OTT platforms are the new theatres: Naveen Chathapuram

 OTT platforms are the new theatres: Naveen Chathapuram

Indian-American film director NAVEEN CHATHAPURAM has been a part of many prestigious projects including Brown Nation, Night of the Living Dead and Haunted. Born in Coimbatore, Naveen moved to the USA with his banker father and musician mother when 12. At present, he runs his own film and television production company in Chicago.
Naveen is now ready with his directorial debut, The Last Victim, a white-knuckle thriller treated in a neo-Western, neo-noir style laced with wry humour. The film examines what happens when isolation, disillusionment, and desperation breed warped ideologies, which lead to violence on the outskirts of society. The film follows a group of modern-day outlaws dealing with the fallout of a crime gone wrong in the harsh landscape of the American Southwest and the unstoppable chain reaction it sets off.
The Last Victim stars legendary actors Ron Perlman (Hell Boy, Sons of Anarchy), Ali Larter (Final Destination, Resident Evil), and the cult-favourite Ralph Ineson (The Witch, Chernobyl). The movie’s fantastic ensemble of talented actors also includes Kyle Schmid (Big Sky), Dakota Daulby (Black Fly), Tahmoh Penikket (Battle Star Galactica), and Camile Marie Legg (Riverdale).
Excerpts from an interview with SAURABH TANKHA

What transformations does one need to introduce when turning into a director from a producer?
As is evident, the director and the producer both require diametrically opposite skillsets. In most cases, the producer is primarily a facilitator, and the director is a storyteller. The only common trait each has is the ability to execute at a high level. Once I made the conscious decision to shift my focus, I followed my instincts and went through the process. As for transformation, it’s primarily what you focus on; as a producer, where you focus on everything related to the project, whereas, as a director, you focus on only one thing — how to tell the story effectively!


Naveen with Ali Larter



Learnings while making this movie…
Trust in the process. Be consistent. Show up daily and tackle what’s in front of you.

How different are you from other filmmakers?
I think each filmmaker is unique. Each brings in unique perspective to storytelling. Over the years, I’ve learned and grown a lot from associating with many talented collaborators.

Do you watch Bollywood movies? What about them do you like and dislike the most?
I watch them quite often – it’s usually whenever someone recommends a particular movie to me. I like when I see a raw piece of storytelling or powerful performances or sometimes just the light, fun nature of it. I have not much to dislike as the films that are recommended to me are usually good.

Is OTT the future of entertainment in India and globally too?
OTT is here to stay, globally. Netflix, Amazon, Disney+ and the rest are the new theatres. Everyone has the technology now to see it on a big screen with great sound in the comfort of their own homes.



During the shoot of The Last Victim at Kuiper’s Peak, British Columbia



Your ideas germinate from…
My intuition.

The word “creative” to you is…
Reaching into the unknown.

What does it take to be a good filmmaker? 
One: have to have something to say.
Two: have a vision and know-how to execute it.
Three: have a distinct voice.
Four: know your audience.

What’s up next for Naveen Chathapuram?
I’m reading scripts. A few in the works include a revenge movie, a hyper-stylised rural thriller, a psychological horror film in outer space, and a character drama/ thriller.


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