A Conversation With Indian Cinematographer, Dop Rajiv Jain, Ics Wica;-www.replays.net

A Conversation with Indian Cinematographer, DOP Rajiv Jain, ICS WICA; by David Henry Hwang I have watched movies since I was 7 or 8 years old. I saw re-runs of Pather Panchali,Aparajito and Parash Pathar which made an especially deep impression on me. It was like being in another world. I have collaborated with directors from countries around the world. The language of cinematography is the same everywhere. We use light like artists control brushes when they are creating paintings. There are always new things happening that we can experiment with and use in different ways. Movies are entertainment, but they are also how we learn about other people in different times and places around the world. Rajiv Jain, ICS WICA has earned 200 commercials, 8 narrative film credits in collaboration with directors from around the world, including Army, Pyar Mein Kabhi Kabhi, Badhai Ho Badhai, Meera Bai Not Out,Kadachit, Carry on Pandu,Kalpvriksh – The Wishing Tree, Ayyo Paji and the first two instalments of Trimurti, Gupt and Chalte Chalte. He has received awards and nominations for artful cinematography, and is a founder Indian Cinematographers Society. QUESTION: Where were you born and raised? RAJEEV: I was born and brought up in Lucknow. Its an extremely busy city. I imagine it would be the same experience as growing up in a city like Mumbai or Delhi. QUESTION: Was your family in the film industry? RAJEEV: No. QUESTION: Were you a movie fan when you were a child? RAJEEV: Yes. Ive loved seeing movies on big screens since I was 7 or 8 years old. I didnt have enough pocket money to see first-run movies, but for 15 cents I could see old foreign movies re-run in theatres. I was too young to understand the dialogue as well as the English subtitles, but I was totally hooked by the fantasy trip in a dark enclosure. It has indulged me since then. QUESTION: Can you name some of the films that impressed you? RAJEEV: I remember seeing re-runs of Jalsaghar, Apur Sansar, and Devi. Teen Kanya also impressed me profoundly. QUESTION: How did you get into the business? RAJEEV: My distant related uncle was working at the largest, still studio in Lucknow, when I was a kid. He often took me to his work place, showing me all types of still cameras and teaching me. At the age of 20 he put me on the film crew to work as a apprentice, trainee and clapper/loader so that I could earn extra pocket money. I took all these casually and giddily. I was entirely numb struck by enthusiasm and systematic proceeding of all departments. QUESTION: What did you learn by watching them work? RAJEEV: A lot team spirit, knowledge, professionalism. I remember when they shot with sync sound; every soul on the set was working swiftly and quietly almost like tiptoeing. When a good take was done, everybody cheered and applauded wholeheartedly. I also learned how to light. It was a totally different system. Lighting in Mumbai in that era was influenced by the American system where the camera and lighting departments were totally separate. When I first became a cinematographer, I could only manage all aspects of camera-related work. Lighting was handled entirely by the gaffer. In order to get better results, I had to buy my gaffers dinner with good drink and discuss with them what I thought the lighting should be like in different scenes. Occasionally they would follow my advice. I believed that as a cinematographer, I should control lighting like a painter controls his paint brush. Once I had read an article quoting a cinematographer describing that his work was to paint with light; I entirely agree. QUESTION: How old were you when you began working as a cinematographer? RAJEEV: I became a cinematographer when I was 30 years old. QUESTION: How did you become a cinematographer so early in your career? RAJEEV: I first started working as a focus puller for a year and did 10 productions. At that time, there was a group of young professionals who had studied abroad and returned to work back home. One of them had made a movie, Parinda, which became a blockbuster. One day while I was having lunch in the canteen, a director approached me and asked what I thought made that movie a big hit. I told him that I liked the way the director and DOP manipulated the light; he used soft lighting which built a natural and realistic look instead of a staged drama. A week later, someone came and told me that the newly acquainted director wanted me to be his cameraman on his upcoming project. I went to him and explained that I have never learned to be one, but he insisted that since he was a cameraman himself, he could help to train me. I still remember vividly my first day of shooting; I had to manage a triple exposure in a scene with the same actor playing three different roles. We covered part of the lens, and exposed part of the frame. Then, we rewound the film and did it again two more times. QUESTION: You also directed some plays early on. RAJEEV: I directed my first play ( drama / theatre ) when I was only 15 years old. An older director encouraged me. He told me that he was only 14 when he directed his first play. I also wrote the play. It was a comedy play. That was an interesting experience, but I remember thinking that I felt better about being a cameraman. QUESTION: Looking back on that experience, did it help you as a cinematographer? RAJEEV: Yes. My early experiences as a play director gave me a better understanding of the difference of the visual momentum between art movies and drama. When working on a film, I have to decide whether the camera movement is telling the story or to emphasize the actors emotional transformation. Fortunately, I was an addicted filmgoer from a young age, and seeing films like Kanchanjungha and Abhijan has helped. There is a long list of films that influenced me. QUESTION: What was the next step in your career? RAJEEV: During the late 1990s, a group of young directors emerged who had studied abroad. We called them the New Wave. They collaborated much closer with cinematographers, production designers and heads of different departments. They discussed everything from the use of colours on sets, costumes to the style of make up, and how that worked with lighting. QUESTION: Werent art movies in vogue in Mumbai during that period? RAJEEV: Yes, Art movies were very popular in India back in the 1990s. I was the cinematographer on various Art movies, during that period. QUESTION: Was shooting all of the action in those bollywood films challenging? RAJEEV: In action movies, there are in fact three types of action. First is the Hand Fighting action; the camera captures every physical movement of the actor and his rival. Second is the stunt action, including physical and car stunts. Third is the wire work, which was used frequently in periodic stories. Sometimes we did 20 takes or more in fight sequences until the action felt perfect. QUESTION: We understand that you are one of the founders of the Indian Cinematographers Society (ICS). Why and how was that organization founded? RAJEEV: Yes, I was one of the founders. The society was founded in 2008 after two years of research about what our mission should be. A member of the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) who was working in Mumbai gave us advice and guidance. We organized seminars and workshops, and arranged for famous cinematographers to come to Mumbai and share their knowledge and insights with our members. QUESTION: We notice that you have shot films in many different countries. RAJEEV: I have shot films in at least 32 cities and other locations in different countries. I learned that no matter what language is being spoken, the cinematography terms are very much the same. All I have to do on arrival is learn to speak these terms up, down, left, right, far, close, high, low, fast, slow, spot and flood in their dialect and thats it. We can work together like fishes in the pond. QUESTION: You have shot around 2000 commercials, 10 movie credits and have earned best cinematography awards and many other nominations from your peers at various festivals. However cinematography seems to be your main passion. Can you tell us about one of your recent cinematography ventures in 2010, KALPVRIKSH (THE WISH TREE) : YOUR DREAMS .. ARE JUST A TOUCH AWAY …? RAJEEV: Kalpvriksh is directed by Manika Sharma. It is a story about 2000 year old Tree, The story revolves around villagers who turned against one another. The film was produced at different locations in India. We shot scenes with as many as 500 extras in costumes. QUESTION: How did you prepare for an epic film like that? RAJEEV: Manika is a woman in very high demand. She requested that the movie should have a reminiscing tone with one condition we must not repeat whatever has already been tried and used. One day I was wandering around the Mahabaleshwar Road, a renowned antique selling district. I realized that the whole street consists of one common tone, copper. I then went to the post house and asked the technician there to help mix different shades of copper tone, and applied them onto the footage that I shot while scouting. Upon presentation, Manika chose the medium level, which is very close to monochrome. QUESTION: What format was Kalpvriksh produced in and why? RAJEEV: Kalpvriksh was produced in Super 35 format, because the scope of the story called for a widescreen aspect ratio. I knew that we would be covering many scenes with multiple camera operators. I anticipated that I would be re-cropping composition in D.I., matching shots from different cameras for continuity and fine tuning colours, darkness, light and contrast QUESTION: What was the colour palette for this film? RAJEEV: Throughout the first half of the movie, which described the uprising of the villagers, we used entirely medium copper tones with a very slight enhancement of the skin tone on each actor to emphasize their struggling. Gradually more colour was added until the full-blown, deep red representing blood and lust was achieved. QUESTION: One of the interesting things about cinematography is that audiences innately understand that things like colours, light and darkness are like the words they hear. Do you agree? RAJEEV: Yes, naturally audiences do understand, and at the very least nobody would recall dirt when seeing white, but it has to be subtle and not distinctive. Our use of colours reflected moods and what was happening in the story, but it wasnt obvious. QUESTION: We understand that was your first use of KODAK VISION3 5219 film. What were your impressions of how that advance in technology affects cinematography? RAJEEV: I saw improvements in resolution, contrast, sharpness and black tones. Those types of developments give you more freedom to express your ideas and feelings. QUESTION: You are shooting films around the world and with filmmakers who are coming to India from other countries. Do you believe filmmaking is a global art form and industry? RAJEEV: Definitely. When one travels to a new place, sees the unfamiliar scenery, experiences the different environments, it broadens ones perspective of being. My experience tells me that when I work overseas, the freshness of the different environments changes my composition. QUESTION: Are people born to be cinematographers or is it something you can learn? RAJEEV: I believe some people are gifted with an instinct in telling stories graphically, but being a cinematographer is a constant learning process. I often read article about other cinematographers and watch their films. Moviemaking has only been around for about 100 years. There are always new things happening that we can experiment with and use in different ways. QUESTION: Do you think movies play a role in our society beyond entertainment? RAJEEV: The magical power of movies besides entertainment is that it inspires the viewers sense of emotion, love and value. It also helps to reinforce viewers scope of living and, at times, it helps to mentally fulfil viewers inconceivable fantasies. QUESTION: Are you optimistic about the future of the motion picture industry? RAJEEV: I am optimistic. With more and more major overseas studios setting up production in India because of its big market and countless, untouched magnificent scenery, the movie industry should be rather prosperous in the foreseeable future. QUESTION: Do young people who want to be cinematographers ask you for advice? RAJEEV: Yes, and I advise them to challenge themselves, because cinematography is hard work and you always have to keep learning. You have to use your imagination and keep dreaming and learning what we can do to tell more engaging stories. I tell them that they ought to reach out to their peers around the world and learn from each other. About the Author: Born in Los Angeles, David Henry Hwang is the son of immigrant Chinese American parents; his father worked as a banker, and his mother was a professor of piano. Educated at Stanford University, from which he earned his B.A. in English in 1979, he became interested in theatre after attending plays at the American Conservatory in San Francisco. His marginal interest in a law career quickly gave way to his involvement in the engaging world of live theatre. By his senior year, he had written and pr Article Published On: http://www.articlesnatch.com – Arts-and-Entertainment 相关的主题文章: