How it happened
I always liked to see films my way, and so, joined the Film and Television Institute of Tamil Nadu to become a cameraman. My first film was Poomani, directed by my friend Mu. Kalanjiyam. Kalanjiam and I had worked as assistants in Vasanth's Nee Paadhi Naan Paadhi. So, when he got an offer to do Poomani, he gave me an opportunity. I was very excited, also because Ilaiyaraaja was the music director for the film.
How it felt
Working as an individual cameraman is certainly a challenge, but then, I never shied away from challenges. I wanted to give a visual treat through what the script demanded, but was never able to showcase my potential, till Poomani came along. This film, and especially, the songs ‘Thol Mela Thol Mela' and ‘En Paatu En Paatu' (shot in twilight), fetched me plaudits. Even before this film was released, I bagged the next — Conductor Maappillai. In fact, I watched Poomani while shooting for Conductor… in Gobichettipalayam. I remember my eyes welling up when I saw my name on the screen, and when the people applauded for the songs and shouted ‘once more'.
How life changed
After these two films, I did Moovendar (Sarath Kumar), Kaarmegam (Mammootty), Alauddin (Prabudeva), Anbe Anbe (Shaam) and Mirugam (Adthi). I also worked in Rang De Basanti, Virumaandi and Anniyan as a second unit cameraman. The public acknowledged my work in Mirugam, and the recent hit Pazhassi Raja has given me great recognition. I've turned down many good offers, because I'm looking for a challenging script to showcase my creativity and potential.