The composition, lighting and wide frames in Thenmavin Kombathu created a huge impact on me. And the different lighting pattern he tried in Priyadarshan’s Minnaram is also notable.
But it's the Vaaji Vaaji song from Sivaji that amazed me the most. It was shot inside a glass set, and he pulled it off without there being any unwanted reflections, which is usually the case in such situations. I still wonder how he did something as challenging as that.
It's inspiring. And winning a national award for his first film was a huge deal. I heard that while shooting Thenmavin Kombathu in a remote area, Priyadarshan and his editor developed the rushes and had to screen the dailies at a local theatre. They were so impressed and became confident in KV Anand’s skills. And let’s keep in mind that he did his most outstanding work before the advent of the digital format.
Sanu John Varghese
KV Anand had a very different, fresh and definite commercial voice. There is something about the way he brings the light in, which was very unique in those days. His use of light was very sensual. It was unlike anyone else’s. And he had a good sense of colours.
He was influential, and we spoke a few times. He was someone who also got to see the real side of things before becoming a cinematographer. Also, for someone not from a film school background, he had a strong grasp of the photochemical process. He was able to readapt himself to the lab. He could bring out colours during the photochemical process, and he was good with mixing and all that.
Thenmavin Kombathu was one of the films that inspired me to be a cinematographer. Its visuals are unforgettable, the framing impeccable. He used artificial light in a way that did not make it vulgar. He had a flair for magical composition - where to place each object or character in the frames. The colours he used, the lensing... each and every shot is like a painting. He only did films where he could exercise his creativity.