Jayesh Nair talks About Lord Livingstone 7000 Kandi and Other Films

Cinematographer Jayesh Nair talks about his experiences in shooting Lord Livingstone 7000 Kandi and other films

At first glance, Jayesh Nair could easily pass for a member of a rock band, with his day-dreaming eyes and flowing hair. But he is, in fact, the cinematographer of movies like North 24 Kaatham, Sapthamashree Thaskara, and the recently released Lord Livingstone 7000 Kandi, all directed by Anil Radhakrishnan Menon.

“Shooting Kandi was fun,” he says. “There is this vast expanse of beauty that is the forest stretched out before your eyes. One just needs to capture what the landscape gives you. The only tough part was hauling the equipment over the mountains.”

Having worked with Menon on three films, Jayesh says he has developed a good working rapport. “We discuss the movie in the initial stages,” he says. “The plan is watertight and hardly anything changes during the shoot.”

This Mumbai-born Malayali, with familial roots in Chalakudy, had left behind a fledgling networking firm he set up with a friend to make his leap into filmmaking.After an unsuccessful first go at an entrance test to the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), he assisted Bollywood cinematographer Kiran Deohans for a year. Later, after Jayesh graduated from FTII in 2011, National-Award winning cinematographer Rajeev Ravi took him under his wings. His first movie with Rajeev was the cult classic, Gangs of Wasseypur. “Wasseypur was where the unlearning of my institute training began,” says Jayesh. “It was a huge crew and (director) Anurag (Kashyap) is different from other directors, as he improvises on the go.”

Jayesh considers the tutelage under Rajeev a turning point in his career. “There is a lot to learn from him,” he says. “I spent time around him, observing how he works.” At present, Jayesh is assisting Madhu Neelakandan in Rajeev Ravi’s next directorial venture which stars Dulquer Salman.

Jayesh is an obsessive traveller who makes it a point to pack his bags and wander off someplace between two assignments. Ringing true to his wanderlust and penchant for improvisation, he is drawn more to documentary filmmaking. “My concern is with the street,” says Jayesh. “I cherish what I get from there, which is spontaneous and pure.” As a person who does not carry a camera when traveling, he admits that pointing one at someone’s face ‘pretty offending’. “When you are younger you don’t think twice about doing it. But now I have my misgivings.”

Perhaps, this concern for the object of an image over the the image explains why he has not shot a documentary since his FTII days. Moreover, it is also quite refreshing to find a movie technician who takes time to ruminate over the morals of his craft.

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