The film industry is mourning the demise of ace cinematographer, 65-year-old Ashok Mehta, who succumbed to lung cancer at Mumbai’s Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital on Wednesday.
Recalling the first scene of Ram Lakhan that he shot with Mehta in 1989, filmmaker Subhash Ghai says, “It was a day scene shot indoors. When I wondered why he had all the lights on, he said, ‘Wait and watch.’ Later, I was amazed when I saw the rush prints and realised what great cinematography is all about.
Filmmaker Vipul Shah has a “special space” in his heart for the director of photography of his debut film, Aankhen. He says, “Chachu (Mehta) was one of the most spirited guys I’ve met. I could spend hours listening to his stories.” Filmmaker Shekhar Kapur remembers, “I learnt a lot about filmmaking from him. India has lost its greatest cinematographer.” “Going from a lightman to an international cinematographer is a huge achievement. He was a gem of a person,” says filmmaker Aneez Bazmee.