I observe everything around me since cinema is an amalgam of emotions: Cinematographer Richard Prasad
Richard Prasad is a well-known and critically-acclaimed technician, who has cranked the camera for such movies as ‘Swamy Ra Ra’, ‘Kotha Janta’, ‘Babu Bangaram’, and ‘Dochey’. ‘Oh Baby’ is his most recent film. With the film becoming a big hit and his work getting well-deserved applause, Richard Prasad speaks his mind in his free-wheeling interview.
My father used to work as a Registrar, and my mother was a teacher. After a few years of professional life, she quit her job and took over all domestic responsibilities. She is no more now. My sister has been married to a friend of mine. My brother-in-law, too, is a cinematographer. I studied Visual Communications. Journalism, Photography, and Painting were part of it. After completing the course, I joined a TV channel as a part-time employee and launched its website. I used to be engaged in web designing as well. When I watched the Hollywood movie ‘Sylvester’, I was enthused to become a director. However, I slowly realized that cinematography is my biggest passion. I would always be curious to gain knowledge of all film making crafts. That’s why I studied a cinematography course. By then, I had gained command over Editing. With this knowledge, I could get the scene division and sounding techniques right.
That’s how I think for every film
Every time I work on a movie, I see myself as an assistant director rather than as a cinematographer. I observe the way directors bring out the emotions in scenes/actors. Many years ago, after completing my cinematography course, I did a few commercials. I happened to get in touch with lyricist Krishna Chaitanya in a theatre. Through him, I got to know director Sudheer Varma. I started out working on short films and eventually entered the film industry. ‘Swamy Ra Ra’, directed by Sudheer Varma, was my first movie. ‘Kotha Janta’, ‘Dochey’, ‘Babu Bangaram’ followed.
That’s my bad luck:
After they liked my work on ‘Dochey’, NTR garu and Sukumar garu offered me ‘Nannaku Prematho’. The film had to be shot in London. I applied for Visa twice. But it got rejected both the times. Had I been issued Visa, I would have got to work with a big star like NTR garu. Missing out on the project was my bad luck.
They are my inspiration
Steven Spielberg is one of my all-time favourites. Janusz Kaminski is such a talented cinematographer who has done many movies in partnership with Spielberg. Christopher Dial is another of my favourite. PS Vinod and Rathnavelu are also among those I like. I am a movie buff who watches films without linguistic barriers. I keep observing things around me.
We used the reverse technique
‘Oh Baby’ is a contemporary fantasy movie. That’s why we had to be very careful with the selection of the colours. The tone of the frames depends on the dresses that the characters wear. Usually, costumes are selected on the basis of the tone. But, in the case of this film, we used the reverse technique. The style apes the movies made in Korea, Philippines and Thailand.