|R V.Ramani, born in Mumbai, 1957, is a graduate in Physics from Mumbai University. He worked as a photojournalist in Mumbai and later graduated from the Film and TV Institute of India, Pune, in 1985, with specialization in Motion Picture Photography. In 1989, he moved to Chennai working as a Cinematographer/filmmaker. Today he is one of the leading documentary filmmakers in India, who has established a unique style of his own, making independent impressionistic documentaries, which has found recognition both in India and abroad. He has traveled widely with his films and his films and Retrospectives have been presented in many International Film Festivals.
Ramani on his films:
“My films are based on the premise, that the only issue is the need to express and to reach an expression.
The inspiration for the film comes when I experience a sense of a ‘sruti’, a tuning or a feeling, for a possible film. The shot taking and its character then align to this ‘sruti’. It’s mostly to do with my own preoccupation, a sense of concern, a strong connection with the ‘subject’, to understand, to relate, to share and most importantly to discover a film in the process. For me this approach gives rise to the content of the film. The impact of the filming on the ‘subject’ and the subject’s relation towards the language of cinema, my own presence in the context, I usually address within the structure of the film. I would say my process has been largely democratic primarily towards the elements of cinema. I consider it’s important that a shot has to live its full life and reveal its full potential. My process of editing has been largely linear, adhering to the shooting order, gently filtering out the essence of the shooting. Most often, in the process of editing, I find the footages starts resonating and dictate a rhythm and flow. This becomes the logical end of the edit. I have given great emphasis to the synch sounds in all my works. The picture and sound always cut together. Whenever there is a sound overlap or dissolve, I underline them, rather than disguising them. I avoid using voice over and narration. I basically work with the camera-generated image, and avoid trying manipulations. Even visual effects are meant to underline rather than dazzle or to disguise. The accent is always on the experience. I believe, when you reach the experience of the highest order; the information contained within is the most appropriate, for the film. Though I have been working on the so called documentary format, the experience of my films is essentially fiction.”
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