The bond between Indian cinematography and Arriflex

After joining the Film and Television Institute in the eighties to study cinematography, the first year was spent shooting still photographs, doing lighting practicals and lab work. We however watched a lot of films, argued more about them and of course dreamt of shooting our own films.

It was only in the second year that we got a chance to shoot on film. I remember my shot in the motion picture exposure practical exercise and it was a panning shot of somebody going into a building.

It was a bright day and the iris was cut down to f/22. I could barely see anything and some one shouted ‘start camera’. I was so nervous. The Arri 2c camera came alive – black and white film squeezing though the gears. Before I could get my bearings the shot was over. I wasn’t prepared for the flicker that I saw through the eyepiece. I thought my camera was faulty. My first shot in cinema was going to be wobbly. I had to wait for a week to see the results on screen.

I heaved sigh of relief when my shot came on screen. There it was – crystal clear with no flicker.

Guru Dutt with VK Murthi
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