V.K.Murti aka Venkatarama Pandit Krishnamurthy was eminent filmmaker Guru Dutt’s regular cinematographer since JAAL (1952) and worked together till Dutt’s end. Recalling about the famous beam shot, Murti once in an interview said, ”One afternoon Guru Dutt witnessed a beam of sunlight falling from the glass roof in Mehboob studio on the floor. He was overwhelmed by its alluring effect and asked me to create a similar effect for the movie KAGAZ KE PHOOL.”
He continues, ”I told Dutt sahib that the beam is a common phenomenon in the studio in the afternoon and we can shoot it any time but he refused. He asked me to create a similar effect so that he can shoot the scene as per his desire. I agreed, but I was in dilemma how to replicate the phenomena?”
He adds, ”Days passed by but I couldn’t get an idea. However one day while I was eating my lunch in the studio, a spot boy passed by carrying a huge mirror and to my delight a ray of light fell on the mirror and it reflected a beam that was close to what Guru Dutt desired. I left the lunch midway and arranged to huge mirrors and obtained a parallel beam, exactly the same as the sunlight in the studio. Not only Guru Dutt appreciated my effort but my guru Fali Mistry too was amazed by the result and congratulated me for my achievement.”
The movie fetched him the Filmfare Best Cinematographer Award in 1959. Besides Guru Dutt, V.K.Murti did superlative work with Kamal Amrohi in PAKEEZAH and RAZIA SULTAN.
He became the First Cinematographer to win the prestigious Dada Saheb Phalke Award for 2008.
May his soul rest in peace.