His successful collaboration on seven films with director Rohit Shetty have made cinematographer Dudley’s talent for capturing audacious action sequences and somersaulting vehicles well known. But he has also earned a reputation as a versatile cameraman with a flair for capturing jaw-dropping visuals.
Dudley Rajendran, who goes by the name Dudley in film credits, studied film technology at Chennai’s Film and TV Institute of Tamil Nadu. An opportunity to shoot a song in Shetty’s Golmaal Returns (2008) marked the start of a long association. With each new Shetty film, the action stakes are raised; and Dudley too ratcheted up his expertise.
He said, “In Dilwale, for the first time I have tried Hollywood-style action. Generally, we fix the camera and shoot, but here the car was moving, and so was the camera! We shot the action sequences in Bulgaria, using multiple cameras and innovative angles. Shetty and I design the action scenes months in advance because it has to look dynamic.”
The visual highlight of Dilwale is arguably the dreamscapes captured in the song Gerua. Shot in the freezing Iceland climes, the wide panoramic shots locates the stars amidst the bleak and beautiful landscape on the cusp of water, air and land. “We had two cameras because we would get hardly 2-3 hours to shoot daily as the weather was so unpredictable,” recalled Dudley.
The cinematographer declared it “the best song I have ever done.” And indeed, it stands tall even amongst the impressive oeuvre of songs filmed on Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol.