Digital camera future of cinema: Tamil cinematographer

Chennai, June 29 (IANS) Having spent over a decade in the industry, Tamil cinematographer Priyan, who is awaiting the release of his action-drama “Singam 2”, feels that it’s time that digital cameras are embraced for good as it seems to be the future of cinema.

“We are still not using digital cameras effectively as the number of films being made digitally in Tamil is less than 20 percent of total films produced in a year. It’s time we start using digital cameras more as the future of cinema relies on it,” Priyan told IANS.

In “Singam 2”, the cinematographer used digital camera to shoot 40 percent of the film.

What about the rest of the film?

“We cinematographers face certain constraints with digital cameras. There are certain places and conditions when we can’t use them and, therefore resort to using conventional camera. It’s a good practice to mix and use both type of camera,” he said.

“It also depends on the requirements of the director. It’s up to the director to decide whether to shoot in digital or not. I can see that directors are slowly going digital and I think that’s a good sign,” he added.

Priyan has digitally shot most action sequences in the film.

“We had to shoot an action sequence from a bird’s eye view. We obviously can’t shoot with traditional camera at such height because weight and the size becomes a major concern. There are so many other scenes where we had to go digital,” he added.

Known for Tamil films such as “Saamy”, “Godfather” and “Thimiru”, Priyan believes one needs to be technically savvy to use digital cameras.

“Technical expertise is very important to understand and use a digital camera. I think it’s the younger cinematographers who are more equipped with technology and are quickly shifting to digital platform, while the older lot has begun to experiment,” said Priyan.

He also says that “digital filmmaking helps in saving lot of cost”.

“It can save anywhere between 20 and 40 percent for a filmmaker. Why do you think most independent filmmakers are going digital? It is because they can’t cough up money for high production values,” he said.

In 2012, nearly ten Tamil films such as “Marina”, “Vazhakku En 18/9” and “Gaandham” were shot in digital and Priyan is expecting the number to increase.

“Let’s hope the number increases this year, but we should be more concerned about the quality of films being made in digital,” he said.

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