Chasing the Light
Director: Harmeet Basur
Country of production: India
Year of production: 2020
Duration: 5 mins
Long shadows in the morning, softer light. Shorter shadows, harsher light during the afternoons. Warmer hues changing the mood in the evening, making everything appear softer. That’s what the sun does. Makes us and our surroundings appear different, depending on where we are, what time of the day it is and in which season. And that’s what you do as a cinematographer, chase the light and use it to your advantage. Well at least you try…
And now, you are locked in, but you don’t stop following the light: as it comes in blasting through the windows or sneaks in through cracks and crevices, or bounces off shiny surfaces. It changes the shapes of things and highlights certain areas while leaving others in complete darkness.
The dance of light continues throughout the day. Darker areas get lit, as light leaves the lit areas in darkness. As the days go by in the summer, the sun becomes harsher. Even though the light is changing, a monotony sets in. You want change. You crave for a change of season. You need newer skies. Newer textures, fresher patterns.
And then you hear the first roar… the clouds are here.
The light comes in flickers, fades in and fades out as the clouds outside the window move, giving new life to the same old objects, transforming them. The same closed space now opens up to newer possibilities. Monsoon is here!!
This short film aims to capture the play of light in the filmmaker’s house, the arrival of the monsoon and the renewal of hope during the lockdown.
Harmeet Basur left his job as an engineer to pursue his passion in performing and visual arts. Which led him to filmmaking and cinematography. Harmeet as a Director of Photography has shot the feature films ‘Hum Saya’ (Neighbours) (on MUBI) in Afghanistan and ‘Mantra’ in India (On Amazon Prime Video). He has been cinematographer/DP for award winning social, human interest, observational and wildlife documentaries and short films. Harmeet has also collaborated with artists on various video installation projects and experimental films.
In earlier days Harmeet performed in various plays including Akh Di Dehleez (Threshold of Perception) directed by G.S. Chani and choreographed by Navtej Johar at the International Festival of Theatre and Dance, Lahore, Pakistan and Jean-Paul Sartre’s No Exit under the aegis of Alliance Francaise’s Theatre de Poche.
He has conducted and directed workshops in Community Theatre using theatre as a tool to engage with people from different backgrounds and age groups.
As a photographer Harmeet has extensively shot the lives of children in Afghanistan and is working on an ongoing series ‘Boat people’. His works have been published in various Newspapers and Magazines including the Time Magazine, The Hindu, DNA and in Timeri N. Murari’s book -The Taliban Cricket Club.