#2: [Left]

 

   


ASEEM BAJAJ   GBCT/WICA

 

Born: 1 January 1977, Nirmali, Bihar, India, as Ashim Prakash Bajaj, son of theatre director, academician, actor and former director of the National School of Drama, Ram Gopal Bajaj [1940-; awarded the 'Padma Shri' in 2003].

Education: Nirmali High School [1986-89]; Delhi University [1991-93].

Career: 1989-1991: Started doing theatre with street kids for two years under the banner 'Nirmaan Kala Manch' during which some famous Indian and English plays like 'Jasma Odhan', 'Bakri', 'Caucasian Chalk Circle', 'Bidesia', a.o., were performed. 1992: Trained as a stage manager at three major workshops for about three months with the National School of Drama, New Delhi. 1992-1993: Did Hindi theatre in Delhi with the theatre group 'Act One' and was actively involved in backstage, lighting, acting and music composition for a period of two years. Some prestigious plays include: 'Incident at Vichy', 'Holi', 'Netuaa', 'West Side Story', 'Mother', 'The Glass Menagerie', 'Galileo', etc.

Ph commercials dir by Ajay Devgan, Rajesh Krishnan, Leena Yadav, Anil Naidu, a.o. Ph music videos dir by Rajesh Krishnan, a.o.

Member of the Guild of British Camera Technicians [GBCT] and Western India Cinematographers Association [WICA].

Was member of the Jury for the Filmfare Awards in 2007 and 2009.

Married to dir Leena Yadav [2001-present]. Was co-prod of his wife's film 'Parched' [2014; ph Russell Carpenter].

Awards: As doph: Asia Image Award, Singapore, 'Best Cinematography' [2001] for B4U's music promo 'Now in Europe' [d: Rajesh Krishnan]; Sansui Viewer's Choice Movie Award 'Best Cinematography' [2003], Filmfare Award 'Best Cinematography' [2003], International Indian Film Academy [IIFA] Award, Amsterdam, 'Best Cinematography' [2005] & Asian International First Film Festival, Singapore, 'Swarovski Trophy for Best Cinematography' [2005] for 'Chameli'; Zee Cine Awards 'Best Cinematography' nom [2006] for 'Shabd'; Humboldt International Film Festival [Calif., USA] 'Eagle Eye Award for Cinematography' [2009] for 'Boond'.

As prod: Mostra Internazionale di Cinema del Salento/Salento International Film Festival [Casarano, Italy] 'Miglior Corto/Best Short Film - The World in Short' [2010; shared] for 'Thank You for Now'.


Aseem Bajaj: 'Chasing the airplane shadows in the vast fields of my village and crying for never being able to catch them, that's probably where the game of light and shadow began for me in my beautiful little village, where every day earth met the sky. By the time I was nine I knew I had to be in films; so now I chase my dreams as they run faster then those airplane shadows of yesteryear! My greatest goal in making movies is exploring the landscape of a human face. We deal with emotion, character and drama - things that you can't really quantify - and the process of executing those things is intuitive and organic. I believe all great films are the resolution of a conflict between darkness and light and that's the reason why I don't like to explain everything with light. Shadows for me are like stones unturned. The only unbreakable rule is that it must serve the story. The landscape of the human face is where the emotions lie. Everything else leads up to that. The actors' performances are always most important. If I can enhance that performance with my cinematography then I am making a contribution to the picture. The films I am happiest with are those in which everything has come together; the script, cast, director, editing and design. It takes a team to bring wholeness and unity to a film particular when everything is constantly changing. Lights, cameras, film stock, laboratory, grip, story, drama, thrill, romance, director, actor, producer... all these change with every movie I do. In fact, KODAK remains the only constant throughout my journey as a DOPH but like most cinematographers, I'm a student at heart. There's a boyish excitement that goes with my job. It's like being a magician who is always playing with illusion.'


 

 FILMS

1999

Mann [Indra Kumar] c; ph making-of doc; ph: Basha Lal

2000

Kurukshetra [Mahesh Manjrekar] c; addph 2u (+ c.op); ph: Vijay Arora

2001

Ehsaas [: The Feeling] [Mahesh Manjrekar] c; addph; ph: Vijay Arora

2001

Pitaah [Mahesh Manjrekar] c; 2uc; ph: Vijay Arora

2001

Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi [Sudhir Mishra] c; addph; ph: Jacques Bouquin

2003

Calcutta Mail [Sudhir Mishra] c; collab cinematographer; ph: Ravi K. Chandran & Sachin Krishna Kumar

2003

Hum Tum [Kunal Kohli] scope/c; 142m; ph music video inserts; ph: Sunil Patel

2003

Chameli [Sudhir Mishra] scope/c; + small part

2003

Zameen [Rohit Shetty] scope/c; + small part

2003

Leningrad [Giuseppe Tornatore] in development; scheduled to start filming at the end of 2004; status unknown; see Mauro Fiore (2012)

2004

Jo Bole So Nihaal [Rahul Rawail] c; collab cinematographer; ph: Jailesh Oberoi

2004

Shabd [Leena Yadav] s35/b&w-c

2004

Blackmail [Anil Devgan] c; collab cinematographer; ph: Nirmal Jani

2004

Silsiilay [Khalid Mohamed] c; 134m; collab cinematographer; ph: Santosh Sivan

2005

Kal: Yesterday and Tomorrow [Ruchi Narain] c; addph; ph: Prakash Kutti

2005

God Tussi Great Ho/God You Are Great [Rumi Jaffery] c; addph; ph: Ashok Mehta

2005

Golmaal [: Fun Unlimited] [Rohit Shetty] Hawk Scope+s35-to-35mm scope/c; 150m

2005

Naam/Benaam [Anees Bazmee] c; addph; ph: Johny Lal; released in 2013

2006

I Can't Think Straight [Shamim Sarif] c; + co-line prod

2006

Dus Kahaniyaan [10 seg dir by various] c; ph: Amit Roy, Sachin Krishna Kumar, a.o.; some sources credit Mr. Bajaj for ph 1 seg, but he was not involved in this project ever

2006

The Colossus [Sean Mathias] in development; was scheduled to start filming in Fall 2006; status unknown

2006

Khoya Khoya Chand [Sudhir Mishra] c; 131m; addph; ph: Sachin Krishna Kumar

2007

Sunday [Rohit Shetty] c; + small part

2007

The World Unseen [Shamim Sarif] c; collab cinematographer; ph: Michael Downie; + co-line prod

2007

Kismat Konnection [Aziz Mirza] scope/c; 153m; co-addph; ph: Binod Pradhan

2007

U Me Aur Hum [Ajay Devgan] s35/c

2008

Dissociation [Iesh Thapar] s16/c; short/24m

2008

Teen Patti [Leena Yadav] s35/c; 142m

2009

Boond/A Drop [Abhishek Pathak] s16/c; short/26m

2009

The Dreaming Spires/The Dancing Spires [Shamim Sarif] scheduled to start shooting in the UK in June; script rewritten in 2010

2009

Thank You for Now [Abhimanyu Ray] 16mm/c; short/14m; + co-prod

2009

Infliction [Navin Thapar] c; + line prod

2009

Atithi Tum Kab Jaoge? [Ashwni Dhir] scope/c

2010

In Company of Wolves [Iesh Thapar] c; short/14m

2010

Angel [Ganesh Acharya] c

2010

Tell Me O Kkhuda [Hema Malini (replaced Mayur Puri)] c

 

With Indra Kumar [left] - "Double Dhamaal"

 

2010

Double Dhamaal [Indra Kumar] s35/c; 138m; sequel to 'Dhamaal' (2007; ph: Vijay Arora)

2010

Zindabaad [Ajay Devgan] in development

2010

Oh My God...!/Man Who Sued the God [Ashwni Dhir] pre-production

2010

Despite the Falling Snow [Shamim Sarif] in development

2010

Smell the Coffee [Leena Yadav] in development

2011

Bodyguard [Siddique] s35/c; 132m; ph title song seq; ph: Sejal Shah

2011

Love Breakups Zindagi [Sahil Sangha] p/c

2012

Son of Sardaar [Ashwni Dhir] s35 (+ D-Cinema)/c

2012

jOBS/Jobs [Joshua Michael Stern] HD (ARRI ALEXA)-to-35mm scope (+ D-Cinema)/c; ph India seq; ph USA seq: Russell Carpenter

2013

Mr. Joe B. Carvalho/Calling Mr. Joe B Carvalho [Samir Tewari] HD/c; 2uc: Anshumaan Singh Thakur

2013

Rabba Main Kya Karoon [Amrit Sagar Chopra] RED Epic/c

2013

Desi Magic [Mehul Atha] c; cph: Sanjay F. Gupta

2015

Shivay [Ajay Devgn] scheduled to start shooting in January; prod was postponed

 

 TELEVISION

Ph programs and shows for ZoOm Television, Satellite Television Asia Region [STAR], Zee Television, Sony Entertainment Television [SET], MTV and SAB TV dir by Kundan Shah, David Polycap, a.o.

1995

This Week That Year [Leena Yadav] 200-part (x 23m) series/BetaSP, 1995-97; for Star Movies

1997

Picture This [Leena Yadav] 200-part (x 23m) series/BetaSP, 1997-99; for Star Plus-tv

1999

Dead End [Leena Yadav] tvm/45m/BetaSP; + small part; for Star-tv

1999

Darr [4 ep dir by Abhinav Singh Kashyap] series/DigiBeta; for Star Plus-tv

2002

Goonj... Ateet Ki [4 ep dir by Leena Yadav] series/DigiBeta; for Sony-tv

2002

Lakeeren [Leena Yadav] tvm/45m/BetaSP; for SAB-tv

2011

The Last Irani Chai.. [Khalid Mohamed] doc/38m; addph: Pooja Sharma & Salamat Husain

 

 FILMS AS CAMERA ASSISTANT/OPERATOR

1990

Prem [Satish Kaushik] c.asst 'b' unit; ph 'b' unit: Ashok Mehta; ph: Baba Azmi

1992

1942: A Love Story [Vidhu Vinod Chopra & ('b' unit) Shekhar Kapur] 1st c.asst 'b' unit; ph 'b' unit: Ashok Mehta; ph: Binod Pradhan

1992

Bandit Queen/Phoolan Devi [Shekhar Kapur] c.asst; ph: Ashok Mehta; + small part

1994

Tarpan (The Absolution) [K. Bikram Singh] c.asst; ph: Venu

1994

Baazi [Ashutosh Gowariker] c.asst; ph: Dharma Teja

1995

Trimurti [Mukul S. Anand] c.asst; ph: Ashok Mehta

1995

Bandish [Prakash Jha] c.asst; ph: Rajan Kothari

1995

Dahek [: A Burning Passion] [Lateef Binny] 1st c.asst 2u; ph: Rajan Kothari

1995

Aai [Mahesh Manjrekar] 1st c.asst; ph: Vijay Arora

1995

Is Raat Ki Subah Nahin [Sudhir Mishra] 1st c.asst; ph: Sukumar Jatania

1997

Vaastav [: The Reality] [Mahesh Manjrekar] co-c.op; ph: Vijay Arora

1998

Nidaan [Mahesh Manjrekar] c.asst; ph: Vijay Arora

1998

Gaja Gamini [M.F. Hussain] c.asst; ph: Ashok Mehta

1999

Astitva [Mahesh Manjrekar] c.op; ph: Vijay Arora

2000

Kurukshetra [Mahesh Manjrekar] c.op (+ addph 2u); ph: Vijay Arora

2001

Moksha/Salvation [Ashok Mehta] c.asst; ph: Ashok Mehta

2002

Hathyar [: Face to Face with Reality] [Mahesh Manjrekar] co-c.op 2u; ph: Vijay Arora; sequel to 'Vaastav' (1997)

2014

Parched [Leena Yadav] op 'c' cam (+ co-prod); ph: Russell Carpenter