Interview: RAVI KUMAR - Award Winning Cinematographer, Production Designer and Editor of "Life! Camera Action..."

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Ravi KumarWashington DC, June 12, 2012 (Washington Bangla Radio) Ravi Kumar is three-time award winning Cinematographer and Production Designer for the feature film "LIFE! CAMERA ACTION…" produced and directed by Rohit Gupta  - a film that has become a festival favorite that continues it's remarkable streak of international acclaim and numerous awards.

In this audio interview with WBRi's Gurjeet Singh, Ravi shares his story of passion, commitment and destiny. Hailing from the state of Tamil Nadu in India, Ravi has been an ardent fan of movies since his childhood. “I would bunk my school to catch a movie but I felt it was more than entertainment that interested me about any movie. I couldn’t figure it out then, but as I began exploring I realized that the visual aspects of the imagery including shot compositions and colors were my real drivers. I would get lost in them while watching a movie and could never realize that I didn't even notice any other aspects of the film initially”, says Ravi. He began exploring still photography to further his education about images.

Ravi moved to the United States five years ago to pursue his dream of making movies but he says he was lucky enough  to find his passion in cinematography. He joined the renowned Digital Film Academy in New York and along the way wrote and directed two short films. Little did Ravi know that his destiny had bigger things planned for him!

Trailer: Life! Camera Action…

He saw and responded, with little expectation, to an advertisement calling for  casting and crew members posted by Rohit Gupta (producer/director) of "Life! Camera Action…". "I simply applied just like a job application", says Ravi.  But he was amazed when within 6 minutes after submitting his application, he received a call from Rohit and the rest is history.

Ravi could never imagine that this six minutes in blank air would put him on the global map one day. “I can never forget that moment and day we met. Rohit din’t say much about the project, but his passion and drive were infectious and before I knew it, we were on our way”.

Today Ravi has already received three international awards for Cinematography and Production Design for "Life! Camera Action…". "I never set out to become the Production Designer or the Editor, but this is kind of a blessing in disguise. Considering the resources we had, I and Rohit were forced to take up multiple positions and wear different hats at different times which in itself has been a tremendous learning journey. We are lucky it happened this way", reveals Ravi.

Due to his talent, unwavering commitment and enthusiasm, Ravi was instantly made an integral part of the production that the world now knows as the two-member crew of "Life! Camera Action…". In an era of intense competition, the manner this film has become an instant classic is highly commendable. The plot of the film is filled with pivotal moments that drive the outcome of the characters' actions, and at each one of these "what if" moments, the films takes the viewer on a roller coaster ride of emotions leading to introspection.

Shot in New York on a shoestring budget, the indie movie "LIFE CAMERA Action…" continues to gain more recognition than most films on the international film festival circuit. “I did feel that there is something to this, but with Rohit’s commitment and strategies, I knew something will happen and this continued success only makes him happy but not surprised”, says Ravi.

When asked about the experience of shooting a feature-length film on a basic camera and extremely low budget, Ravi says "It's the story that matters, the rest comes together. Besides it has been a collaboration of many people in post production that is making the film travel globally with such honors. It is very exciting”.

Considering that every film has a story, Ravi’s modesty lies in not saying that there is a way to tell a story and more so to keep someone engaged in an art in its own way. Kudos to the team of the independent film "LIFE! CAMERA ACTION…" for creating such a wave in the international film scene and putting another feather in India’s cap. This film has become an inspirational phenomenon among many aspirants and budding film makers and actors around the world. It is also a launch pad for many of the team members in the film including actors and post-production team members who have won thier first international awards.

“Just do it! with what you have and not worry about what you don’t, everything will fall in place” comments Ravi before signing off.

Editor's note: Gurjeet Singh is a Financial Analyst by profession and lives in Germantown, Maryland in the Washington DC metro area. A great enthusiast of Indian-American cultural exchanges, Gurjeet is also an avid  music lover. In her free time she dabs in some water color painting and loves to go on long walks. Gurjeet can be reached at guri070555 [at] yahoo [dot] com.