At the young age Ashok Venkataraman is in a good stage and command over his profession of cinematography. We caught up with this gentle and indomitable cameraman on his debut film ‘Eddelu Manjunatha’ Kannada film audio release night at Press club of Bangalore. ‘I am not the one who easily get convinced’ says Ashok to this correspondent.
The enthusiastic and full of energy Ashok was sitting in front of the Reporters Guild adjacent to PCB when he answered questions with aplomb! Here are excerpts of a chat with Ashok Venkataraman.
Hello young chap. How was your debut cinematography?
I am fine. The debut was very interesting and engaging. At the same time ‘Eddelu Manjunatha’ was tough. I had to use my strength I gained from my Guru H.M.Ramachandrasir.
What was the toughest portion in ‘Eddelu Manjunatha’?
The 30 percent of the cinematography is done in ‘Vatara’ (cluster of houses). In 8x6 rooms I had to shoot. It was technically challenging to do lighting and place my camera. Jaggesh recognized the difference in my work peeping into his flash back days.
How did you get in touch with Guruprasad of ‘Eddelu Manjunatha’?
A common friend introduced me. I went to him with one minute concept ‘Prayer’ I directed that won the award at the national. He was impressed with my work.
Do you have background in cinematography?
I am qualified from Sri Jayachamarajendra Polytechnic. I have passed out from PUC Science in National College. I worked as still photographer for three years. I had worked for corporate films, national geography ‘Deadly Dozen’ that was shot in Agumbe and Mysore. For Discovery channel Culinary of Asia I was the cameraman.
You worked under H.M.Ramachandra for a long time?
I worked under him and learnt most of the things in cinematography practically. I was with him as assistant cameraman for Mouni, Kada Beladingalu and worked for films like Swathi Muthu, Nenapirali, Chilipili Hakkigalu, Uppi Dada MBBS etc.
What is that you learnt from Ramachandraji?
The lighting and how to be realistic, adjustment on the location of shoot I learnt from my mentor.