The Elephant Whisperers: Karan Thapliyal of Uttarakhand dominated the Oscars, said- ‘Raghu’ and ‘Ammu’ used to snatch even the camera

Karan Thapliyal, the cinematographer of the Oscar-winning documentary film ‘The Elephant Whispers’, is originally from Uttarakhand. The documentary film of Karan, a resident of village Naugaon Malla, located in Pabou block of Pauri Garhwal district, was nominated for the Oscars for the second time in a row.
Although last time his documentary ‘Writing with Fire’ missed out on winning the Oscar, this time ‘The Elephant Whispers’ made up for it. On Monday morning at 7.45, Karan got the news of winning the Oscar at his residence in Delhi. Since then, the round of congratulations is going on.
Karan Thapliyal doing cinematography since 15 years
Karan Thapliyal currently lives in Khanpur, Delhi with his family and has been doing cinematography for the last 15 years. Meanwhile, he worked for several documentaries and short films. Her featured documentaries include The Elephant Whispers, Writing with Fire and The President’s Bodyguard.
Sharing the experience of cinematography of ‘The Elephant Whispers’, Karan says, I got a call from director Kartiki Gonsalves in the year 2020 during the Corona period. At that time, after the first wave of Corona was over, the restrictions were gradually being removed. Karthik and Netflix were already working on this documentary.

Raghu and Ammu used to snatch even our camera:
We shot the documentary at Mudumalai Tiger Reserve in the heart of the Nilgiri Hills in Tamil Nadu. He was accompanied by two more cinematographers in the documentary film. Karan told that in the beginning we tested the activities of elephants.
Then we started shooting from a distance. Slowly all the elephants along with Raghu and Ammu had become comfortable with us. Even both were so mischievous that they used to snatch our camera. Our entire team had a lot of fun while shooting. Even the local residents cooperated a lot with us.

Inspiration to enter the field of cinematography from father:
Karan tells that his father Vinod Thapliyal is a photographer by profession. Since childhood, I used to see him capturing the scenes of nature in his camera, so I also got attached to the camera.
This hobby gradually took me to the field of cinematography. Karan holds a Master’s degree in Film Making and Fine Arts from the Sri Aurobindo Center for Arts and Communication, New Delhi. Karan’s mother Sudha Thapliyal is a housewife.

Being nominated for an Oscar is also a big deal:
Karan says, last year also his ‘Writing with Fire’ was nominated for Best Documentary Short Film at the Oscars. Although she could not win. On January 25 this year, when ‘The Elephant Whispers’ was nominated for an Oscar. When Karthik called me from Los Angeles after winning the Oscar, she was very emotional.

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