Hi People! Hope you all are doing safe during this global pandemic shutdown. In this week’s #blabwithsandy, I have Tollywood’s latest cinematographer Suresh Sarangam with me. Apart from dabbling in top advertising commercials and earning rich name for himself, Suresh made a mark for himself as a cinematographer with the recently released flick ‘Mathu Vadalara’, which was produced by Mythri Movie Makers. Let’s dive into the blab I had with Suresh:
Sandy: Hello Suresh! Could you tell the readers about your background?
Suresh: Hi Sandy. I belong to Gudur town which is part of the Nellore district in Andhra Pradesh. I completed my M.Sc. Computer Science in integrated mode and did my Diploma in Cinematography from Rama Naidu Film School.
Sandy: Oh, great! Even I have my family roots from Nellore. 😊 So, how did your cinematography journey begin?
Suresh: I was inspired by Rajiv Menon Sir and his works. I also liked cinematographer RD Rajasekhar’s works in Minnale (Cheli) and Ghajini. I saw their interviews and I felt I had to learn from such people. They were regarded as the bests in Tamil film industry.
Chota K Naidu garu, Rasool Ellore, B Rajasekhar (Arya 2 and Orange) were an inspiration too! I did my demo shoots in the film school and really wanted to showcase my talent.
Mr. Nookayya (earlier titled as Mr. Nokia) was my first film as an assistant cinematographer and followed it up wih ‘Uu Kodathara Ulliki Padathara’. I was the cinematographer for movies Player, Thanu Nenu, and Saptagiri LLB. The latter was a beautiful concept, but somewhere the film got spoilt and it could not reach its target audience.
Sandy: Your cinematography works for Ads have received nice acclaim. How different is it shooting a cinema in comparison to a commercial?
Suresh: They are totally different. My perception is, if we spend around 100 days shooting for a cinema, we spend a day or two for a commercial. In cinema, it is a little easy as we have the art department, costume department, all coming along as per their scheduled timeframe.
In Ads, it’s all cut-to-cut. It is much like a teaser, which needs to be crisp. This requires more focus. Everyone has a tight deadline if we talk about Ad making.
Sandy: ‘Mathu Vadalara’ film was a success and so was your camera work. A few anecdotes on the team and the film.
Suresh: Yes! I was supposed to make my debut with another film in 2013-14 but that project got shelved. Then, few more things did not take off as expected. I continued my ad works in the meantime.
After being picked for ‘Mathu Vadalara’, things changed. Sri Simha and Ritesh Rana (director) were very focused while working on the film. The crew was around 10-15 people only, and it was fun shooting in the apartment.
Most of the crew members were new and that made the difference. We all worked hard and wanted this project to hit the right notes after its release, and it did too! Really happy that ‘Madhu Vadalara’ gave us a hit that we aimed for.
Sandy: What was the best compliment you received for ‘Mathu Vadalara’?
Suresh: I got good appreciation from many people. The heap of praises that director Chandrasekhar Yeleti garu bestowed upon me is something that touched my heart. I have been inspired by his works and my favourite being his ‘Okkadunnadu’.
On the day of the release, he called me and told me that the film shall be a blockbuster and he loved my work. It means a lot coming from him.
Quick Shot Round:
- Love: I can say ‘Prema’ 😊
- Biggest regret in life: Many! During the period of 2017-18, I wasn’t happy. I am a well-qualified M.Sc graduate but was not sure where my life was leading to, and that got me disturbed. I feel I should have started earlier. But I feel lucky that I got to do Ads during low phase
- Your close friends in the Industry: Close? Hmmm, none!
- One good thing and one bad thing about the film industry: Good is we get to see a lot many passionate people around. If we give our 100% and keep trying hard, we will reach our goals. Bad thing is, we tend to get frustrated if things do not go our way, and especially in this industry, we need to be ready for such phase
- Favourite Cinematographers: Roget Deakins, Emmanuel Lubezki, PS Vinod
- Your most used App on phone: WhatsApp
- Directors you’d like to work with: Chandrasekhar Yeleti
- Heroes that you would like to work with: Nani and Sharwanand
Sandy: Any advice that you want to give to upcoming cinematographers?
Suresh: Just keep trying and trying. There will be a day that you would be reaching your goal.
Sandy: A few words about Hyderabad Local.
Suresh: I have been following your works for over a year and I am very impressed. You cover Hollywood, Bollywood, and South cinema. There are no gimmicks involved and everything is so cool and fun. Hope we work together soon. All the best to you Sandy.
Interview by Sandeep Rao (Sandy)
Editor’s note: It was real fun blabbing with cinematographer Suresh Sarangam. Not only his work, but he as a person has also impressed me. Wishing a blockbuster journey ahead for Suresh.
Follow Suresh @sarangamsuresh
Follow Sandy @blabwithsandy