Sudhakar S Raj: I intend to bring the wow factor
DOP Sudhakar S Raj discusses his artistic approach in Darshan-starrer Roberrt, the dynamics of his work, and much more about the film that will be out on March 11
Cinematographer Sudhakar S Raj’s first association with ‘Challenging Star’ Darshan was in Chowka (2017), wherein Darshan played a cameo role. The DOP is working with the Kannada star once again in Roberrt.
As a cameraman, Sudhakar has worked in over 10 films. In Roberrt, his job is to capture Darshan - who has over 50 films to his credit - in a completely different manner in terms of looks, style, body language, and overall screen presentation. “A good story can be enhanced when it is rightly visualised, which is where our creativity comes to the fore. We need to bring out a product that matches the director’s vision and imagination. Having travelled with director Tharun Kishore Sudhir from the time I worked with his brother, Nanda Kishore, in Adhyaksha, we share a rapport built over six years. This has helped us stay on the same page,” says the lensman whose frames and lighting are much sought-after.
For over a year now, Sudhakar’s focus has been Roberrt. In fact, he has not taken up any other project. “I was particular about the set design. Along with the director, we worked on the colour combinations, the costume of every actor, and detailing of every accessory used in the picture. I intend to bring out the grandeur and ‘wow’ factor in every frame,” says Sudhakar, who enjoys watching different works of cinematographers in various languages and admires the way Mad Max was presented.
The DOP had his fanboy moment while shooting with the Challenging Star in Roberrt. “I didn’t want to go with a regular format and was glad when Darshan sir was open to experimenting. Having picturised him in a cameo role in Chowka, I was thrilled to be associated with the actor for a full-fledged film. Roberrt involved a lot of homework,” says Sudhakar, who found Darshan camera-friendly. “He understands cinema and the job of technicians. My responsibility was presenting him in a unique manner.”
The highlight of Roberrt, the cinematographer says, is that 80 per cent of the film was shot on specially-constructed sets. “Each one is different. The action sequences, songs, and the way the hero and heroine are presented in the film will be talked about,” says a confident Sudhakar. He adds that all of this wouldn’t have been possible without the support of producer S Umapathy. “Credit must go to him for the outcome.”