Homemade Malayalam movie ‘Marunn’ to hit Youtube today

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In the wake of Covid-19, the Global Film industry has come to a standstill with shoots and new releases stand cancelled.

But Malayalam movie director Pravi Nair has shown the way to beat the lockdown blues by making a short film completely from home, without violating the lockdown guidelines.

The movie-making was an uneventful affair in the absence of the usual cacophony. There were no sets, no director to shout instructions, no professional camera persons and no assistants and no pack-up parties.

Instead, everything was done from the homes of actors, editors and director.

Sitting miles away from his home in Kannur, director Pravi instructed actors Dinesh Panicker in Thiruvananthapuram, Nirmal Palazhi, Jouhar Kanesh and Sathish Ambadi in Kozhikode and Manju Subash in Thrissur over the phone.

The seven-minute short film titled Marunnu, meaning medicine, will hit YouTube on Tuesday.

Script writer and director Pravi Nair

The project

The actors shot their scenes from their homes with the help of family members or friends. “These experienced actors know about camera placement, frames and how a scene will come out,” Pravi said about the filming process.

The shoot thus became a family affair with wives, wards and friends of the artistes donning the hat of camerapersons.

Rohini captured her husband Dinesh while Fasna filmed her husband Jouhar. Navaneeth Krishna filmed his mother Manju, Nikhil and Nithin helped their father Satish while neighbour Ashraf captured Nirmal.

Another striking aspect of the movie-making was the use of high resolution mobile cameras.

After filming each scene, the camerapersons sent the low resolution raw visuals to the director for approval. “On getting my nod, they will share the high resolution visuals via email with me,” Pravi said.

Pravi said the filming was completed in just three days.

Pravi then sent all the raw visuals to editor Arun, who, sitting in the confines of his home in Koorachundu in Kozhikode, did the first cut.

Editor and sound designer Shyam Akhil did the rest of the editing, sound mixing, background music and sound effects from his home in Balussery in Kozhikode. Dinu Sundar designed the movie’s posters from his Beypore home.

Pravi, who hails from Kannur, has so far directed three short films and over 110 music videos. He will resume the pre-production works of his debut movie ‘She’ after the lockdown is lifted. The movie is about the life of transgenders. The cast and crew are from the transgender community.

Pravi said the idea of a home-based production struck him after watching Prasoon Pandey’s Covid-19 awareness short film ‘Family’ featuring 12 actors from across the industries – Amitabh Bachchan, Rajinikanth, Mammootty, Mohanlal, Chiranjeevi, Prosenjith Chatterjee, Priyanka Chopra, Alia Bhatt, Diljith Dosanj, Ranbir Kapoor, Sivarajkumar and Sonalee Kulkarni.

“It inspired me to make Marunn,” he said.

The film is about a paralysed person conversing with his family members – his sister who takes care of him, his NRI brother-in-law who is home quarantine for three weeks in another room and his PubG-mad nephew, who wants to get out of home and hang out with his friends. “While talking to his brother-in-law over phone, he subtly reminds him of his own condition, and how everyone around ignored his needs. The youngster, who otherwise snubs his uncle, plans to use his uncle’s medication as an excuse to roam around, but his mother says that volunteers will bring home the required medicines. This is our tribute to all the people who are living in lockdown for years,” said Pravi.