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>> Amol Gole Amol Gole talks about the challenges and merits of adopting a new technology with Rajesh Sarkar
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>> Making of a New Cult
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Mahesh Ngangom talks to Sudhir K Chaudhary about the phenomenon called Pyaar Ka Punchnama and excitement of ﬁlmmaking
>> Every Woman’s Envy The birth of the ﬁrst ﬁlm and the perils of a female director, Barnali Ray Shukla tells all to Rupa Majumder
14 >> Painting Cinema Amrita Lal Majumder talks to K N Naik, DI Colourist with Reliance Media Works
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12 >> From School To The Sets Debutant director Sunny Bhambhani recounts the struggle and joy of completing his debut venture with Varun Verma
>> Reliance MediaWorks oﬀers 3D Conversion service to Indian advertisers
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Amol Gole talks about the challenges and merits of adopting a new technology with Rajesh Sarkar
Dawn of a New Era
or long, big bucks and big stars have ruled the land of Bollywood. But it’s the small ﬁlms in the recent times that came as a whiﬀ of fresh air with inventive storylines and beautiful narratives. Stanley Ka Dabba was one such small gem that came out of nowhere and stole millions of hearts with its honesty. The ﬁlm was also noticed for its innovative use of Canon 7D camera. Cinematographer Amol Gole who also shot Marathi ﬁlm Gajar with Canon 7D, shares his experience of making of two little gems and also dissects the new technology in the process.
How did Stanley Ka Dabba happen? When I was shooting Nero’s Guest for Deepa Bhatia, Amole (Gupte) sir was watching me very closely. While Deepa was working on the documentary for almost three years, I joined
her one and a half years later. I stayed with the ﬁlm and in that process, assisted Amole sir on Taare Zameen Par. I was a still photographer earlier and Delhi 6 was my last ﬁlm when I ﬁnally decided to quit shooting stills. I was supposed join Amole sir as the ﬁrst AD on his next project. But it wasn’t happening owing to date issues from stars. Then he described me Stanley Ka Dabba one day but told me that he wasn’t looking at it from a ﬁlm’s perspective. He told me clearly that ‘Let’s not commit a ﬁlm’. And then the journey started for all of us. We shot at many schools which includes Pali Municipal School and many other upper middle schools. Somehow it was very clear what Amole sir wanted to achieve, and the ﬁlm was kind of an unwinding experience. Shooting it was also like unlearning everything since it was shot in a completely
diﬀerent way. Since I was graduating from still photography to full-ﬂedged cinematography, I bombarded Neel Sadvelkar who was our technical head with incessant questions. Along with Amole sir, he was another guiding force since I was not so sound technically.
Was it diﬃcult to shoot with so many kids? I was with Amole during Taare Zameen Par and I shot all the auditions. While casting Darsheel (Safary), I shot more than 500 kids. Every week I witnessed two or three workshops. Working with kids is more about that energy; I kind of understood that energy. cinematographer Ashok Mehta for nine years and did a lot of commercials with him too. I worked with Shyam Ramanna of Crest Communications too.
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never shows into the ﬁlm.
The ﬁlm has been in news all over thanks to the use of Canon 7D camera. I think 7D holds the future of ﬁlmmaking. Apart from lighting and all other expenses the producers will save on, it will also help directors to take on new adventures creatively serving the purpose to its best. Be it Binod Pradhan or other big DoPs I have known, I have always seen what they try and achieve is how the scene will look in natural light. The biggest advantage of 7D is that you can shoot under almost any kind of light set up, even inside the house under a tube light
Since 7D is the new buzzword in the world of guerrilla ﬁlmmaking, what advice would you give to newcomers? Stanley Ka Dabba
Tell us about your background. I have done diploma in Applied Arts and chose photography as an elective. As a photographer, I have always believed in shooting outdoors
under natural light. Even the portfolios I have shot earlier were all outdoors, not inside a litup studio. Then I got my ﬁrst ﬁlm was Maqbool and there was no looking back. I did ﬁlms like Uﬀ Kya Jadoo Mohabbat Hai by Rajshri Productions, Shyam Benegal’s Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose: The Forgotten Hero and Amir Khan’s Mangal Pandey: The Rising and Rang De Basanti.
I don’t think there is any disadvantage. The only issue is that the quality drops in slow motion. For Stanley, whatever I have shot, more than 70% was handheld. I shot under the sunlight of 12 o’clock. While using, only ﬁgure out what not to do. And these are countless things to do with it on a creative journey.
Tell us about your Marathi ﬁlm, Gajar. Gajar is about a person on a pilgrimage to
Who are the cinematographers you admire? I really like the work of Hemant Chaturvedi, especially ﬁlms like Company and Maqbool. I think he understands the pace of the ﬁlm reallwell. I really respect Binod Pradhan and Jehangir Choudhary for the sheer eﬀort they bring in their work well.. I really respect Binod Pradhan and Jehangir Choudhary for the sheer eﬀort they bring in their work. For Jehangir, if you look at a ﬁlm like Mirch Masala, it’s diﬃcult to believe that it’s the same guy who shot Being Cyrus. And Binodji’s work speaks volumes in ﬁlms like Devdas or Delhi 6. I have a strong admiration for cameramen who make sure that their ego
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Lord Vitthal’s abode in Pandharpur, Maharashtra over a span of 18 days. Roughly 20 lakh devotees every year walk from Alandi to Pandharpur chanting prayers and praises to the deity. The ﬁlm explores the man’s understanding of life. Since i have been on that pilgrimage, it was great to write, produce and shoot the ﬁlm.
How diﬃcult was to shoot Gajar? More than 95% of the shooting was on the go. Since the pilgrimage is over a span of 18 days, we had to shoot within those days over a distance of 235 kilometres. The biggest challenge was that if we would have missed something; we had to wait for another year.
Do you intend to maintain the balance between Marathi and Hindi ﬁlms?. The question is not about Hindi or Marathi or any other language. I intend Amol Gole to be associated with good ﬁlms; language hardly matters. I have never gone to I would love to direct a ﬁlm one day. But I ﬁnd Yash Raj Films or Nadiadwala Grandsons to the hullaballoo over the credit of a DoP or a ask for work. Every project I choose is a very director a little strange. I mean, when I was conscious decision on my part. shooting Stanley, Amole sir did not behave like a director, I didn’t behave like DoP. We went mad during shooting. When my name appears Most of the DoPs always have the longas the DoP, I ﬁnd a little strange since I know drawn goal to become a director? Do you so many have worked on the ﬁlm. belong to the same bunch on a creative
What kind of stories would you like to capture in your camera? I like adventure stories, the energy in them attracts me most. But I don’t like ‘hathoda-type’ (hammer) ﬁlmmaking. Simple narrative that reﬂects life in a little portrait is the kind of ﬁlm I prefer to shoot.
How was your experience of working with Reliace MediaWorks? I was working on two ﬁlms simultaneously with RMW. From 7 am to 3 pm, I used to be busy with Stanley Ka Dabba and then from 3 pm to 11 pm, I was busy with Gajar. I worked with two of the best colourists in business. One was Tushar Jadhav, who was the youngest of the lot and Naikji, who was the senior most in the company. Working with Naiksaab was a privilege since he brought his 30 years of experience with negative on my work. My only confusion was how to transfer the negative, from pixel to a grain. Naiksaab is a unique blend of technical talent and an advisor with a great creative eye. The most interesting part was that he could approach two diﬀerent projects in two diﬀerent ways. He understood my point of view with great ease. In fact, it’s him who has made this possible. I have to add the contribution of the VFX department. These are the people who help you achieve the targets not in a taskmaster way but in a friendlier creative way. Their helping hand make you feel that you have met your friends forever. Special mention for Salil and Mehruz.
What are your favourite ﬁlms of recent times in terms of camerawork? I don’t see ﬁlms very often. Out of the few I have seen, I think Avatar, Jaane Bhi Do yaaron and Udaan had very interesting camerawork. And they are brilliant ﬁlms too.
What are the ﬁlms you are working on now? Amole sir has already started his next ﬁlm. I am also shooting Ranjit Kapoor’s next which is a period ﬁlm based in Mussoorie. The third one is a Marathi ﬁlm about kickboxing directed by Nikhil Hazare. >> 2011 >> 05
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Every Woman’s Envy The birth of the ﬁrst ﬁlm and the perils of a female director, Barnali Ray Shukla tells all to Rupa Majumder
hey say, it’s a man’s world and being a woman is not so easy. No wonder, female directors are very less all over the world and Hindi ﬁlm industry is no exception. When Kucch Luv Jaisaa released, the reason to celebrate was the addition of
another female director in that endangered species list. Barnali Ray Shukla is the woman in question who struggled her way up to the director’s chair. Excerpts from an interview:
There are very few ﬁlmmakers in the
country who are female. Might be a clichéd question to start with, but how does it feel to be a part of such an exclusive club? Honestly I love this cliché, the exclusivity is fabulous! I feel like the chosen one.
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How did the idea of Kucch Luv Jaisaa originate? I ﬁnd it intriguing that how sometimes it’s so much easy to be yourself when you are with a total stranger. They say, ‘Love may be unconditional but relationships are not’. And that’s where all this started...
Tell us about the long drawn story of struggle behind this ﬁnished product? I was an assistant director on a TV show which Anurag Kashyap was writing. At the same time, he was also co-writing Satya. Since that was my ﬁrst job and I was diligently at it. One ﬁne day, Anurag was insisting that after working as an intern in a TV production house, I should meet Ram Gopal Verma. RGV was setting out to make Satya and was looking for assistants.That’s how I became one of the very few fortunate assistants on that ﬁlm, an eﬀort which got all of us eyeballs and accolades. By the way, Imdb calls me the Kucch Luv Jaisaa second unit director on Satya.Post that, it was doing my own shows for small screen, as a writer, producer, director which in a way Behl, Planman Motion Pictures, Fisheye Network and also ideated for Ekta Kapoor. was a preparation for my ambition to make In 2008, destiny agreed to relent, and there a ﬁlm one day. In that incessant phase of was no looking back. I was all set for a debut. writing my script and paying my bills, I met some very wonderful people on the way. I wrote a show for Srishti Arya and Goldie Does this story of a gangster and bored
housewife have any resemblance to characters in real life? All characters are usually taken from life, maybe not from just one person unless you are making a biopic or a true story. Good ﬁction is when it ‘appears’ as if everything is really happening out there. Madhu’s life is the universal urban housewife today. She is the married woman next door who wants to reclaim her life, within her set of values. Raghav, the criminal on the run can be is anyone of us who has had enough of living life on the edge. You can run away from it all but not yourself, that’s Raghav.
Were Rahul and Shefali always the ﬁrst choice? Don’t you think so?
The ﬁlm was essentially a romance, though a little oﬀ-track. Pardon me if we are drifting towards generalisation, but does being a woman is equal to romantic plots? Yes, it was essentially an oﬀ-beat romance. Choice of genre didn’t really stem from the fact that I am a woman. But yes, being a woman made it an intricate & a personal experience. I know for sure that I want to
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You have assisted many prominent ﬁlmmakers in the industry including Ram Gopal Verma among others. What have you learnt from those craftsmen of cinema? By the last schedule of Satya, RGV gave me the most helpful tip which I happily preach now. “If you want to become a director, don’t assist in more than a ﬁlm or two”. The bug to become a director had become a monster by then.
How diﬃcult/easy is to be a female ﬁlmmaker in a male dominated industry? Honestly, the people I was associated with on my debut ﬁlm, Kucch Luv Jaisaa, didn’t for once make any discrimination. I think if you hold your own, you will be taken seriously.
What all ﬁlms have inspired you as a ﬁlmmaker?
make an action ﬁlm next, maybe with a bit of romance
Tell us one whacky anecdote from the shooting of the ﬁlm.
from an all new career which entire India once hankered for. Bottom line is I always wanted to tell stories. But I would be lying if I say that I knew I would direct ﬁlms one day.
My all time favourites would include No Man’s Land, The Shawshank Redemption, Babel, JFK, Do Bigha Zameen, Goopy Gyne, Bagha Byne, Lagaan, Ishqiya, Chak De India and Satya.
My leading lady during our shoot had multiple-personality-disorder! So each day when I got to the sets I didn’t know who was reporting to work - an irate wife, a harrowed mother, a brilliant singer, a mad schoolgirl, a brilliant cook or a blooming writer. That was thrilling and adventurous for both me & her co-actor Rahul (Bose).
My personal favourites would be Coen Brothers , Alejandro González Iñárritu , Sean Penn , Bimal Roy , Manoj Kumar , Vijay Anand and Raj Kumar Hirani.
How did you develop your interest in ﬁlms?
Who all are the actors you wish to collaborate on creative ground?
The interest came from my understanding of the impact ﬁlms have on us. To tell a story and to tell a story well, what better medium than ﬁlms? And here I have to add that when you start making it, you encounter the 391 other factors why and how ﬁlms are made.
What kind of stories fascinates you as a ﬁlmmaker? Right now, I am on the lookout for one.
Ranbir Kapoor is the ﬁrst name that comes to my mind. Then Aamir Khan and Ajay Devgan. I totally admire what Vidya Balan is doing; I like her spunk and selection of ﬁlms. And there is something about Kareena (Kapoor).
How did your journey into the world of ﬁlmmaking start?
How was the experience of working with Reliance MediaWorks?
The struggle would have been shorter, if I wasn’t good student. I had topped the Delhi University in M.Sc (Botany). Being good in academics was bad for me or else I would have answered the ‘calling’ much earlier. I actually decided to bunk the viva-voce of the UPSC exams when I was just a week away
Wonderful! I couldn’t have asked for a better team - very talented, focused and super cool.
What are you working on after Kucch Luv Jaisaa? An action - comedy and another one is a unlove story for the youngistan.
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Making of a New Cult Mahesh Ngangom talks to Sudhir K Chaudhary about the phenomenon called Pyaar Ka Punchnama and excitement of ﬁlmmaking
hile many big ﬁlms gave a thunderous opening at the box oﬃce, there were many smaller
ones too making their cut at the box oﬃce. And out of those glorious small in budget but powerful in content, Pyaar Ka Punchnama stood as a glorious example of idea winning over star-mania. The story of three seemingly diﬀerent men in three diﬀerent kinds of relationships captured the nation’s fancy with its take on women and relationship. A completely new viewpoint to the world of men, Pyaar Ka Punchnama hit the jackpot and became a hit with great word of mouth working in its favour. Like everybody associated with the project, Sudhir K Chaudhary, the director of photography is in cloud nine. Why not? It’s just his ﬁrst project which has set the cash register ringing. While the conversation starts, Sudhir is reminded of the days when he and Luv
Ranajn, the director of the ﬁlm became friends. “We have been friends since 2003 since we were put up together. We shared the same apartment and interestingly we had the same kind of interests. It was like we were on the same plane. It was during that time that he narrated me a script which he was planning to direct. But when he got a producer, he was told that that particular ﬁlm should be his next and he should tell him another idea instead. And that’s when the seeds of Pyaar Ka Punchnama came into existence. And then the ﬁlm started its journey. “When we started, it was without any expectations. We knew that the script was strong and we had our faith in the narrative. Somewhere down the line, we knew that it would click. Big names can ﬁzzle out with
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zero content but a strong content with zero stars can work wonders if it stays true to its belief. “ Tthough he has found his footing in the diﬃcult industry called Bollywood, the journey has been quite a topsy-turvy one. While he was in college, bunking was a normal idea since he was hardly interested. While most of his peers never used to endorse this idea, the boy decided to sway on his own. “I was more of a self-learner since my college days. I have always been interested in photography and animation. So I used to be busy in exploring a brave new world until one day when my professor caught me. He scolded me and then we had a hour-long conversation. And that became probably the single-most important conversation in my life. He probed me and got to know about my interest and in a way guided me in the labyrinth. That’s how my interest in photography grew manifold. “ Eventually, Sudhir joined the Film institute of Tamil Nadu. “Like everybody interested in the craft of cinema, I was
Like everybody interested in the craft of cinema, I was very keen on the idea of joining Film and Television Institute of India (FTII). Since I am from Delhi, it was natural choice. I tried in 1999-2000 session, but there was some issue. I did not want to miss out and joined Film institute of Tamil Nadu instead.
very keen on the idea of joining Film and Television Institute of India (FTII). Since I am from Delhi, it was natural choice. I tried in 1999-2000 session, but there was some issue. I did not want to miss out and joined Film institute of Tamil Nadu instead.” And it was a choice he is most proud of. “I had a great time in the institute and when I came out of it with ﬂying colours; I got a chance to work with none other than Ashok Mehta. I worked with him for two years and moved on to corporate ﬁlms.” At a stunning locale in Brazil in the middle of a New Mexico desert where amidst the desertscape, we found beautiful lagoons in aquamarine colour. To reach the place we had to travel on the Amazon River for twoand-a-half hours in the forest and two hours in a jeep, trees, boat, it was like watching Anaconda! “For one song, we brought in truckloads of lights and these were coded to the computer and programmed, so we could repeat the same light scheme, this is the ﬁrst time it’s been done in India. There is a slight shift in
Pyaar Ka Punchnama
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colour temperature but it’s time saving. Interestingly, Pyaar Ka Punchnama is Sudhir’s ﬁrst Hindi ﬁlm. “I got my ﬁrst break in a Tamil ﬁlm called Thiru Thiru Thuru Thuru. It was one of the earliest Indian ﬁlms to be shot on digital camera. But I was very clear from the very ﬁrst day that I want to work in Hindi ﬁlm industry. I moved to Mumbai and assisted on many big budget productions like Kisna, No Entry, Family and Waqt etc.” But then there was a lot of learning and unlearning happened too. “In the ﬁlm school, the foundation of my understanding of the process of ﬁlmmaking was laid. But as soon as you start working, things change since there is a huge diﬀerence between theory and practise. You leave aside those learnt techniques and try to create your own learning curve, a curve through which you can see yourself growing with every single shot. I learnt and unlearnt a lot, but I will always be indebted to my ﬁlm school. And yes, I have to mention my guru’s name. He is Ashok Mehta and I do owe a lot to him,” he says.
He further adds, “It was a romantic comedy no doubt but we were very clear that we didn’t want it to look like another romcom. Be it the actors, the dialogues, Luv told me that we should bring realism to the fore. In the second half, there was a lot of scope as far as the colour palette was concerned. I have been told by many that the ﬁlm has catered to the visual requirement and it has something unique to say.” When you ask about the cinematographers he admire, he has many names to mention. “I admire the works of Binod Pradhan, Ravi K Chandran, Apurba Kishore Bir, Tassaduq Hussain from the Indian cinematographers. From the western counterparts, I like the works of Roger Deakins, Vittorio Storaro, Robert Richardson among others. I went mad when I saw The Diving Bell and the Butterﬂy; Janusz Kamiński has done a fabulous job with his camera. And special mention for Christopher Doyle who can create magic out of those ordinary situations. “ Given a chance, Sudhir says that he would love to shoot or re-shoot Anurag Kashyap’s Black Friday. “Not only Kashayp’s brilliant
piece, I would also love to work with my camera for scripts like Raavan, Kaminey or Omkara. They were such visual treats.” Pyaar Ka Punchnama did not have any stars. How diﬃcult or easy is the job of working with new talents? “I think it’s easier comparatively. Because when you are shooting, you can convince them to work in a certain way and they also act ﬂexible since it’s their ﬁrst job. With established actors, talking about focus or ﬂat lighting might lead to issues, but with newcomers it never leads to such a situation. Improvising or suggesting changes in a scene is easier. So at the end of the day, I had a great time working on the ﬁlm.” While conversation ﬂows, Sudhir shares his experience of working with Reliance MediaWorks. “It was more than a great. When I started working on the ﬁlm, I didn’t want to shoot it on red. Kumarji (Mangat) needed a bit convincing and then do a test. That’s when RMW came into the picture. Salil and Nilesh were of great help. Be it the colour correction or any other thing, I was never treated like a newcomers. They went out of their way to ensure the best quality output possible,” he asserts. What’s next? “I am doing Luv Ranjan’s next ﬁlm which was supposed to be his ﬁrst ﬁlm. We might start shooting from September in Manali. There’s another I am planning to work on, but it’s yet to be ﬁnalised. So I won’t be able to talk about it right now,” he signs out. >> 2011 >> 11
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From School To The Sets Sunny Bhambhani
indi cinema is going through a beautiful transition, a process that has led to the surge of fresh blood in the stream of ﬁlmmaking. Love Express, one of the recent releases was special because it was created by the students of Whistling Woods International ﬁlm school. Debutant director Sunny Bhambhani is a proud young man and we managed to catch up with the director amidst his busy schedules.
Excerpts from an interview: How did the idea of Love Express come to your mind? A friend of mine from Delhi told me this story about a family who hired an entire train from Delhi to Jaipur for a marriage function. I was intrigued with the possibility of, the marriage, the procession and the story. I believe in real experiences, fantasy space around them. Since it’s your ﬁrst ﬁlm, the process of putting the ﬁlm must not have been easy. Tell us a bit more. Cinema is aspirational. We all from the
Debutant director Sunny Bhambhani recounts the struggle and joy of completing his debut venture with Varun Verma school of Whistling Woods got together and decided to make a ﬁlm. All of us were newcomers and there was a budgetary constraint too. But the passion worked in our favour.
Was Whistling Woods your foray into the world of ﬁlms? Or it started much before that? Before Whistling Woods, I was writing for independent produces and worked on ﬁlms like Ashayein.
Then why did you decide to join a ﬁlm school whereas you could have learnt on the job? There are school of thoughts as far as ﬁlmmaking goes – one learning on the job and the other where you go to a formal educational set-up to get into training. I agree to both the viewpoints to a certain extent. Working and learning simultaneously deﬁnitely makes you understand nuances quicker, but when you are in a ﬁlm school, they make you understand the basis of the craft very well. When I am being taught in a
ﬁlm school, I understand the entire process of ﬁlmmaking which will enable to move into other aspects of production if I don’t like certain area.
Tell us about the shooting experience of your ﬁrst ﬁlm. The process of putting up and pitching the idea was great since it was greenlit without much hassle. We shot for 40 days at Film City (Goregaon). There was a train set built since most of the shooting was inside, barring a couple of outdoor shots.
How did you decide on the casting? For the actors, I was very sure that we were going to cast actors from our institute only. Since the story has so many character that too played by newcomers, the challenge was to stand out as much as possible remaining within their space. The lead Sahil Mehta belongs to the ﬁrst batch of actors. He also acted in one of my diploma ﬁlms. Since we have worked earlier, we knew each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Here I have to mention Subhash
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buckets. I also admire the style of Wong Kar-wai.
What kind of stories attracts you as a ﬁlmmaker?
weaknesses. Here I have to mention Subhash Ghai’s contribution. Having a worked with newcomers and stars for multiple decades, he has a great knowledge about casting. Now when I look back, I must admit that the ﬁlm had a great cast since the roles were given well and to the right actors.
But you had a veteran with you in Om Puri. In the ﬁlm, every single actor was new. So for Dadaji’s role, we wanted to cast someone important and known. Subhash Ghai suggested that Om Puri being a very senior actor would be someone who would help the ﬁlm. And surprisingly when I approached him for the role, he gave me respect like any actor would give to his director in any professional space. In fact, on the very ﬁrst day, we were under clear anxiety since it was for the ﬁrst time we were shooting with him and we shouldn’t go wrong. He, on the other hand was very impromptu and caught the pulse of the character. Sometimes I used to not say cut because he used to go on with the scene so beautifully that I didnt’ want to obstruct the ﬂow of it. I will always feel the sense of gratitude since he gave me the honour of working with him.
What are your cinematic inﬂuences? From our ﬁlms, I have largely been inspired by the ﬁlms of Yash Chopra, Guru Dutt , Raj Kapoor and none other than Subhash Ghai. I loved Ghai’s Taal immensely and it has impacted my understanding of nuances a lot. From outside, I am huge fan Chinese director Zhang Yimou and especially his ﬁlm The Road Home which made me cry
I believe in simple ﬁlms which have a heart at the right place. To put it in simplest terms, I would say something similar to Majid Majid kind of stories. In simple narratives, life aﬃrming stories are so beautifully portrayed and as a ﬁlmmaker, that’s the kind of stories fascinates me.
I believe in real experiences, fantasy space around them. life affirming stories are so beautifully portrayed and as a filmmaker, that’s the kind of stories fascinates me. Given a chance, which ﬁlms would you like to remake from bouquet of released ﬁlms so far? The ﬁrst name that comes to my mind is Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay’s Devdas. I know the ﬁlm has been made in multiple versions, but I still feel there is a lot to explore, many point of views to decipher. The second has to be Yimou’s The Road Home. The idea of waiting in love has been expressed very beautifully, and I would like to add my interpretation to the game.
with them has just grown stronger with time. And I have to add that they are very prompt in meeting deadline. The ﬁlm was shot in 5D and a few portions in 16mm. When I spoke to them about it, they were pretty much conﬁdent about the ﬁnal outcome. In fact, they used to give their valuable input regarding the shot-taking and in a way, were concerned about the well-being of the project. When we sat down with the rushes, they oﬀered priceless suggestions regarding background. We could have been stuck in the post-production for long, but their active participation and co-operations has made the ﬁnal outcome so beautiful. All these expertise comes from experience and they are very much updated with the latest technology. Special mention for their hospitality too.
What’s next? Right now, I am taking a break.
I mean, after the break. What about your next ﬁlm? I am planning to make a romantic ﬁlm next and the work will start from August. As of now, I have a couple of stories, but yet to zero down one. I am meeting people, let’s see.
Romantic ﬁlm? The trend is otherwise though in Bollywood. I am very emotional person and love stories like Taal, Dil To Pagal Hai, Before Sunrise and Before Sunset intrigue me a lot for their wholesome approach towards entertainment. These are the kind of ﬁlms that make you feel warmth in your heart, irrespective of the milieu it represents. So there.
What has been experience of working with Reliance MediaWorks? The best part of RMW is that they respect everyone, whether you are a veteran or a ﬁrst-time ﬁlmmaker. Thanks to my Whistling Woods days, I have spent much of my time here, and my association
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Painting Cinema Amrita Lal Majumder talks to K N Naik, DI Colourist with Reliance Media Works
he interest in colours was always there. It just needed a chance to ﬂourish itself on the canvas. The veteran of the industry talks about working on countless shades to create magic on the celluloid that gives billion dreams to the cinema of the subcontinent...
Tell us about your background. How did your foray into ﬁlm world happened? After ﬁnishing my graduation in chemistry, I started working as a chemist. Then I developed my interest in colour grading. Since I had a lot of spare time in hand, I started learning colour correction and grading. Though it started just as a curiosity, very soon it was taking the shape of my profession. They needed a person to work with them and I volunteered. That’s how I walked into the section and sat with the professionals to learn the nitty-gritty of the art. The bit by bit learning got me hooked and I got carried away to a world where you can colour your way to glory.
Out of all the ﬁlms you have worked for so many years, which are the ones that makes you glow as an artiste?
Parinda is the ﬁrst name that comes to my mind. In terms of cinematography, it was simply outstanding. It was kind of a landmark of its times. And I feel happy that I was one of the few people to realise their eﬀorts and interpret their ideas in the print. I feel my contribution is signiﬁcant in the ﬁlm. Devdas is the second name for obvious reasons. Both Parinda and Devdas had the same DoP in Binod Pradhan. The ﬁlm was grand with vibrant colours and it had a very diﬀerent tone. Even during the post production, digital section wasn’t there. We had to work with minimum technical help and still we managed to give such brilliant result. The third ﬁlm will be Main Hoon Na. It had V. Manikandan as the cinematographer and Farah Khan was making her debut as a director. It was a
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refreshing change and I had a great time working on the ﬁlm. And it was appreciated from all corners.
You recently worked on Stanley Ka Dabba. The ﬁlm has been widely talked about since it was shot in 5D, something very new in the practise of mainstream ﬁlmmaking. Stanley Ka Dabba was a unique experience for us. It was shot in 5D without any help of artiﬁcial light. Since everything was digital, we were a little apprehensive initially about it turning up as a good end product. Even during diﬀerent stages of testing, we were not very conﬁdent since it was shot with minimal budget in digital. But thankfully, the transfer was quite wonderful despite no use of ﬁlm while shooting. The team of Stanley was a great one since director Amole Gupte, cinematographer Amol Gole and Amole’s wife Deepa was editing the ﬁlm worked like a family. Usually in a ﬁlm, there is a lot of confusion owing to the fact that the cinematographer wants it in some way, the colourist wants in another and the director moves to a complete new direction. But this was such an exception since all four of us (including editor Deepa Bhatia) had the same goal. We all worked towards that and the end result was nothing short of spectacular. We all were satisﬁed with the eﬀort and the outcome. I have worked on big ﬁlms like Rajneeti which had a massive budget and shot on ﬁlm, but a ﬁlm like Stanley Ka Dabba which was completely out of the ﬁlm format, gave me more satisfaction. I felt I achieved a new ground. And when the ﬁlm got appreciation from all the critics nationwide, the feeling can’t be described in words.
What is the next ﬁlm you are working on? We are considering a few ﬁlms. Things are yet to be ﬁnal.
What is your daily routine like? We work in shifts. So it’s either 7am – 3pm or after 3pm - 11pm. When I enter the studio, I just want to work with good people, with whom I can ﬁnd satisfaction as a team player and have a contended day.
When I enter the studio, I just want to work with good people, with whom I can find satisfaction as a team player and have a contended day. How many ﬁlms do you watch in your spare time? I don’t feel like watching ﬁlms nowadays. I somehow lost interest in ﬁlms thanks to the kind of movies we are making. Also I end up watching a lot of ﬁlms in the lab by default. At the end of it, no exciting ﬁlm remains that can entice me to theatres.
Any of the recent ﬁlms you wished you had worked upon? I think I should have worked on the two Salman Khan ﬁlms like Ready and Dabangg. I think Dabangg was a brilliant ﬁlm and it deserved better. I would have given far better results than what they have achieved in that ﬁlm.
Since you have been in the industry,
everybody refers to you as ‘Naikji’. I have been working here since 1984. It’s been more than two decades in this industry and I have worked with almost all the DoPs active in the industry right now. They call me Naikji be default since I am bald and so senior. But I think the respect should be for my work not for my age. This is not a big deal for me anyway.
What advice would you give to the newer breed of aspirants in this ﬁeld? DI Colourist is a highly paid job. And now most of the aspirants want to get into it only because of money. Even the ones who are working now are always on high demand and they get calls from other studios with fat paycheques thanks to fewer trained colourists. The kinds of oﬀers they get are completely unreasonable. As a result, everybody is busy studio hopping which I think is a disturbing trend since its hardly contributing to the quality of the ﬁlm. If you have passion for colour and interested in the medium of cinema, then only one should get into this profession. If your dream is not about getting the print glow on screen as the ﬁnal product, this is not the right career choice for you. So choose wisely. I started my career here and I haven’t left it yet. I am content with the company and the work I do. I want nothing else.
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Reliance MediaWorks oﬀers
3D Conversion service to Indian advertisers
In 2010 the OOH industry grew by 12 per cent, that is, from INR 12.5 billion to INR 14.0 billion and in 2011 OOH media is expected to yield phenomenal growth due to increase in advertising growth. With the increased consumption of 3D ﬁlms in the country, In-cinema 3D advertising has the potential to capture a signiﬁcant share of the OOH pie in India.
eliance MediaWorks Ltd now oﬀers 3D Conversion services to Indian advertisers. The ﬁrst advertisement to be converted into 3D by Reliance MediaWorks is for Reliance Netconnect’s ‘It’s Fast. Are You?’ campaign, which includes 3 action-packed ﬁlms that feature a ﬂaming car, an elephant chase and a charging train. The ﬁlms have been scripted and shot by Grey India keeping the 3D format into consideration and are being screened across BIG Cinemas from 26th August Commenting on the development, Anil Arjun, CEO of Reliance MediaWorks said,
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There are over 230 3D cinema screens in India and they offer an engaged and seated audience with a leisure mindset “There are over 230 3D cinema screens in India and they oﬀer an engaged and seated audience with a leisure mindset. By using our hi-end 3D conversion services, advertisers can oﬀer an immersive, fun and innovative experience to this captured audience, which will help strengthen the brand recall. With technology advancements in 3D televisions, in the near future we will also witness 3D advertising reaching home entertainment.” Reliance MediaWorks currently operates one of the largest Stereoscopic 2D to 3D Conversion services facilities in India at Navi Mumbai and has a dedicated team of 400 artists. The company has recently completed VFX and 3D Conversion work for the remake of Conan the Barbarian and has also provided 3D solutions for Avatar, Journey to the Center of the Earth, U2, X Games 3D: The Movie and Step Up, among others. As per the PWC report, in 2010 the OOH industry grew by 12 per cent, that is, from INR 12.5 billion to INR 14.0 billion and in 2011 OOH media is expected to yield phenomenal growth due to increase in advertising growth. With the increased consumption of 3D ﬁlms in the country, In-cinema 3D advertising has the potential to capture a signiﬁcant share of the OOH pie in India. The company’s bouquet of 3D services includes stereoscopic 2D to 3D Conversion, 3D services for any type of 3D alignment issues, image and detail enhancements, grain and noise management and on-set consulting, DI grading for 3D, creation and handling of 3D DCPs and 3D camera services.
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Reliance MediaWorks Partners with
eliance MediaWorks Ltd, one of the leading global providers of creative post production services which includes cutting edge solutions for 3D Conversion, VFX and Animation has partnered with Los Angeles-based digital production studio Digital Domain Productions to create visual eﬀects and 3D Stereo Production services studios in Mumbai, India and London, UK that will cater to motion pictures, television, commercial, and stereo 3D conversion for
catalogue projects from August 2011 in phases.
We are excited about visual effects and 3D entertainment opportunity. Reliance MediaWorks has the scale, technological expertise and highly trained artists which can be combined with Digital Domain’s pedigree, proprietary tools and ability to create visual effects that challenge imagination, to offer comprehensive and seamless VFX and stereo 3D conversion solutions to global clients.”
Reliance MediaWorks oﬀers a full array of visual eﬀects and stereo 3D conversion services with an existing team of more than 500 artists. The company will set up a new studio at its Media BPO in Navi Mumbai and deploy there an additional team of up to 650 artists available for projects allied with Digital Domain. In London, Digital Domain will co-locate a visual eﬀects team within Reliance MediaWorks’ UK facility. Reliance MediaWorks studios in both Mumbai and London will connect to Digital Domain’s L.A. facility through Reliance MediaWorks’ ﬁbre optic network that can support seamless high-speed exchange of data. Digital Domain recently completed visual eﬀects work on Transformers: Dark of the Moon and its feature ﬁlm work currently in production includes Real Steel, Jack the Giant Killer and 47 Ronin. Building upon its parent company Digital Domain Media Group’s recent acquisition of 2D-to-3D conversion company In-Three, partnering with Reliance MediaWorks enables Digital Domain to expand its visual eﬀects and stereo 3D
conversion services to existing and new clients around the world. “Filmmaking has become a global enterprise,” noted Cliﬀ Plumer, CEO of Digital Domain Productions, “and a partnership with Reliance MediaWorks will allow our clients to realize the beneﬁts of a digital production pipeline that makes eﬃcient use of resources and talent located around the world. By expanding Digital Domain’s presence worldwide, we are able to further strengthen our business capabilities in California and abroad.” Mr. Anil Arjun, CEO of Reliance MediaWorks, said, “We are very excited about visual eﬀects and 3D entertainment opportunity. Reliance MediaWorks has the scale, technological expertise and highly trained artists which can be combined with Digital Domain’s pedigree, proprietary tools and ability to create visual eﬀects that challenge imagination, to oﬀer comprehensive and seamless VFX and stereo 3D conversion solutions to global clients.”
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Reliance MediaWorks Limited, Film City Complex, Goregaon (East), Mumbai - 400 065. Tel: + 91 22 30891770 Fax: + 91 22 30891783 Film Post Services
Reliance MediaWorks Limited, No. 9A, Kumaran Colony Main Road, Vadapalani, Chennai - 600 026. Tel: + 91 44 2362 1049 / 3483 Fax: + 91 44 2362 1050
Reliance MediaWorks Limited, Plot No. 12, Block AQ - Sector IV & V, Salt Lake City, Kolkata - 700 091 Tel: + 91 33 3293 4229 / 4234 Fax: + 91 33 2367 5212
Production Services email@example.com
Creative Services firstname.lastname@example.org
Media Services email@example.com
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Reliance MediaWorks Studios Offers Hollywood benchmarked shooting infrastructure to Indian film makers
Reliance MediaWorks Studios, Film City Complex, Goregaon (East), Mumbai - 400 065. Tel: + 91 22 30891770
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Published on Oct 23, 2011