’s Party. Here are the excerpts -

31st January 2006

Tell us about your background?
I studied BA Lit in MCC College, Tambaram. After college I was confused about what I should be doing. One of my friends suggested that I should do what I am interested in. I was good at drawing and I was interested in animation. I learnt about animation in Prasad Studio. One of my classmates over there was an American lady who works as an editor in National Geography channel. She suggested that I should learn avid and editing.

Later on I started doing corporate ads, trailers and documentaries. I started doing it in 1994. I was working the in same field from 1994 to 2003. I used to work for top ad filmmakers like Rajiv Menon. Then I started editing songs in films occasionally. I also edited a few tele-films. Gowtam Menon wanted me to edit a song in Kakha Kakha (Gharshana in Telugu) for the audio release of that film. That song was the jeep song (Nanne Nanne in Telugu). He was so impressed with my work for that song and he asked me to edit the entire film.

After Kakha Kakha, I did films like Out of Control (Hindi), 4 the People (Malayalam), New (Tamil version of Nani), Manmadhan, Soggadu, Gharshana, Ghazani and Happy.

How different is your editing compared to that of other editors?
I treat each scene as per its mood and merit. What is more important for me is the emotional graph and mode. I feel that content of the scene is enough for all vital scenes. I use effects like ramping shots only when it is absolutely necessary. Editing also depends on what kind of script the film has. I try to implement the things I learnt in corporate ads in the songs.

Who is your Guru in editing?
All the ad film directors I worked with are my Gurus. The biggest one of them is Rajiv Menon. He used to give me lots of inputs about editing when I edited his ads. He used to read out quotes about editing from popular technical books. I learnt about stylish editing from him. All the film directors worked with me helped me a lot in editing.

Do you watch any Hollywood films for inspirations?
Each one of us over here is like Shakespeare. We try to get inspired by others works. Whenever I get free time, I go to Satyam theater in Chennai to watch latest Hollywood flicks. I liked the editing works in Oceans 11, Snatch and The Village.

Tell us about Party?
Party is a complete fun film. You will laugh your guts out. We had lots of fun while editing the film. Right now we are doing trimming. And we are adding more fun to it while trimming.

How different is the editing in Party film?
Script is the hero in Party film. The shot divisions play important role in Party compared to the editing. Since Ravi Babu is also an ad filmmaker he has got good sense of editing. He keeps editing in mind while shooting the film. He switches on the camera 4 frames before the in point and switches it off 10 frames after the out point.

Do you have any plans of directing films?
I will keep editing till whatever happens. I have edited over 20 films and I have seen many films. Subconsciously I am understanding nuances of direction and shot-division. As of now, I don’t have any plans of directing films. I never planned to become a film editor. Let us see what I have in store for the future.

The background music and editing needed to be in sync in order to get the scene perfect? How do you coordinate it?
I get the film before the background music is scored. If there is any important scene (climax, interval block, lead to song or fight), it needs rhythm and pace. I take relevant international sound track and place it as per the mood of the scene and I sync it with the visuals. This is supposed to be taken as reference point by the music director. If the music changes, then rhythm goes off.

What are your hobbies?
Playing with my kid at home, going to disco and playing snooker.

What are your future projects?
Stalin (Chiranjeevi - Murugadoss), Sivaji (Rajnikant - Shankar), Magdalena (Kamal Hassan & Gowtam Menon) and a few more films.

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