Ravi K. Chandran on films, crew and the journey so far at AMS 2020

Animation Masters Summit 2020 is different from the past ones. The digital edition, though taking place remotely brings the same energetic vibe and is inspirational as always. Day two of the summit saw aced Indian cinematographer and director Ravi K. Chandran talk about his journey in the world of movies. He is well known for his works in Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam cinema as well as in Bollywood. Some of his acclaimed projects are Kannezhuthi Pottum Thottu (1999), Kannathil Muthamittal (2002), Black (2005), Fanaa (2006), and Saawariya (2007).

In the session, he talked about his early life, cinematography, working with the crew and his films. He started his career by assisting his brother, Ramchandra Babu, who is also a noted cinematographer. He believes that cinematography is telling stories and you learn by making mistakes. According to him, you need to have an artistic eye, just clicking pictures doesn’t make you a professional. He, along with other film crew of his time, have been through the journey from film to digital.

He stressed that adaptability is important in any field, and while the digital format is very convenient, he believes those who have worked with film reel are more disciplined. They showed shots from films like Kannathil Muthamittal, Fanaa, Black and Virasat and discussed the making of those segments. He talked about being a model for an Apple ad by Emmanuel Lebinsky.

According to him, his most challenging film and also the most satisfying was Saawariya, which although was not received well by the audience, took a lot of effort because it was all shot in a closed set.

Talking about differences in opinions he believes the director is always right. He agrees that sometimes he can get too involved in the technical aspects of shooting. “We want to get the perfect shot, but they (director) want to tell a story.” The film is a director’s vision.

Chandran also mentioned the challenges faced while shooting for films like Black or Virasat, where miniature sets and green screens were used prominently.

After this insightful session with Chandran, we are definitely looking forward for the upcoming sessions this week.