I am thrilled with the news of Shri V.K.Murthy being given the Dadasaheb Phalke award. He is the first Cinematographer to be given this , India's most prestigious award for Cinema. He was the cameraman for Guru Dutt and I am reproducing an interview given by Guru Dutt's son - which is so self explanatory.
His mastery over light and shadow is to be seen to be believed - who can forget those shots in kaagaz ke Phool - when the heroine runs through the sets in search of the "old" director......masterly.
It is unfortunate that the Tamil film Industry has not yet held a function to felicitate him. After all he is the first film technician from the South to be given this award.
NOW THE EXTRACT FROM THE INTERVIEW....Quote.
Could you tell me more about [cinematographer] V K Murthy ], who you have worked with.
Murthy uncle (with some animation)! The more I talk about him, the less it is. He's a gem of a human being. Totally non-controversial. He will not talk at all about the personal life of my father. He was totally non-political.
I've heard your father picked him after seeing him do things others could not.
Yeah. Actually, when he [Guru Dutt] was working in Baazi, the cameraman was Falisaab -- Fali Mistry. Murthy uncle was Fali Mistry's assistant. There was a certain requirement by my father in the film that required a lot of movement of the camera.
In those days, we used to have the Mitchell -- a heavy American camera. Falisaab was very fat. Those sort of movements -- it was not possible for him. So Murthy uncle did that entire shot. He's very skinny and, you know, short. Still -- handling a Mitchell -- he handled it beautifully. When my father saw the rushes, he was very impressed. He then told Murthy uncle that from my next film onward you will be my cinematographer.
Kagaz ke Phool was perhaps his peak. What happened thereafter?
Even Sahib Biwi Aur Ghulam had very good photography. Basically, he was so good with black and white images that when [films] became colour, he couldn't really match. After my father, none of the other directors could really tell him exactly what [they] wanted.........