Anuj Dhawan & Swapnil Sonawane
How did you create the visual grammar for Faith Connections?
When we began shooting, visuals were the priority but later on when the film started taking its own shape, the stories started creating magic with the visuals. We wanted to give the film a look which had not been done earlier with un-balanced compositions through the whole hand-held feel to it. We wanted the film to give the viewers an interactive vision through magnificent images, stunning content and bare stories.
How did you cope with constant change of lights and weather?
It was definitely a challenge but it also gave us a lot in terms of different colour tones. The beauty of the Kumbh Mela was that there were varied weather conditions - from overcast skies to bright sunlight and even very heavy rains. A different mood each day, which we found very interesting. This also added a fantastic look but one had to be really careful with exposure judgement.
Did you plan out the cinematic style even before the shoot? In what ways did you improvise on ground?
Nalin always had a plan and treatment of visuals in mind. We did have long discussions as to how we wanted to approach the film visually but in terms of the visual treatment, it was very much in Nalin’s mind. Once we found our stories it was then about capturing their essence in the most cinematic way.
With over a million visitors each day at the Kumbh, improvisation meant getting as much of the stories as visually possible. Considering the diversity of people and the ambiance one sees at Kumbh, we were confident that the content would enable us to explore and implement cinematic styles and techniques for creating the visual magic.