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April 20, 1963 |
Cochin, Kerala, India
|Occupation||Cinematographer, film director|
Rajiv was born in Kochi, Kerala to the popular Malayalam and Tamil film playback singer Kalyani Menon. He had the chance to travel across India at a very young age as his father, a naval officer, got transferred often. He later joined the film school to study cinematography. Menon did his schooling in Kendriya Vidyalaya, Madras. He met a man named Jason Globerman who inspired him to become cinematographer. He started off as cinematographer with Prathap K. Pothan's Telugu film, Chaithanya. However, he got his major breakthrough as a cinematographer with Mani Ratnam's Bombay; Menon's second film.
His versatility as a cinematographer has received much praise, and throughout his career, he has worked with accomplished filmmakers like Mani Ratnam (Bombay, Guru, Kadal), Shyam Benegal and Girish Karnad (Cheluvi). His latest work being Kadal.
Menon's first directorial venture Minsara Kanavu was not only a commercial success but also received four National Film Awards. His second directorial venture was the multi-starrer Kandukondain Kandukondain. In addition to directing the film, he also wrote the story and screenplay for the film. The film fetched him the Filmfare Award for Best Tamil Director award.
Menon has also set up Rajiv Menon Productions and Mindscreen Film Institute, which supplies equipment for documentaries, advertising films and cinema. He has acted in a Malayalam film called Harikrishnans and has appeared for a few seconds in his own movie Minsara Kanavu.
His recent work includes a wonderful audio-visual delight about seven great Carnatic musicians. This documentary was made for the event of releasing the coffee-table book "Voices Within" by the contemporary musicians T.M Krishna and Bombay Jayashree. The book brings out the personality of seven great Gurus of Carnatic Music with some very rare photographs presented in great print quality. The documentary by Rajiv Menon captures the qualities of these music stalwarts.
Falling in love with ad-making at a young age, Menon started his career in the field of ad-photography, and then went on to make a number of TV commercials. Rajiv Menon has been a well-respected and notable personality in the Indian Advertising circuit. He entered the field during the early days (1980's) when competition was nil. It was the time when A. R. Rahman decided to do music on his own. They become friends and his creativeness combined with A. R. Rahman's musical Jingles fetched attention from all spectrum towards them. He did his first Jingle in a national wide ad with him (Allwyn Trendy Watches). So far, Rajiv has done many ads with A. R. Rahman's Jingles. Noteworthy ones are for Airtel, Colgate, Palmolive, Titan, Asian Paints, Raymonds, Coca Cola.
Rajiv Menon's production house was ranked No.3 by Economic Times Mumbai in 2006. The next year's ranking saw the company move to No.2. Rajiv Menon's production house is set up in Chennai and his agency clients range from Ogilvy & Mather, Lintas, Rediffusion, Hindustan Thompson Associates, to even smaller ones like Zero Degree Design Studio, Rubecon and Situations Advertising.
- 1998 - Harikrishnans as Guptan
- 2001 - Ussele Ussele - Tamil pop album featuring singers: Sreenivas, Karthik and Timmy
- 2007 - Rajasthan
- "Tamil Nadu / Chennai News : Study at Rajiv Menon's institute". The Hindu. 2006-05-05. Retrieved 2012-02-04.
- "Tamil Nadu / Chennai News : Rajiv Menon's institute offers course in Cinematography". The Hindu. 2006-05-06. Retrieved 2012-02-04.
- Rajiv Menon Productions ranked as No.3, Economic Time Mumbai's Production House Ranking.