Ravi Varman Wiki, Age, Wife, Children, Family, Biography & More

 

Ravi Varman is an Indian cinematographer and film director. He is known for his work in Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu, English, and Hindi films. He is also known for his work in TV advertisements, music videos, short films, and documentaries. He has won multiple awards for his work as a cinematographer.

Wiki/Biography

Ravi Varman was born in Poyyoundarkudikkadu, near Tanjore (Thanjavur), Tamil Nadu, India. According to some sources, he was born on 9 May 1972 (age 50 years; as of 2022) whereas according to some sources, he was born on 31 December 1969 (age 53 years; as of 2022). Some sources claim that he was born on 5 October 1973 (age 50 years; as of 2022) and some other sources claim that he was born on 3 May 1972 (age 50 years; as of 2022).  He grew up in poverty. He studied in a government school (Tamil medium) and dropped out of school after 7th standard. He did not undergo any formal course in cinematography. After his mother died, when he was 12 years old (his father had already died), he tried to commit suicide by jumping in front of a moving train; however, he was saved by a policeman but was framed in a theft case, and after beating him for 15 days, they put him in a juvenile home for 30 days. He was bailed by a relative; however, after villagers labeled him as a thief, he left the village and came to Madras via Rameshwaram Express, the same train in front of which he tried to jump to commit suicide. One of his father’s closest friends, a lawyer, offered him a job of cleaning bathrooms, which he denied, and he started working as a waiter at Amaravathi Hotel, where he earned Rs 150 per month. One day, he was going to Moore Market to buy Singapore Veshti, a traditional dress; however, he bought an old Russian camera Zenit 6 for Rs 120 from an imported goods store. He developed an interest in photography and bought a book to learn about it. He also wanted to learn English and started reading the book Rapidex: English to Tamil and watching English movies at the Alankar theatre in Chennai. He would click photos of one of his friends who wanted to become an actor and accompany him to the film sets to find work in movies. He started working at a production house and worked on the film Neram Nallairukku; however, when the movie flopped, he again was without work. He started working under photographer K.V. Mani who introduced him to cinematographer V. Ranga, who was working on Rajinikanth’s movie Mappillai. Ravi Varman considers K.V. Mani his guru. He worked under V. Ranga for 6 years. Later, Mappillai’s director Rajasekhar suddenly died, and Ravi was again without work. On the advice of Balu Mahendra, a Sri Lankan-born Indian cinematographer, and after a friend’s suggestion, he met cinematographer Ravi K. Chandran and started working with him. In 1999, he started working in Malayalam films.

Physical Appearance

Height (approx.): 5′ 5″

Hair Colour: Black

Eye Colour: Black

Ravi Varman's physical appearance

Family

Parents & Siblings

His father was a politician who died soon after Ravi’s birth. His mother died when he was 12 years old.

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Wife & Children

He is married. He has 2 children, one son named Arjith, and a daughter.

Ravi Varman with his wife and children

Ravi Varman with his wife and children

Career

Cinematographer

He started working as a cameraman, and his journey of becoming a cinematographer started when he was very young. In an interview, he talked about this and said,

It is a rather emotional story. I lost my mother when I was very young. Just before she died there was a wedding in our neighbourhood and my mother’s image was accidentally captured by the wedding photographer in one of the photos. I went to a studio and asked for a picture to be enlarged and learnt what ‘out of focus’ is. Thus, I developed an interest in photography and later bought a still camera and started practicing it.”

He has worked in 34 films with 32 directors including famous directors like Anurag Basu, Rajkumar Hirani, Sanjay Leela Bhansali, and Imtiaz Ali. He made his debut as a cinematographer with the Malayalam film Jalamarmaram in 1999 directed by TK Rajeev Kumar. The budget for this film was only Rs 11 lakhs. He followed instructions from the book American Cinematographer while shooting; however, when the negative reel came out, it was all white, and the director got angry with him. He checked with the lab technicians, and when one-stop overexpose was corrected, the reel became good, and he was appreciated for his work. In 2001, he worked on the Malayalam movie Shantham and won accolades for the movie. He shot an iconic scene in the film in which a dragonfly sat on the sword of the actor.

Shantham movie iconic scene when a Dragonfly sat on the sword

Shantham movie iconic scene when a Dragonfly sat on the sword

In 2003, he worked in the Bollywood movie Armaan starring Amitabh Bachchan, Anil Kapoor, Preity Zinta, and Gracy Singh. He likes to shoot in natural light and calls himself a non-technical cinematographer.

Ravi Varman (in black, center) with Anil Kapoor (left), Amitabh Bachchan (center) and Preity Zinta during the shoot of the movie Armaan

Ravi Varman (in black, center) with Anil Kapoor (left), Amitabh Bachchan (center) and Preity Zinta during the shoot of the movie Armaan

In 2004, he worked on the movie Phir Milenge starring Salman Khan, Abhishek Bachchan, and Shilpa Shetty.

Ravi Varman (right) with Salman Khan during the movie Phir Milenge

Ravi Varman (right) with Salman Khan during the movie Phir Milenge

In 2005, he replaced cinematographer V. Manikandan in the middle of the film Anniyan. He had a keen desire to work with director S. Shankar who was the director of the film Anniyan. In an interview, Ravi talked about the happiness he felt after getting the chance to work with S. Shankar and said,

“I felt extremely happy when Shankar Sir offered me Anniyan. The first time I felt that happy was when I met Ravi K Chandran and joined him as an assistant. The next time I felt so happy was when I eloped with the girl I loved and got married to her. The third time I felt so happy was when my daughter was born. The fourth incident was when Shankar sir offered me Anniyan. I felt the same happiness when I won the international award for Santham too.” 

Ravi Varman (right) during the shoot of the movie Anniyan

Ravi Varman (right) during the shoot of the movie Anniyan

He is an admirer of Kamal Haasan, and in 2007, he got the chance to work with him on the movie Vettaiyaadu Vilaiyaadu. It was directed by Gautham Vasudev Menon. In an Instagram post, he talked about an iconic scene that he shot in the film Vettaiyaadu Vilaiyaadu and said,

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“LIGHT IS A MAGIC ,EVERY SECOND IT MAKES WONDER!*Both of the shot is taken simultaneously with two cameras , one is kept on 3 feet with wide lens (12mm) for sun glare , & another one is kept on 6 feet with tele lens (75mm) for reflective flare . 3 minutes after the shot sunlight is like this in the second picture”

Shots from the movie Vettaiyaadu Vilaiyaadu

Shots from the movie Vettaiyaadu Vilaiyaadu

In 2008, he worked on the movie Dasavatharam starring Kamal Haasan.

A scene from the movie Dasavatharam

A scene from the movie Dasavatharam

In 2012, he worked on the Hindi movie Barfi directed by Anurag Basu and starring Ranbir Kapoor, Ileana D’Cruz, and Priyanka Chopra Jonas.

Scenes from the movie Barfi

Scenes from the movie Barfi

Ravi Varman(in centre, in camouflage hat and black t-shirt) during the shoot of Barfi

Ravi Varman(in centre, in camouflage hat and black t-shirt) with Priyanka Chopra Jonas during the shoot of Barfi

In 2013, he worked in the movie Ramleela directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali and starring Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone.

Ravi Varman (below) on the shoot of Ramleela

Ravi Varman (below) on the shoot of Ramleela

Ravi Varman (right) with Sanjay Leela Bhansali during the shoot of Ramleela

Ravi Varman (right) with Sanjay Leela Bhansali during the shoot of Ramleela

In 2017, he worked on the Tamil movie Kaatru Veliyidai starring Karthi for which he won many awards.

Ravi Varman (left) with Karthi during the shoot of Kaatru Veliyidai

Ravi Varman (left) with Karthi during the shoot of Kaatru Veliyidai

In 2017, he worked on a Hindi movie Jagga Jasoos directed by Anurag Basu and starring Ranbir Kapoor and Katrina Kaif.

Ravi Varman (left) with Anurag Basu(centre) and Ranbir Kapoor (right) during the shoot of Jagga Jasoos

Ravi Varman (left) with Anurag Basu (centre) and Ranbir Kapoor (right) during the shoot of Jagga Jasoos

In 2017, he worked on an English movie Heartbeats. In 2018, he worked on the movie Sanju and Mission Mangal.

Ravi Varman (left) with Rajkumar Hirani during the shoot of Sanju

Ravi Varman (left) with Rajkumar Hirani during the shoot of Sanju

Ravi Varman (left) with Akshay Kumar during the shoot of Mission Mangal

Ravi Varman (left) with Akshay Kumar during the shoot of Mission Mangal

In 2022, he worked on the movie Ponniyin Selvan: I. The movie was a super hit, and he said about the director Mani Ratnam gave him the freedom to shoot as per his will. He said,

“He wants his DOP (Director of Photography) to contribute in a big way. Many times we would have gone to the location two to three times before deciding how to film and when to film. A simple palm tree in Pollachi looks spectacular with a hint of rainbow colors in the sky ponni nadhi song. We were lucky in such cases; Sunrise and light intensity are different on different days.”

Ravi Varman (right) with Aishwarya Rai Bachchan during the shoot of Ponniyin Selvan I

Ravi Varman (right) with Aishwarya Rai Bachchan during the shoot of Ponniyin Selvan I

Director

In 2010, he directed a Tamil film Moscowin Kavery starring Samantha.

Poster of the Tamil film Moscowin Kavery

Poster of the Tamil film Moscowin Kavery

Awards, Honours, Achievements

  •  The best cinematography award at the 23rd International Cannes Film Festival in France for Jayaraj’s Malayalam film Shantham.
  • For the movie Anniyan, he won the ‘Filmfare Award for Best Cinematographer – South’ award.
  • For the movie Vettaiyaadu Vilaiyaadu, he won the Best Cinematographer award at the Tamil Nadu State Film Awards.
  • For the movie Dasavathaaram, he won the ITFA Best Cinematographer Award.
  • For the movie Barfi, he won Best Cinematography awards at many awards shows like Star Guild Awards, Screen Awards, TOIFA Awards, and IIFA Awards.
  • For the movie Ramleela, he won the Zee Cine Awards for Best cinematography.
  • For the movie Kaatru Veliyidai, he won the Best Cinematography award at many awards shows like Ananda Vikatan Cinema Awards, Vijay Awards, SIIMA Awards, and Behindwoods Gold Medals.
  • For the movie Jagga Jasoos, he won the Power award for Best Cinematography.
    Ravi Varman's Power award for Best Cinematography

    Ravi Varman’s Power award for Best Cinematography

  • He was given The Most Admired Global Indian 2020 award by Passion Vista.
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Facts/Trivia

  • Ravi did not have the surname Varman. He chose the name Varman as he was inspired by the rulers of the Chola dynasty like Arunmozhi Varman (King Raja Cholan) and Kulothunga Varman.
  • While working on the Tamil film Kaatru Veliyidai directed by Mani Ratnam, Ravi mistakenly crossed into the danger zone while shooting a scene. In an interview, he talked about this and said,

“The average temperatures we shot in were around minus nine degrees centigrade. Since it’s in the backdrop of the air force, during a shoot in Belgrade we were filming the takeoff of an M87 war plane. The airstrip technician there told me not to enter beyond a certain marking, around 200 meters from the aircraft. Mani sir was far away from me with the other camera unit. I decided that since the plane was far away I should get closer for a better shot. So I disregarded his warning and went beyond the cutoff point till I was just 100 meters from the plane which was about to take off. As I was filming, suddenly I felt a wave of heat all around me. It was freezing cold and I was covered from head to toe in protective gear. Yet that searing heat got to me. Nearby, I noticed that the grass in the area was singed by heat. In a split second, I realised that the heat from the plane’s emission had singed the grass. Because I was so close it would have burnt my hair too but luckily it was my thick woollen cap and winter clothing that protected me! I realised that within 5 minutes the plane was going to land again so I quickly got out of close range. I realised then why the technician had told me not to come beyond that 200m point! It was a narrow escape from injury that day.”

  • When Seema Biswas informed him on the phone that he won the Best Cinematographer award at the 23rd Cannes Film Festival, he danced in the shower for one hour; at that time, his wife had gone to give her engineering exam.
  • He has worked in more than 500 advertisements with famous cricketers and celebrities like Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Yuvraj Singh, and Ranveer Singh.
    Ravi Varman (right) with Mahendra Singh Dhoni

    Ravi Varman (right) with Mahendra Singh Dhoni

    Ravi Varman (left) with Yuvraj Singh

    Ravi Varman (left) with Yuvraj Singh

    Ravi Varman (Right) with Ranveer Singh

    Ravi Varman (Right) with Ranveer Singh

Categories: Biography
Source: dienchau2.edu.vn

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