It is not often that a new comer has a cakewalk in the film industry, however talented he may be. Cinematographer Vishnu Sarma is an exception.
Though a greenhorn in working in full length films, the baby faced Vishnu bagged the much awaited film titled as 'Escape from Uganda'.
Vishnu could not have dreamt of a better break. The wild untamed beauty of the open savannah and stunning landscape with landscape with a myriad range of hues lends itself naturally to some stunning visuals and Vishnu admits he was lucky to get a break as a cinematographer with this film, giving all credit to director Rajesh Nair.
Vishnu candidly points out, “Rajesh could have got any cinematographer to do this film. The subject is fresh and the canvas and opportunity film. The subject is fresh and the canvas and opportunity is huge but Rajesh was confident of handing the task to me. I have never assisted anybody nor worked for any film; admittedly the risk factor was huge!”
But that does not mean that Vishnu does not have any experience. He completed his Visual Communication course in Chennai and worked on short films. In fact, Rajesh zeroed in on Vishnu after seeing his work in a short film.
The African experience was an eye opener for Vishnu. “It was difficult to make people work there; they are a tad lazy! All the technical equipment was taken from here but one could start shooting only by 11.30 am. The climate was excellent; the light was great. As a cinematographer, the entire climatic condition was favourable for shooting,” he says.
Shooting went off without a hitch but Vishnu says that in the beautiful land danger loomed large over the cast and crew. Vishnu narrates that the security aspect was always uppermost in everyone’s mind and some locations were crucial and high risk.
He says, “Shooting inside the prison was done under tight security and one could not shift the camera or location according to one’s will. Everything had to be charted beforehand and we were all on alert.”
Vishnu smiles as he recollects the most difficult scenes he shot inside the National Zoo with pythons and lions. The scene has Rima gyrating with a python wrapped around her neck.
He also adds, “There was also a scene where five of us had to enter a lion’s den and shoot there; that was unnerving.” After canning such daring scenes, it is little wonder that Vishnu may be part of Rajesh Nair’s next film.
Other projects are in the pipeline for this bright spark.