Cinematographer Ravi K Chandran on taking cue from Hollywood legend Woody Allen for OK Jaanu
After painting some stunning visuals across the snowy landscapes of Scotland and the beaches of Thailand in Baar Baar Dekho earlier last year, cinematographer Ravi K Chandran is back with another visual treat in Ok Jaanu. His upcoming film celebrates Mumbai through a storyline that tracks the budding romance between protagonists Adi (Aditya Roy Kapoor) and Tara (Shraddha Kapoor). Talking about the film and its original, OK Kanmani (directed by Mani Ratnam) Chandran says, “I was sceptical about working on a remake having done a few before and seeing the inevitable comparisons. Here, both films are being drawn out on the same canvas—Mumbai. But with OK Jaanu, there was conscious effort to give this film its own voice.”
Known for playing with colour and tone in his shoots, he points out how particular director Shaad Ali was about giving the film a Woody Allen feel. “He was looking for a Manhattan essence to the film. We decided to go the contemporary way and drew inspiration from films like Midnight in Paris and Vicky Cristina Barcelona,” adds the Yaan director. Shoots therefore involved primarily relying on natural lights and warm toning to set the mood for the story, with costumes and sets following suit. “We shot in South Bombay. The pollution here gives the city a perennial layer of smog, making the skyline a little hazy from the distance. That worked well for us,” he adds. The movie was shot in 33 days with predominantly early morning and late-evening shoots.
Ahead of the pack
Chandran is a self-confessed gadget freak, making it a point to try and test new technology to enhance filming, like the compact Red Weapon camera used in this film. He however feels that the Americanisation of production must stop there. Talking about changing working styles of different age groups among the technical fraternity in the country, having worked with his son Santhanakrishnan on the film, he says, “People want to involve themselves only as much as they should. While that keeps things professional, there’s always a detachment from what you’re creating and that’s something I find hard to warm up to,” he rues. The ace lensman is busy with Mahesh Babu’s next flick that begins in March and Ayan Mukherjee’s next with Ranbir Kapoor and Alia Bhatt, besides a number of independent shorts in his kitty.
OK Jaanu releases today.
— Lavanya Lakshminarayanan