Penchant for experiment has made Omprakash, cinematographer, seek projects that offer him scope to do just that. “‘Naanayam,’ my last Tamil film, allowed me to innovate. And I worked really hard for the look and feel,” says Omprakash. He had used contrasting tones and angles for Prasanna and Sibi. As the latter had negative shades to his role Om opted for black, while for Prasanna, he chose shades of white. “Even in shot compositions I went in for geometrical lines – straight lines for Prasanna and curves and slants for Sibi,” he explains. At the end of the day, such nuances may not seem significant to a lay viewer, nevertheless they exemplify the diligence and industry of the lens man. And of course, the sad part is, generally technicians get their share of accolades only when a project is a hit.
Omprakash’s thirst for doing things differently was quenched to a certain extent when he was the cinematographer of ‘Nilai Kannaadi,’ as the entire film was shot with a static camera. The film showcases the happenings from the point of view of a huge mirror at a room in a resort. “Though the camera was placed in a particular position throughout, you would never find it dull,” Omprakash vouches for his work in the experimental feature.
Another unique assignment was Krishna Vamsi’s ‘Danger’ in Telugu. “Vamsi is a very creative director and the film was again on never-before-tried lines,” says Om. And for Om the film paved the way for ‘Naanayam.’ Shakti, the director of ‘Naanayam,’ who watched ‘Danger,’ gave Omprakash the opportunity to crank the camera.
Om’s oeuvre includes the Mammootty starrer, ‘Wanted,’ in Malayalam and the yet-to-be-released ‘Fauj Mein Mauj,’ with Mallika Sherawat in a leading role. This raring-to-go camera person also has a couple of interesting Tamil assignments up his sleeve – Gautham Menon’s Photon Factory production, ‘Veppam,’ directed by Menon’s assistant Anjana, and ‘Kalavaani,’ which has director Vijay’s assistant Sargunam wielding the megaphone.
“Detailing is essential in cinematography and with every passing day perspectives and canning styles keep changing. Earlier flat lighting was in vogue but now we go in for contrasts,” he explains. So how does he keep himself abreast with the trends? “The net, and of course, subscribing to magazines such as American Cinematographer helps us update ourselves with the latest techniques in the international circuit,” he says.
Om has more than 500 ad films to his credit. He feels the one-minute promos that he shoots give him more freedom and hence immense satisfaction. His repertoire in the area of ad campaigns includes several Dubai based brands, besides Chennai’s well-known textile and jewellery names. “Proper awareness about the importance of post-production work and getting the best output is the focus,” he avers and adds, “As I said I yearn to work with directors who make my job challenging.”