Bengali film literature is no less rich but it becomes richer by the new addition of two books Chalocchitrer Antarmahal and Video Theke Cinematography. Both books published in Bengali are perfect for anyone committed to film or video production.
It was in 2009 Assamer Path e Megheder Deshe, the mind blowing documentary was jointly directed by Santanu Banerjee and Piyali Chakraborty and created waves in the International Film Festival. But of late these two young teachers of the Video and Mass Communication Dept of Vidayasagar University have brought a good news for the learners and teachers of cinematography with their two recent books published in Bengali: Chalocchitrer Antarmahal & Video Theke Cinematography.
Motion Picture Camera Techniques and The Hands on Manual for Cinematographers by David Samulson, Peter Ettedgui’s Cinematography: Screencraft, Willaim Hines’ Operating Cinematography for Film and Video and Kris Malkeiwicz’s Cinematography – A Guide for Filmmakers and Film Teachers are good handbooks in English for learning cinematography.
But Chalocchitrer Antarmahal and Video Theke Cinematography are two important feathers added to the crown of Bengali film literature. Chalocchitrer Antarmahal written jointly by Santanu Banerjee and Piyali Chakraborty is basically a guide to making movies in videography format. But Piyali Chakraborty has also written the other book Video Theke Cinematography individually. Both the books written in Bengali however, contain a wealth of information, theory, diagrams and tables on all aspects of cinematography.
Widely recognized as the easiest handbooks now available in the Kolkata market, the two books are organized in a unique manner for easy reference on location, and remains an essential component of the cameraman's box. Everything you need to know about videography can be found in these books - from camera choice, maintenance and threading diagrams; to electricity on location, equipment checklists, film stock, lenses, light and color. Of particular use will be the look up tables and step by step examples used for everything from imperial/metric conversions to electricity, exposure, film length, running times, lights and optics. Sections on special effects and utilities are also included. Chalocchitrer Antarmahal is a very useful book for the amateur filmmakers as well as for learners in the Diploma courses in the Video and Mass Communication Department of the Universities. Simultaneously, the book will help an aspirant film maker to know the basics of film making while Piyali’s book Video Theke Cinematography is liked by the readers for the digital video tips and tricks, hundreds of them in fact.
There is a dearth of books on film in regional languages. From this point of view Chalocchitrer Antarmahal and Video Theke Cinematography are a pioneering effort. Truly speaking, both Santanu Banerjee and Piyali Chakraborty as co-authors deserve a kudos for their contribution to the Bengali Film Studies. This is the centenary year of Indian film and their effort might be taken as a commendable one for penning down a book on film in Bengali language. The layout and the look of the book will be a reason for the attraction of the book.
The book was written for a wider audience and it is really surprising that Piyali and Santanu both now engaged in teaching in the Video and Mass Communication Dept of Vidyasagar University have written this wonderful book for us from their day to day first-hand experience in video making. The low budget Indian filmmakers would be immensely benefited by it. It is no doubt a user-friendly effort from the part of the authors. The analytical style shines through the technical details in both the books. Technically and philosophically oriented the book explores the tools, and trends of achievements in modern cinematography, highlighting the behind-the-scenes struggles of the business of making motion pictures. Each chapter delves into the personal challenges, inter-departmental interactions, and artistic achievements of the artists who bring scripts to life through their choice of cameras, lights, lenses, filters, gels, and other supporting equipment.
The books are not huge in volume but they do justice to the adage: ‘Small is beautiful’. It is a unique venture for them as they aim at unraveling for the first time the multi-layered language of film-making, by exploring the fusion of crafts which combine to create the most important art form of the 20th century. The director’s technical role in the process of revealing a story through images is featured in the books as they encompass the language of film. The two books will inspire practicing professionals, students, and movie buffs alike. The beautifully designed and illustrated books speak in the voices of this cinematography more than the cinematographers and through the powerful images they have created for the screen. Suhrid Publications can claim applaud for attractive layout and design of both these books. The books are low-priced and even the indigent learner can buy them comfortably.