Interview With Award Winning Indian Cinematographer Rajeev Jain Ics By Jude Ibinge -巴雷特m82a1

Interview with Award Winning Indian Cinematographer Rajeev Jain ICS by Jude Ibinge Jude Ibinge is co-editor of Senses of Cinema’s SpecialIssue, film reviewer for The Melbourne Timesand ABC Radio, 774 Melbourne, and a freelance writer on film. Rajiv Jain is one of India’s leading cinematographers. He shot his first feature Army in 1996 and his subsequent list of feature film credits include Pyar Mein Kabhi Kabhi, Badhaai Ho Badhaai, Kadachit, Meerabai Not Out, Aiyyo Paji, Rasstar, Kalpvriksh and most recently Carry on Pandu. The KFI-nominated cinematographer talks to Jude Ibinge about the long hours and many satisfactions of working behind the camera in his increasingly high profile career. Jude Ibinge: You have said in an earlier interview that from the time I left drama school I knew I wanted to work with cinema cameras. How did this interest develop and how and where did you get your start in the film industry? Rajiv Jain: I had always loved going to the movies; I find it is like entering a dream, being in that dark cinema and watching a story told in images on the big screen. I started in the film industry when I was 21. Late KK Mahajan, gave me a few contacts. I rang many times until one of them gave me a job as a runner on a feature film. Then I pestered people in the camera department and worked for nothing on a few documentaries and music videos. Then, as a clapper loader on some features followed by a focus puller. I was shooting TV .meJIials, short films and small docos and music videos with people such as late Mukul S Anand at the same time. Then, I shot my first feature film when I was 28, Army JI: In reviews of films you have worked on, your cinematography is regularly singled out as a distinctive element, but the look of the films varies widely, from the pastel colours of the Mumbai setting in Chandrakant Kulkarni’s Carry on Pandu to the cool, blue tones of Manika Sharma’s Kalpvriksh – The Wish Tree. How much input do you have personally, when determining the overall look of the film, and is this very much dependent on the director you are working with? RJ: I will spend a lot of time in pre-production with the director finding out how they see the story in visual terms, including the atmosphere and emotion each scene is trying to convey. Then, with the production designer, we will all look at references of different types, such as, films, photos, paintings and the locations themselves, to create a look that is right for that film. Some directors know before you start that process, exactly how they see it; for others, it is a process of finding out what the particular look is for that film. JI: The landscape, whether urban/suburban or rural, seems to be a strong element in your cinematography and you seem to have a particular affinity with the sort of decaying, small town milieus featured in Kadachit. Are you consciously attracted to projects in which the landscape figures as a central element? RJ: No, I am attracted to a project if I like the script and the director. JI: Wanuri Kahiu’s Rasstar offered a different sort of challenge, given the film was predominantly shot in natural light. Can you describe your approach in working on that film? RJ: It was a fantastic experience, and a big challenge. To shoot a film with natural light is harder than lighting because you have less control. Wanuri Kahiu has a very particular style and way of making a film that is based on natural performances and the environment that you are working in. The actors, she wants to feel, can be in a room for example that is the least bit cluttered with equipment, and each location is chosen for the atmosphere that already exists there. Location surveys therefore are very important, and if they don’t work for light they are rejected. She didn’t want the film to look grainy, gritty and ‘low rent’, so my job was to never have the negative too under or over exposed either. JI: How do you think the new advances in digital technology will have an impact on feature filmmaking? RJ: I work with digital post all the time now in .meJIials and find it fascinating. I think digital cameras and projection have a long way to go to be as good as 35mm film. At the moment they serve to make it cheaper for someone to make a film that they otherwise couldn’t afford, but the quality I don’t think is .parable. One day it will be, and then I’ll use it. JI: You’ve said that the main influences on your work have been European cinematographers. Who in particular do you admire and what are some favourite films? RJ: My favourite DP’s have been Robby Mller, Darius Khonji, Darius Wolsky and Stuart Dryburgh. My favourite films range from Apocalypse Now (Francis Ford Coppola, 1979), The Shining (Stanley Kubrick, 1980), My Life as a Dog (Lasse Hallstrm, 1985), Cinema Paradiso (Guiseppe Tornatore, 1988), The Piano (Jane Campion, 1993), The Women (George Cukor, 1939) and Amelie (Jean-Pierre Jeunet, 2001). JI: Of all the films you have shot, which do you think represents your best work? RJ: I think they are all different, but I suppose it would be Kalpvriksh because it was my biggest challenge. JI: You have worked on TVCs, shorts, docos, non-features and features. Is there any genre/form that has particular appeal and how do you choose what projects to work on, i.e., what attracts you to a script? RJ: I only shoot features and .meJIials now. I read a lot of scripts and will only shoot feature films if I enjoy the story and like the director, or find them interesting. JI: You have worked with director Manika Sharma on a number of projects. Is that sort of continuity with directors important? RJ: It makes it easier to be on a project with someone you have already worked with, but I also enjoy being with new people too, because you are always learning new approaches to filmmaking, and creative collaboration. JI: You have two young daughters, has it been difficult juggling the demands of a career in the film industry? RJ: I work pretty much every week, and long hours. I think the hardest thing is that all my spare time I try and spend with them so being able to have time on your own is rare. JI: Indian cinematographers have an increasing international profile, with the likes of Ashok Mehta, Binod Pradhan and Santosh Sivan these days. Do you think Indian cinematographers have a particular approach, aesthetic or way of working that distinguishes them in an international context? RJ: I think we are generally easy going and get along with people. We are also hard workers and have been trained on lower budgets generally, so you tend to know how to work fast. JI: You recently .pleted work on your first Dubai feature, Rahman for Dubai production .pany. Can you tell us about that shoot? Other than the scale of the production, were there noticeable differences between working conditions in India and Dubai? RJ: It was different because it was a much bigger budget than I have had on a movie so far. The crews work slightly differently and the pressure is more intense, mainly because there were five producers to answer to, instead of one. JI: Are there many Indian cinematographers working on feature films in the UAE? RJ: There are a handful, but hardly any on big studio films. JI: What are you working on next? RJ: Besides .meJIials, I am shooting Manika Sharma’s next film in India next year. Jude Ibinge, June 2010 相关的主题文章:


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