My 2014 demo reel.
My 2014 demo reel.
After 7 weeks away from home, 24 production days, 25 locations, and 26 actor,s The App staring Sean Faris and Sarah Romer is officially a picture wrap. It was an honor and a challenge to be the cinematographer for this project. As a crew we had many ups and downs, but overall I feel very proud to have my name on this project.
Working out of your home state can be a real challenge. learning to find gear, working with a new crew, and getting to know the character of your new location. When I was first told I’d be shooting in Newburgh, NY I did some research, and the results came up a little worry sum. I read about all of the crime local to the area, and how it is the home to several large gangs. After exploring the area for several weeks I couldn’t have felt more comfortable. The locals were very hospitable to film in their community. We had access to some amazing locations, such as a working morgue and an old radio factory.
To a cinematographer a crew is just as valuable to the final look of the film as the camera is, and I was fortunate enough to have a crew from New England and New York who were able to rise up to the challenge before them. Our budget was modest, but workable, so it was important to have planning and a team who could think quickly. Lighting is so valuable to the aesthetic emotions of a picture, so having that crew who can communicate efficiently can make all the difference.
I find its important to always step aside and find out what others are thinking. What your gaffer thinks about that shot, what your 2nd AC thinks about the lighting. If you can remove the ego that tends to come with a position of superiority, then a world of new experiences is opened up to you. You’ll find that your interpretation might be completely spot on, or more debatable in nature. It’s like a test audience who want to creatively help, not just criticize.
Keeping people around who you value and trust is one of the most valuable resources that a cinematographer can have.
Ive got my bags packed and I’m headed to New York. For the month of June I’ll be filming a feature titles “The App”. It’s a horror film with some sci-fi and thriller elements added in. We’ll be filming in the Hudson Valley in Newburgh, which is famous for being Washingtons head quarters.
I’ve traveled quite a bit for my work in cinematography. I’ve driven trucks loaded with equipment to other country’s, spent time in the south, jumped around the US on a documentary, traveled the California coast looking for the perfect location, and each time it comes down to what can you bring. Traveling for narrative work means you need it all. Some times you can rent what you need where you’re going, but sometimes it’s just better to bring everything yourself.
The camera is the hardest part of the packing process. To check or not to check, that is the question. I’ve always been petrified to check a camera, so I always for go my carry on in favor of a padded photography backpack which holds the essentials. This includes the camera, one battery to power it on if TSA asks, my laptop, and my 7D with a lens. Generally this leaves a little personal space for other comfort items, but not much. Having piece of mind upon arrival that your $30,000 worth of equipment has arrived safely is well worth the sacrifice of giving up a carry on for 5 hours.
Thank you for checking out my website. I’m still in the process of getting everything online, so please bear with me as I figure out this new design. As always feedback is welcome. I’m hoping to post new tutorials, reviews and other film making related thoughts soon.
In other news my Scarlet has passed quality control and I’m being moved forward with my new Red Epic trade-in purchase. My hope is to upgrade to the Red Dragon later in the year, once more Epic’s have been upgraded. It’s always risky being first in line for any new electronic.
Being an owner/operator, you always see that one more thing to upgrade your kit and it’s like a never ending battle. Do you upgrade this or that, which will help you and which will rent, will it still be a big deal in a year, will it pay itself off? Some purchases can change your career path, some just save your back. Red has changed my career and my life in some amazing ways opening a lot of doors, and I feel very excited to move to their next tier of camera.
Gone is the day of the cinematographer who rents a camera for every shoot. Today with the lowering cost of admission into film making, directors and producers are looking more and more into what you own as a shooter just as much as your resume and reel. This isn’t just the small youtube jobs either, but budgets up to half a million.
With Red I really feel like I can provide a quality image fit for the cinema that’s both affordable to myself and the production.
Testing how this works adding a post from an iPad.