Friday, August 22, 2008

The genius of VK Murthy

Let’s just say one can’t talk about the films of Guru Dutt without discussing the incredible talent of this great man. VK Murthy was Guru Dutt’s cinematographer, who along with the director gave us some of the most memorable images in Indian cinema.

He was the first man in India to shoot in Cinemascope. That landmark achievement happened in Guru Dutt’s ‘Kagaz Ke Phool’, way back in 1959. The most unforgettable moment in the film is the almost surreal ‘beam shot’ during the song ‘Waqt ne kiya, kya haseen sitam’. And to me, this shot stands as one of the finest in the annals of Indian cinema.

How did he compose it? Listen to Mr. Murthy himself in an interview he gave to 4 years back.

We brought two huge mirrors and kept one outside the studio in the sun, that reflected the light onto another mirror, kept on the catwalk, and opened the balcony door to the studio. Light reflected from one to the other and the beam was created. We added some smoke to it, and that scene became a phenomenal craze in the history of cinematography!”

Now, check out the song…and importantly to the way it has been lit.

Posted by Murali

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