Cinematographer Hari Anumolu has an impressive record of working with 30 debutant directors

If a director has a dream and he is making his debut, who would be his cinematographer? Undoubtedly Hari Anumolu. The 58-year-old man with boundless energy and enthusiasm is the most preferred technician for debut directors. Vikram, K.S. Ravi Kumar, Rajamouli, Trivikram Srinivas, Krish Jagarlamudi, Vamsi or the newest director Kranti Madhav — he’s worked with them all for their first film. Was it planned? “Kranti Madhav is my 30th new director. I have worked with seven directors for their debut films in Tamil too. It was not a conscious decision but now I actually prefer to work with such new talent, they come brimming with ideas. But they usually say if Hari handles the camera, the film will be good. This film Onamalu is based on natural lifestyle, human relations in villages and how it is transforming. As a cinematographer we should ensure that every shot and frame is in natural environs, there shouldn’t be anything artificial. We capture actions and for that we fix angles; here for this story we fix angles to elevate an expression. The expression is present in every angle, camera movement, there is mood in the lighting, feel in the visuals. Overall it is a narration with the camera, it goes with them, takes them and stays with the characters.”

How flexible is he with newcomers? He observes, “Some directors make a script but cannot express it, some can get things done but cannot tell so a discussion becomes imperative. I too think I’m doing my first film with each of them and enjoy my work but I am not too flexible or too restricted in approach. Some are very ambitious and enthusiastic, they lose their sense of purpose, then I point it out asking them to re-think on the scene.”

Hari began his career in 1976 but he became a regular technician ’79 onwards.He adds, “My photographic memory is of my salad days with Ashok Kumar, he reprimanding me and complimenting me on my work. My only regret is that I didn’t spend enough time with my children and missed out on their childhood. My wife earlier wanted me to take up something else but I said I knew only this. My only goal is to direct.”

Finally ask him who’s the most talented director in the industry and he says, “There’s no rule that you need to succeed if you have talent. One fluke hit and the film will take you to a different level. Talent is necessary, but to become a happening director there is something more, it is not luck.”