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Kabzaa DoP AJ Shetty: 'I am here to direct films, cinematography just happened' | Exclusive

AJ Shetty lets his secret out in an exclusive conversation with OTTplay

Kabzaa DoP AJ Shetty: 'I am here to direct films, cinematography just happened' | Exclusive
Kabzaa DOP AJ Shetty
  • Swaroop Kodur

Last Updated: 05.31 AM, Mar 26, 2023

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R. Chandru's Kabzaa might have been panned by critics and audiences alike but the film's impressive cinematography has been highlighted almost everywhere. AJ Shetty, the man behind the camera, was trusted with the mighty task of rendering a unique world that was on par with/similar to the one that Prashanth Neel and Bhuvan Gowda created for the KGF franchise and one can say with a lot of assurance that he has pulled it off with great finesse. 

He may not have had to opportunity to imbue this project with a sense of originality but it is no feat to recreate something of the scale and grandeur of the KGF world. "Since I was the only one who could pull it off apart from Bhuvan sir, I did it without ever looking at the negative side of things," says the very candid AJ Shetty, adding that his future projects have given him the creative liberty that he craved and one will definitely find his 'imprint' on them.

And interestingly, AJ or Arjun Shetty is quite keen on directing a film one day and in fact, he says, that has been his only long-term goal. "I am actually here to become a film director but cinematography somehow happened along the way. I am quite enjoying being a cinematographer, no doubt, but my original goal is to be a filmmaker. I have a few stories I want to tell and it will happen someday," says AJ Shetty.

In fact, many wouldn't believe the fact that he had initially turned down the Kabzaa offer because he wanted to focus on the project at hand. "I was the second cameraman on KGF: Chapter 2 and wanted to see that through. I had initially agreed only to do the photoshoot on Kabzaa but it was our art director Shivakumar sir, who also served as the production designer on Kabzaa, who suggested that I come on board. He urged me that this was a great opportunity and would allow me to make a big mark," adds AJ.

AJ Shetty is currently working with the mighty Hombale Films on the much-awaited Bagheera which stars Sriimurali and Rukmini Vasanth as leads. Malayalam star Fahadh Faasil, too, is expected to soon join the sets to play an important role in the film.