Rathnavelu Raman, the soft-spoken Director of Photography, is drawing credit for his work in 1 – Nenokkadine

“I signed up to work with superstar Rajnikanth in Robot and people almost dropped dead when I politely requested for a screen test with the icon. I quickly told the man that it was really a test of my own skills and he believed it because he saw I was being truthful. Much later, he told me I was the best technician he worked with in his career and that put me on cloud nine,” says this soft-spoken Director of Photography (DoP).

That was in 2010. Three years later, Rathnavelu Raman aka Randy’s stock has only gone up.

Technically, he has done three films in Telugu – Arya, Jagadam and Robot that was a hit here too, but his style and work with director Sukumar has earned him enough of a name for people to keep looking forward to seeing his camera work wonders, post Mahesh Babu’s latest, 1 – Nenokkadine.

While 1… may have got mixed reviews, no one has found fault with Randy’s work in the film.

“Light to me is a character that has an important role in a film and photography is like poetry in motion. I carefully listen to the story, the subject and script before I agree to work for a project. Arya with Allu Arjun was way ahead of its time and while Robot was science fiction, 1…is a proper action thriller with lots of emotions. I used light to signify the emotion in different scenes. That was my strong point,” Randy says, without mincing words about his work and yet not sounding too all-knowing or hyper-confident.

Working in London and Belfast, Northern Ireland had some most difficult scenes. The fight sequence with bikes in the basement garage was tough because the scene did not permit any light.

Towards the end, shifting from chrome, black and white and then to full-blown colour proved to me pretty eye-pleasing and in sync with the mood of the story, he states, adding that overall, 1… involved the use of cameras like Red Epic, Body Rigs, Doggies and even an underwater Scuba cam.

Ask Randy what’s in store for him in the Telugu film industry and he says he has several offers and that he was considering all his options before taking up his next in what he terms as one among the most tech-savvy and happening States as far as the film industry and its adoption to new technology is concerned.

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