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Chitchat with PG Vinda
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With a bright academic record, PG Vinda decided to enter the creative field of cinematography by doing a professional degree. His work for National award winning Grahanam won laurels. Here is chitchat with this upcoming cinematographer PG Vinda -

6th September 2005

Your name Vinda sounds bit strange? What is your real name?
My name is P Govinda. My friends used to call me Vinda. Hence I prefer my name to be PG Vinda.

Tell us about your background?
I am born in Hyderabad and completed most of my education through scholarships by studying in AP Residential schools. During my studies, I used to paint a lot. At one point of time, I had to choose between photography and painting. I preferred photography and it offers much wider reach. I did my Bachelors of Fine Arts in Photography at JNTU. During that time, I completed my internship at famous photographer Madhu Ambat for the film Lajja. After completion of graduation, I assisted Madhu Ambat for two more Hindi films. I also used to follow Rajiv Menon to learn about aspects of ad-film making.

How did Grahanam happen to you?
I met the director Indraganti Mohana Krishna during screening of films at Hyderabad Film Club. I am a fan of Telugu literature and it excited me when he said that he would be making a film on Chalam's work. I immediately accepted the offer to work for Grahanam.

Which camera did you use for Grahanam?
Initially we wanted to do that film with regular camera. But our budget constraints forced us to use digital camera that is used for TV news coverage. We used AG DVX 100 A model digital camera. It costs over a lakh. We rented it for Rs. 1200/- a day and completed the entire shoot in 18 working days. There are more than 1000 such cameras that are being extensively used by TV channels in Hyderabad alone.

What is the lighting equipment used?
I used 6 KW worth of lighting which includes two bay lights, two multi 10's, two multi 20's and a custom made soft box. I had to hold the custom made soft box in one hand and camera in other hand while shooting the film.

How different is it to shoot in black and white when compared to color?
To tell you the truth, we started the film in color and during the middle of the shoot Mohana Krishna got the idea of making it black and white. Since the digital camera has the option of changing the color schemes seamlessly, we did not have any problem. Since the story set in the backdrop of early 50's, the theme of black and white suited the film.

Don't you think there are many artificial colors that are generated due to digital colors?
In the old days, the colors were created from the dyes extracted from earth. Since the dyes are natural, the colors used to be natural. But in this digital age, we have more than million different synthetic colors.

What kind of feedback did you get for your work in Grahanam?
Lots of European filmmakers who visited Calcutta film festival got impressed with my work. More so, because we did it with a digital camera on a shoe-string budget.

Tell us the shots in which you tried to match the mood of the film?
When you look at Saradamba's house, I use full lights to make it appear bright to signify the holiness of the place and serenity of Saradamba's heart. If you look at boy's hut, its dim lit. I used less light and more shadows to signify the disease. When Saradamba is thrown out of her house, I used half shadow on her face to signify the false allegation put on her.

What is your next project?
I would be doing cinematography for Indraganti Mohana Krishna's next film based on Buchibabu's story 'Chivaraku Migiledi?' This film would be made on Dega Arts banner that produced Ammayi Bagundi film in the past.

What is your future ambition?
I want to select films with good scripts that have scope for good visuals.

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