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‘Girgit’ DOP Shelly Sharma on challenges faced by women behind the camera

Cinematographer Shelly Sharma, has spoken of how being a female DoP involves a lot of struggle and her experience of being on the sets of the show.

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Cinematographer Shelly Sharma, who is also the director of photography of the web show ‘Girgit’, has spoken of how being a female director of photography involves a lot of struggle and her experience of being on the sets of the show.

Shelly has been in the industry for some time, however, she also added how being a female DOP leads to a lot of struggle. “The struggle has been more elongated than my male counterparts, from the regular questions like ‘that’s a heavy set up, how do you manage to pull off long handheld shots’ to having been said ‘no’ to an assistant cinematographer’s role because of the person. I was looking to assist and he wasn’t open to having a female in his team despite being openly appreciative of my work otherwise, so yeah, the struggle is most definitely real,” Shelly said.

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She added: “Still, when you love what you do, you don’t let these mindsets disturb your approach, and now there are a lot of us (female DOPs) out there, and I don’t think there is any turning back. More recently, it’s been extraordinary meeting and collaborating with people who have a broader mindset. Honestly, these are the only ones you want to work with as well and not with someone who you need to keep proving yourself to each day because they aren’t evolved enough to look beyond your gender.”

While shooting for the series, Shelly also added that she tried creating two different visual worlds for the two other characters. “The most prominent thing that I have tried to do was create a visual difference in the worlds of ‘Shamoli’ played by Taniya Kalrra and ‘Ranbir’ depicted by Nakul Roshan Sahdev as each episode goes back and forth between Manali and Mumbai often,” shared Shelly.

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“It was essential to have a look that could help my audience understand which part of the country and hence whose story they are now following, even if it does that subconsciously. We were able to achieve these via a choice of different colours, lighting, which was another great collaboration with this brilliant colourist Pranab Mane,” she concluded.

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