May 13, 2012 Y. Sunitha Chowdhary
A native of Piduguralla, Prabhakara Reddy would have been a chartered accountant if he hadn't heard of Ram Gopal Varma, or worked with cinematographer S. Gopal Reddy or hadn't seen Siva. Eversince, he pursued his dream of becoming a cinematographer and shot Gunde Jhallumandi and Sye Aata with 435 camera with cinevision lens. The third film Ee Rojullo that was done with 5D is a run away hit.
"There are many talented technicians in our State, with opportunity, encouragement they are sure to succeed but our producers import people from Chennai and Mumbai who are good enough to make television serials, give them a 5 star treatment and enough generators and lights to shoot. If we ask for a generator, they say we can do without it. There is life only for the Yo Yo crowd who speak English, the rest are humiliated and asked to shoot wedding videos," says the happening cinematographer who is currently waiting for the release of SV Ranga Rao's grandson's film Mr. 7 that he made with 5D cameras - four of them.
Producers and directors who humiliated him when he asked for an opportunity are now making their assistants call him to find out the technique of shooting it, offering him a crore but he is not willing to tell. He swallows his pain, "It took me 16 months to learn, understand. Director Maruthi supported me at a time when no one trusted the 5D and I added four more lakhs from my pocket and experimented, spoilt 3 cameras and told the director that only when I'm confident I will begin shoot.
People think all it takes is to buy a few 5Ds in Koti, lens and then start shooting. The format is different, the body, colour tone has to be tuned, the screen behind has to be levelled, the calibration of the lens need to be done and moreover the temperature, weather conditions, the high end equipment, whiteness, pollution levels in foreign countries and that in our country differs, there is a lot of variation. The burning is different. The images don't come crystal clear here, we got to control in certain areas and know the calculation. It's not about reading the review and begin shooting."
The cinematographer says that our heroes aren't ready to hear, they don't like harsh lights, want to be comfortable and according to them those cameramen who use lot of paper and do filtering are fabulous technicians. He quips, "Cameras don't listen to us, we have to listen to them. Director Maruthi had blind faith in me, we shouldn't forget those who fed us, the day we do our chapter is closed. My next few films are with him, very soon we will be shooting Maa Colony Bus Stop with theatre artistes from different districts in Andhra Pradesh."