Larger-Than-Life Young Cinematographer Vijay Tomar Exclusive Interview - Who Prepare Films Like A Battle
VTV India presenting an exclusive interview of Mumbai-based cinematographer Vijay Tomar. His personality is dynamic and attractive. Recently his debut feature as Cinematographer “Vilom” showcased online at Cannes Film Festival 2020 due to coronavirus pandemic.
Do you know that behind every blockbuster film there is a cinematographer who adds value to the film? But there are very few people who know about them. We only know people who act on the front panel of the film but rarely know people who play roles behind the camera. It is very sad that we hardly get to hear or read about them. Therefore, VTV India comes up with one such cinematographer who prepares a film like a battle.
Today we get an opportunity to have a word with this dynamic personality, Vijay Tomar (Cinematographer). He is a Mumbai based cinematographer who mainly focuses on narrative-driven imagery. Recently his debut feature as Cinematographer “Vilom” was showcased at Cannes Film Festival 2020. The film was represented by WIDE management at Marché du Film - Festival de Cannes. He is an inspiration for many who wants to build carrier in this field. To date, he has worked on more than 14 advertising films, music videos, corporate films, and unlimited long formats in his cache. His sensibilities and technical skills make him a sculptor of stories. Versatile in every genre of film making, he has worked on many projects with the varied scope of interest. Words are not enough to expand his passion for cinematography. He is deeply involved with the art of visual storytelling. His curiosity for framing, composition, color semiotics, light play, texture, and tonality is a never-ending phenomenon around him.
Let’s know more about his inspiring journey in his own words. Here we are presenting an exclusive interview of the passionate Mumbai based cinematographer Vijay Tomar.
Give a brief description of yourself?
Well, I am a Mumbai based cinematographer. And I have worked on many TV and web commercials and a feature film. My first feature film as a cinematographer screened at Cannes Film festival 2020- Marche Du Film online. It was screened online at Cannes due to the coronavirus pandemic.
What factors lead you to the field of cinematography?
I started out imagining visuals in history books while doing my B.A Honours in History from Hansraj College and M.A history from St. Stephen College. During my time at St. Stephen’s, I became involved with the photography department and felt intrigued by this particular art form. To enhance my passion and creative skills I joined M.A. Mass Communication from Jamia Mass Communication research center, where we studied different forms of mass communication but I found myself more interested in the Photography field, and in the second year, I mainly focused on cinematography to build my carrier in it.
Why have you chosen only Cinematography?
The main thing that attracts me towards cinematography is the art of telling visual stories and the ability to manipulate emotions. During my academic years, when I was doing films as part of the study, that was the time when I really like the idea of cinematography field and shooting it was a quite an interesting and creative journey. If I have a look upon my whole life journey, I find that cinema has excited me since childhood. I like the idea of cinema, the way it turns you into a dreamer and takes you to a different world in its own way.
When did you start your career in Cinematography?
After passing out from Jamia's Mass Communication research center in 2013, I started my career in cinematography.
Give a brief description of your work?
I mainly do cinematography but I also do some beauty portraits photography. I have worked with brands like L’Oréal, Lakme, British Paint, Sin denim, etc. Through my lens, I have had the chance to work with many famous personalities like Sachin Tendulkar, Hardik Pandya, Twinkle Khanna, Kareena Kapoor Khan, and Alok Nath, etc.
What is the most challenging event of your life till now?
Getting yourself established in the Cinema industry. It is not an easy task to put an unknown name forward to people where your sole identity is your career like a cinematographer. As you know the world is full of competition. There are already several people who are pursuing the same field and know more about cinematography. It is not as simple as holding a camera in your hands. It needs a concrete understanding, technical expertise, and visual aesthetic. Your visuals should be capable of conveying the core message of your story. Emotions should be captured finely and use the technical expertise to shape the storyline. Hence, a concrete understanding of cinematography is quite challenging.
How you define success?
Success is a broad term. It’s not easy to define success as its meaning varies from person to person and It is more of a state of mind. If you define success in terms of the satisfaction of life at the end of the day or if you define it in terms of money, then these are different perspective altogether. So, success is a very personal phenomenon. Success for me is to be happy at doing what I do or can do and to have people know you by your name at the end of the day. People should value your contribution because of your actions. My first feature film in Cannes this year is a kind of success for me.
How to stay motivated all time?
To stay motivated, first of all, you need to convince your mind. All the ideas are generated first in your head with your understanding. Try to do two things in life –
• The thing you are good at
• The things you would like to do the most
What is your life mantra?
My life mantra is ‘always believe in yourself.’ There would be a lot of things that would happen when you meet and work with different people and face a lot of hardships. Always spare time to have self-talk to figure out things on your own.
What are the effective ways to face challenges?
Challenges are part of everyday life. It is a very human thing to be in a challenging situation. Being challenged is also a good way to lead a life. If you are not challenging in your nature and are already satisfied with every single thing or don’t want to do more, then you are far away from the basic philosophy of human evolution. Human beings evolve every single day. So you should keep this aspiration of evolving and face challenges with full confidence without any fear. Don’t get lost when you lose something, just show determination towards your aim and soon you will be able to grab it.
What do you like to do other than cinematography?
Other than cinematography I like to travel. I love it because it offers you great opportunities to meet different people, their cultures, different spaces, and realities, etc. Travel is all about giving and take. The more you give the more you get.
What’s your favorite travel destination?
I believe Europe is a very beautiful destination to travel with such a huge history. I go there every year. It’s my favorite destination because it offers you so much- great history, wonderful people, beautiful culture, etc. I feel nice spending time there
Share one most important lesson you have to learn from your life journey to date?
Education, I believe, would provide enough opportunities for life lessons. It shapes the mindset of individuals. As you know knowledge is the greatest power today. If you have the knowledge, you can figure out so many ways to do things. Money follows when you attain the education properly so that later you don’t regret not doing it. Education is also liable to shape your career.
Share the quote that inspires you most.
“Everything worth doing is worth doing well”- whatever you do, do it nicely otherwise don’t do.