Mani Ratnam has asked ace cinematographer Santosh Sivan to shoot his next film titled Azaan featuring Ranbir Kapoor. Mani Ratnam, who is raring to go ahead with his next project, has told Santosh Sivan he must come on board for the next project. No questions asked.
This wouldn’t be the first occasion when the cinematographer will be going out of his way for Mani Ratnam whose current project Raavan was taken over midway by Santosh Sivan.
Earlier Manikandan was the cinematographer for Raavan but Mani Ratnam eventually asked his favourite cinematographer Santosh Sivan to take over the project. Santosh Sivan, who has earlier shot Ratnam’s first Hindi film Dil Se, gladly took over putting aside all other commitments.
Mani Ratnam wants to start Azaan with Ranbir Kapoor by the end of the year. Santosh Sivan says, “I do have my hands full. I also have four days work left for my acting assignment. And yes, Mani has asked me to shoot his next film. And there’s no question of saying no to Mani Ratnam.”
Though Santosh Sivan denies having to bend backwards to accommodate Mani’s impossible schedules, fact is that at this given time Mani is the only filmmaker for whom Santosh Sivan is willing to serve as cinematographer. He has otherwise resolved to only do the cinematography of films, which he personally directs.
Recently for the music release of Raavan in Mumbai, Santosh Sivan was also summoned by Mani to do the lighting on stage for AR Rahman and Abhishek Bachchan’s live show.
The cinematographer will now visit Chennai on May 13 for the music release of the Tamil version of Raavan and do the lighting for the live show there as well.
“What you see as going out of my way for Mani Ratnam is not really that. Anyone who works with him would do exactly that,” adds Santosh Sivan. No matter how Santosh Sivan puts it, fact is he will be shooting Azaan at the cost of his own film.