Cinematographer Shanu Singh Rajput’s latest project ‘Avrodh 2’, which has been garnering critical and audience acclaim, is based on the chapter titled Just Tell Me When to Begin, from India’s Most Fearless 2 by journalists Shiv Aroor and Rahul Singh.
Avrodh: The Siege Within 2 is a military thriller which showcases the Indian Army and the Income Tax Department’s efforts to crack an ISI conspiracy involving terror attacks and counterfeit currency, to counter which Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the demonetisation drive.
Season One was all about the Indian Army commandos’ surgical strike after the Uri attack.
The show has some spell-binding performances and the cinematography has also been critically applauded.
‘Avrodh 2’, according to Shanu, is a massive show, especially in terms of the variety of locations. “We covered as many as 150 locations for one show,” he said. “And the schedules were spread for over more than one year. So yes, it is really overwhelming to see all the hard work reflect on the product. The show was very meticulously visualised by Raj Acharya and it was an amazing process to bring out that on camera.”
Talking about the cinematography sketch, Shanu said, “As mentioned, our director Raj Acharya did have a very precise vision and the biggest challenge was the wide range of locations. The idea was to keep everything as organic as possible.
“So, in terms of lighting, me and my team had to do in-depth research on how these spaces in the reel world actually look like in the real world.”
He added: “Accordingly, we tried to keep every frame as raw and real as possible. The concept itself gives you a feel of de-construction. In terms of look and feel, we have tried to create that sense of chaos.
“We have tried using mostly natural sources of light as key and enhanced the very original lighting visible to the naked eye for the view finder.”
He concluded by noting that “We used a lot of LED Matt lights battery operated to help us keep things handy. As said, juggling between a vast palette of spaces, saving time without compromising on the vision was crucial.”
Shanu Singh Rajput has worked on prominent projects such as Punchbeat, Mastyakand, Parchayee, Code M and Avrodh season 1 as a Cinematographer.
Avrodh 2, directed by Raj Acharya, features Abir Chatterjee, Neeraj Kabi, Sanjay Suri, Aahana Kumra, Vijay Krishna, Mohan Agashe, Anant Mahadevan and Rajesh Khatter.