Take any film and you may well be able to point out the lead actor(s) and even the director. But what about the countless people who work behind the scenes? What about the countless processes that goes into the art of filmmaking such as sound design, stunts, costume design, camerawork and digital effects, to name but a few? How much do we really know about what makes cinema a cinema? Now Amrita TV's ‘Cinema Karyangal,' hosted by director Lal Jose, takes the viewer behind the camera into the magical world of the movies and gives us glimpses into the people and processes that make cinema what it is. P. Ananthapadmanabhan, son of veteran filmmaker P. Padmarajan, and the producer of ‘Cinema Karyangal,' talks to Friday Review about the show. Excerpts from an interview…

Explaining the process of filmmaking from the layman's point of view…

We try to keep the narrative as simple as possible without going too much into jargon. We also try to demonstrate the actual processes when and wherever possible. As such each episode is limited to a particular subject or at the most two, which helps give a comprehensive and in-depth view of the subject at hand.

For example…

Well, for instance, when we discussed the processes behind graphics in a film, we went to industry veteran Sreenivasan of India Artists, renowned for his work in Rajnikanth's ‘Shivaji' and the soon-to-be-released ‘Enthiran.' Lal Jose engaged him in a tête-à-tête about his work and Sreenivasan demonstrated what he does on the reel and the final product is also shown. Likewise a weapons master explained to Lal Jose about the intricacies involved in shooting a gunfight/shoot out scene. He showed us his collection of guns and rifles and even made Lal Jose cock a rifle. We try to bring a human element into the narrative as far as possible to tone down the heaviness of the subject. Sometimes we also go on location to a film shoot and see how it is done.

But the show is not only about technicalities of filmmaking, is it? It also has human interest stories…

Yes. In some episodes we have included interviews with people whose contribution to cinema should not be forgotten. For instance, one episode was on an old actor called Santo Krishnan who used to play the role of Hanuman in his heyday. He is a compatriot of Prem Nazir, MGR and the like and is now a mentor to our generation of actors. Today he is in dire straits. Then there is the feisty veteran choreographer Rajeshwari Amma. You would remember her as the old woman in the song ‘Rukumani Rukumani…' (‘Roja'). Even now choreographers call her to come help them and she is gung ho about it at age 74!

Having Lal Jose as the host…

Being part of the industry means that Lal Jose knows about most of the processes and the people involved. Because they know him and in most cases have worked with him, the technicians are all the more enthusiastic when they talk to him. He for one is equally enthusiastic and always says that hosting the show is like a learning experience for him.

Future episodes ….

‘Cinema Karyangal' is only 19 or so episodes old and there are plenty more to come. The forthcoming episodes delve into the worlds of art direction, costumes, make-up, animal suppliers, jeep/motorcycle jumpers and so on.