The Hero’s Journey of Vishnu Rajendran

What is the best thing I love about my work? As a cinematographer and editor, my work involves creating and capturing visual content for films, whether they be full-length movies or short films. Based in Los Angeles, I have the opportunity to work on a variety of projects and collaborate with other talented professionals in the industry. One of the things I love most about my job is the chance to bring stories to life through the medium of film. Every frame or shot that I design is an exciting opportunity to convey emotion and meaning, and I find great fulfillment in being able to contribute to the creative process of filmmaking. In addition to the creative aspect of my work, I have also been greatly influenced by the movies I have watched over the years. These films, in a variety of languages, have shaped my personality and helped to shape who I am as a person. My profession has also given me the chance to travel to the other side of the world to work with other amazing artists, which has been a rewarding experience and has allowed me to grow and learn from my colleagues. Overall, I am grateful for the opportunities and experiences that my work as a cinematographer and editor has brought me.

Photo credits: Rytham Singla

What is my Idea of happiness? To me, happiness is being able to live my life and pursue my passions as a career. It can be as
simple as being true to myself and following my dreams. While I don’t know what the future holds, I am grateful to be able to do what I love right now – making movies. I feel fortunate to be able to pursue my interests and turn them into a profession. Overall, being able to live a fulfilling and meaningful life is my idea of happiness.

What is my greatest fear? Feeling unable to reach my full potential or take advantage of opportunities can be disappointing
and disheartening.

What is the trait that I deplore in myself? I used to have the bad habit of procrastinating and completing tasks or activities at the last minute, but I am actively working to change this by being more productive and managing my time effectively. By shifting my mindset and focusing on my goals, I am striving to improve myself and overcome this negative habit.

Which living persons in my profession do I most admire? I have a great appreciation for all of the professionals who have come before me and have contributed to the art of filmmaking. These individuals have helped to shape the medium into what it is today through their hard work and dedication, and I am grateful for their efforts. Their contributions have played a significant role in drawing me towards a career in cinematography, and I admire their talent and expertise. If I had to choose one individual who has particularly inspired me, it would be Hoyte van Hoytema. His work as a cinematographer, also known as a director of photography (DP), has been exceptional, and I have been particularly impressed by his DP work in films such as Interstellar, Dunkirk, and TENET. These movies showcase his ability to create visually stunning and emotionally powerful imagery, and his work has inspired me to aim higher in my own career as a cinematographer. Overall, I am grateful for the professionals who have come before me and have contributed to the field of filmmaking, and I hope to continue to learn from their example as I pursue my own career in the industry.

What is my greatest extravagance? As a cinematographer, I am dedicated to creating visually stunning and impactful frames that
help to tell the story of a film. I draw upon everything I have learned, seen, and experienced in my career in order to craft each shot to its fullest potential. However, this level of attention to detail and dedication to perfection can often take a significant amount of time, which can be a challenge on a film set where time is a valuable commodity. Despite this, I believe that the time
and effort spent on creating a single, well-crafted frame is worth it, as it can add depth and impact to the overall story being told. I am constantly striving to improve my skills and techniques in order to create the best possible frames for each project I work on.

On what occasion would I lie? Although I am generally an active person, there are times when I just feel like taking a break and
watching movies as a way to refresh my mind and learn new things about cinematography. If my friends call me during these times and invite me to hang out or go out, I sometimes feel the temptation to lie and tell them that I am busy, even though I know this is not a good thing to do. I understand that it is important to be honest and communicate openly with others, but sometimes I
just need that time to recharge and relax. Overall, it is important to find a balance between socializing and taking time for oneself, and to be honest and open with others about our needs and desires.

What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work? As a professional in the field of cinematography, I often encounter situations where people who have little to no understanding of my work try to give me unsolicited advice on how to do things,
such as lighting a scene. For example, if I am setting up lighting for a shot and someone who is not the director (and who may not have any experience in gaffing or other aspects of my field) suggests that I should try lighting the scene from a different angle or in a different way, I may feel frustrated and annoyed. While I am always open to considering suggestions or ideas from others, especially if they have relevant experience or expertise, I feel that it is important to respect the roles and responsibilities of each member of the production team. If someone who has no understanding of my goals or objectives for a shot tries to offer unsolicited advice, it can be disruptive and unhelpful, and I may feel the need to assert my own expertise and focus on my own tasks. Ultimately, it is important for everyone to do their own job to the best of their ability, and to trust and respect the expertise of others on the team.

When and where was I the happiest, in my work? One of the things that brings me the most happiness and satisfaction in my work as a cinematographer is the opportunity to use lighting to transform an ordinary frame into something truly cinematic. As a gaffer and DP, I have the chance to use my technical expertise and creative eye to add depth, emotion, and meaning to a scene through the use of lighting. The feeling of seeing the results of my efforts come to life on screen is indescribable and brings me a great deal of joy and fulfillment. Working in the field of cinematography allows me to pursue my passion for storytelling and creativity, and I am grateful for the opportunity to contribute to the art of filmmaking in a meaningful way. Overall, I find a great deal of happiness and fulfillment in my work, and I am grateful for the opportunity to do what I love

If I could, What would I change about myself? I am confident in who I am and the person I have become, and I would not change anything about myself. I have worked hard to develop my personality and my communication and interpersonal skills, and I believe that I treat others with respect and kindness. I am proud of the progress I have made in becoming the best version of myself, and I am satisfied with the person I am today. While it is natural to have areas of growth and self-improvement, I am comfortable with my strengths and weaknesses, and I recognize that the qualities that make me unique are also what contribute to my individuality and personal growth. Overall, I believe that it is important to embrace who we are and to work on becoming the best version of ourselves, while also being open to learning and growth.

What is my greatest achievement in work? In my three years as a cinematographer, I have had the opportunity to work on a variety of projects as a DP, gaffer, and key grip. While I am proud of the work I have done so far, I am still striving for my greatest achievement and know that it is yet to come. I am ready and eager for this milestone, and I am confident that it will come in due time. The link below is the screengrabs of one of the projects I have done recently, is a good example or a milestone for what I want to reach. https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1iQ0dmbfzPtZi3CQVc75Evu045czi3WTP?usp=share_link Overall, I am committed to continuing to learn and grow as a cinematographer and to strive for success in my work.

Where would I most like to live? While I am currently living in Los Angeles, a city that holds a great deal of opportunity and
appeal for me, there is no denying that India will always hold a special place in my heart. This country holds a deep personal significance for me, and I have many fond memories and connections there. Whether it is the vibrant culture, the rich history, the delicious food, or the warmth and kindness of the people, there is something about India that captures my heart and imagination. While I am happy and fulfilled in my current location, I will always hold a special affection for India and consider it to be my favorite place in the world. Overall, it is important to recognize and appreciate the things that bring us joy and meaning in life, and to hold onto those special places and memories that are dear to us.

What is my most treasured possession? I am grateful to have the support and encouragement of my family, especially my mom, dad, and sister, as I pursue my career in cinematography. They have always believed in me and have been a constant source of inspiration and encouragement throughout my life. Their support means a great deal to me, and I want to live up to their expectations and make them proud. My family is my most treasured possession, and I am thankful for their love and support. Overall, it is important to have the support and encouragement of loved ones as we pursue our goals and dreams, and to recognize the value and importance of the relationships we have with them.

What is my most marked characteristics? Hard working, persistent.

What is my most inspirational location, in my city? I do not have a specific location that stands out as my favorite or most inspiring place. While I have had the opportunity to visit many different places and have enjoyed many of them, I have not yet found a place that truly captures my heart and imagination in a way that makes it feel like my “inspirational location.” I am open to exploring new places and am always on the lookout for a location that resonates with me on a deeper level. Overall, it is important to keep an open mind and to be open to new experiences and opportunities, as they may lead us to discover unexpected places and passions.

What is my favorite place to eat and drink, in my city? I believe that home cooked meals are the best, and I am lucky to have a mom who is an excellent cook. She often tells me about the delicious dishes she has prepared when we talk on the phone. Overall, there is something special about home cooked meals that cannot be matched by restaurant or takeout food, and I am grateful to have a mom who is such a talented cook and who enjoys sharing her creations with me.

Photo credits: Rytham Singla

What books influenced my life and how? ‘The Art of Not Giving A F*ck’ by Mark Manson was the first book I read when I started getting into reading. The book had so many instances that mirrored my life. Another book that I enjoy and consider to be one of my favorites is “Born a Crime” by Trevor Noah. Overall, I have found that reading can be a powerful and enriching experience, and I am grateful to have discovered books like these that have had a meaningful impact on me.

You only die once, What music would I listen to on my Last day? ‘The Search’ by NF. I don’t know why but that song just gets me. If I can choose one more that would be ‘7 Years ‘ By Lukas Graham.

Who is my hero or Heroine in fiction? One of the characters who has inspired me the most is Naruto from the anime series “Naruto.” As a huge fan of the show, I have always been impressed by Naruto’s determination and ability to turn his weaknesses into strengths. His character arc and development throughout the series is a testament to the power of hard work and perseverance, and I have found it to be a powerful source of inspiration. Overall, I am grateful to have discovered this character and the show that he is a part of, and I consider it to be one of my favorites.

Who are my heroes and heroines in real life? I am grateful to have the support and encouragement of my mom, dad, and sister as I pursue my dreams. They have always been there for me and have encouraged me to follow my passions, and I am thankful to have such loving and supportive family members in my life. Overall, the love and support of family can be a powerful and uplifting force, and I am grateful to have such a strong network of support in my life.

What movie would I recommend to see once in a lifetime? As someone who enjoys watching movies in a variety of languages, I have seen many films that I have enjoyed. However, if I had to recommend just one movie that stands out to me, it would be “Nope” by Jordan Peele. I was particularly impressed by the visuals in this film, and I found it to be a highly enjoyable and memorable viewing experience.

What role plays in my life and work? I am passionate about cinema and am constantly seeking out new and interesting movies to watch. I also enjoy rewatching films that I have seen before in order to gain a deeper understanding of the techniques used in lighting, direction, and other aspects of filmmaking. In addition to movies, I find inspiration in nature and the world around me, and I try to incorporate elements of these experiences into my work as a cinematographer. Overall, I am always looking for new sources of inspiration and seeking ways to incorporate them into my work.

What do the words ‘You are the storyteller of your own life’ mean to me? To me, this means that I have the power to shape my own future. The choices that I make, the people I surround myself with, and the way I approach my work can all have a major impact on the path that my life takes. While I cannot change my past, I can work hard in the present to create a better future for myself. This means being proactive and taking control of my own destiny, rather than waiting for things to happen to me. Overall, I believe that it is important to take ownership of our lives and to strive to create the future that we want for ourselves.

Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime? There are many people in my life who are important to me, but my family, including my mom, dad, and sister, hold a special place in my heart. My sister, in particular, has always been a source of support and encouragement for me, and I value her advice and guidance as I navigate my way through life. Overall, I am grateful to have such a close-knit and loving family, and I consider them to be one of my greatest sources of strength and inspiration.

Which people or companies would I like to work with? I would love to work as a cinematographer in one of the future MARVEL movies. I want to work with Hoyte van Hoytema in one of his future projects. That would be a dream
come true. Other companies I would like to work with are Warner Brothers, Legendary, Lionsgate, Sony.

What project am I looking forward to working on? I have a number of projects coming up in the next year, and I am looking forward to being a part of them. No matter what projects I am involved in, I am committed to giving them my all and giving 100% of my effort and attention. I believe that this approach is important for achieving success and delivering high-quality work, and I am always striving to improve and be the best that I can be. Overall, I am excited to see what the future holds and to continue growing and developing as a cinematographer.

Where can you see me or my work? I have a Youtube channel and I have added some of my work in that but most of my films I shot are in post production. This the link to my one of my project: https://youtu.be/xuj3uJTcUpw

What do the words “passion Never Retires” mean to me? “Passion never retires” means that no matter how old you are or how many challenges you may face, your passion for something will remain strong and will continue to drive you forward. It is a reminder to follow your dreams, aim high, and pursue your passions with all of your heart. Your passion for your field of study will never let you down and will always be a source of inspiration and motivation.

Which creative professionals should Peter invite to tell their story?
Johnrose John : DP/gaffer
Sankalp Dubay : DP/ first AC
Mae Mitchel : Production Designer
Rytham Singla : Photographer

How can you contact me?
Instagram : @vishnu_rajendran.s_r
LinkedIn profile : https://www.linkedin.com/in/vishnu-rajendran-nair-7593491b3/
IMDB : https://www.imdb.com/name/nm13642948/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0

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