Shaman Harsha: Creating “awe moments”

“My first hands-on experience of expressing myself as an artist was through still photography,” says Shaman Harsha, a cinematographer whose star in on-the-rise. “I was too shy to go around people and click their pictures, which forced me to look at the other things around. I discovered Nature. Insects, flowers, tiny beautiful mushrooms, shrubs, and breathtaking landscapes which most of the world fails to pause and admire. Being on the other side of the camera which has the power of capturing an awe moment forever, made me feel good.”

It makes sense as his film Invincible, is a symphony of stunning moving imagery.

As I grew up, I got addicted to TV Shows and Movies. After watching the movies, I wanted to know more about the characters, the story, and the scenes that weren’t shown in the movie. I wanted to know what happened behind the scenes. Most of the time, I was the loner in the cinema hall when the credits scrolled by. I came to know that it is not just the actors and directors that make up the movie, it is the whole army of people. Thousands of people with different talents and capabilities coming and working together to make one beautiful visualized statement. This made me crave to work with the visual media industry. I wanted to be a part of this industry to make my views and thoughts reach out to people.”

Part I: The eyes and lens of Shaman (look for part II coming soon to OuterStage)

I once heard someone call a DP or cinematographer a “painter” since they create such masterful pictures and images. Do you agree?

I 100% agree. Being a Cinematographer is like painting with lights and movement. You have the beautiful production design and amazing characters in front of you, all you got to do is give them color, quality, and intensity of light to guide the viewers’ eyes through the picture and enhance it with the camera movement to reveal more information to viewers. 

What is your creative mission? In other words, what is your style?

Recently, I started back-lighting my characters into silhouettes or having just a little bit of light rays passing the frame to allow the character to walk in and out of the dark. Seeing a silhouette of a character in the frame removes all the distractions and makes the audience focus on the subject, mainly their body language. I feel that body language is a pure form of expression and it leaves the audience to interpret and perceive their way, thus involving them in the film more.

What is your creative process?

Lights are one of my favorite parts of the filmmaking process and I love how the lights have the power of telling a story subconsciously to the audience on how a character is feeling or the emotion of the scene, how a powerful image has the ability to change people’s perspective and emotions. 

When I work as a Director Of Photography on a project, I like to spend time with my director and their story, get into their mind, and see their vision while helping them achieve it. I like to be heavily involved and help in the development and pre-production phase. For me location and production design are the most important ingredient in the filmmaking processes, it all starts there. If you have a great location and an amazing production design, no matter what your frame is, it’s gonna look beautiful. But once you have the story, you gotta make the frame meaningful along with it being beautiful. 

Part II Coming Soon: A Bright Future in the United States

Read the review of his film, INVINCIBLE.


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