Cinematography Q&a With Dubai Based Indian Kenyan Cinematographer, Dop Rajeev Jain Ics Wica-zhuxianduowan

  • hanson
  • July 23, 2018
  • Home Products & Services
  • Comments Off on Cinematography Q&a With Dubai Based Indian Kenyan Cinematographer, Dop Rajeev Jain Ics Wica-zhuxianduowan

Cinematography Q&A With Dubai based Indian Kenyan Cinematographer, DOP :: Rajeev Jain ICS WICA Mumbai native Rajeev Jain is one of Bollywoods foremost cinematographers. His latest work on Manika Sharmas Kalpvriksh – The Wish Tree has garnered widespread critical acclaim, adding to his catalogue of successes. Here he talks about his craft and offers advice to aspiring cinematographers. Just back from the Afrikaans filming, Rajeevs other credits as cinematographer include Manika Sharma’s Ayyo Paaji !!; Carry on Pandu with Chandrakant Kulkarni; Jug Ibis’s Madera, for which he earned the Dubai Evening Standard Film Award for Best Technical/Artistic Achievement; and the action-adventure film Lame, for which he won the Afrikaans Film and Television Award for Best Cinematography. Other credits include: ‘Pyar Mein Kabhi Kabhi Kadachit; Army Badhaai Ho Badhaai; and Wanuri Kahius Rasstar. What inspired you to become a cinematographer? I started out in stills photography, I had an interest in taking photographs from a fairly early age. When I was 18 I got my first stills camera and I had a little dark room in the house and sort of pursued that interest in a very solitary way. Things picked up pace after a while, I started getting into vhs video, mostly because of a still photographer in drama school, a man called Surendar Jijaji at the Bhartendu Natya Academy in Lucknow. He lent me a video camera, so the stills photography kind of evolved into moving pictures with his encouragement. That was hugely enjoyable, being in Mumbai unleashed a whole range of creative possibilities. I was influenced by lots of things I didnt have access to in Lucknow where I grew up cinemas, a panoply of galleries and art institutions, which I was able to get a lot of inspiration from. What was your first job in the industry? When I left Bhartendu Academy of Dramatic Arts, having shot a few things in academy and having all the confidence of being a student, I found it very depressing initially when I left, because try as I might I simply couldnt get a job. I did take a job but it was only obliquely related to cinematography – I became a runner / spot boy in a film. That was amazing actually because I got a chance to see lots, it further expanded my horizons. I kept plugging away trying to get other work. I stayed in Mumbai, I lived in Mumbai for twelve years. I live in Dubai; Mumbai & Nairobi, Kenya now. I just decided to stay on, I kept writing to people trying to get a job, eventually I got a job as a trainee on the film Parinda, that was one of the first paid jobs that I had. It was a small amount at the time but it was fantastic experience for me because I had all the theory and a little bit of practice at drama school, but to actually be on the set of a big budget film was incredible tuition for me. I met and learned a lot from the DOP Binod Pradhan and particularly from the focus puller and the grip about principles of photography and also from the loader. All these people taught me a lot about the nitty gritty and the etiquette of what its like to work on a real film set. Do you think its possible for someone to have a successful cinematography career if they stay in Mumbai or do you think its necessary to go abroad? I think things are very different now, the industry is expanding and also the possibilities for making films are expanding. The whole industry is becoming more democratic because people have access to cameras for instance. The digital revolution is really letting a lot of untold stories reach a bigger audience. That wasnt really available when I was starting out because it was a very closed, corralled industry and at that time if you had asked me, twenty years ago I would have said Yes of course you have to get the experience, wherever it is, be it in the Dubai or Kenya or wherever, but now I think that you can get that experience anywhere. The thing is to follow your inspiration, be that clubbing together with friends or scriptwriters. You can make films for a lot less now. The thing that gets people noticed is good ideas and good stories properly produced. What do you enjoy most about your work? Im so privileged to work in the industry, particularly in my job as a cinematographer, its really like working in my hobby. I think that whatever job you do, you have to love it in order for that to be reflected in the type and quality of work that you do. The thing I love most about it, I suppose, is the collaborative nature of my work. When I was a stills photographer, at that stage when I was starting out, I thought I was an artist. I had a couple of solo shows of work and it was a solitary pursuit, but whats lovely about filmmaking is that people make things with each other and each person, if their open enough to it, can embellish each others work. When all those ideas are filtered through a really good director or a really good team of people it really refines the input in the film and it ultimately makes films more powerful, and particularly from a photographic point of view, your photography is better when youve got that myriad of input that are properly refined and made more cohesive. What qualities, apart form formal training, do you think are important in a cinematographer? Cinematography, by its very nature, is a technical pursuit, and you really have to know the ins and outs of photography, but those are quite straightforward. Once the principals of photography are learned, the difficulty then, in terms of the quality of the cinematography, is basically forgetting about the technique not completely because you have to be able to expose the film properly – but to unleash the heart and the brain and to realise that youre interpreting a script and not just photographing for effect. The beautiful thing about cinematography is that when youre making a film its a sequence of images that all build up to create this overall feeling. It must have some sense of syntax, and thats something that I really enjoy doing, reading a script and thinking about how the build up of images produces meaning. The other thing thats very important to have is a certain amount of diplomacy and people skills, you cant be sort of a horned maverick marching through! Its good to have a strong personal vision, but it has to be achieved while working with other people, you have to bring it all through in a unified way. Can you describe a typical working day? Generally, it follows a particular sequence or programme, though every film is different. I just got back from Kampala where I was doing a film for Bernard Owing called The No.1 Uganda. It had quiet difficult working conditions because youre on the fringes of the wild and its very dusty and very hot. Its not like just driving out to Mehboob or Film city and having the luxury of a studio set. We usually start around six am and finished when the sun sets around six or seven. On this movie we didnt stop for lunch, we had running lunches. You just have to have this weird switch that keeps you going when you might otherwise want to jump on a plane and go home! Do you enjoy the travelling aspect of your job? I love travelling, its great though it does have repercussions on relationships with family and friends. Ive been very lucky in that my family have been able to come with me on films that Ive shot. They did come come out to Uganda on their summer. Youve got to be able to tolerate the loneliness and be able to enjoy the company of others that youre working with, and youll spend most of your time living out of a suitcase. The nice thing is that after a film is finished theres usually a fair bit of downtime where I have more sustained time at home, and thats something a lot of people dont have. Do most cinematographers work freelance? Most people who work on features work freelance, except for ones in TV, but even they are mostly freelance these days. You always have to go looking for the work, Ive got an agent but they dont go looking for work for you, they just negotiate for you. Sometimes people reach a certain stage in their careers where people come looking for them. I dont want to paint too bleak a picture of the industry, but you have to be persistent!! When I was starting out I got offered a lot of no and low budget films to shoot, you have to know that you should take those because some of those films were things that other directors saw. I got my first feature because of a short Buster saw and liked. Every creative project is worthwhile. He thought This guy has an interesting eye Ill give him a shot at this. He also needed a very cheap camera man. What cinematographers work do you admire? So many, I love K K Mahajan, the Indian cinematographer. Subroto Mitra, used to shoot a lot of Satyajit Ray’s films. I like Binod Pradhan, Santosh Sivan. Indian ones – Ashok Mehta, his work I greatly admire. Its amazing there are some great cameramen coming out of Mumbai. Ravi K Chandran is one of my favourite Indian cameramen, his work has got an adventurous and experimental energy that I really admire. What advice would you give to someone starting out as a cinematographer? Firstly, when youve been at college, although we all want to get a career going, the important thing is using your eyes and brain and do things that inspire you and to keep being inspired by light and photography and images, ultimately that will evolve and flourish in your work, because if you simply use all your energy trying to kick start a career without thinking about the art then you may be successful but it wont have a spark. There are lots of people who can do the job, but there are fewer people who can bring something special to it. Its instinctive, a lot of the time, but its also something that you can hone and develop through looking and thinking. For further reading : ..rajeevjain../ Tags: Bollywood; Cameraman; Cinematographer; Director of Photography; Dubai; India; Kenya; Mumbai; Videographer About the Author: Christine is a Delhi-based cinematographer and author. She teaches cinematography and advanced film production at Asian Academy of Film and Television, New Delhi, as well as a course through the Extension entitled, Cinematography for Directors. She has shot numerous short films, independent feature films and documentaries that have screened in film festivals around the world. She has also taken on the role of producer, director, and editor on many projects. Article Published On: 相关的主题文章: