Cinema

Unwavering focus

Om prakash  

Om Prakash, as a cinematographer, has faced challenges before. While shooting for K. V. Anand’s Anegan, for instance. But he says the challenges of shooting Kaashmora were something else.

“In Anegan, there were three distinct segments set in different periods. Anand originally wanted three separate cinematographers to shoot each of them. But after seeing my work for the Burma segment, he wanted to try me out for the other two also. I am happy that he reposed so much confidence in my work, being an accomplished cinematographer himself,” recalls Om Prakash, who’s now busy giving finishing touches to Kaashmora.

But Kaashmora was a different kettle of fish altogether. A major segment of Kaashmora is set thousands of years ago, and that too, mostly involving war sequences. “The tones and colours had to be just right to convey the feel of that time. In recent times, films like Bajirao Mastani and Baahubali have depicted such periods, and for me to make the scenes in Kaashmora different was challenging indeed. Traditionally, cinematographers have sought recluse in sepia tones to achieve this effect, but I have resorted to desaturated textures for better effect. The camera angles are also straightforward and without gimmicks. I have also used old lenses to get the desired effect.”

On the battle shots, he says, “Usually aerial shots and sweeping panoramic views would take care of grandeur. These days, even drones get used. But I have used traditional view points and angles, and have managed to convey the magnitude of the scenes in collaboration with DI work,” he says.

“In the ‘present’ segment of Kaashmora, I have used virtual-reality cameras for several scenes, to clearly differentiate from the other segment,” says Om Prakash, who has tried to bring in 360-degree views using advanced virtual-reality techniques. “I have used 14 specially rig-mounted GoPro cameras for some scenes and songs. The footage recorded on these individual cameras is then ‘stitched’, using specialised software, to create a 360-degree moving image. But unfortunately, these cannot be viewed in theatres, as one can on YouTube and similar channels. We will probably use it for the trailers which can be seen on YouTube. There are plans to devise virtual-reality games using these segments to further promote Kaashmora,” he says.

Director Gokul, in an earlier interview, had spoken of the Face Scan technology used for several scenes. “While these are done by the CG team, camera angles have to be kept in mind, and in post-production, the cinematographer’s concept and viewpoints have to be taken into consideration, so that the final output looks seamless. For a cinematographer, such exchange of ideas, between myself, the director and producer, is crucial. In Kaashmora, Gokul and the producer have not cut corners, and although all of us worked on a tight schedule and budget, at no point did any of us feel short-changed. All this will ultimately reflect in the final quality of the film,” he says.


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Printable version | Jun 16, 2021 6:48:24 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/cinema/Unwavering-focus/article16078764.ece

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