G.S. Bhaskar: An inspiring journey of an Indian Cinematographer

G.S. Bhaskar, One of the prominent cinematographers in Kannada film industry says that 'it is indeed the end of a visually rich era.'

G.S. Bhaskar: An inspiring journey of an Indian Cinematographer
G.S. Bhaskar, (Photo by Prateek Mukunda)

Gauribidanur Suryanarayan Bhaskar better known as G.S. Bhaskar, is very known face in the field of cinamatography of Kannada and Hindi film industry. He is a two times Karnataka State Film Award winner for best cinematography and one of the jury members in National Film Awards 2020. G.S. Bhaskar is the head of cinematography at L V Prasad College of Media Studies Chennai, Tamil Nadu.


In addition to his significant contributions to the film industry, Bhaskar stands as a founding member of ISC and presently serves as the Managing Director of ISC (Indian Society of Cinematographers). Beyond his cinematic endeavors, he shares his wealth of knowledge as a guest lecturer at LV Prasad and Tent Cinema. Moreover, he plays a crucial role in running LACE, an initiative initially spearheaded by Mr. Prashant Pandit, Mr. Govardhan, Victor Basu, and Dr. Venkatesh. LACE was established to foster film analysis and education, catering to students with a keen interest in learning about filmmaking and cinematography.

 

LACE had the honor of inviting the legendary V.K. Murthy as the Chief Guest to screen his best films. This marked the beginning of a close association between LACE and V.K. Murthy, the sole technician to be honored with the Dada Saheb Phalke Award. Students and enthusiasts alike would spend hours sitting with him, soaking in his wealth of experience. This invaluable learning experience continued for an impressive duration of two years.


G.S Bhaskar was born in Bangalore on 02 March 1955, to G. Suryanarayan Rao, Lakshmidevi Suryanarayan Rao. He is the youngest of 4 children. From a young age, he was engrossed in Dramas and plays and enjoyed playing cricket and carrom. He had his primary education in National High School Bangalore. Post he completed his Bachelor's degree from National College. While he was visiting his brother’s shop he happened to meet renowned Directory Girish Kasaravalli who persuaded Bhaskar to study at the FTII Pune.


In the Year 1990 he was given the opportunity to collaborate on Sai Paranjpye's "Disha(1990)" and subsequently contributed to her projects "Papeeha(1993)", "Saaz(1998)"and  “Bhago Bhoot(2002)”. The latter, a collaboration with Sadanand Suvarna on "Guddhadha Bhoota," a television series, and played a crucial role in the creation of the acclaimed regional feature film "Kubi Mathu Iyala (1992)," acknowledged as the best regional movie of its year. Later, in 1998, they collaborated again, this time working on a documentary that showcased the life of Dr. Shivaram Karanth.


Continuing his creative journey, he worked on projects like "Galige(1994)" and "Ijjodu(2010)" under the direction of MS Sathyu. "Galige", the following year saw the film being selected for the Indian Panorama, along with another of his creations, "Papeeha," directed by Sai Paranjpye. 


During the filming of "Saaz," Bhaskar took advantage of a vacation in Bangalore, and it was during this break that he received an enticing opportunity. He was offered a role in the Kannada masterpiece "Nagamandala," directed by T. S Nagabharana, a film widely acknowledged as one of the finest in the Kannada film industry. Bhaskar's exceptional talent not only shone through in the movie but also earned him a State Award as Best cinematographer for his outstanding contribution.


After the success of "Nagamandala," Bhaskar extended his journey in Sandalwood, contributing to the film "Hoo Male(1998)," shot in Assam and directed by Nagathihalli Chandrashekhar, with a script penned by Ramesh Aravind. During this time, Dr. Ajay Kumar, a friend of Bhaskar and an Oncologist, expressed the desire to create a film about cancer titled "Neela" (2001), directed by T. S. Nagabharana and scripted by Kotiganahalli Ramaiah.


Subsequently, Ramesh Arvind approached Bhaskar to direct a telefilm for ETV Kannada named "Saroja Apartments," adapted from a play written by Rajendra Karanth and featuring music composed by C. Ashwath. This collaborative project involved the participation of various cameramen, engaging in the complete filmmaking process.
During a shoot in Hyderabad, Bhaskar received another call, this time to work on a project based on a novel written by MK Indira, titled "Poorvapar" (2004). The film, directed by Kudavalli Chandrashekar, was shot in Canada, adding another diverse dimension to Bhaskar's cinematic endeavors.


In 2007, Ramesh Aravind embarked on a thriller movie project titled "Accident" (2008) and specifically sought Bhaskar to serve as the Director of Photography (DOP). Following this collaboration, Bhaskar worked on the film "Koormavatara" (2011), a meticulously scripted and directed piece by Girish Kasaravalli. The movie not only secured the Best Kannada Film National Award but also earned Bhaskar the Best Cinematographer award at the 2011 Karnataka State Film Awards.


In 2018, the esteemed filmmaker P. Sheshadri, having earned eight consecutive National Awards, undertook the cinematic adaptation of the renowned novel "Mukkajjiya Kanau(2018)." Bhaskar, serving as the Director of Photography (DOP), played a pivotal role in bringing this celebrated literary work to life on the cinematic canvas. Subsequently, Bhaskar continued his collaboration with the same director on the film "Mohandas," a unique project created to commemorate Gandhi's 150th birthday. Distinguished from other Gandhi movies, "Mohandas" exclusively focused on Gandhi's childhood, offering a distinctive perspective on the iconic figure's early life.


After the pandemic, Bhaskar's student, Shishir Rajmohan, approached him with a script for a feature film. The script was finalized and subsequently produced by Paramvah, owned by the renowned Rakshit Shetty—a prominent figure in the Kannada film industry, known for his roles as an actor, director, and lyricist. The movie, titled "Abracadabra," is currently awaiting release.


Among his diverse portfolio, Bhaskar has contributed his cinematographic expertise to various projects, including "Doddmane" with a script penned by H. L. NageGowdha, "GuestLine" directed by Mohena Singh, and "Hyderabad Blues 2," a 2004 Indian drama film written and directed by Nagesh Kukunoor. Notable additions to his body of work include "Munsifa" (2017), "Ree…" (2018) directed by Sunil Kumar Desai, "Allama" (2017) by T. S. Nagabharana, and "Neralu" by Sumanth Bhat and Shishir Rajmohan, featuring cutting-edge cinematography captured on the Arri Alexa camera.
 


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