July 20, 2012 Y. Sunitha Chowdhary
If a director has a dream and he is making his debut, who would be his cinematographer? Undoubtedly Hari Anumolu. The 58-year-old man with relentless energy and enthusiasm is the most preferred technician for debut directors. Vikram, KS Ravi Kumar, Rajamouli, Trivikram Srinivas, Krish Jagarlamudi, Vamsi or the newest director Kranthi Madhav, he's worked with them all for their first film. Was it planned?
"Kranthi Madhav is my 30th new director. I have worked with seven directors for their debut films in Tamil too. It was not a conscious decision but now I actually prefer to work with such new talent, they come brimming with ideas. But they usually say if Hari handles the cameram, the film will be good. Now this film Onamalu is based on natural lifestyle, human relations in villages and how it is transforming.
As a cinematographer we should ensure every shot and frame is in natural environs, there shouldn't be anything artificial. We capture actions and for that we fix angles, here for this story we fix angles to elevate an expression. The expression is present in every angle, camera movement, there is mood in the lighting, feel in the visuals and overall it is a narration with the camera, it goes with them, takes them and stays with the characters."
How flexible is he with the newcomers? He observes, "Some directors make a script but can't express it, some can get things done but can't tell so a discussion becomes imperative. I too think I'm doing my first film with each of them and enjoy my work but I am not too flexible and restricted in approach. Some are very ambitious, enthusiastic and lose their sense of purpose and I point it out asking them to re think on the scene."
Hari Anumolu began his career in 1976 but he became a regular technician from 79 onwards, he says as ethics have gone down in the society, films have started imitating life. Earlier technicians would make a film keeping a critic in mind but now they have arrived at a conclusion that critics will no matter whatever you do will criticise, they have stopped thinking about vulgarity and crudity.
If viwers prefer something bad, they will aim to give them a worst film. The intention is to make films for the masses, illiterates and the regular filmgoers. Action films would be earlier rugged now even they are being shot glamorously.
He adds, "My photographic memory is of my salad days with Ashok Kumar, he reprimanding me and complimenting me on my work. My only regret is that I didn't spend enough time with my family and missed out on their childhood; Entire life was spent on shootings, home work, spade work, discussion, arrangements and everything to do with the film. My wife earlier wanted me to take up something else but I said I knew only this. My only goal is to direct, I have three subjects on hand and am looking to take off on that and retire."
Finally ask him who's the most talented director in the industry and he says, "There's no rule that you need to succeed if you have talent. One fluke hit and the film will take you to a different level. Talent is necessary but to become a happening director there is something more, it is not luck."