from black n white to multi colour films-focus on cameras used in malayalam films
MULTI COLOUR FILMS
A BRIEF HISTORY OF MALAYALAM CINEMA WITH
SPECIAL FOCUS ON CAMERA TECHNIQUES
Malayalam cinema is the Indian film
industry based in Kerala, India, dedicated to the
production of motion pictures in
the Malayalam language.
Also called as Mollywood
At first (beginning in the 1920s), the Malayalam
film industry was based in Trivandrum.
The film industry started to develop and flourish
only by the late-1940s.
By the end of 1980s, the Malayalam film industry
returned and established itself in Kerala.
J.C.Daniel regarded as the father of Malayalam
The first Malayalam film-Vigathakumaran (1930)
Which is silent film produced & directed by
Marthanda Varma, based on a novel by C. V.
Raman Pillai, was produced by R. Sundar Raj in
The first talkie in Malayalam was Balan, released
in 1938. It was directed by S. Nottani.
Artist P. J. Cherian was the first Malayali
producer to produce Nirmala in 1948.
Vellinakshatram (1949), Jeevitha Nouka (1951)
In 1954, the film Neelakuyil captured national
interest by winning the President's silver medal.
The era of colour films came to Malayalam
cinema with its first colour film, Kandam Bacha
First cinemascope film produced in Malayalam
was Thacholi Ambu (1978).
First 70mm film is Padayottam(1982).
First 3D cinema produced in India My Dear
World’s first film with one actor-The Guard
Rajiv anjal’s Guru (1997), Salim Ahmad’s
Adaminte Makan Abu (2011) made official entry
for the best foreign language film category at the
The 35mm format, or simply 35mm, is
the common name for the 24×36 mm film
format or image sensor format used
The format originated with Oskar
Barnack and his introduction of the Leica
camera in the 1920s.
Cinemascope is an anamorphic lens series
used, from 1953 to 1967, for shooting wide
screen movies. Created by Spyros
The Robe (1952) was the first film to start
production in CinemaScope
The first Malayalam film is Vigatha
the type of movie camera that he would have filmed
Malayalam’s first movie?...
Popular ones during those times were- Debrie Le
Parvo, Moy (Moy&Bastie), Bell & Howel 2709,
Mitchell Standard and Eyem.
Debrie Le Parvo used for making this film. 35 mm
The hand-cranked Le Parvo was at one time the most
popular European made camera.
Most used camera’s in 1920’s around the world.
J.C.Daniel bought this camera for 40000/-
DOP Jayanam Vincent says “the Debrie, Mitchell NC,
Hewall are still available at AVM studios, Chennai”
On J.C. Daniel’s cinematography equipment
First talkie film in Malayalam
Balan is a 1938 Malayalam film directed by S.
Based on the short story "Vidhiyum Mrs.
Nayarum" by A. Sundaram.
screenplay and dialogues are written
by Muthukulam Raghavan Pillai.
German cinematographer Bado Gushwalker
handled the camera.
35 mm camera
Kandam Becha Kottu ( The Patched-up Coat) is the
first colour film in Malayalam.
Directed by T. R. Sundaram, starring Thikkurissy
Sukumaran Nair and Aranmula Ponnamma.
Release dates -August 24, 1961.
35 mm camera
First 3D cinema in India is My Dear
dimensional film or S3D (stereoscopic 3D) film is
a motion picture that enhances
the illusion of depth perception
First 70mm movie Padayottam (1982)
Sri Ramachandra Babu : That’s right…Usually 70mm
movies were shot using 65 mm camera and 65 mm film
negative. Then it would be printed on 70 mm film. 65 mm
cameras were not available in India at that time. SHOLAY,
the first 70 mm film in India was shot in Cinemascope and
the negative was taken to London to be blown up to 70
mm size. Padayottam was also shot in Cinemascope. But
it was processed in Prasad Labs Chennai. So Padayottam
was the first indigenous 70 mm movie in India. Several
aspects had to be taken care of while processing that
Oru vadakkan veeragaatha Kerala varma veera Pazhassiraja
Moonnamathoral (2006) is directed by V.K.Prakash.
The movie stars Jayaram and Jyothirmayi in the
first high-definition (HD) cinema to be digitally
distributed to theatres via satellite.
shot entirely using HD cameras.
Digital cinema refers to the use
of digital technology to distribute or project motion
pictures as opposed to the historical use of motion
picture film. A movie can be distributed via hard
drives, the Internet, dedicated satellite links
or optical disks such as Blu-ray Discs.
For the first time in the history of Malayalam filmdom, a
helicam, a camera which goes up into the air, was used for the
shoot of V K Prakash's Trivandrum Lodge.
The helicam, a camera that has been fitted on a mini
helicopter can go up to a height of 400 feet and captures
panoramic shots, which is an impossible feat for regular
around 4 lakh as daily rent.
The first movie made on DSLR camera.
Cinematographer and director Sameer Thahir
used a digital still camera to shoot his entire
film —Chappa Kurishu (2011).
a task which was considered almost 'suicidal'
at that point. But the final product proved that
visually good films can be made with lower
The film was shot entirely with a Canon
7D DSLR camera.
The trend was introduced by Amal Neerad in his
debut movie BIG B (2007).
He is well notable for his stylish cinematography.
He was awarded with both National
Award and Ajaykar Award for his work as a
. The visuals of Big B were noticed for
their Hollywood feel and tone.
Used Super 16 mm camera.
Used HS2 Weisscamera for Bachelor Party
Used super 16 and Weisscam for Anwar, Sagar
Today RED Digital cameras were using
Such as RED One MX, RED Epic and RED
Spanish Masala D.O.P - Lokanathan
Nidra (RED One MX) D.O.P - Sameer Thahir
Cinema Company (RED One MX) D.O.P - Jibu Jacob
Karmayogi D.O.P - R.D.Rajasekhar
Husbands In Goa D.O.P - Anil Nair
Naughty Professor (RED One MX)
22 Female Kottayam (RED Epic) D.O.P : Shyju Khalid
Run Baby Run (Epic) D.O.P : R.D. Rajasekhar
Molly Aunty Rocks D.O.P: Sujith Vasudev
Maad Dad (RED Epic ) - Dop : Pradeep nair
Housefull - (RED Epic) dop : Neil D' Cunha
Mantrikan -(RED Epic) D.O.P - Vaidy S Pillai
Ayalum njanum Thammil (RED Epic) D.O.P - Jomon T John
Da Thadiya (RED Epic) - D.O.P - Shyju Khalid
Chettayees (RED One MX) D.O.P - Vinod Illampilly
Annayum rasoolum D.O.P - Madhu Neelakantan
Trivandrum Lodge D.O.P : Pradeep Nair
ABCD (RED Epic) D.O.P - Jomon T John
Nee Ko Nja Cha (Red One MX) D.O.P - Neil D' Cunha
Kkamath and Kkamath (RED Epic,RED One MX) - D.O.P - Anil Nair
Romans (RED One MX ) D.O.P - Vinod Illampilly
List films shooted in RED Digital Cameras'l (RED One MX, RED
Epic and RED Scarlet
August Club (RED Epic,RED Scarlet) D.O.P - Prathapan
Up and Down (Canon C300 and RED Scarlet ) D.O.P - Jomon
Rose Guittarinaal (Epic) D.O.P - Sudheesh Pappu
David and Goliath (RED One MX) D.O.P - Jithu Damodar
Matinee (Red One MX) D.O.P - Pappinu
Kili Poyi (RED One MX and Red Epic ) D.O.P - Pradeesh Varma
Buddy (RED One MX)
My Fan Ramu (RED One MX)
Immanuel (RED Epic) D.O.P - Pradeep Nair
Hotel California (RED One MX) D.O.P - Jithu Damodar
Chewing Gum (RED One MX) D.O.P - Sakhya
5 Sundarikal (sameer thahir chapter ) (RED Epic) D.O.P - Shyju
Lokpal (RED Epic) D.O.P - Pradeep Nair
Kuttiyum Kolum (Red One MX)
Lucky Star (RED Epic) D.O.P - Vijay Ulakanath
Natholi oru Cheriya Meenalla (Red Epic) D.O.P - Arun James
Mumbai Police (Red Epic) D.O.P - Divakaran
Amen (Red Epic) D.O.P - Abhinandan
Movies shot on Arri Alexa:
Ozhimuri D.O.P - Azhagappan
101 Weddings D.O.P - Azhagappan
Celluloid D.O.P -Venu
Scene Onnu Nammude Veedu D.O.P - Azhagappan
Gangs of Vadakkumnathan
Kalikaalam D.O.P - Madhu Ambat
Kunjananthante Kada (Arriraw externally on Codex) D.O.P -
Pullippulikalum Aatinkuttiyum (Arri Alexa XT) D.O.P - S
Movies shot on Sony PMW-F3:
Arike D.O.P - Azhagappan
On Canon C300 :
Up and Down D.O.P - Jomon Thomas
English - D.O.P - Udhayan Ambadi
ALEXA XT CAMERA ,made by
Arri (Arnold and Richter cine
Anjuli ShuklaKutty Srank Malayalam [
Madhu Ambat –Adaminte Makan Abu
K. V. Anand Thenmavin Kombath 1995
Santosh Sivan Kaalapani
The first talkie in the world is The Jazz Singer (1927).
In Malayalam Balan (1938).
First cinemascope movie The Robe (1955), in Malayalam it is
Thacholi Ambu (1978).
First 3D film The Power of Love (1922), in India it is My
Dear Kuttichattan (1984).
V K Prakash feels that Malayalam cinema now is
getting back the lost art of technique. "Our films
before the 80's were quite ahead of the times in
terms o technology; Bhargavinilayam and
Chemmeen are examples. Later, the focus shifted to
dialogue. But the people who should understand the
value of technical perfection are the producers," he
For a long time, Malayalam filmmakers were
willing to spend lakhs on exotic locations, song
sequences and imported actresses, but were
stingy when it came to technical perfection. But
the scenario has been changing.