A still from ‘Arjun Reddy’
A still from ‘Arjun Reddy’

Having worked as assistant cinematographer and second unit photographer for Bollywood movies like ‘Ishqiya’, ‘Do lafzon ki kahani’, ‘Force 2’, ‘R...Rajkumar’ and the like, Raj Thota was looking for a break. He did patch work for Vijay Devarakonda’s ‘Pelli Chupulu’, which helped him to land a new project ‘Arjun Reddy’, his debut as cinematographer. 

His work was praised in the film and when asked about the effort that went into achieve the tone required, Raj Thota humbly says, “After I was narrated the script, we decided to go for soft lighting in the first half, where Vijay has to be glamorous and mood-based lighting in the second half.”

The cinematographer, who prefers to work in natural sunlight and outdoors has a habit of arriving at lighting scheme only after conducting  a recce of the set, in which the scene is to be shot. “Emotion and mood of the scene along with ambience of the set helps me to set up appropriate lighting,” he says.

Raj used mood-based lighting extensively in the second half, in which the hero’s character descends into suffering. Talking about the same, he says, “We wanted a realistic tone for the movie and in the second half the challenge was to make Vijay’s suffering look raw and rugged.”

Son of a make-up artiste, Raj was enamoured with cinema at a young age. Having zeroed in becoming a cinematographer, he learnt the tricks of trade under the likes of Surender Reddy and Mohana Krishna. 

The cinematographer, who wowed audience and critics alike in his debut film is following up his good work and cranking the camera for actor Sri Vishnu’s next as well.

By Aditya Parankusam