V. Manikandan, an Indian cinematographer, was born on January 13, 1968, at Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu. His brother is a National Awardee Artist, V. Jeevananthan, for his book Thiraicheelai on Cinema at the National Film Award 2010. He has filled in as the cinematographer for various significant box office hits in Hindi and Tamil. He is an acclaimed advertisement film cinematographer with more than 3,000 promotion movies to his credit. He began his profession in Tamil films. His debut film was ‘Atharman’ (Tamil) in 1994. In the next two years, he worked in Tamil movies ‘Sarigamapathani’ (1995), ‘Sengottai’ (1996), and ‘Mr. Romeo’ (1996).
Manikandan likewise released an album Sree Rudra in 1995. In 1997 his cinematography appeared in a Malayalam motion picture ‘Asuravamsam’. In 2003 and 2004 he worked in Hindi blockbuster movies ‘Kuch Naa Kaho’ and ‘Main Hoon Na’. Manikandan won Filmfare award for best cinematography for a Tamil motion picture in 2005. In 2007 he was selected for Filmfare Award for a Hindi film ‘Om Shanti Om’.
His cinematography showed up in Hindi film ‘Billu Barber’ (2009). Manikandan won Apsara Award for best cinematography in a Hindi motion picture ‘Raavan’ (2010) featuring Abhishek Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, and ‘Vikram’. He worked in Tamil film ‘Raavanan’ (2010) and was named in the Asia Pacific Cine Awards (ASPA) for best cinematography. Around the same time, he released his two collections Sinkaravel and Devapadam 2 and acted as a cinematographer in a Hindi film ‘Khatta Meetha’ (2010).
In 2011, Manikandan won ninth Annual Central European Bollywood Award (ACEBA2012) for best cinematography in ‘Ra One’, an Indian science and fiction superhero film directed by Anubhav Sinha, and featuring Shah Rukh Khan, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Arjun Rampal, Shahana Goswami, Armaan Verma, and Tom Wu in pivotal parts. In 2013 Manikandan performed in a soundtrack collection Pottas Bomb with Jisha Nevin, Mohan Sithara, P. Jayachandran, and Vineeth Sreenivasan.
He acted as an artist in albums named as Naadaswaram: Sri Laxmi Varaham (2014), Naadaswaram: Devi NeeyeaThunai (2014), Naadaswaram: Kalyana Vaibogam (2014), Naadaswaram: Sadhananda Thandavam (2014), Naadaswaram: Thyagaraja Ramar (2014), and Naadaswaram: Lavanya Rama (2015) with ‘A. V. Packrisamy’, ‘Ravichandran’, and Manikandan.
In 2014, Manikandan worked in a Telugu film ‘Mukunda’. His work appeared as a cinematographer in Hindi films ‘Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani’ (2013) and ‘Prem Ratan Dhan Payo’ (2015). Manikandan was complimented by Mani Ratnam and ‘S. Shankar’, who are the industry's most acclaimed executives. About Manikandan, Mani Ratnam stated: "Yes - he is one of the great cinematographers in India."
Another version of the Bio...
He was born on 13th January, at Coimbatore in Tami Nadu. He is a leading Cinematographer, who has worked in a number of Hindi, Tamil and Malayalam films. He’s a sought-after ad cinematographer who has more than 3000 ad films credited to his name. He won Filmfare award for the best cinematographer for Anniyan. He made his debut with Atharmam (Tamil) in 1994. He has been applauded by some of the most acclaimed directors Mani Ratnam and S.Shankar to name a few. V. Manikandan was nominated for the Asia Pacific cine awards (ASPA) for his remarkable work in Raavan in 2010, for best cinematography.
He won an Apsara award for Raavan in 2011. He has films like – Prem Ratan Dhan Payo, Ye Jawani hai deewani, Ra.one, Khatta meetha, Raavan, Billu barber, Om Shanti Om, kuch na kaho , boys, Mukunda, mai hoon na, police etc. to his name. With a career spanning two decades, V.Manikandan is very selective about the film’s he chooses to work on. Reading about him you’ll come to know that while he did a film like – Ye jawani hai Deewani. The director of YJHD – Ayan Mukherjee was in talks with Manikandan for about a year and Manikandan agreed because he liked Ayan's work in Wake Up Sid. Manikandan is known to present the real situations in a glamorous way. He captures the mood of the moment right. Sometimes Manikandan might not stick to color palette for the film.
If you’ve seen YJHD you can probably make that out the film was shot in two halves, the color palette varied as per the requirement of the situation. To describe why his cinematography is so sought after one can look at the technicalities of “why one scene was shot in a particular way?” – for that matter, the movie YJHD had one scene shot in 4 different color combinations as per the mood. The time of night during Holi scene is the best example, where when the friends discover its dark when they confront Ranbir they are under a street light the conversation continues till the sky gets a little less dark. When Deepika and Ranbir are standing alone it’s shot in a very soft colored surrounding still dark, with dawn breaking look for the romantic feel. Manikandan makes sure the people watching the movie get the feel right, the way he captures a moment is remarkable.