Over the years, cinematography has come to play a major part in Indian cinema. Apart from moving around and chasing actors while they capture scenes, cinematography now involves picking out color tones, choosing the necessary amount of exposure and working under camera light. We've compiled a set of cinematographers from 2012 who have taken Indian cinema to the world stage with their work. It goes without saying that they are best in the industry today.
M.Sukumar - Kumki
If you have seen Kumki, you know why we had to put the name up on top of our list. Apart from the music, the screenplay and the performances, there was one man who was pivotal to the film just like the director. M.Sukumar orchestrated his way around natural low light conditions and made the forest landscape serene and beautiful when necessary and dark and surprising when the audiences needed a scare. We are sure his place here wouldn't be questioned by anyone.
Vijay Milton - Vazhakku Enn 18/9
How many of you know that the film Vazhakku Enn 18/9 was shot in a digital camera. Yes, that's right, Vijay Milton used a Canon 5D to shot the entire film and considering it's critical acclaim and shortlist to the Oscar submissions, that's a great deal of success packed into a little box. The movie included a style of visual story telling that was unique to our times and contributed to the success of the entire project.
Santhosh Sivan - Thuppaki
Cinematographers have little to do with commercial films. But just like Thuppaki bridged the gap between a crime thriller and an entertainer, cinematographer Santhosh Sivan turned things up a notch to make things beautiful. Vijay was seen in a never before avatar, and his fight sequences now appeared realistic and stunning in dark settings. The cinematographer set the tone for the entire film and shot under difficult circumstances in Mumbai and deserves plaudits.
Balasubramaniam - Neer Paravai, OKOK
Neer Paravai had all the ingredients to be a great film even before release but when the film hit the screens, Balasubramaniam's efforts were evident. The film had strict lighting setup through its length and is sure to entertain several awards in the following months. The camera certainly helped the film in gathering momentum among critics. In contrast, his work in OKOK showed his versatility and told filmmakers that he can work under virtually anyone.
KK Senthil Kumar - Naan Ee
For the sheer creativity in Naan Ee and effort taken in building up the special effects, Senthil Kumar ranks above several other names in Kollywood this 2012. To visalize S.S.Rajamouli's vision is one thing, but to bring to life is something else and when the film became a blockbuster, Senthil is sure to have gotten several pats on his back. His success is evident with each filmgoer's reaction, when the audience reacts to the actions and efforts of the little fly on the screen.
Sounder Rajan - Maattraan
Joining hands with his mentor K.V.Anand, Sounder Rajan had to set to do a lot of things to make Maattraann work. His biggest challenge was to make Suriya look convincing as conjoined twins and the team's efforts in a few scenes, particularly the MGM fight scene, the Theeye Theeye song are evident. He also got noted for capturing scenic beauty in the song Nani Koni. All of this leaves him well on our list with room to spare.
Nirav Shah - Vettai, KSY, Thaadavam
Nirav Shah was a busy man this year and he had three rather different projects to work on. The start of the year presented Lingusamy's Vettai, a commercial masala entertainer in which Nirav captured songs amazingly well. Then came Kadhalil Sodhappuvadhu Eppadi, a narrative romcom that was visually appealing and visually appealing. Finally came the dark and enigmatic Thaandavam, shot completely in London. With a plate full of dishes, the cinematographers did well to his name.
R.D.Rajasekhar - Billa 2
The talking point of Billa 2, just like the first film was it's cinematography. With Billa's reputation for a gangster growing up and up, the film progressed through different stages of his life and not to mention places. But R.D.Rajasekhar brought the same amount of expertise to the film, even without working on the first part and painted a shadowy and inscrutable picture of Billa's past taking effort in detailing the intricacies. The entire film was shot in the Red Eye camera.
Manoj Paramahamsa - Nanban
At the start of 2012, Nanban soared to become one of the biggest hits of Tamil cinemas. Shakar's vision in recreating the project was helped by Manoj Paramahamsa, who had previously worked with Gautham Menon in VTV. The cinematographer did well to match Shankar's demands, especially for the songs and created a college setup from the ground up to take the audience down memory lane into their past. He certainly deserves to be on our list.
Gopi Amarnath - Pizza
Pizza had a compelling case to make it to the list. The movie shot at a low budget needed a lot of improvisations and help came from Gopi Amarnath, the new face cinematographer. It is said that he shot several sequences with just a torchlight. With little resources, he made a great case for audiences and a compelling movie overall. That's some of the best work you can see from a newcomer and we hope to see him make more strides in the future.