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“You have everything within you, you just need that spark” – Santosh Sivan

Report by Diganta Debnath

India’s top cinematographer shared his methods and knowledge with the film students and lovers. On 31 May 2020, Santosh Sivan, a Padma Shri awardee hosted by Canon in a webinar. Santosh Sivan was invited to talk about lighting and how it plays a crucial role in cinematography. The webinar was called ‘Journey of Light’ and is a part of the ‘Digital Masterclass’ ongoing series organized by Canon.

One of the most important points touched by him in the webinar was how lighting affects the mood of the cinema. He shared how every different region he had worked in, taught him something unique. He talked about his time in Sweden where natural top-light is a rare thing and how filmmakers try to use it or avoid it according to the cinematic circumstances which are in contrast with the fact that most of the regions in India get top-light almost every day. Santosh also shared valuable technical knowledge about lenses and when to use what in relation to the lighting used.

Santosh also motivated young cinematographers through various anecdotes, he said, “You have everything within you, you just need that spark.” He has also directed and produced films like Urmi, The Terrorist, and Asoka. His camera works in Roja and Dil Se are memorable and used as a reference point for young filmmakers around the world. To date, Santosh Sivan has completed 45 feature films and 41 documentaries.

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