Cinematographer Manohar Joshi says the tools of digital filmmaking have transformed every aspect of cinema, including production, post-production and exhibition

“Brahma directed by R. Chandru might well be the last film shot on celluloid,” said Manohar Joshi, the young cinematographer, who hogged limelight for his work on Simpallag Ond Love Story.

In the Kannada film industry most film makers, have turned to digital film making says Joshi, who works on RED MX. He conducted a master class at the Bangalore International Film Festival.

Joshi completed his degree in visual arts from Manipal University and learnt painting for two years at Hampi University to get “frame sense.” After doing some ad films, he was to make Let us Kill Gandhi and shot a trailer for it. The trailer has become his visiting card. His future projects include Tube Light, The End and Bahuparak.

“The tools of digital filmmaking have transformed every aspect of cinema including production, post-production and exhibition,” says Joshi. “It poses challenges to technicians. The visual characteristics of the moving image are also changing rapidly with audience perception. Digital equipment is not only economical, but also profitable. Digital technology provides new opportunities that were inaccessible in traditional cinema.

“The digital camera is just a robot, one has to tame and use it. It has answers for every problem being faced in the process of film making.” Joshi said showing how he shot a particular scene in Simpallag Ond Love Story, where there was very little light and enhanced its effect later.

He was in two minds on whether to use celluloid or go digital camera for his first film. “Many professionals told me that digital camera is meant only for shooting weddings and advised me to opt for celluloid. But I was determined to experiment with the digital camera and found answers to all my problems. I used only three HMI (hydrargyrum medium arc iodide) lights to get the natural effect and skin tone and succeeded in getting desired output.”

Joshi feels the use of a digital camera will help cut the budget, because of the tele-cine possibility, which is absent in celluloid format. “Digital cameras have a lot of accessories, which the traditional ones do not. The cameraman has to understand the concept, before taking up the work and it is important for him to have complete knowledge of every setting in the camera that will used for shooting. It is the lenses that matters more than the camera in getting the desired footage. I personally like to shoot with an open aperture, as that helps to a larger extent in grading the film. My advise to technicians is to tame the camera and make it listen to you. Don’t use too many lights while shooting in digital format.”