Bollywood cinematographer Aseem Bajaj was in Britain last month to shoot an independent British film, and says he accepted The Dreaming Spires because Ajay Devgan delayed the shooting of his next directorial venture.
"After U, Me Aur Hum, I was supposed to shoot Ajay Devgan's next directorial project. But now he's busy with Rohit Shetty and Milan Luthria's films. He is also doing Priyadarshan's next. So that left the rest of the year free for me," Aseem told IANS. He is currently working on his wife Leena Yadav's Teen Patti as director of photography (DOP).
"I don't know whether I'm the first Indian DOP doing a full-fledged British production. But others like Madhu Ambat and Santosh Sivan too have shot international projects. I'm happy to join their ranks," said Aseem.
Talking about the British film, he said: "It's a British production called The Dreaming Spires directed by Shamim Sarif. It's about the first American boy Joseph Connors who came to Oxford University to serve as a reader to a blind British female professor." Aseem also did films like Chameli and Golmaal.
Earlier, Aseem had served as DOP for Shamim Sarif's I Can't Think Straight, a semi-auto-biographical film about lesbianism which starred Lisa Ray and Sheetal Sheth.
"But that was a partly Indian film in the sense that it dealt with the life of Indian characters. The Dreaming Spires has no Indian characters," he said.
"In I Can't Think Straight, the accent of the two principal leads was all wrong. This time we're being very careful. Since The Dreaming Spires is an independent production the budget is merely 200,000 pounds ($3,225,200). So we can't afford big stars," said Aseem, who recently shot a short film on child abuse.
Titled Dissociation, it is directed by a young filmmaker Ish Thapar, son of well-known documentary maker Navin Thapar.
"It is an 18-minute British film on child abuse seen through the eyes of a 21-year-old man who has grown up with memories of murdering his mother and crucifying his abusive father. He kills both the parents because while the father abused him, the mother would watch and even encourage the abuse."
"The film is obviously based on a real life incident. When I asked the director, he said it was a friend's story. I'm just happy doing something that talks about a very real incident and how it scars the individual," said Aseem.