Long shots in movies are like wines, with precise aging one can achieve the perfect flavour. Mess up the blend, and connoisseurs of movies could tag your wine with the worst descriptors.
Director Jude Anthany Joseph's debut-movie 'Ohm Shanthi Oshaana', featuring Nazriya Nazim and Nivin Pauly in the lead, provided cinematographer Vinod Illampally with such an opportunity, and he 'aged' it delicious.
“'Ohm Shanthi Oshaana' has a wine-room sequence. The scene would establish Vinaya Prasad's character – the Wine Aunty – as a specialist who maintains a wine cellar in the basement of her house,” said Vinod Illampally.
We found a house that fits the bill in Thodupuzha and set up a cellar in its basement as required. However, the challenge was to register the uniqueness of this room. The solution was to go for a single shot, which would reveal the placement of the wine cellar to the viewers.
The task was not an easy one for the camera crew as the scene Jude and co-writer Midhun Manuel Thomas came up with had the exterior of the house, its interior and the basement room. This meant that the team would have to work on focus and exposure simultaneously to achieve the perfect shot.
“We had two options -- use Steadicam or go with a handheld. Jude was ready to bring in Steadicam but I opted for the handheld,” Vinod revealed.
They were shooting on Red Epic and rehearsed the sequence multiple times to get all the elements correct.
The shot of the sequence meant Vinod and focus-puller Shankar had to do a sort of ballroom waltz for 4 minutes as the duo followed Nazriya from outside the house to the wine room after entering the house. The technical transcription of this cinematic beauty read simple for the camera crew -- over-lit, medium-lit and underlit.
“While working on this, I had the push processing (a film developing technique) in mind but didn't know how it would work out on digital,” said Vinod, who delivered some of his most challenging works on film stock.
The scene came out well and was appreciated by technicians and movie buffs.