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Did these movies hit the mark at box office due to cameramen?

Friday, May 29, 2020 • Tamil Comments

Did these movies hit the mark at box office due to cameramen?

Box Office Success is mostly attributed to the stars of the cinema and the next seat is given to directors. Producers used to be given the next seat but they have now gone so back in the list of people who get credit for a success that people just look at them as mere cashiers or investors.

But the most important craft in Film Making is Cinematography. An actor can act, a director can point where to act and how and an editor can edit only when a cinematographer can shoot. If there is no camera, where and on what will you shoot? Be it Arri, be it Red, be it Canon 5D or 7D, be it an Iphone, no matter whatever the camera you want to use, there should be a camera person who knows what is being shot, how to shoot and where to shoot.

Not all writers and directors are science graduates and people who are equipped to understand the nuances of technology. It is difficult to light up a scene, if you don't understand how a camera reacts to that light. There is a lot to learn about basic camera ISO standards to get beautiful images. Everyone is a photographer today but a person who understands the light best, gets the picture out of even the worst possible situation.

While you can go on and on about the shutter speeds, aperture and the apparatus of camera this is not a science lesson. Hence, let us discuss how much did cinematographers became key for latest films in Telugu.

Did these movies hit the mark at box office due to cameramen?

Madhie, the cinematographer of Mirchi and Bhaagamathie, is said to be key in both films being successful at box office. Koratala Siva, worked on writing side of a film but never was involved in technical side of the filmmaking that involves camera movement. Hence, he is known as a person who depends on his cinematographers to execute the shots more than him designing a shot.

For example, a director like Mani Ratnam worked with PC Sreeram, Santhosh Sivan, Rajeev Menon and Ravi Varman for Cheliyaa/Katru Veliyidai. Whoever be the cinematographer, his shot making style doesn't change. The way he tries to introduce close-ups, the way he tries to place his actors and the way he blocks a scene doesn't change with cinematographer. Some may try few more things in lighting up or concepts of color but his distinctive style doesn't change. Similar with K. Raghavendra Rao too. Either if you give him a cinematographer like PC Sreeram or ask him to work with a novice, his scene blocking and camera movement or artistic, aesthetic touch doesn't change.

Did these movies hit the mark at box office due to cameramen?

But with directors like Koratala Siva, you can notice change in the images and style in all his films. His writing pattern and the way he injects characters into his actors doesn't change. If you keenly observe, the image style, pattern, lighting tone changes with each film. And he openly admitted that he depends on his cinematographer to come up ideas on how to shoot a scene and then, he will go for it.

Did these movies hit the mark at box office due to cameramen?

Similarly, Trivikram Srinivas is also seen as a director who improves with a sensible person behind the camera. His Attharintiki Daredi, S/O Satyamurthy look different even though they are handled by same camera person. Many agree that his best film as a director is Athadu but he never repeated such distinctive blocking or imagery again in his films. Many say that after not being highly satisfied with A...Aa and Agnyathavasi, he went for PS Vinod kind of camera person to help him get his ideas perfectly on screen. He still has a distinctive style in the way he approaches key scenes but as a director he is said to be more dependent on cinematographers. Hence his latest hits Aravinda Sametha and Ala Vaikuntapurramuloo can be credited to cinematographer as well.

Key to differentiate between a cinematographer's shot and a director's one

Cinematographer's shot will have stunning lighting, great quality and dynamic angle but does that work for a scene? That is the key difference between a cinematographer's shot and a director's one.

For example, in Dalapathy - Rajnikanth's single shot with sun in the background when Shobana leaves him to marry another person became hugely famous. This is a director's shot as it brings out character, metaphors and enhances the drama in the scene. Obviously, Ilaiyaraja just took the scene to another level with his BGM.

Now, same director Mani Ratnam in Katru Velidiyai/Cheliyaa went for car wipers wiping out snow for a shot in song. This is a cinematographer's shot as it doesn't significantly make any difference to the next scene or character establishment or emotion in the scene. It is a difficult shot to achieve, a dynamic way to present same old love making in the car.

When you see more cinematographer shots in films and not director shots, then you can understand that cinematographer has been given the responsibility to block, design and execute the scene while director looking at the monitor decided on actor's performance, the visibility of it and concentrated on how pretty everything looks, with his/his writer's dialogues being spoken out with emotions.

With this key difference understood, you can easily differentiate between a director's concept being executed by a camera person in his own way to a director getting the visual he wants where even camera speaks volumes about the emotion in silence.

Did these movies hit the mark at box office due to cameramen?

Few more films that seem more cinematographer films than directors' in Telugu that became successful

- Bharat Ane Nenu

- Run Raja Run

- Maharshi

- Nani's Gentleman

- Majili

At the same directors' films in cinematography style,  that stood out from Telugu Cinema:

- Manam

- Baahubali 1 & 2

- Sammohanam

- Arjun Reddy

- Jersey

Did these movies hit the mark at box office due to cameramen?

Not from Telugu Cinema but widely praised by Telugu audiences for technical brilliance - KGF Chapter 1 and Abhimanyudu - both have respective directors' touch written all over them.

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