Mumbai, Cinematographer Sudeep Chaterjee says if he had got more time for “Bajirao Mastani”, he would have shot the movie in a bigger and better manner.
Chatterjee denied that the film took two years to make as suggested by reports.
“We shot for 217 days, the shooting was spread a little over a year. We shot from October to October (2014-15). A film of this scale requires that kind of time. I think we were short of time. I wish we had a little more time to shoot, we could’ve shot aspects little bigger and better,” he said.
A lot of things he created for the film were from his imagination as very little historical references for the Peshwa era was available.
But he visited the interior regions of Maharashtra, to understand the architecture.
“Bajirao Mastani” was the second time Chatterjee collaborated with director Sanjay Leela Bhansali, after the Hrithik Roshan-starrer “Guzaarish”.
The two had first met on the sets of Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s “1942 – A Love Story”, where Bhansali was an assistant director, and Chatterjee was an apprentice to ace cinematographer Binod Pradhan.
“I don’t think any other director gives me the freedom that Sanjay gives. He has this wonderful approach where he narrates the film to me. We spend a lot of time just talking about the film,” he said.
He said Bhansali would talk about the music, characters and numerous other aspects of the film with him and would ask how he visualised those factors into the film.
After intense discussions, they would make numerous changes, sometimes even as the sets are built and even after the shooting would start.
Chatterjee is eager to work with Bhansali again and considers him one of his “most favourite directors”.
“The process is so dynamic, that’s the fun of working with Sanjay. The collaboration is very enriching, there is a lot of positivity in that because continuously you feel that you’re creating something that matters. You feel there is somebody who is like a true artist, who is standing by you. It’s a great atmosphere to be in.” he said.
Chatterjee won the Filmfare Award for Best Cinematography for “Chak De! India” and has also worked on films such as “Iqbal”, “Kaminey”, “Baby” and “Dhoom 3” among others.