The teaser of Mohanlal-Ranjith team’s much-awaited movie Loham has been well received by film buffs. The stylish attire and sharp moustache of Lal and the magnificent visuals have captivated Lalettan Fans. Kunjunni S. Kumar, son of ace cinematographer S. Kumar, is the man behind the enigmatic visuals of this film, slated to release during Onam.
“I was in post-production of my debut film Nellika directed by Bijith Bala, when I got the first call for Loham. Writer-actor Shanker Ramakrishnan informed me that I was chosen as the cinematographer of Ranjiyettan’s next film. On Shankerettan’s advice, I met the director, who said that I was his cameraman. Apart from that, there was no more discussion about the movie or it’s making style. It was after the script narration, that he instructed me to avoid gimmicks in framing and shots in order to make it more realistic,” says Kunjunni.
It was during the production of the National Award-winning movie — Indian Rupee, in 2011, that Kunjunni got his first chance to work with Ranjith.
“My father was the cinematographer of Indian Rupee and I was working as his associate. Though I knew Ranjiyettan before, that film helped me get closer to him,” he says, adding that his first call for an independent venture was also from the director.
“My first call for a Ranjith movie happened in 2012. He was planning to make a film based on Unni R’s story, Leela, with Shankerettan in the lead. In fact, that call also came via Shanker. Unfortunately, the project got shelved ten days before the shooting was to start. It was later that Bijithettan called me to work as the cinematographer in his debut film Nellika,” says Kunjunni, who started as an assistant to award-winning cinematographer P.C. Sreeram in the Hindi-Tamil bilingual 13 B.
He says that the tension and fear while working with senior directors and actors, including Mohanlal, helped him be alert during the production. “Though I knew Ranjiyettan and Lal Sir even before this project, the fact that they are senior made me more conscious during the making. So I tried my best to avoid mistakes,” says Kunjunni.