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Inspiring Director T Suriavelan’s Massive Hit Series Naam on Netflix

From being just another YouTuber to becoming a successful Director. How did you achieve this?


The last few years has been extremely revolutionary. With the widespread OTT culture, people consume contents from all languages and countries. The ideology of how a content should be presented has changed. I believe the key is to evolve with the ever changing world. To push boundaries and produce contents from the heart, with a lot of sincerity. The priority should always be the audience and how you make them feel.

The series is already a massive hit and now it’s on Netflix. How do you feel? 

The entire team is very happy and excited. It definitely opens up a much bigger opportunity for people to view the content. The series has already been viewed more than 40 million times on YouTube but Netflix and its exposure is huge and we are looking forward to hearing from first time audiences ! Probably a little nervous too !

How did Naam happen?

In 2019, we submitted a concept pitch to Mediacorp about a group of underdog musicians rooting from rags to riches. We wanted to incorporate our personal experiences and many scenes were inspired by real life incidents resonates to everyone in 360 entertainment’s journey. I thought it would be a perfect story for our debut with Mediacorp. However we won another pilot competition and went on to produce a 26 part crime thriller, Avathaaram. We did a lot of mistakes in that journey and the experience really shaped us and sharpened our skills and knowledge before Naam eventually materialised.

Naam was filmed during Covid. How did you ensure a smooth production? 

It definitely wasn’t a smooth production. We had to work around many restrictions, reduced manpower, unexpected delays and the uphill task of filming in public especially when everyone was wearing a mask for various timelines. Our team understood the

limitation we had and was aware of the effort that was required to bring the vision to life. Constant communication, improvement and planning was done before execution.

In your opinion, what are important qualities of a director?

There must be passion and honesty in the craft we present. The urge to tell meaningful stories to the audience. It’s a constant battle between the director’s mind and the audience’s mind. We have to take that seriously and work towards a content that touches hearts and still entertains.

How do you manage directing and 


A-lot of pre planning is done and communication with the team is vital. Everyone has to understand their role and make up for the loss of a director on set. I’m extremely thankful for my team for giving me that space. Acting ? It’s never satisfying to watch the playback. It’s never enough. You just got to trust your assistant directors instinct and move forward to complete the schedule.

Why and how did you transit from feature films to web series ?

There isn’t a Tamil film industry in Singapore. The opportunity for web series was there and we needed an avenue to showcase our talent, a platform to tell our stories and Mediacorp gave us that opportunity. Coming from an Indie background, it was a whole new playground for me. We had to adapt a new format of story telling and keep our audience engaged.

What can we expect to see coming from you in the future?

We are currently waiting for Naam 2 to hit Netflix in May. We are also currently in the writing phase of our next and we look forward to sharing with you more details on the exciting project soon !

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