Vamsi Patchipulusu, the Vizag boy who captured Major on camera

From securing a degree in biotechnology and microbiology at one of Vizag’s renowned colleges to paving his path toward becoming a sought-after cinematographer, our Vizag boy’s journey has been an inspiring one. Cinematographer to the movie Major, Vamsi Patchipulusu shares that he enjoys the Vizag beach time and his daily visits to regular addas with friends. Here is a glimpse into Vamsi’s fascinating journey.

‘It all started with a gift from my mother.’

A basic point-and-shoot camera, gifted by his mother, sowed the seed at a young age towards what is Vamsi’s profession today. He started by exploring the manual settings on his Canon Powershot after college

hours and needless to say, was soon hooked. Vamsi then went on to assist photographers in the city and even took up various photography projects. He soon learnt about the Vizag Film Society in 2006. “I was never exposed to international films other than Hollywood. I became a member of Society and learnt about films and filmmaking. This is where the cinematographer in me was born,” says the Vizag boy.

With no formal education in filmmaking, he next enrolled on a workshop in Visakhapatnam where he met MV Raghu and Sabu James. These well-established cinematographers in the Indian Film Industry became Vamsi’s mentors. Sabu James, identifying Vamsi’s passion, gave him his first job as an associate for the movie Gangaputrulu in 2011.

‘I did wedding photography to economically survive.’

Though earning opportunities came by quite easily through wedding photography and corporate shoots, Vamsi struggled to make his mark in the film industry. For this, he passionately learnt cinematography over the years as an assistant.

A well-deserved break came when he was enrolled as the Operative to Shaneil Deo for the movie Goodachari in 2018. Little did he know that he will be entrusted to handle one of the two cameras, after which also went on to handle the last few days of shooting for the movie. Vamsi looks at this as his first opportunity. Though 28 Degrees was the first movie in which Vamsi independently worked as a cinematographer, Yevaru was the first movie to carry his name as the cinematographer.

‘Sesh played a major role in my career.’

Vamsi holds high regard for the actor-director-writer Adivi Sesh, as their 10-year-old relationship took them both places. “Sesh plays a major role in my career. Technically I have worked with him on five movies. While our journey started with the movie Kiss, Kshanam changed a lot between us. We broke all conventional rules of filmmaking and experimented to bring out the message to the audience. Post this, Goodachari and Yevaru followed,” explained Vamsi. The duo share a close bond in the industry and bring out the best in each other.

‘I was moved by the scenes of the movie’

Talking about the movie Major, Vamsi Patchipulusu said, “I always read the script before meeting the director to ensure our visions are in sync. As I read the script of Major, I was moved by a few scenes in the movie. His life was larger than his sacrifice and I personally felt this was a story that needed to be told.” Talking about how he connected with the vision of the director, Vamsi said, “There were two images that came to me initially. The picturisation of Prakash Raj and the one of Sesh standing feet apart amidst the fire which you see in the trailer. These two images set the theme of the movie. Director Sashi, who is a film student himself, was definitely a big help when it came to cinematography. We shared similar ideologies and worked together to ensure the perfect shot was finalised.”

‘Without a flaw, there is no film’

The movie Major also had detailed sets put up to ensure scenes looked as authentic and realistic as possible for the audience. The lesser observed fact that the cinematographer spilt was that there were three different sets between which seamless connectivity was ensured. “Without a flaw, there is no film. As a filmmaker, it is our duty to ensure no flaw is visible on screen. If the audience is looking at the flaws on screen rather than the film, you have failed as a filmmaker,” said Vamsi Patchipulusu as he explained the importance of connectivity on the movie Major.

Speaking about scenes which challenged the cinematographer the most, Vamsi says that the climax scene between the lead actor and terrorist was technically challenging while the climax scene of Revathi ma’am on the streets was emotionally challenging.

The creative work of Vamsi Patchipulusu on this major project brought him various accolades from across the country. He believes that it is his duty to bring to life the vision of the director. He ensures to be fluid enough to fit the needs of the movie and bring out the best of the script.

‘I never felt like it was the release day’

“People from across the country started contacting me through social media and appreciated my work way before the movie’s release. As the movie Major was screened in multiple places before its release, I never felt like it was the actual day of release of the movie,” says the elated Vamsi Patchipulusu. From his parents to friends to school teachers, Vamsi was overwhelmed by the kind of response he received. The Vizag boy was emotionally at a loss of words when one of his friends sent him a photo of the movie poster put up at the Jagadamba Theatre. “I was happy, emotional and out of words all the same time when I saw that image. Jagadamba was where I would watch movies with my friends and today my poster was up on the wall,” said the Vizag boy with content.

‘I wish I was born in the 90s’

Speaking about what genre interests him the most, Vamsi says he enjoys working on dramas. The cinematographer is currently completing a film under Sitara Productions and has also signed a movie with producer Sudhakar Cherukuri starring Naga Shourya. When asked about the one movie he wished to have been a part of, Vamsi says, “I sometimes wish I was born in the 90s. The classics

of that age are magic and I wish I could be a part of that era of filmmaking.”

On a closing note, Vamsi expresses his gratitude to the City of Destiny. Schooled at St. Aloysius, he believes he picked up his interest in architectural designs and colours from there. With higher education at Pollock’s schools, Mega Junior College and B.Sc. from Dr L Bullayya College, we are proud to see how Vamsi pursued his passion and today stands strong as a professional cinematographer in the Indian Film Industry. Apart from all that he has achieved, and the places he has travelled to, Vizag remains his happy place and his home. Our Vizag boy proved that it’s never too late to follow one’s passion. His journey inspires us to pave our unique paths to success while remaining connected to our roots.

The movie Major was released at the theatres on 3 June 2022 and is now available on the OTT platform Netflix. Let us know in the comments below which is your favourite scene from the movie Major.

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