A N I L M E H T A - Kodak

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A N I L M E H T A - Kodak

A N I L M E H T A

I guess my journey began with a Kodak brownie camera

that my dad gifted me. I remember using the camera to

take my first pictures that told stories, had captions,

delineated character, tried to be funny.

Then, in an improvised darkroom in our bedroom, we set

out to make prints with kitchen utensils holding the baths,

and a dismantled photo frame holding the sandwiched

negative and paper to make contact prints. The magic was

captivating, the moment etched.

Many years later I made my way back to cinema through

film clubs and theatre which I pursued with a vengeance

through my years in college, proscenium, experimental,

street, protest, avante garde, all forms were welcome;

freedom was taking its toll.

The crossroads of life had many crosses, some large

enough to be nailed on, some with polite warnings,

Cinema Studies at the Film Institute in Pune was one such

path that I was allowed to venture down. My years there

were the usual potent concoction of confusion, politics,

drift, debate, opinion, but above all, it was the consuming

world of cinema that was revealing itself to me under the

canopy of the main theatre, an experience closest to going

to the planetarium as a child. Into that universe one day

would walk in a living legend, a meticulous practitioner

and a great teacher; Mr.Subroto Mitra.

There was never any looking around after that: the narrow

and difficult path of cinematography was it. Kodak, as it

turns out, was a fellow traveler. Talking emulsions, look,

grain, contrast, latitude became feelings, not words.

I have by now spent many years trying to grapple with the

analog medium and the emerging digital technologies.

While technology has grown exponentially to make life

easier for the cinematographer, I feel the challenges have

actually multiplied. The choices become more complex.

The narratives in Indian cinema are drawing on newer

textures and the cinematographer’s work is becoming

more interesting. It is in this environment that I continue to

struggle to find a voice and it is not easy at all.

But then, as they say in our industry, ‘did the doctor

prescribe cinema for you?’

Anil Mehta’s credits includes Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam,

Lagaan, Agnivarsha, Saathiya, Kal Ho Na Ho, Veer Zaara, Kabhi

Alvida Na Kehna, Wake up Sid (currently under production).

Volume 6

INSIDE

Arthur Wilson

Sasanka Palit

Kamaljeet Negi

A. Chowdhury

P. Sukumar

K. Dattu

J.G.Krishna

Shaji

Issue 3, 2009

Manish Vyas

Lab Series


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5

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11

13

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19

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24

26

Volume 6

INSIDE

Visual eloquence

Arthur Wilson shares his celluloid journey

with Daya Kingston

Black is Beautiful

Sasanka Palit tells Jayanti Sen, about his work

with Sandip Ray.

No Gimmickry

Kamaljeet Negi tells Deepa Gumaste that

making a movie is like a marriage.

“The Director is Captain”

J.G.Krishna talks to R.G.Vijayasarathy about

his long stint in the Kannada industry.

“The DOP is always alone”

P. Sukumar shares his attitudes and points of

view on cinema with K. B. Venu

Less is More

K. Dattu tells Manju Latha Kalanidhi about

his passion and obsession for the camera.

Art of the Matter

Amalendu Chowdhury talks to Johnson

Thomas about his career and technique.

Winning Team

Shaji tells K.B. Venu that he prefers

quality to quantity.

Language No Bar

Manish Vyas in conversation with Johnson

Thomas

Lab Series

Solomon Silveira continues his series on

Lab work.

FOREWORD

Issue 3, 2009

Watching the news and reading magazines has been depressing over the last six months,

especially with the economy tanking across the world. While countries like India and China

were relatively hit more by a slowdown rather than a recession, the movie industry here

suffered a severe setback due to a two month face-off between producers and multiplex

owners over profit sharing, resulting in no movies being screened in multiplexes across the

country. As of now everything seems to have been resolved and from all accounts business

is back to normal with several major films up for releases and audiences also hungry for

entertainment.

Over the course of last month we launched our new daylight film,namely Vision3 250D

Color Negative film 5207 at Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad and Bangalore and all across the

response was overwhelming to say the least. Unlike earlier times this film was tested in

India by Rafey Mehmood and his inputs were taken into consideration in the final design of

the film. A big thanks to Rafey!

This issue of Images captures the filmmaking action from all over the country. Additionally,

Solomon Silviera continues to share updates on the latest in negative processing, based on

our experiences, which we hope contribute to a happy reading..

Suresh S Iyer

Country Business Manager

Entertainment Imaging

Managing Editor: Suresh Iyer

Editor: Deepa Gahlot

Design and layout: Roopak Graphics, Mumbai

Printing: Amruta Print Arts, Mumbai

Printed and Published by: Suresh Iyer on behalf of Kodak India Private Limited, at Mumbai

Do write in with ideas, suggestions, comments to kodakimages@rediffmail.com

This is an independent magazine.

Views expressed in the articles are those of authors alone.

Volume 6, Issue 3, 2009

Cover Credit: Still from Naan Kadavul

Arthur Wilson

shares his

celluloid journey

with

Daya Kingston

Visual

eloquence

Naan Kadavul was extensively shot in Kasi, Madurai and Malikovil.

Director Bala’s films are usually disturbing and linger in the mind for long

after. The visual treatment plays a great role in building the tempo of the

film. Arthur says, “The introduction shot of Arya was really difficult, it

had the hero Arya lying down and smoking and we used a revolving

trolley to go around him and shoot from different angles.”

Naan Kadavul is not a glossy film, it deals with grim reality. The

protagonist played by Arya is an agori, a kind of sanyasi who eats human

flesh from dead bodies. A castaway child who was left at Kasi by his

parents, he grows up a sanyasi and later his family comes in search of

him. Though they find him and try to integrate him into the regular

Arthur Wilson has recently hit the 20-film mark with the film Naan Kadavul, which won

much critical acclaim. The unusual subject deals with the dark and macabre world of agoris

and the intricacies of organized beggary. Wilson has recreated this world by using dramatic

lighting, playing with light and shadow to intensify the effect of the emotions displayed on

screen ranging from nonchalance, despair to murderous anger. The visuals created quite a

flutter and made the audience sit up and take notice.

Naan Kadavul

1


outine of a small town family, he is unable to

adjust and gets back to Kasi. A sub plot shows

the bleak side of organized beggary. The

female lead is a blind beggar girl.

Wilson says, “The story revolves around the

lives of these characters, it was not necessary

to have big colourful sets or picturize soft-

hearted romantic scenes. The script depicts

only the reality in lives, so the craft demanded

real live characters. The beggars in the film

were all real, not many actors were used. It

was very challenging to shoot a true incident

with real life characters in realistic locations.

As the plot moves on to the darker shades of

the character, I chose to use lower shades of

light which resemble Rembrandt paintings.

“The parts of the script that happened in Kasi

fill the frame with agoris, rishis and dead

bodies, so picked the tone of fire as major

source for the particular locations; whereas

the Mali Kovil portions had to be shot in a way

that the frame was filled with a comparatively

dark and slight source of light. I used Kodak

Vision 5279, Vision 2 5201 stocks. I avoided

filters.

“I have great regard for Bala and think he is

one of the finest directors. What I really like is

that he not only gives the cinematographer

scope but also provides independence. He

carefully explains every scene in a detailed

manner and expects perfection in lighting the

character according to their reactions. It was

personally a wonderful experience for me to

move along the shore of reality. He proves his

brilliance in handling the perceptions of the

scene.”

Arthur Wilson is a graduate from the famous

M.G.R. Film and Television Institute

(Chennai). He had migrated from his village

Koneripatty near Salem to Chennai to study

and stayed with his uncle. His initial days in

the film industry proved to be quite a struggle.

He trained under DOP Selva Kumar and after

that embarked on his own experiments and

learnt a lot through the time-tested

techniques of trial and error.

“I paint and love to look at paintings,” he says.

“I firmly believe that the roots of

cinematography lie in paintings. I think that if

you do a thorough research on Leonardo Da

Vinci and Rembrandt and understand them,

“When it comes to using

film stocks, I have an

understanding of Kodak film.

I don’t even see the rushes

because I know what the

output will be when I set

a certain exposure.”

Naan Kadavul

you can become a good cinematographer. I

spend a lot of time updating my knowledge of

art and cinematography.

“When it comes to using film stocks, I have

an understanding of Kodak film. I don’t even

see the rushes because I know what the

output will be when I set a certain exposure. I

like to use whatever new film stock comes in. I

used to enjoy using an old stock, 5247. I like

Vision 2 best. I would like to use the 250 ASA,

I like the warmth it has but have not tried it

yet.”

Arthur made his debut as cinematographer

with Sundara Purushan starring Livingston and

Rambha in lead roles; this was a runaway hit

and his work was noticed. He considers as

some of his best works Vannathaipolla staring

Vi j a ya k a n t h d i re c t e d b y Vi k ra m a n ,

Linguswamy's Aanandham, Sasi's Sollammalea,

Ravi’s Enn Swase Katre, K.S Ravi Kumar's

Panchathanthiram, Sunder.C’s Anbe Sivam,

Simbu Devan's Imsai Arasan Irubathi

Moondram Pulikesi and the Telugu film Batra.

He has worked on two coveted films starring

K a m a l h a s s a n — A n b e S i v a m a n d

Panchatanthiram.

Panchatanthiram was a rib-tickling comedy

and he used the 5274 stock. Arthur recalls,

“Kamal Haasan is one of our finest artistes.

He knows everything about cinema and I have

a lot to learn from him. In Anbe Sivam, we shot

a scene where he's stuck in a storm. It was a

great challenge, we shot on a floor filled with

water. Kamal sir appreciates me for that shot.

Naan Kadavul

“I firmly believe that the roots of cinematography lie in

paintings. I think that if you do a thorough research on

Leonardo Da Vinci and Rembrandt and understand them,

you can become a good cinematographer.”

“I love to shoot my picture

according to an artist’s feel. I

follow aesthetics like they do

in paintings and with different

camera view points.”

“In VIP, we shot many scenes inside a house

using low lights. The lights were like Chinese

lanterns and this created an interesting effect.

I concentrate on telling my stories through my

light. I love to shoot my picture according to

an artist’s feel. I follow aesthetics like they do

in paintings and with different camera view

Naan Kadavul

2 3

Naan Kadavul

Naan Kadavul

points.”

On his directors, he says, “I have worked with

K.S. Ravi Kumar for two films and enjoyed the

experience because he is clear what he wants

and asks for many challenging shots. I am

p r o u d o f t h e f a c t t h a t I w a s t h e

cinematographer for directors like Lingusamy,

Sasi, Simbu Devan during their maiden

ventures.

“My ambition is to work in Hollywood,” he

finishes on a rather ambitious note.


4

Black

is

Beautiful

Sasanka Palit tells Jayanti Sen, about his work with Sandip Ray.

“I started out as a stringer with

Doordarshan,” reminisces Sasanka Palit,

now Sandip Ray’s chief cameraman.

“Those were the days when all these

umpteen news channels had not yet come

into being. There was just Doordarshan

and Aaj Tak and NDTV. For a while I

worked as a newsman, but I was an avid

moviegoer in my college or even school-

days, bunking classes to see a good movie

that had come to town. I felt drawn to the

technical aspects of filmmaking.”

In the early days, a lot of his seniors, like

Debkumar Saha and Amit Das guided and

helped Palit to train himself as a

cinematographer. In the course of his life

as a newsman he came to know Sandip

Ray, who was then preparing to make

“For day sequences

I use Kodak 250D,

200T for night.

If it’s a night sequence

with a big canvas,

for me Kodak’s 500T

Vision 3 is the one and

only stock I use.”

Bombabayier Bombete. His assistant

cameraman Vijay Anand had been

temporarily laid up due to an accident. So

Palit joined Ray’s unit as an assistant

cameraman. “Sandipda liked my work and

since then I continued to remain in his unit

as assistant cameraman. With his

cinematographer Barun Raha’s untimely

death I became his chief cameraman,” he

recalls. “Looking at it that way, my whole

career is connected with Sandip Ray. I

grew as a cinematographer under his

tutelage.”

What are the other films you have worked on

as cinematographer?

My first film was, as I told you, was Bombayier

Bombete. Then came Kailashe Kelenkari,

Tintorettor Jishu, and now Hit List, which we

are about to start shooting. I have also worked

in between as assistant with Rana Dasgupta,

working on two films directed by Bappaditya

Bandyopadhyay, Kaal and Devaki. I must say I

have gained a lot working under Rana

Dasgupta.

Tintorettor Jishu Tintorettor Jishu

Does your visual style change from director to

director, or even film to film?

Look, as a cinematographer my first

responsibility is to create on screen the

director’s point of view. And each director has

his own way of visual expression. And of

course my visual style varies with each film

and each director. Every director has his

unique style and I recreate this uniqueness in

my own way. I never repeat myself. The most

important factor there is definitely the subject

“Healthy competition

is always welcome,

we have awards for

all other aspects for

cinema, only

cinematography is

neglected.”

Tintorettor Jishu

of the film. I took at the script, have a long

discussion with the director. If the subject is a

modern one, then my cinematography will

retain the smart, tiptop look. On the other

hand if it is a period film, I may use sepia tint,

or even try to bring in an element of

theatricality in it. For example, if you take a

look at the black and white movies of

yesteryears, you’d note that any shot taken

inside a room used to have a backlight — I

may go in for that kind of lighting if my subject

demands it. The way Sandipda is treating

Feluda is in its own way intensely interesting.

The massive audience response these films

are getting from all quarters of the society,

tells us its own story of appreciation

What about the raw stock you use?

For day sequences I use Kodak 250D, 200T

for night. If it’s a nightsequence with a big

canvas, for me Kodak’s 500T Vision 3 is the

one and only stock I use, especially using, or

rather shooting in available light. Remember

Tintorettor Jishu, the sequence where the

Feluda trio are marooned in the open sea on a

junk-boat (called dukling locally)? When we

went to look for a location for the sequence,

we found that even though we were selecting

a corner of the open sea to shoot, anchoring

our boat there, yet the high wind that was

blowing would render the use of a lot of studio

lamps and the like impossible. The lights just

won’t stand in that kind of rough weather.

Carrying heavy generators was also out. The

practical problems of shooting that sequence

must be coped with. I decided then and there

that I would use photofloods, 100 watt milky. I

finally used about 10 or 12 of these lightweight

lamps and Kodak’s Vision 3 500 T, and the

results were astounding. The black level was

great, grains came in very good, the colour

reproduction fantastic.

Kailashe Kelenkari

Tintorettor Jishu

5


Again and again I have come across these

tough situations in my life when all these

lovely stocks of Kodak have rescued me. We

did take in some local lights from Hong Kong,

but the general expense factor of the film

industry outside India is very high, we had to

keep within our budget. Only because of the

Kodak raw stock and the 10 or 12 lamps I

used, I had a result which was beyond my

expectation.

There was another tough situation in one of

the earlier Feluda films, Kailashe Kelenkari. We

were shooting a night scene inside the Ellora

Cave. But being a heritage site, shooting

anywhere inside the cave after 6 p.m. is

strictly prohibited. So finally I had to go in for

shooting day for night. We were shooting in

scorching broad daylight, but the effect had to

be of a dark, lonesome night. Partly I used DI,

using 250D. In these day for night sequences

the ideal light conditions are found in the early

morning, or in the daytime, between 10 a.m.-

12 noon, or in the early evening, between 4 to

5.30 p.m. But to avail these light conditions,

one needed to stay at Ellora for two whole

months, a situation impossible for a film

production unit, working within a limited

budget. So I had to opt for day for night

instead; there is this sequence when you see

the detective, Feluda, going out alone in and

around the Ellora Caves late at night, torch in

hand. I used 250D and ND6 filter, polarizer to

recreate these night scenes.

“I love to play with black,

the intermingling and

inter-play between

light and shadow

is one of the

greatest aspects of

a psychological thriller.

In order to bring out the

inherent tension

that would keep our

audience taut,

to build up the suspense

so that one never knows

what happens next.”

Tintorettor Jishu

On coming back from our primary location

hunting, I spoke to Goutam Ghose, the

veteran director-cinematographer and I

related my problem to him, and it was

Goutamda who gave me an original

Hollywood Blue filter. I am deeply grateful to

him for his kind help. If you remember those

scenes inside the cave, with the light from the

torch moving in and around the walls of the

cave, from sculpture to sculpture, to create

those effects we used CG as well, and it was

my raw-stock Kodak 250D Vision 2, which is

very DI-friendly. So I could go in for DI as well

as CG. The raw stock is ideal for shooting

such night sequences in broad daylight. One

side of the cave was open, so daylight filled

the cave, I kept this bright glare of the sun,

using 500T Vision 3. And, as you saw in the

film, the effect is of a beautiful moonlit night.

With these Kodak raw stocks one can, so to

say, paint with light. No artificial lights were

used, and in spite of a very adverse situation I

had to cope with, I managed well enough.

Tintorettor Jishu

Tintorettor Jishu

What about the budgetary constraints, a

normal feature of the West Bengal film-

scenario?

Budgets are one big problem, if you need to

use an expensive light, brows go up in the

budget section. But one cannot blame them

also, our regional film market is so limited that

one has to accept the constraints and yet try

to get the best out of it .

And the processing?

I am not at all happy with the facilities we get

here. I have to go to Chennai for the

processing, because I need the Kodak kit

developer for my films and I get them only if I

go to Chennai, or Mumbai for that matter. For

our last two films I did the processing at the

Prasad Film Laboratories, Chennai and for our

next project, Hit List, I may also go to Gemini, I

don’t know as yet.

What is your reaction to the massive use of

Cube Projection?

For short throw one can manage with Cube,

but in case of long throw details are lost, a

resolution loss occurs, which is a big problem,

for me at least. The print quality can never be

substituted. But for the younger generation of

newcomers who are coming in to make films

at a very low cost, going digital is perfectly

fine because then these people can make

their films and show it to the public. I don’t

see any problem with that.

What about your forthcoming project, Sandip

Ray’s Hit List ?

Hit List is a psychological thriller, so the play

between light and shade is very important. I

love to play with black, the intermingling and

inter-play between light and shadow is one of

the greatest aspects of a psychological thriller.

In order to bring out the inherent tension that

would keep our audience taut, to build up the

suspense so that one never knows what

happens next you need all that drama in this

sort of a film. Sandipda is also a player in this

game, he enjoys playing with light, darkness

becomes eloquent in his hands, and there we

have a wonderful understanding, I know

exactly what he is looking for, and he also

understands what I am trying to do with my

camera. In fact, I feel myself very influenced

by the films of Alfred Hitchcock, on another

level Satyajit Ray’s own illustrations that he

did for the Feluda stories serve as an all-

important visual key to my camera planning

and lighting effects. We are using a lot of

steadicam, cranes, car rigs and all in the film.

Sandipda himself does a lot of visual planning

in detail before he starts shooting. Then on

location if we see some interesting aspect

coming up, we mutually decide on its use.

“Again and again I have come

across these tough situations

in my life when all these

lovely stocks of Kodak have

rescued me.”

One last question, in West Bengal there are no

awards for cinematography — your comment?

Healthy competition is always welcome, we

have awards for all other aspects for cinema,

only cinematography is neglected. We have

such a large number of extremely talented

cinematographers here, and encouragement

and recognition for the contribution of a

cinematographer in filmmaking must be there.

6 7

Tintorettor Jishu

Tintorettor Jishu

Tintorettor Jishu

Tintorettor Jishu


8

No

Gimmickry

Kamaljeet Negi tells Deepa Gumaste that making a movie is like a marriage.

Enfield

Enfield

World Space

Kamaljeet Negi wanted to become a journalist when he first started working. From being a

television researcher to shooting features stories and documentaries for foreign produc-

tions, his journey towards becoming a cinematographer has been quite unusual. Studying

at the Lodz Film School in Poland and the National Film and Television Institute, UK, broad-

ened his horizons and exposed him to internationally acclaimed cinematographers. From

documentaries to commercials, Negi has found his groove (he’s shot 100 ad films in less

than three years), but commercial cinema is yet to happen as he prefers to wait for the right

script and director.

You went from studying politics and law to

becoming a cinematographer. How did this

happen?

I come from a very middle-class family from

Delhi, where there was absolutely no

background in cinema. It was merely

considered a form of entertainment. So

studying something serious was imperative,

and since I was interested in journalism, both

politics and law were sensible choices. I was

also interested in sports and started working

with a company called Sports Management

Group for whom I wrote press notes. Later I

tried my hand at radio. Basically, the intention

was to get into the mainstream media.

So you started your career as a journalist?

Yes, as a researcher, in fact, for a series on the

North East of India. It was a great team to

work with and they were more inclined

towards art and cinema and thought it was

necessary to make television programming

more cinematic. I worked with them for two

years and gradually started understanding

different techniques of narrating stories and

looking at life from different perspectives. To

begin with, I had to log tapes, and basically do

just about everything I was asked to.

Gradually I started understanding different

aspects of editing, cinematography and

filmmaking.

But cinematography wasn’t on the horizon

even then?

Not really. I started assisting a man called

Hemant Kumar who was doing health shows

for BiTV. His was a one-man show and he

understood every aspect of television

production. I started looking into the camera

for the first time while working with him. Then

I got together with a bunch of friends making

a few documentaries and other television

“I knew that

the equipment

didn’t make a film

it was the people

behind the camera and

the story itself

that mattered. ”

programming. I worked for CMM which had

just done India 24 Hours and while working

there, I saw Santosh Sivan’s work, which was

incredible. Soon I was reading books about

photography, video and cinema besides

watching a lot of films. Being in Delhi was an

advantage because we got access to a lot of

international cinema thanks to film festivals.

How did all this back-end training help you?

It shaped me differently, because I hadn’t

taken the conventional route of starting off as

an assistant cameraman. I was a researcher

and a journalist first, so I worked instinctively

when behind the camera and tried to keep it

simple. I continued working in television for a

couple of years on art and culture capsules

and documentaries. In 1997 I did a single-shot

23-minute film to commemorate 50 years of

Welham Boys School in Dehradun. It was very

challenging because a single-shot format

requires a lot of choreography and we were

working on a very tight budget. I also shot

with international documentary filmmakers

who’d come to India. One noteworthy film

was called The Yogis of Tibet directed by

Jeffery M. Pill. But ultimately Delhi had limited

options, particularly if you wanted to

eventually work in cinema, and so I came to

Mumbai to look for work.

Was it easy getting a break?

It wasn’t. This was in 1998 and while I met a

lot of people, there wasn’t much work coming

my way. I did a little work for the television

series Surabhi. But I was also in poor health

and decided to go back. Earlier, I’d done a

stedicam workshop in the US and through

someone I met there, I heard of the PWSFTviT

(better known as the Lodz Film School) in

Poland. Till then, I didn’t know anything about

Poland except Andrez Wajda and Kieslowski.

I’d saved enough money from my professional

work to afford a year’s course there and

decided to apply.

How did attending film school help?

The main film course at the school was four

years long and I didn’t want to spend that

much time there, nor did I have the money to

do so. But I did a year-long programme and

through this time, my entire orientation and

approach towards cinema changed. I watched

a lot of good cinema and the interaction with

people there helped a lot. At that time,

Kieslowski was God. His films are simple, yet

so deep.

Enfield

Ponds

Airtel

9


10

You didn’t come back to India to seek work

after you finished and went to the UK instead.

Why was that?

I was planning to come back to India, when

someone suggested I apply to the National

Film And Television School in the UK. I did it

on a whim and surprisingly, I got through.

They had an induction workshop where they

introduced us to celluloid and the film camera

and it all seemed very exciting. This was a

totally hands-on course. Raising money for it

was a stretch, but somehow I got a

scholarship and a loan, which allowed me to

go ahead. They took just six students in a year

and they promoted and marketed us to the

fullest. We got to interact with the alumni

which included people like Roger Deakins. My

mentor was Brian Tufano who shot some of

Danny Boyle’s early films like Trainspotting. He

was the head of the department and was

always around. I didn’t even know who he was

when I first went there. Billy Williams who

shot Gandhi conducted workshops with us

and he helped me a lot.

You stayed on in London after the course?

Yes, I did a couple of professional jobs and

conducted some workshops with Brian in the

Film School. Simultaneously, I was also

promoting my documentary My Brother My

Enemy in 2004, which I’d made with Masood

Khan who was studying documentary

filmmaking at the same time I was studying

cinematography. He’s a Britisher of Pakistani

origin and the film is about a Pakistani visiting

India and an Indian going to Pakistan, with

cricket as a backdrop. Masood came to my

house in India (his family originally hailed

from Jalandhar) while I visited his in Pakistan

and we shot each other and co-directed the

film.

Kodak is quite reliable.

I have been using it consistently

and I’m comfortable with it.”

How did you foray into advertising?

I came to Mumbai to meet a few people and

Kaushik Sarkar saw my showreel and offered

Amway

Fa

Fem Bleach

Red Lable

me the World Space commercial. When I shot

my first film I was a bit wary because I’d been

spoilt by the state-of-the-art equipment in

London and was wondering how I’d be able to

adjust to Indian conditions. I was surprised to

see that they had the same technology here.

Besides, I knew that the equipment didn’t

make a film it was the people behind the

camera and the story itself that mattered.

Do you enjoy shooting commercials?

It’s exciting to tell short stories in the simplest

possible way. I don’t believe in gimmickry. All

legendary cinematographers have a

transcendental quality which makes their

work connect with the audience.

Which have been your most exciting films?

The Enfield commercial (which won Sujit

Sircar the ABBY for best director, and got

awarded at the Asia-Pacific Adfest in Thailand

in 2007) was fantastic. For the Airtel

commercial (featuring Shreyas Talpade) it

was interesting doing day for night and

shooting in a train. The Birla Sunlife Insurance

commercial which was shot on a set modelled

after a tea-house like Kayani’s was also very

interesting.

What about cinema?

I’ve been looking for work that’s interesting

and challenging, but haven’t found anything

yet. I don’t like the attitude of the people who

make feature films here. The first question

they ask you is, “What’s your fee?” Money

isn’t my first priority. Making a film has to be

like a marriage. You have to gel with the

director. I don’t work like a technician my

involvement is complete. So the script and

director matter a lot. Most times films are

churned out mechanically. They have no soul.

I believe your honesty must reflect in your

work. But there are some interesting

filmmakers like Vishal Bharadwaj who’re

doing good work. I also enjoy commercial

films like Om Shanti Om, which was fun.

Why do you use Kodak stock?

Kodak is quite reliable. I have been using it

consistently and I’m comfortable with it. You

tend get attached to a stock and I find Kodak

quite flexible. Besides the stock, I always use

the Kodak Lab.

J.G.Krishna talks to

R.G.Vijayasarathy about

his long stint

in the Kannada industry.

Javagal Govindappa Krishna, better

known as J.G.Krishna is one of the most

dependable cameraman of the Kannada

film industry.

Krishna started as a light boy in the indus-

try and has now risen to the position of a

director-cinematographer of repute. He

has worked on more than 100 films as a

cinematographer and 10 films as a direc-

tor. He has also produced many films

including the hugely successful Police

Story which catapulted Sai Kumar into a

leading star of the Kannada film industry.

Krishna has worked on a number of big

budget films with stars and well-known

directors, as much as films with newcom-

ers and debut-making directors. He was

one of the busiest cinematographers in

the early nineties in the Kannada film

industry and is still in demand by many

young film directors.

"The

Director is

Captain "

How did you get into the film industry?

I had very humble beginnings in the film industry. I joined because I had to find a job to sustain

myself. Since I was not educated so well, I had to take up a job as a light man. One of my friends

introduced me to a manager of an outdoor unit and within a day I was working as a light man for a

Hindi film titled Smuggler Girl, which was then being shot in Bangalore. I continued to work as a light

boy later and also worked in the sound and art departments. Then I joined Chamundeshwari

Studios to work as a camera focus assistant. I worked there for nearly six years in the studios. Then

I got a job in Sujatha Movietone, an outdoor unit which was leasing out equipment for Kannada

films. Then I joined the well known cameraman Sundaranatha Suvarna and worked with him for

more than 15 films. Suvarna sir is still my guruji and I have lot of respect for him. But he was a strict

disciplinarian and wanted everything to be neat and precise.

Weren’t you also a still cameraman in a studio?

Yes, you are right. I did not have work continuously, since I depended only on Sundaranatha

Suvarna sir. When I did not have any work in films, I used to work as a still cameraman in Chitra

Studios in Bangalore. I had shot many film stills which appeared in the popular Roopathara monthly

film magazine.

When did you get the first break as a cinematographer?

I got my first break under the then top director K.V.Raju. Raju sir was then making a film titled Nava

Bharatha for producer K.C.N Venugopal. He had observed my work when I went as a clash

cameraman for his film Bandha Muktha, which was handled by my guru Suvarna. Impressed by my

work and the swiftness with which I arranged the lighting, Raju had told me that he would definitely

give me a break. And within a few days, I got a call from him. Since I was busy in films as camera

assistant and a still photographer, I was advised by some of my friends to wait for some more days

and take up the independent job only when I was financially strong. But I had lot of confidence in

myself and did not think about anything including my future. I accepted the offer within two days.

Nava Bharatha became a mild hit and I became a busy cinematographer.

You have worked on many films with K.V. Raju?

I worked on some of the best films of Raju sir including the blockbuster film Indrajith which ran for

25 weeks. Later, I worked for his films like Kadana, Yudhdhakanda, Sundara Kanda and many others.

Raju sir continued to back me and picked me for every film. Later, I worked with directors like Dore-

Bhagavan and Sai Prakash. I did 15 films with Sai Prakash who had utmost confidence in me. He

became a very busy director in the Kannada film industry after giving successive hits like Golmaal

Radhakrishna and Policena Hendthi. I worked in most of his films. We finished the talkie portions of

Golmaal Radhakrishna in just nine days and the song picturization took another six days. It is just my

luck that I continued to work with many directors who had offered me films in the beginning of my

career as a cinematographer. And it was a period when I worked on some of the best Kannada films

like Gagana, Neenu Nakkare Haalu Sakkare, Saamrat, Halo Daddy and many others. I have so far

worked on more than 100 films as a cinematographer.

11


12

When did you take up direction?

As a cameraman I was always part of film

discussions. Whenever I used to make

suggestions, some of the people including the

producers of those films would tell me that I

would make a good director. And I had already

become a producer when I was selected to

direct my first Kannada film. I started a

production company with my friends Rockline

Venkatesh who has become a big established

producer now and fight master Govindoo to

produce a film Belli Modagalu under the

direction of K.V.Raju. My first film as producer

was a remake of Telugu hit Seetharamayya

Manavaraalu which brought profits to all the

three partners in production. The film was

sold to distributors even before its release as

it was carrying very good reports. Later I did

produce Police Story under the direction of

Thriller Manju which also became a hit. Later

a few of my films including Snehada Kadalalli

and Bhagat failed at the box-office, including

Police Story Part II. After a long gap, I am now

producing my own Aithalakkadi, a comedy

which will be directed by me.

Karnataka Police was my first film as a

director. Producer Praveen Kumar offered me

the direction of this film. Then I directed a film

Jipuna Nanna Ganda produced by actor

Jaggesh which ran for 100 days. I have also

faced many ups and downs as a film director.

Even after working for two decades as a

cinematographer, you are still getting good

offers. What is the secret of your success?

Nannaseya Hoove

Now, I am working as a cinematographer for

a film titled Devaru directed by actor-director

Sadhu Kokila. The film stars Vijay in the lead. I

am in demand in the industry because I am

always recognized as a cinematographer of

the producer and director. I do not like to

order costly equipment just for the heck of it. I

always go by the requirements of the

producer and director. As a producer and

director, I have also known the importance of

budget and planning in my films. I think most

of the films fail because they overshoot the

budget, which is very risky. I always try to give

some suggestions during production. And I

have always tried to finish my lighting as fast

as possible, and do my best work. I always try

to work to the expectations of the director,

even if it is very difficult and risky job to get a

perfect shot. I am prepared to take a lot

physical strains in the sets.

Do you get pressurized when you work in a

big budget film with a super star and do you

feel your style of work changes when you

work in small budget films with a relatively

new director and a new set up?

I would not like to play a dominant role in any

film, big or small. I think the script of a film

should play a dominant role and all the people

working for the film should act according to

the dictates of the script. And a cameraman

should work in tandem with the director of

the film. The director is really the captain of

the ship as he knows everything connected to

the film.

You are known to shoot the best action

sequences in the Kannada film industry…

Yes, I am really overwhelmed when people

connected to the film industry and film fans

say that some of action sequences

cinematographed by me are very good. You

should know that I have shot sequences

without exceeding the budget and within the

time frame fixed earlier. Action sequences are

liked by the mass audience who are the real

backbone of the film trade. I've also won

K a r n a t a k a S t a t e a w a r d f o r B e s t

Cinematography for the year 2000 for the

f i l m N a n n a s e y a H o o v e d i r e c t e d b y

Chennalingappa.

You have always been using Kodak products

for your film shoots. What is your opinion

about Kodak products?

Kodak products come in different ranges

which are suitable for many types of shots. I

mainly use the Kodak 5219 range for my work

because it carries many user friendly

applications. I have always got best results

for my colour schemes with this stock.

Chikkamagaloora

The

Self made and self assured, cool headed and innovative--a person who likes to face life as it

comes in its varied forms; now, after several creative years and thousands of magnificent

frames later, the ace cinematographer P. Sukumar is all the more fresh and energetic.

Sukumar was relaxing at Kochi after the latest Malayalam hit Passenger, a scintillating road

movie for which he did an excellent camerawork. This year, the actor-turned-

cinematographer is planning to direct a film too.

“My ultimate commitment is

towards the project I am

involved in. I don’t

differentiate between a

veteran and a novice

when I wield the camera.”

is always alone

P. Sukumar

shares his attitudes and

points of view on cinema

with K. B. Venu

You first worked as an actor, then as an assistant cameraman before becoming an independent

cinematographer. Was there any notable change in the nature and support of the equipment and

raw stock? How did you cope up with the emerging situations, right from the beginning of your

career?

Even while acting in movies, I tried my hand at the camera. I could make use of all available stocks

while I was an assistant cameraman. Even after becoming independent, I considered each and

every shot I take as part of an unending experiment. Even in the recent movie, my attitude was the

same. And I believe in, and depend on, my basic knowledge of cinematography. I used Kodak’s 500

ASA, a stock that was quite new to me, in Sopanam. It helped me in successfully completing the

experiment I wanted to bring into the movie. I got the Kerala State Award for best cinematographer

for the film. Even for my latest venture Passenger I used Kodak. Nowadays I prefer high speed stock,

and my work has also become speedier.

Does this speed go hand in hand with the demands of different filmmakers you work with?

I always have a wholesome approach to cinema, both as a cinematographer and a film buff.

Malayalam cinema is planned, shot and processed in adverse situations. Right from the beginning

stage to the release of the final product, we function in a budget-oriented way. Most of the time we

don’t get the right working atmosphere and proper equipment that the film demands. So we tend to

13


14

compromise at different stages of filmmaking.

The whole crew must abide by the cinematic

socio-economic situation prevalent in a

project.. The speed we are talking about is not

my natural speed. My speed varies with the

nature of the film and the style becomes

different and each product is unique.

What about the content? We talked only

about speed.

We can’t compromise beyond a certain limit.

If the basic minimum quality cannot be

m a i n t a i n e d , h o w c a n w e g o o n

compromising? I will tell you an example. A

Tamil cinematographer was assigned to shoot

a Malayalam movie and he was later kicked

out from the project for lack of speed. When

the producers came in search of another

cinematographer I told them that their

approach to the Tamil DOP was wrong. They

assigned this cinematographer after watching

the high standards he maintained in his works.

To ensure this quality, he needs his own time.

Otherwise his work will be quite ordinary. It’s

unfair to squeeze a person like that and

demand too much from him. Even a machine

cannot produce more than what it actually is

capable of. There is no point in expecting a

printing machine to produce 10,000 prints per

hour given its actual capacity is only 1000.

You have worked with different directors in

different genres of movies. How do you

approach each subject?

The director should be able to establish good

communication and rapport with his

cinematographer. The cinematographer also

must be aware of each minute detail in the

subject and the script. Each movie has a

particular character and attitude. I work

according to that attitude and each frame

should reflect the character of the movie. But

this attitude should neither surpass the film

nor fall behind it. I believe this is the essence

of a cinematographer’s artistic success.

Have you ever felt being isolated at any stage

of creation of a movie?

The truth is that the DOP is always alone, in

all frames. He gets inputs from the creative

and technical crew including the director. But

there is an area where the cinematographer

himself needs to prove his mettle, his identity

as a creative person. The cinematographer

and director fix a frame jointly, but ultimately

it’s the responsibility of the former to bring in

some kind of uniqueness in it. The crew

expect such a creative contribution from the

DOP.

“If you want to rectify a

deficiency, you must be

capable of doing it.”

How do you deal with the actors?

Acting is actually an important part of

photography. When an actor’s face or body is

composed in a frame, it should serve the

purpose of the shot. It should become an

inseparable part of the narrative.

You have worked with established actors as

well as novices. What is your strategy in these

two different situations? You are also an

actor....,

All established actors have their peculiarities

and mannerisms. The spectators are familiar

with their gestures. Some actors have become

popular because of their mannerisms. When a

popular actor deliberately tries to avoid

mannerisms for a particular character and be

different, we are able to assess his/her real

talents. An experienced cinematographer can

work with a regular actor without much strain

because he is aware of the actor’s acting

rhythm. But when a novice is in action, we

need two or three rehearsals before going for

a take. The DOP needs that much time to

understand his rhythm of action.

Have you ever try to break conventional

methods of cinematography to mould a novice

into a good actor or director?

The convention naturally gets broken once a

new actor or director enters cinema because

everything about him is fresh. Of late I have

worked with a number of debut-making

directors. I don’t think any of them will say

anything ill of me. My ultimate commitment is

towards the project I am involved in. I don’t

differentiate between a veteran and a novice

when I wield the camera.

There is a belief among a section of aspirant

filmmakers that anybody can become a

d i r e c t o r i f h e h a s a n e x p e r i e n c e d

cinematographer with him. How far do you

believe in this?

I have already explained that my commitment

is towards the project as a whole. My output

will not vary even if the director is absent at

the location for some reason and chooses to

give instructions over the mobile phone. There

are some directors in the new generation who

have excellent ideas but are lacking in

technical knowledge. On such occasions the

cinematographer’s experience will be of great

help. This always happens in filmmaking. I am

being considered for a particular film because

of my experience. Then it’s my duty to help

those who are inexperienced in the field. It’s

almost like helping a fellow human being who

is in trouble.

Yo u h a ve n ’ t a n s w e r e d t h e q u e s t i o n

completely...

An inexperienced director won’t be able to

m a ke a f i l m w i t h t h e h e l p o f a ny

cinematographer. He will need a good

“The truth is that

the DOP is always alone,

in all frames. He gets inputs

from the creative

and technical crew

including the director.”

cinematographer. That makes a lot of

difference. If you want to rectify a deficiency,

you must be capable of doing it. I will tell you

an example. Becoming a cinematographer

was not on my agenda when I was young boy.

But I had some interest in direction which I

still cherish. So I put forward suggestions both

from the point of view of a cinematographer

and a director. Sometimes they are accepted

and help in the success of the movie.

Sometimes they don’t click too.

T h e r e a r e o c c a s i o n s w h e n t h e

c i n e m a t o g r a p h e r ’s s e n s i b i l i t i e s g e t

synchronised absolutely with that of the

director. What will be your approach towards

a project in which this synchronisation never

happens?

There are instances when this synchronisation

gets tampered. With the advent of video

monitors the industry began to lose a

precious thing, which is nothing but the

cameraman’s imaginative power and creative

contribution. The monitor gives a diminutive

vision of the objects to the cinematographer.

But he is capable of imagining how the

magnified version on the big screen will look

like. Some directors or other members of the

directorial team feel that the frame in a

monitor is too small in size. If the directorial

team lack the capacity to see how the frame

will appear on the big screen, it will cause

problems for the DOP. Before the advent of

monitors, directors used to assess the frame

through the camera for one or two scenes and

then leave it to the DOP’s imaginative and

creative powers.

Has the advent of monitors become an

impediment in filmmaking?

That’s not true. Monitors have in fact helped

in improving the quality of filmmaking. It’s

quite advantageous to the filmmaker. He can

visualize the movie in advance, rewind the

visuals and make corrections instantly.

Heard that you are planning to direct a movie

soon..

Yes... I am going to direct a movie. Kalavoor

Ravikumar is writing the script and Dileep will

don the main role in the film. The script is

almost over and we are on a location hunt.

15


16

Less

is More

K. Dattu tells Manju Latha Kalanidhi about his passion and obsession for the camera.

He could have been a dialogue writer. He packs a punch in every sentence. He could have been a

lyricist. Alliterations, allegories and metaphors dot his words. He could have been a scriptwriter as he

narrates every experience like a storyteller. But K. Dattu chose to be a cinematographer and after over

two decades in the profession, he is convinced that nothing turns him on more than the camera.

What’s your current venture

about?

Samardhudu is a love story with

f a m i l y d r a m a . We h a v e

youngsters like Raja and Sanjana

taking on veterans such as

Krishnamraju. Samardhudu

means ‘competent’ and it is

about a go-getting Legislator

(played by Krishnamraju) who is

ready to stake his life for the

people but is facing a threat

from a local criminal (played by

Raja). In my experience, it is

tougher to work for a regular

commercial movie than for a

different, off-beat movie. In the

former, one has to use the

available, regular elements to

infuse new life, but in an offbeat

movie, you have all the freedom

to experiment. In Samardhudu, I

used fewer lights and filters to

bring out the realism and

conflict between the characters.

W h e t h e r i n l i f e o r

cinematography, I believe ‘less is

more’. Many may find it strange

but I always work at reducing

external sources to light up my

characters. At times, I have had

a few tiffs with my directors

about this, but eventually they

give in.

“A DOP is like a

vehicle who runs on

four wheels –

director, art director,

make-up artiste and

costume stylist – to

win the race.”

What stocks did you use for

Samardhudu?

I have used 5219 (Vision 3 500

T) and 5218 (Vision 2 500 T).

Tell us about your entry into the

field and your journey so far.

I am K. Dattatreya Varaprasad

and I hail from Mogalturu in

West Godavari district. Way

back in 1980s, I was a hot-

headed youth who had just

finished his graduation in

science and was on the verge of

creating a nuisance at home–

loafing around, late nights,

wasting money, etc. Luckily, it

was megastar Chiranjeevi who

brought me to Hyderabad and

placed me as an assistant to

cinematographer K.S. Hari. The

star and I share three things: we

hail from the same village, share

t h e s a m e s e c o n d n a m e

(Varaprasad) and passion for

movies. Chiranjeevi was a family

friend and on the behest of my

dad, he asked me if I was ready

to make a career for myself in

movies. I nodded my head and

started working with Hari. I

worked with several big names

such as Lok Singh, Kabir Lal,

Vincent and Teja before I started

working solo. Interestingly, I

w o r k e d f o r a c h u n k o f

Chiranjeevi’s biggest hits during

the eighties. Hits like Gang

Leader, Vijeta, Gharana Mogudu,

even his Hindi debut Pratibandh

had me behind the camera

team. My first solo was with

Paatabasti in 1996. I had also

d o n e o n e m o v i e i n

Hindi–Muskaan with Aftab

Shivdasani and Gracy Singh. I

had the privilege to work for

Chiranjeevi’s best movies like

Samardhudu

Samardhudu

Rikshavodu, Hitler, Bavagaru

Bagunnara, Sneham Kosam and

Shankardada MBBS.

Does a Director of Photography

enjoy freedom in the Telugu

industry?

Cinematography is not about

f r e e d o m , i t i s a b o u t

responsibility. A DOP is like a

vehicle who runs on four wheels

director, art director, make-up

artiste and costume stylist to

win the race. He translates the

work of everybody behind the

camera onto the camera to

produce the final vision. So, my

work depends on teamwork. We

are painters of light and we are

totally dependent on our entire

team, not just the assistant or

the boy who helps me with the

camera, but everybody else

involved in creating the visual,

including the girl who puts the

b l u s h e r o n t h e h e r o i n e .

However, there are times when

the director believes that you

can get the desired effect only

when you mount extravagant

s e t s a n d u s e t h e m o s t

sophisticated camera. I have

“Cinematography is

not about freedom, it

is about

responsibility.”

had tiffs with some young

directors who would want it

their way even though the scene

did not require it. Why do you

need a rifle to prick a balloon

when you can do it with a pin?

I a l s o b e l i e v e t h a t a s

t e c h n i c i a n s , i t i s o u r

responsibility to ensure that the

movie works within the budget. I

have seen several producers hit

the dust primarily because the

technicians from the set

designer to the make-up artiste

overshooting the budget and

Samardhudu Samardhudu

Shankardada MBBS

“I want to work as a cinematographer

with the basic cameras and lens and

zero external light sources.”

Samardhudu Samardhudu

“Less is more truly holds good

in many aspects of filmmaking. ”

landing him in trouble. There are

times when the budget for a set

is about 10 lakhs but the art

director lays out a set for 16

l a k h s a n d c o n v i n c e s t h e

producer that he should not

compromise on anything. Each

of them work on their own lines

and even if the movie is a hit,

the producer would find it hard

to recover his money. I think

everybody who works for a

movie must feel responsible

about these things. Less is more

truly holds good in many

aspects of filmmaking.

17


18

You have worked in Telugu,

Kannada, Hindi and even in

Hollywood. What has each of

the industries taught you?

I have worked for just one movie

in Hollywood for a Chiranjeevi-

starrer (Thief of Baghdad) that

g o t s h e l v e d m i d w a y. I n

Hollywood, they discover new

techniques to create a scene.

Here, we create scenes to adapt

a technique. There are times

when the technique dominates

the scene and that is among the

first things you should never do

in a movie. The book The

Cinematographer, which is like a

Bible for us in this craft, tells you

what to do with the camera.

Working in the industry tells you

what not to do. A good

cinematographer learns his

lessons both from theory and

practice. I think the Telugu

industry can do with a film

institute. I am surprised that

despite being such a flourishing

industry, there is no film

institute in Hyderabad. The

industry should invest in training

good professionals who produce

good work. I have also realized

that Hollywood is about 10

years ahead of us in technique.

We need to catch up to be the

best soon.

Many cinematographers are

embarrassed about the dark

greens, blues and reds in the

film but there is no need to feel

that way. We need to give

emphasis on some colours for

some movies that are made for

the B and C centers. These

centers have movie screens that

are more than a decade old and

do not reproduce subtle colours

well. So a movie made for B and

C centers may look gaudy on the

multiplex screen but we also

need to keep the screen quality

of a majority of the theatres in

the state. It is essential to keep

these considerations in mind

rather than just trying to come

o u t w i t h e l e g a n t a n d

sophisticated products which

may not go down well with the

majority.

Can you tell us about any movie

or scene that you excelled in as a

cinematographer?

I personally loved Bavagaru

Bavunnara by Chiranjeevi. It was

a remake of the Hollywood

movie Walk In The Clouds. I love

to cash in on nature’s beauty for

my movies. Selecting the right

location is half the battle won.

When you get this right, you can

go easy on the other elements. I

shot almost half of the movie

Bavagaru Bagunnara in New

Zealand using simple thermocol

filters and nothing else. I used

the brown mountains, white

buildings and blue lakes as my

background for the best scenes.

We could do it without much

lighting.

“Black is the yardstick to gauge a roll’s

efficiency. If black is reproduced well, the

rest of it falls in place. Kodak produces

black brilliantly, faithfully.”

What are your experiences with

Kodak film?

Black is the yardstick to gauge a

roll’s efficiency. If black is

reproduced well, the rest of it

falls in place. Kodak produces

black brilliantly, faithfully. Unlike

other films which make green

dominate the film, it brings out

every colour just the way it

should. When I load my camera

with Kodak, I can simply focus

on the other issues as I know it

will do its job well.

W h a t i s y o u r g o a l a s a

cinematographer?

I do a lot of research about

moviemaking. I love to spend

time talking to producers,

f i l m m a k e r s , f i n a n c e r s ,

distributors about the craft. It

costs Rs 280 per minute for an

average Telugu movie with a

budget of around Rs 3 crores.

My aim is to reduce the costs

significantly so that even small

directors and producers with

good stories can dream of

making movies. I want to work

as a cinematographer with the

basic cameras and lens and zero

external light sources.

Shankardada MBBS

How did you get interested in cinematography?

My mother was an artist, a painter. So right from the time I was a young boy I was influenced by her artistic

work. She always encouraged me to draw and paint and would give me directions in achieving the right effects.

I used to stay closer to the main city area and so right from childhood I was exposed to the visual art and history.

I used to visit the art galleries with my mother. Since my mothers genes were invested in me I was also very good

at painting. My childhood memories largely constituted art and imagery, which later on became a talent and skill

that I could explore through cinematography.

Was that a very trying period in your life?

I had a tough time in college. I had joined for B.Com and I had no aptitude for it. As a result I felt totally lost and

isolated.

Did the exposure to art continue through college?

We shifted to Pune pretty early on in my life and I continued my education in art as well in formal

academics. I did very well in both but I was never really sure of my talent and did not know how it

would give me an advantage, so I opted to continue my formal education despite fulfilling all the

criteria necessary for art school. My parents never forced me either way. They just wanted me to do

well in life and be happy. My father was an engineer. In fact when my father had an opportunity to go

to the US, he got me a camera and a book on architecture, he was obviously hoping that I would chose

either as a sincere pursuit. But my parents and I too felt that at that point a degree was important and

in that process I couldn’t really go back to art school. Then art school was after the tenth standard and

Art

it was a diploma then. It wasn’t like it is today. Today whether degree or diploma your inherent talent

accounts for much more.

of the Matter

Amalendu Chowdhury has

been a DOP for several

successful and critically

appreciated Marathi films.

He started without any

formal training and learnt his

craft on the job, helped along

by his childhood exposure to

art.

“I don’t believe in

style for the sake of a

style. For me my

approach to cinema is

to tell a story and

everything that a

cinematographer

does should

concentrate on telling

the story to the best

possible effect.”

Amalendu Chowdhury talks to Johnson Thomas about his career and technique.

So did your photography continue during this period?

That was my only creative outlet and I shot some excellent stills which everyone appreciated. One of my

acquaintances complimented me and said that I could make it as a professional photographer. I started taking on

freelance assignments for magazines and did a lot of advertising shoots too. And I was doing pretty well for

myself financially. I even won an award, the National Sports Trust Award, sponsored by Kodak.

What about cinematography?

Pune had a very good festival of International classics going on at the Film and Television Institute, and since one

of my friends was the organizer I used to go to watch the films there. All the films were projected, they were not

the DVD variety. And there used to be discussions with directors and technicians. Paresh Mokashi was one such

director there; his talk on the film Escape to Victory inspired me into trying out cinematography. I felt it was a very

challenging field. I was always interested in visuals and this seemed to be the right profession to be in. I had to

go to Mumbai and try my hand there as Pune FTII wouldn’t take commerce graduates.

So did you start from scratch without any formal training?

No I did not have any formal training. I had seen Ijazat and Bandit Queen, both shot by Ashok Mehta and I had got

in touch with him. I spoke to him about my interest in the field. I had also read his story and realized that my

dream was achievable if I put in a good deal of effort. I was married at that time, 23 years old and had the

support of my wife to come here and try to get a foothold in the film industry. Ashok Mehta gave me the

opportunity to apprentice under him when I was 29 years old and I assisted him in Moksh and Gaja Gamini and

several ad films. I learnt everything about cinematography under his tutelage. He was my teacher and my guru.

Jhing chick jhing

19


Gandh

20

How did the experience working with Ashok Mehta help in your career?

Ashok Mehta is the master of lighting. He is unparalleled in that respect

and I was lucky to get my training from him. In cinematography lighting

is an integral and most important aspect. Mehta sent me to Rakyesh

Omprakash Mehra to do stills for the film Aks. I was hesitant but he

persuaded me and that was a different and again enriching experience

altogether. Kiran Deohans was the cinematographer on that set and he

was another of my heroes. Despite being an observer on the set, I got to

learn a lot there too. I got to see how another master craftsman worked.

I now realize that I learnt so much under Mehta’s tutelage, enough to

garner appreciation for my own independent DOP work. I even won

awards for my films. Bai Manoos was one of them.

Which was your first film as independent DOP?

Doh, a Marathi language project, was the first film where I took charge

as independent DOP after several stints as assistant DOP in feature

films, ad films and documentaries. I used Kodak 250D, 50D and 500T in

that film.

Do you think assisting gives you enough knowledge to take up

independent projects?

Definitely. It teaches you everything even more than what you can learn

in a film institute. In my case I also read up on a lot of cinematographers

who I hold dear. Sven Nykvist and Gordon Willis have been my most

revered in that respect. I read about their approach and watched their

films repeatedly.

What would you say your style was as a cinematographer?

I don’t believe in style for the sake of a style. For me my approach to

cinema is to tell a story and everything that a cinematographer does

should concentrate on telling the story to the best possible effect. So

style does not come into play. The story and the director’s vision of it

should be king. There’s a beautiful line by Conrad Hogg. An interviewer

asked him: “Where do you point your camera?” And he answered:

“I always point my camera at the story.” That is what I do too!

So what should be the ideal relationship between the director and his

cameraman?

The relationship should be symbiotic. The cameraman should be able to

get into the mind of the director and learn from him his vision of the

story he wants to tell. And he must then employ his skill and technique

to achieve that vision. Before the shooting starts an approach must be

decided together by the director and his cameraman. I don’t believe in

the director getting a DVD film and expecting the cameraman to

replicate a specific look from that film. The cameraman’s stamp should

not be distinct from that of the director. Instead cinematography has to

be a vessel that reaches the director to his destination. It can be

Gandh

Harishchandrachi Factory

Bokya Saatnabde

“The cameraman’s stamp should not be distinct

achieved by a combination of meticulous planning and spontaneity. I

believe cinematography is not only about technique it is also about art.

Do you find that while in the process of making a film, the script also

keeps getting revised?

Well, fortunately for me, it hasn’t happened. I wouldn’t appreciate

working in that kind of atmosphere. I need to have a bound script with

director’s instructions before I start on the shoot of a film. Spontaneity is

always there when we reach the set but we need to know where we are

heading first. The intricacies can change but the basic nature should

never change. Harishchandrachi Factory, a film I worked on recently, was a

very lucidly written script. The mood and tone was clear and we were

sure that we need not have to make it into a heavy duty period piece.

The period feel was there but the film had a much lighter vein to it.

The film was intended as a inspiring, sometimes humorous, sometimes

serious document about a creative genius. There were only to

movement shots , everything else was shot on a static camera. We tried

to give the whole treatment a magical tone. I am really proud of my work

in that film. There was absolutely no gimmick involved. The director

wanted to tell the story in that way and it was also written like that.

Remember Dadasaheb Phalke was recognized only after his death.

When he was alive, he was never given his due. That is what the film

wanted to convey.

Do you think you achieved what you set out in that film?

I believe so. The cinematography was never overpowering. It did not

overshadow the performances, neither did it make a style statement. It

was intent on telling a simple story. We shot the film in 35mm and not in

cinemascope in order to keep the academic format consistent and make

the modesty and simplicity the telling point. Even my film Gandh follows

the same pattern. The three stories have different textures to it, because

they are disparate and different from each other linked by a slender

narrative thread.

from that of the director. Instead

cinematography has to be a vessel that reaches

the director to his destination.”

How was it working on such diverse projects?

I am happy that I got a chance to experiment with my technique and

skills to achieve such diverse and deliberate results. The awards I

received for Bai Manoos and Gandh speak for my satisfaction and effort.

The current crop of directors in Marathi cinema have literary

backgrounds and know what they are doing. Even though they are

young, they have a dynamism and yearning to tell a story that is true to

their vision and not tainted by commercialism. It’s only in the last two

years that I have been getting such projects and I am truly happy and

satisfied with my work. Of course, there’s much more to learn and

implement in the years to come and I hope I get challenged with every

new project that comes my way.

21


22

Winning Team

Shaji is getting more busier by the day in Malayalam filmdom after his recent box-office

hits Veruthe Oru Bharya and Red Chillies. He is currently shooting for Joshy’s new film

Robinhood.

How goes your new project Robinhood?

Robinhood is a movie for the youngsters and

features Prithviraj, Narain, Jayasurya,

Samvrutha Sunil and Bhavana. The movie tries

to impart the message that the repercussion

of treachery will be heavy. This is my fourth

film with veteran director Joshy after Naran,

July 4 and Nasrani. We want to make this

movie technically superior.

Do you always get the required technical

facilities in the industry?

Some producers fix a certain budget for

camera and usually are unwilling to think

beyond that amount. There are exceptions

too. Though these producers limit technical

facilities, they have high expectations from

the cinematographer. They demand the

quality of Tamil and Telugu movies. How is

that possible? Tamil and Telugu movies are

made with huge budgets. We spend two to

three crore rupees on a movie and demand

the quality of movies made with a big budget

of 20 crore rupees. We must spend more

money for making the project technically

perfect.

Shaji tells K.B. Venu that he prefers quality to quantity.

The modernization of cameras and other

cinematographic equipment has been very

fast during the past few years. How has it

changed the cinematographer in you?

The modernization of cameras during the past

few years has brought about a revolution in

the quality of cinematography. You can see it

e v e n i n s t i l l p h o t o g r a p h y . T h e

cinematographer should change his

professional point of view according to the

changing times. DOPs in other industries are

very careful about maintaining their

p r o f e s s i o n a l e x c e l l e n c e . T o p

cinematographers in Tamil, Telugu and Hindi

industries never even touch an Arri 3 camera.

They always demand latest equipment and

facilities to maintain the quality of their work

and their professional reputation. But here in

Malayalam we are often compelled to

compro m i s e o n s eve ra l a s p e c t s o f

cinematography. I watch a lot of movies. After

Uthaman, my first independent venture, I have

always tried to do each film in different styles.

My principle is to deliver quality work, staying

within the limited facilities I am provided with.

But I try to associate with directors and

producers who understand my work and

provide the facilities I need. I like to work with

people with whom I can establish rapport and

communication. Also, I observe the works of

fellow cinematographers and try to learn from

them. Each cinematographer has his own

style. I also try to see whether I too can get

the same working atmosphere and technical

support they had been provided with.

What do you think is effect of the satellite

exhibition system?

The satellite exhibition system is not properly

made use of in Malayalam industry. Here the

discs are made from the master print of the

movie. This causes heavy loss of quality when

the movie is projected in theaters. In other

South Indian languages and Bollywood, they

copy from the negative there is only one per

cent of loss in quality. In fact I am afraid to

watch my movies in theaters because the

print will be of inferior quality. A

cinematographer can’t explain to the public

about what has actually happened to the

print. He spends four to five months with a

movie, right from the period when the story is

discussed till the theater release and this is

how it all ends up. The producers exert a lot of

pressure during the processing period and

force the DOP to release the print as early as

possible. The directors understand the

situation and they won’t complain about the

quality because they watch the first and

second copies of the movie. But the audience

very often get the inferior product.

Even in this movie you are using Kodak. What

is your criterion of selecting a particular

stock?

I decide upon the stock right from the first

hearing of the storyline. Certain storylines

demand Kodak. The distinguished quality of

the stock has been proved through so many

years by great cameramen around the world.

“My principle is

to concentrate on the project

I undertake and do them

as perfectly as I can.

I don’t give much importance

to the number of films I do.”

Robinhood

How do you assess the co-operation from your

assistants?

I was assisting Vipin Mohan before becoming

an independent cameraman. He used to grant

me a free working atmosphere. He was kind

enough to clear my doubts and guide me in

the proper way. I follow the same principle. I

also try to assess what my assistants gained

from me.

This is your fourth film with Joshy? How is the

experience of working with the veteran

director?

Joshy is a very senior director... I was a bit

afraid in the beginning when I started with

Naran, my first film with him. But soon I

understood that he is a very kind and helping

person. He is up-to-date about the most

modern equipment and technology. He knows

how to make use of them at the proper place.

And he gives clear answers to all doubts a

technician has in mind.

What about your projects in other languages?

Apart from the Tamil movie Kanakavel Kakka, I

did a Hindi movie called Toofan, directed by

Major Ravi. Even that film was shot with

Kodak. But I believe I couldn’t work to my

satisfaction in both those projects. I get lots of

offers from filmmakers with whom I have

worked before. My principle is to concentrate

on the project I undertake and do them as

perfectly as I can. I don’t give much

importance to the number of films I do.

Robinhood

The

Right from his advent into Malayalam film

industry in the late seventies with an action

movie Tiger Salim, hitmaker director Joshy has

remained a perpetual student of the technical

aspects of cinema.

It is nothing but a studious mind and ability to

cope with the state of the art technology in

the industry that helps the veteran remain the

numero uno director in mainstream

Malayalam cinema, even after three decades

of active and prolific filmmaking.

He has 64 movies to his credit and most of them

have collected profusely at the box-office. His

latest film Robinhood, a communion of prominent

young actors in Malayalam like Prithviraj,

Jayasurya, Bhavana and Samvrutha Sunil, has a

vibrant storyline meant to lure the youth.

Joshy always had shown a penchant for big

budget movies, incorporating leading stars of

the time, most often teaming up prominent

actors together in a single film. Prem Nazir,

Madhu, Soman, Sukumaran, Mammootty and

many other major actors used to act together

in his movies. This is made possible because

of his command over the actors and the

technical crew.

He believes that artistes should not be bigger

than the director and continues to enjoy this

superior position. When AMMA (Association

of Malayalam Movie Artistes) decided to

produce a film to raise funds for the

organisation, Joshy was the unanimous choice

as director of the movie. They couldn’t find

anyone else who could shoulder the

responsibility of controlling and holding

together a multitude of stars beginning from

Madhu, matinee idol of yesteryears, big stars

Mammootty, Mohanlal, Suresh Gopi, Jayaram,

Dileep and almost all eminent actors

in the industry in a single project.

Joshy could also assign roles to the

bigwig actors in an amicable way,

without diminishing anybody’s prominence in

the industry.

Experienced writers of the elder and younger

generations agree that Joshy had always tried

to do justice to the scripts he dealt with.

Cinematographers and other technicians

respect him for his clear-headed and logical

approach. He is better known as a craftsman

who pays maximum attention to the taking of

shots. This is the reason why Joshy is

respected by the mainstream moviemakers

though he chooses to tread along with the

latest trends and atmosphere of different

times. He keenly observes his audience and

always moves according to their pulse.

The prolific director made nine films in the

year 1984, seven in 1985, six in 1986 and five

each in 1982 and '83. He teamed up mostly

with Dennis Joseph for the scripts of his big

hits, including New Delhi (1987) which placed

Mammootty on a come-back trail. Joshy also

made a crime investigation story (Ee Thanutha

Veluppankalathu) with the late writer-director

P. Padmarajan in 1990. Star screen writers of

the mainstream Malayalama cinema, Ranjith,

Ranji Panicker and Ranjan Pramod have also

been associated with Joshy in some

commercial hits.

His latest film, Robinhood, is written by Sachi

and Sethu from the youngest generation of

scenarists in Malayalam cinema.

Joshy rarely grants interviews; may be

because he believes more in his work than

talking to the media. Young at heart and

communicating with the changing times and

people, this master technician continues to

walk cautiously through the tricky paths of the

industry, quite gloriously.

Robinhood

23


24

Language No Bar

Manish Vyas in conversation with Johnson Thomas

What are you working on right now? You are in the middle of a shoot,

aren’t you?

Yes. We have just begun shooting in Gujarat. It’s a Gujarati film that I

am shooting on Kodak Super 16, 250D and 200T.

Is there any particular reason why you chose Kodak?

I like Kodak, because you get better detailing and the color saturation is

also great.

When did you start your career as a cameraman?

I began my career in 1984 as an assistant to cameraman Murthy in the

film Nastik starring Amitabh Bachchan and Hema Malini. My father was

also working in the film industry. He was an assistant director to Raj

Kumar Kohli and he suggested that I try my hand at Gujarati films

because there were better chances of getting a solo project there. So I

assisted Rocky Leytin, who had long ago, been involved in the making of

the film Mahal with Ashok Kumar and Madhubala.

Did you get your first independent project soon?

Well, I continued assisting till 1991 when I got my first solo DOP project,

a Hindi film directed by Keshav called Mamla Gadbad Hai. The film did

not get completed. The shooting was stopped after a few days. I also

was assistant to Manish Bhatt for Sailaab with Madhuri Dixit and also

did Main Balwan with Sunil Shetty in it. After that I was back looking for

work once again. This time I ventured into television, went to Muscat,

making documentaries for a production house and working mainly on

beta. I did everything from pre and post production to camerawork,

editing, effects etc. I worked there for two years

Manish Vyas learnt the ropes as an

assistant cameraman in Hindi films. But

once he was confident enough to take up

independent projects he entered the

regional cinema industry and has today

made a mark for himself as one of the

highest paid DOPs there. He has

also been the most innovative,

achieving cinemascope effect at a time

when it wasn’t being tried out in regional

cinema. Today he is one of the most

sought after cinematographer in films

made in Gujarati, Bhojpuri, Marathi and

Punjabi.

Was it a learning experience for you?

I did learn quite a bit in my stint there. Television has different

requirements compared to cinema. The shot taking is entirely different. I

worked with many directors from the other Middle East countries, also

from Jordan and Egypt. I also got to see many of the best films from that

region. It was an enriching experience for me.

When did you come back from Muscat?

I came back in 1995 and the first film I did thereafter was Lafda, a Hindi

film. In fact, I was the first to experiment on cinemascope in 1991. There

was no camera available for cinemascope picturization. So I had to shoot

it on the normal camera and then magnify it to cinemascope. Thereafter

cameras came fitted with cinemascope lenses, so it was easier to shoot

in that format. Lafda was in cinemascope but it wasn’t my first film in

cinemascope. I had attempted the same technique in an earlier film

which did not get released. If you look at the print of Lafda you will be

surprised to find that it is a double positive instead of a double negative.

Then, I started getting many offers for

regional films, Bhojpuri, Gujarati, Marathi and

Punjabi and so I took them all up. For a

cameraman language is no barrier.

Cinematography is a language in itself. One of

the films even won a National award. It was

called Mere Maa Punjab.

When you introduced the technique for

cinemascope picturization did you face any

difficulties?

Well, when I wanted to achieve that result, I

discussed it with my director and he was very

supportive. He told me to go ahead and do it as

it would be a kind of USP for the film. I did try to

ask around to find out if anyone had done this

before and most of the DOPs and technicians I

spoke to dissuaded me from trying it out. But I

was confident enough and after a few trial runs

I knew I was on the right track. While shooting

I had to use a different optical lens. Rest of the

work was done in Ramnord Labs. They were

very helpful, In fact they were the only ones

who agreed to help me.

“For a cameraman

language is no barrier.

Cinematography is a

language in itself.”

How have the last few years been?

The last two-three years I have been working

exclusively in these regional language films. I

did maximum films with Kodak Mota Ghar Ni

Vau and Av Jo in Gujarati were on Kodak. The

directors I worked with in Gujarati included

Vikram Kotiyal, Pratik Talukdar and Amar

Solanki. I also did a Bhojpuri film called Kasam

Duniya Ki and another one directed by hit

director Ajay Sinha. In fact most of the

Bhojpuri films I shot have been under the

direction of Ajay Sinha.

Did you undertake any formal training or

study in cinematography?

I am a graduate but I haven’t done any formal

course in cinematography. Everything I have

learnt in this field has come through

experience and experimentation. I started my

career with Mr Murthy then worked with

Manish Bhatt and then Rajni Kashi (for Ek

Number Ka Chor, Kamal Amrohi Films with

Tajdar Amrohi as director). All those

experiences taught me the basics of

cinematography and they were all shot on

Kodak. So I was basically groomed on Kodak.

What was your experience like in Hindi

cinema? How does it differ from that of

regional cinema?

I enjoyed my stint in Hindi cinema and learnt

a lot from there. But it’s regional cinema that

basically gives me my bread and butter. It may

not be on the same scale as that of Hindi

cinema but it is nevertheless challenging in its

own way. The budgets are of course much

smaller and the equipment may not always be

perfect, but there is much more scope for

experimentation and getting satisfaction

thereof. In Hindi cinema every facility is made

available to us but in regional cinema we have

to innovate to achieve good results. The

facilities may not always be available.

“In all my regional projects

I have tried to get

the best results possible

and I must say that

Kodak helps me greatly

in this respect.”

But does that make it easier or much more

difficult for you?

I am among the highest paid DOPs in Gujarati

cinema and I think I have achieved that

distinction only because I have given the best,

whatever the circumstances may be. In all my

regional projects I have tried to get the best

results possible and I must say that Kodak

helps me greatly in this respect. It is of course

much more difficult to shoot a film in a

regional language as compared to that in

Hindi simply because of lack of proper

budgets for all the accessories and

accompaniments that are required. But I must

also say that it is manageable if you put your

mind and heart into the project and put to

good use all you have learnt over the years

Wherever I may be shooting I do insist on

taking my camera from Mumbai. Lights and

other accessories I try and manage with as

per availability. Most of the regional films

don’t use DI as much as in Hindi films. That is

why it is far more challenging to shoot a

regional film. We have very good technicians

available across the board, but those working

in regional language film industry surely have

deeper and richer experiences!

25


26

Continuing his series on Lab procedures,

Solomon Silveira provides answers

to some of the questions asked by

the customers concerning their

processed/ to be processed film.

1) Customer

The lab report makes a comment of edge

break/ frame lost in the film – How could this

happen?

Lab Comment

Edge break in the film is common and is

detected during the inspection of film in the

dark room before processing. Most commonly

these breaks happen at the head during

loading the film in the camera or at the tail

end of the film during packaging. All this

reflects poor film handling. Avoiding a "run

out" is a best way to avoid loss of frames at

the tail end of the film.

Sometimes, such breaks are also detected in-

between the camera roll. Defects like these

are brought to the notice of the production

house before we bandage this part of the film.

Bandaging the broken edge is essential for

safe processing of the film and to avoid the

possibility of film break while the film is being

processed. A film break during processing

would mean damaging not only the defective

roll but also all rolls before and following the

defective roll. Bandaging the film could cause

a loss of few frames. In most cases, it is

observed that Edge breaks happen between

takes with no image being affected.

Keeping the lab informed about such

problems during the shoot with the camera

can help the lab to be proactive in detecting

such problem in the film.

The

Lab Comment

3) Customer

Lab Comment

2) Customer

The sequence of camera rolls in the

processed reel is not OK.

The procedure adopted by Kodak Cinelabs

ensures that the can numbers on the can

labels are properly recorded on the job sheet –

also, each of these cans are labeled by

individual lab can number. These cans are

then kept for processing in a sequence along

with the respective Job sheet. The sequences

of the can numbers are verified before taking

the cans into the dark room for inspection.

After inspection the empty cans are brought

out of the dark room and its sequence verified

once again. The empty cans are kept in the

same sequence of processing for next two

days after processing to verify for complaints,

if any, relating to the camera roll sequence.

Too often it has been found that the sequence

of can numbering is due to incorrect

numbering or mix up during production.

Kodak Cinelabs provides its customers with

free can labels to enable the production house

to capture the production details on every

camera roll.

Dialogue

Continues...

The report makes a mention of pressure mark

on film. It also makes a mention of the can

being damaged. How could this happen?

Many a times it has been noted that the

production boys are not aware about film

handling and safety. It is also seen that

sometimes to save on money the delivery boy

carries the film by train or bus to save money.

Some of the cans received by the lab are

damaged and this gets reflected as pressure

marks on the film. It is very important to make

the people carrying the camera roll sensitive

to procedures of handling the film. He should

also be made aware that the exposed camera

rolls carried for processing should be suitably

packed to avoid physical damage and direct

exposure to sunlight.

4) Customer

I have some stock but am not sure if it is

exposed, please let me know if I can use the

film

Lab Comment

There is no way that we could inspect the film

without processing the same. The two options

available are

1. Do a fog test in which about 10ft of the

initial portion of the film is processed,

2. Process the entire film.

While the first option is destructive and you

could land up cutting through the image of an

exposed can, it could possibly help you save

the film just in case it happens to be an

unexposed film. However, the second option

is non destructive and could be useful in

ensuring that you get the complete take just

in case you had some exposure on the film.

The lab would always recommend the second

option.

Not doing either of the above could land you

in a situation of having double exposure just in

case the film happens to be previously

exposed. This would mean not only losing the

previous takes but also the recent takes.

5) Customer

Your report makes a mention of overlap of

images on the film. How could this happen?

Lab Comment

The overlap of images on the film could

possibly happen if the can contains an

exposed film, which has not been labeled but

reused as a fresh stock. The best way to avoid

such confusion is to ensure proper labeling of

the exposed can. In case of doubt, it is always

better to have the same verified with the

exposed stock or have the roll processed.

6) Customer

We have just done a telecine and are seeing a

chemical spot on the film, please have it

checked at your end.

Lab Comment

The film was re-inspected on the inspection

table and no problem was noticed. The film

was later seen on the D Observer and we too

observed a tiny lint like spot in the bottom

corner of the frame. This tiny spot was a part

of the image – signifying that some lint like

particle could have settled on the lens at the

time of exposure causing this problem.

7) Customer

Your report makes a mention of some

scratches on the film – How could this happen?

Lab Comments

As a part of start up checks the lab runs a raw

stock of film to ensure that it is free from

defects including scratches on the film before

processing customer rolls. The demand drive

in the processor ensures that it is most gentle

on your film. The processor at our lab is

specially designed to have air knives instead of

the conventional squeeze blades to avoid

contact with the film. Scratch on film could

happen in the camera due to dust in the

camera path and/ or problem in the magazine.

Some of the problems that are reported by the

lab like faint scratch on the base of the film is

something that may not even be seen on the

telecine – however we believe in reporting

such defects just to ensure that the

information is used by the production house to

attend to the problem before the next shoot

thereby avoiding the possibility of a deeper

scratch on a later days shoot. We believe in

being proactive in keeping the customer

informed about such instances.

8) Customer

Your report makes a mention of edge fog in

the film. How could this happen? How will this

affect my film?

Lab Comments

Edge fog on the film is reported, during

inspection when the edge of the film is seen

fogged. The fog on the edge of the film does

not affect the image quality. However,

sometimes the fog is seen to bleed into the

image area – this is reflected in the labs

inspection report. The cause of the fog could

be the magazine or the camera itself – the

information provided by the lab can be

effectively correlated to identify the area of

problem. These inputs should be seriously

taken by the production house to look into the

problems with the camera and/ or magazine,

thereby, avoiding the risk of damaging the film

on a later day shoot.

27


28

It’s been almost exactly one decade since Texas Instruments and JVC demonstrated digital projection on a large

screen side by side with motion picture film – and the industry took notice. Digital looked surprisingly good and

some suggested it would be adopted immediately, painlessly, automatically if only because it would save so

much money for studios not having to buy film prints.

And yet, those who made such enthusiastic predictions overlooked a fundamental fact: all enduring change in

the entertainment industry must meet four criteria:





It must make creative sense – that is, it should expand the creative content and opportunities available

It must make technical sense – that is, there must be worldwide technical standards to keep the quality high

and to enable worldwide distribution of motion pictures

It must make operational sense – the systems must be reliable, the processes must be proven, cost

efficiencies must be possible, the systems must fit into the exhibitors’ environment with minimal disruptions

And it must make businesses sense – which means the systems must be affordable, the investment must be

shared fairly, financial models must benefit everyone.

It has taken a while to get to a point where those needs are mostly being met, but the transition from analog to

digital continues to be largely piecemeal, with technology earning its way forward, more slowly than some

expected.

Kodak Digital Cinema —

An Overview

With a proud and continuing legacy of supplying film for most of the prints made for movie theatres, Kodak

entered the digital arena with networked pre-show systems in 2003 and quickly became the largest independent

supplier of those systems, worldwide. The Kodak system replaced slide projectors and, in some cases, DVD-

loaded digital projectors, and brought new flexibility, ease of use, and added profitability to the theatre.

Working with ad suppliers, the Kodak system made it possible to target advertising – by genre, rating, studio, day

part, screen, complex, or even individual movie – so advertisers could reach a more select audience if they chose

to. And because Kodak prepared the show playlist centrally and sent it out via DSL or satellite connections to

the cinema, the pre-show arrived ready to go and played as scheduled.

And when the pre-show was associated with a particular movie – and the movie print was moved to a different

screen in the complex – the Kodak-provided pre-show moved automatically with it.

To read further part, please visit: http://motion.kodak.com/US/en/motion/Hub/dcinema.htm

Regional Offices

Mumbai

Rachna Pawar

Tel No: 91-22-66416762 / 66

Fax No: 91-22-66416769

Email: rachna.pawar@kodak.com

Mumbai Cinelab

Aparna Bhusane

Tel No: 91-22-67026600 / 02

Fax No: 91-22-67026666

Email: aparna.bhusane@kodak.com

Chennai

M.T. Amuthavanan

Origination Products

Tel No: 91-44-2362 3086 / 9840333350

Fax No: 91-44-2362 2522

Email: mohankrishnan.amuthavanan@kodak.com

Chirag Gandhi joined Kodak in July 2008 in the EI division. Prior to joining Kodak, he was in retail

working for Future Group as a retail operation manager.

He says, "In Kodak it has been an interesting journey meeting people from the film industry –

artistes, cameramen, technicians – and enjoying learning a subject which entertains millions of

people worldwide. Behind the creation of this entertainment is sheer hard work. The passion that

the production team puts in is incredible. In my free time I love to watch movies, travelling, music

and playing cricket."

Chennai

T.M. Prasanth

Distribution Products

Tel No: 91-44-2362 3086 / 9840489900

Fax No: 91-44-2362 2522

Email: prasanth.mohan@kodak.com

Bangalore

Ananth A. Padmanabha

Tel No: 91-98860 08642

Email: anantha.padmanabha@kodak.com

Kolkata

Chirag Gandhi

Mob: 9830915152

Tel No: 91-33-30286254

Fax No: 91-33-30286270

Email: chirag.gandhi@kodak.com

Motion Picture Film

Hyderabad

S. Gowrishankar

Tel No: 91-9849015950

Fax No: 91-40-2381 6181

Email: santhanam.gowrishankar@kodak.com

Hyderabad

Surya Basa

Distribution Products,

Tel No: 91-9885823238

Fax No: 91-40-2381 6181

Email: surya.basa@kodak.com

Kerala

Visakh K.J.

Mob: 91-9895708469

Tel No: 91-484-2366230 / 36

Fax No: 91-484-2363211

Email: visak.kj@kodak.com

For more information; visit www.kodak.co.in/go/motion

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