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|August 22, 2000||
'I welcome any opportunity to work with Shaji'
"I had assisted Shaji when he was the cinematographer for Arvindam. When he was making Piravi, I assisted his main cameraman, Sunny Joseph. And for Swaham, I was his main cinematographer.
Shaji taught me at FTII. I had always wanted to work with him. My wish was fulfilled when I shot his documentary, Shyam's Vision, for which I won the Kerala State Award for best cinematography. Shyam's Vision happened suddenly. We were supposed to make a corporate film and were to shoot a blind man in Agra. This man could weave beautifully, and knew which colours to use, believing those were colours from Heaven. He believed that his blindness was temprory and that his sight would soon return.
After Shaji met this guy, he promptly decided to make a documentary film on him.
Working with Shaji has been a great experience. At FTII you learn the trade, techniques and skills. But they are honed only when you use them in a film. Since Shaji is a cameraman himself, he knows the pressures a cameraman faces during the making of a film. The shots have to be correct, the lights, the raw material shouldn’t be wasted...
Shaji has always worked on a miniscule budget, but he has never let that tell on us. That was also because he never let us waste raw material. He knew the kind of lights and shots he wanted. He knew the position of the characters and did it effortlessly. That took a lot of pressure off my head so I could shoot in peace!
He discussed the film with us, so I could prepare myself. I knew right from the beginning what shot was scheduled when. I couldn’t work with him in Vaanaprastham because it was an Indo-French production and the French insisted they wanted their crew to shoot the film. But I welcome any opportunity to work with Shaji."
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