Sandalwood has not only changed the way in which movies are made but even films are presented on the big screen! Talented costume designers like Arundhati Anjanappa work hard behind the cameras to make namma heroes, heroines, villains and even the whole bunch of supporting cast to look attractive, and more importantly ensure they are dressed perfectly according to the requirements of a script. With Kannada movies scaling new heights after back-to-back pan-India releases, the relevance of costumes has come to the centre stage on par with other departments in the film industry. After KGF, Pailwaan, Kurukshetra, it is going to be Avane Srimannarayana (ASN), the next big pan-India release, produced by Pushkara Mallikarjunaiah starring Rakshit Shetty, Shanvi Srivastava and several others in an imaginary action drama set in the 80s.
Bengaluru Chronicle recently caught up with Arundhati Anjanappa, who gives us a glimpse of her work for Avane Srimannarayana and much more.
The film is set for release in the month of November in multiple languages including Kannada, Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam and Hindi.
“ASN is a very special film for me. Having done several movies before this one, nothing has been as creatively satisfying so far. Initially it was challenging because it is a fictional movie and there is no definite reference point. And also this is the only movie where I have done costumes for each and every person you see on screen,” says Arundhati.
Talking about the behind the scenes preparation, she explains: “Once the director narrates the story, we started by listing the characteristics of all the main characters and building the look around it. Every garment and accessory had to fit into the mood board that is given to me. The movie is set in the early 80s so we looked up a few references from older movies to understand the colours and style during that era. Several trials were done before we finalised on the look for each of the characters”.
A graduate from National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT), Arundhati briefly worked for an export house and then started designing for weddings before she finally landed up being a costume designer for her first ever movie Lucia and thereafter she stuck around for the love of her job, as it is a tailor-made one for her.
Introduced to ASN by its cinematographer Karm Chawla, for whom she had worked in the past for an advertisement shoot, she asserts that it was indeed a challenging one so far in her career. “In my previous movies I only designed for the lead pair and if necessary the main supporting cast. But with ASN the volumes were huge. This was extremely challenging. Not only to get the clothes designed. I had to maintain continuity. Every garment had to fit into the colour story. I had to source the fabrics and patterns to fit that era for so many artistes, which was a task,” Arundhati shares.
On costume designers’ relevance in the film industry, Arundhati feels that it was about time that the costumes were given the importance that they deserve. “Costumes defines every character and also enhances every frame in a cinema. Apart from the direction team it is extremely important to have constant interactions with the other departments like cameraman and art directors. By doing this it’s easier to achieve a well set frame for every shot. Kannada industry is definitely churning out some great movies and it won’t be too late before pan-India releases become a standard norm. Now that we are catering to larger sections of audiences it is important to be on par with the other film industries in every aspect of filmmaking”.
Apart from ASN, Arundhati had worked on films like Lucia, Akira, Sipaayi, Mugulunage to name a few. “Also worked on the recently released film Geetha and I am currently working on Kotigobba 3, Garuda and Avataara Purusha,” she signs off.