Interviewer : Jyothsna Bhavanishankar | Camera : Maran | Text : Jyothsna Bhavanishankar | Coordination : Venkatesh
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Cinematographer Priyan is currently busy with Vijay’s Velayudham. Amidst his busy schedule, he talked to Senior Editor Jyothsna Bhavanishankar on his cinematic journey, Vijay, Velayudham and allied subjects. Over to Priyan.

How did you come into films?

I am in the industry for more than 20 years. I am from a middle class family and it is not that I was a very ambitious to enter the industry. When I was doing my second year Polytechnic, I came to Chennai during my summer vacation and visited a shooting spot on a very casual manner and the industry fascinated me.

I started my career as a camera apprentice and worked in that capacity for four months. The period that I came in can be called the ‘golden period’ in cinema. I had an opportunity to work with different types of cameramen and talented technicians during that period.

I got a chance to work for 6-7 films as an assistant in Balu Mahendra sir’s films. The best films were Moondram Pirai, Sadma, Yaathra, Olangal and two of his films had got national awards. Later I worked with Suresh Menon and Rajeev Menon. I have worked more with Suresh Menon. Thottachinungi was my first film as an independent cameraman. I got to know director Adhiyaman through K Vijayan and that’s how I got the offer.

Cheran is a fast writer

Working with Cheran

I have worked with Cheran sir in three films. I have done some key portions in Bharathi Kannamma. I don’t have to say about Cheran sir. He is the best player in terms of emotions and brings out the fine nuances of relationships between family members. I can sense the emotional power play while handling the camera. I also like his writing and Cheran is a fast writer. He is capable of writing the entire film’s dialogues in two and a half days. I want to work with him in more films.

Association with Hari

From Hari sir’s first film Thamizh to the latest Singam, they are all fast paced and you would not realize when the film started and when it ended. Hari’s planning is impeccable. He keeps track of the needs of all the unit members. His films will have all the features that are seen in families in south Tamil Nadu. Hari is a magnificent person. I have done ten films with him and all the films have fared well. I have travelled with him in most part of my cinematic journey and will be working in his next film with Suriya.

Hari’s planning is impeccable

Velayudham is the right kind of

film for Vijay

Velayudham and working with Jayam Raja

I have seen around 4-5 films of Jayam Raja. He has a good visual taste and is known for stylized visuals. Velayudham is the right kind of film for Vijay. There is comedy, style, story, sister sentiment and everything in its favor. The film will be released soon.

Vijay in Velayudham

Velayudham is the second film for me with Vijay, first being Udhaya. There is a general feel that Vijay is reserved and does not talk much. But when you work with him, you realize that Vijay is a wonderful friend. We can talk on any subject with him.

Vijay is a wonderful friend

Vijay is like Sivaji Ganesan

I have worked with Sivaji Ganesan sir in Bandham and I know about the punctuality of the legend. I see the same trait in Vijay and he walks into the set at least 15 minutes before the scheduled time. And Vijay is also a perfectionist. Be it comedy or action, they come naturally to Vijay. All in all, it was easy working in Velayudham.

Sharing of technical information in the industry

I have started my career as a camera assistant and have come this far in the industry and have seen the various ranges of camera from the traditional one to high speed to current digital cameras. Earlier it was difficult to get to know about any new product and its usage. But now the scenario has changed. Everybody helps everybody. As the information access has become easy now, if my director gets to know about a latest product, he tells me and vice versa. There is friendly sharing of information in the industry. There is no ego and industry is very good now.

There is no ego in the industry

Tags : Priyan, Velayudham, Vijay, Hari, Cheran, Jayam Raja
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