By Srikanth Kanchinadham. Posted on August 26, 2015
An excerpt from our series on Rakesh Anand Bakshi's book, 'Director's Diaries - The Road To Their First Films'.
Govind Nihalani On What He Learnt From V.K.Murthy!
"After Mr V.K. Murthy passed away, I pondered on the essence of my relationship with him. And that reflection made me wonder on the difference between a teacher and a mentor, and a guru. For me, a teacher or a mentor is one who guides one’s student through the craft and technique of the profession; a guru goes beyond that and imparts an understanding and helps you discover the philosophy of your art, helps you develop a particular style, a world view, all of which evolves and you gradually develop your own style.
A guru like Mr V.K. Murthy taught me that cinematography should convey and communicate beyond frames and compositions. The intensity of the image is important, but the intensity of the emotion you arouse in the viewer of your image is more important.
The best lesson was his advice during my first film as his assistant. When I asked him which shot we were going to light up next, he told me, ‘When the cameraman and director are discussing the shots, stand close to them and listen to their discussion. And you will never have to ask which shot we were going to light up next.’ After that, I was always around Mr Murthy when he discussed shot division and camera set-ups with the director. That was also a very enlightening experience for me in terms of understanding the nuances of mise en scene. And it helped me immensely when I became a director."