The Amazing Work and Resume’ Of Sathish Shankutty

Sathish Shankutty

Sathish Shankutty, the cinematographer from India who now works in L.A., didn’t have a business card on him when we ran into him at the airport but we think his cards should say: “Have Great Cinemagraphic eye…will Travel.” There was a famous TV show in the 1950s about a freelance gunman whose business cards said, “Have Gun, Will Travel.” Sathish is pretty much in the same category as that man in black clothes and hat because they are both very good at their jobs, they love what they do and they both pick their projects carefully and always produce better than hoped for results.

As cinematographer, Sathish is responsible for shooting the motion picture and providing the best images that the director could ever want. Not all cinematographers come to the job with that attitude but the great ones do. We got a chance to see some of Sathish’s work on his reel and we came away very impressed. It was easy to see that his work was very well thought out and meticulously executed. It was as if he was a calligrapher taking his time drawing fine lines that turned up and came to a point exactly at the right time. By taking his time we don’t mean slow by any means. We simply mean that the camera movements, whether panning, or dollying or using the drone for distant moving shots were precise and beautifully performed so the audience could savor the scene.

His shots reminded us of Vittorio Storaro, who shot The Last Emperor and Apocalypse Now, among many other great looking films. Sathish’s camera work on the motion picture Desert Sai: The story of a Killing along with his cinematography on the TV series Paranormal Monster’s Society demonstrated his understanding and grasp of what a real director of photography is supposed to achieve in a show. That would be “excellence,” of course and Sathish seems to achieve that top grade in every project he works on whether it’s a feature-length motion picture, a TV movie or series or a short film. Whatever he does, whatever project it is, he is such a deliberate person that he knows what vision he is going to bring to the story way before he even walks on to the set with his camera crew. He knows how the lighting will look and he knows where the camera should be positioned. Real professionals are like that.

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