At 21, most of us would either still be in college or starting our first job, but that’s not the case with Vishnu Sarma, he had already worked on a feature film Escape from Uganda as a cinematographer, making him the youngest professional cinematographer in the industry.
After completing his graduation in Visual Communication from Asan Memorial College, Chennai Vishnu’s plans were to either become an assistant to somebody in the industry or pursue further studies in cinematography. But neither of these worked out as he didn’t know many people in the industry nor did he get past the second round of application at L V Prasad Film and TV Academy, Chennai.
It wasn’t long after college that he was offered the job of the cinematographer for the film Escape from Uganda. Vishnu, who has already done a number of short films says, “I had the confidence and fire in me from the short films I had done. People had already recognised and appreciated our short films.”
Entering the bigger game obviously means that business gets serious. Unlike short film cinematography, feature film uses more sophisticated technology and has very little room for error. But for Vishnu it was an opportunity, “The first time I had ever worked with a RED camera was for the film’s shoot but as a cinematographer, equipment is not something to be scared of. It’s actually an opportunity to express oneself better. In simpler terms, it’s like offering biriyani to someone who has been starving for a long time,” Vishnu says with a chuckle.
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