Life through the lens .... What can I say, I've been shooting film ever since... Over the years, I have had the opportunity to work with many of the best cinematographers around. The great thing is that I was exposed to many approaches and styles. I learned what I liked and I learned how to problem solve for a variety of lighting situations. My favorite lighting style is to shoot with natural-looking, motivated light sources. I enjoy working with large soft sources and then "paint" in the shadow areas. I work very hard to make certain that whatever story is being told is enhanced and communicated with the light and images. To me, the best cinematography is the kind that takes you into another world ? cinematography that brings you the experience of the story and makes you quickly forget that you are watching a movie. Seamless and realistic. The great masters of light who inspired me include Dante Spinnoti, ASC Heat, The Insider, Vilmos Zsigmond, ASC Sugarland Express, The Deer Hunter, Don Burgess, ASC Cast Away, and Contact, and John Toll for his brilliant work on Legends of the Fall. Finally the greatest master of light in my opinion is Rembrandt. His art has truly been inspirational to me. My favorite piece is The Polish Rider, a magnificent work of art. Directors I admire include Akira Kurasawa Ran; Tony Scott Enemy of the State; Ridley Scott Gladiator; Gus Van Sant Good Will Hunting; and Michal Mann Insider and Heat. I've been blessed by being able to make a living doing what I love to do." A CONVERSATION WITH RAJIV JAIN ( ICS / WICA) QUESTION: Where were you born and raised? RAJIV JAIN: I was born on the 29th of November, 1964 at a Civil Hospital, in Lucknow, India in a working class (Indian term: Lower Middle Class Family), hard core Hindi speaking family. I spent my formative years in Etawah which is nestled in the state of Uttar Pradesh, India. That is where I grew up. It was a one-horse town with a one-horse bank. I had a great child-hood though. We came from a fairly closed in urban area, and suddenly I was in this environment where we could ride bicycles out into the bush. We also had the river. It was beautiful. I loved the outback and the wide-open spaces. My father was working in a bank and we moved / on transfer every two to three years. My mother is whole world centered around her kids and the home, so as you see, I led a very sheltered childhood with little or no contact with the outside world so to speak off. My father had a still Instamatic camera that fascinated me but I was forbidden to lay my hands on it, its funny but somewhere my curiosity in photography actually developed I was forbidden to touch that camera. My dad envisioned me as a Doctor, Engineer or an IAS officer. QUESTION: Your Qualification... RAJIV JAIN: I went to the University of Lucknow in Lucknow, State of Uttar Pradesh and also I had the good luck of going to the Bhartendu Academy of Dramatic Arts (Bhartendu Natya Academy/ Bhartendu Natya Akademi), Lucknow. I majored in Stage Craft and minored in Stage Lighting, intending to become a Light Designer. QUESTION: Did you plan to follow in your father's footsteps? RAJIV JAIN: I don't think I ever saw myself in the banking profession. I actually caught the filmmaking bug when I was around 10 or 11yrs old. A Satyajit Ray movie called Shatranj Ke Khilari was being filmed in my neighborhood in Lucknow. I watched the trucks going up the street, and then snuck around to the house where they were shooting. I watched them setting up the lights and cameras. I was in complete awe.