He is a veteran. After a long break of eight years post TakkariDonga, virtuoso Jayanan Vincent got back on the scene, filming some of the most enchanting movies in Telugu. Be it making Mahesh Babu look like a cowboy or capturing Pawan Kalyan the most magnanimous way in Gabbar Singh, Vincent proved time and again that there is no age constraint when it comes to learning. He had technically seen cinema evolve behind the camera. Starting from the black and white era to digital, the adept cinematographer captured close to 150 films in Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam and Punjabi.
Catching up in a casual banter with Deepa Balasubramanian, Jayanan Vincent shares some of his favorite things about shooting locations, dear friend Mammootty and his love for Andhra.
What is your favourite shooting spot in your career and why?
I would say Vizag. Lot of good memories filming there. Two of the movies that I worked with, Raavoi Chandamama and Dharmakshetram were filmed extensively in Vizag. The laid back destination with scenic beauty holds a special spot in my heart. This is because Vizag is pretty much similar to Vancouver in Canada. I lived in Vancouver for a significant period of time after Takkaridonga. Vizag has a global appeal. Not many realize or know that.
What is the best part about Vizag? Any favourite spots?
Yes, the roads beside the beach. They are unique and ideal for capturing in the frame. Dolphin’s Nose looks surreal when shot from certain angles. This place was well presented in the past by the iconic director K Balachander. Then, we also have The Borra Caves and Araku Valley. They are undeniably amazing places for anybody to go on a holiday.
Any particular fond memories shooting at Vizag?
Yes, I explicitly savour great memories while shooting for Raavoi Chandamama. Shavukar Janaki, the legendary actress filmed with us there. She was very impressed with what I captured for the movie back then. I shared warm memories with Akkineni Nagarjuna and the rest of the cast and crew.
Rate Vizag as a shooting location on a scale of 1 to 10
I would give 8!!
Any personal memories in Vizag other than that of films?
Not many. But there was this one time that I took my father (A Vincent) along while working for Balakrishna’s Dharmakshetram in 1991. We spent some quality time when he shared his insights about composition and lighting. Not many know that my grandfather George Vincent owned first of its kind studio in Calicut called Chitra studio.
Please tell us your favourite films worked on so far.
Thrishna and New Delhi with Mammootty. New Delhi is very special as the film was sort of a comeback for Mammooka. Then Teen Maar in Telugu.
|Takkaridonga is a stand out film with respect to visuals. At that time, we did not have adequate technology to shoot such a movie. Another film that I really relished working on was Verangal. The film was substantially shot in the tea estates of Munnar. There is a richness while capturing such shots into frames.|
Significant actors and actresses captured on the frame
Trisha Krishnan and Tulip Joshi in actresses
In actors, I would say Mahesh in Takkaridonga and Ravi Teja in Power
Message for future cinematographers
Do not get carried away with the visuals. Stick with the script and do what needs to be done. A movie is like a flowing graph. There will be crucial scenes that fall under higher peaks. Focusing on those important scenes becomes a workable strategy. In Indian films, stars are looked at very differently. We carry a huge responsibility in packaging and presenting them well. Show them at your best. That’s our job.