The camera never stops rolling for film stars, whether on-screen or off it. And now comes the want to possess one. Several Kannada bigwigs have invested in film cameras worth lakhs.
The likes of Darshan, Sudeep and Puneeth Rajkumar own a film camera each. Shivarajkumar spent Rs 60 lakh on buying one recently. This came two months after Puneeth bought a similar one. Darshan has a Super 35, while Sudeep’s Black Magic Camera is worth ` 1 crore.
With digital cameras catching on in the industry, most have been sourced from Germany, the USA or Singapore.
“Puneeth Rajkumar is a camera freak and has thorough knowledge about various cameras and their techniques. In fact, he keeps himself updated about the latest cameras being used in Hollywood and Bollywood,” says a film technician close to Puneeth.
Best of tech
Cinematographer S Krishna, who gave a new dimension to camerawork in Kannada film with Mungaru Male, says owning the latest camera model gives the actors a big advantage when shooting films they are starring in. “Latest camera technology should always be welcomed into cinema. Technicians cannot always afford to upgrade their equipment. If it’s the stars who can spend and bring in better cameras, then so be it,” he says.
Krishna feels the trend helps keep the Kannada industry technically on par with other industries. “Often, these star-owned cameras are borrowed by projects involving other actors. This way the benefit is shared,” he adds. The Alexa - XT and RED Epic Dragon cameras are currently in hot demand around the world.
With stars keeping abreast with the latest in film technology, producers too are finding themselves faced with better choices to make as far as equipment goes.
“These stars don’t just own cameras, they have even spent time and effort to learn a few camera tricks and probably know as much as a cameraperson would about them, they are that crazy about it. They get into minute details before buying one. This only helps us to get the best and the latest for our movies,” says Kamar, producer of Aryan.
On their part, the actors who pour in huge amounts of money on high-end cameras don’t maintain them as showpieces. They make sure the camera is put to good use. Kamar is using Shivarajkumar’s camera to shoot Aryan. Vijay Kumar, producer of Puneeth’s film Ninnindale, is using the actor’s camera too.
Cameraman K S Chandrashekar, famous for his work in Charminar, is currently working with Shivarajkumar’s new camera for Aryan. “Sudeep is using Arri Alex Pro Camera on the sets of his latest film Manikya. He loves adding to his camera collection. I remember him using a digital still camera during the shooting of the film Kempegowda. Now he plans to use his Black Magic Camera for his next project. In fact, some of actors consult with us before purchasing a camera,” he says.