What is a cinematographer?
Put simply, a cinematographer is somebody that shoots a movie. S/he is an expert in the technical and artistic aspects of the movie. In a big crew, a cinematographer is usually responsible for the look of the film. In my case, being alone to craft the film, I control all the creative aspects of the production, from preproduction to postproduction.
How is the cinematographer different from a videographer?
We started to differentiate the videographer from the cinematographer, especially in event filming, when the artistic vision of the film and the creation of a story came into the picture. While the videographer will simply record an event, and deliver a document, the cinematographer will turn ordinary footage into a real emotional movie; he strives to capture not only the moment, but also the mood and deliver an original piece of art crafted through his unique perspective. To achieve this, he uses all the cinematic jargon that is used in main stream movies: different camera angles, camera movements, different focal lengths etc., which are all decisions that help to create the story. In the word cinematographer you have the word “cinema” also known as the 7th art.
How does a commonplace event like a birthday celebration become worthy of a movie?
The cinematographer is focused on telling a story. This is how common footage, place and scene become so full of emotion; they become part of a whole. While the videographer will come and record your birthday party, the cinematographer might be interested in what you are doing before the actual event, or even in how the cake is being made: all these elements are part of telling your story.
How do you conceptualize the feel/texture of your movies? Where does the inspiration come from?
Everybody has a story. My job is to find it and put it to light in a beautiful way. One of the most important steps in my creative process is to meet with the people whose story is to be captured; they are my movie stars and I need to get to know them, who they are, what matters to them etc… This is how I know where to put my camera or what to capture. This is not like a regular movie where there is a set and everything is planned in advance. I can’t retake if I miss something; it’s gone, so I create the story as I go. The inspiration comes from the personalities that are central to the story; they are the best part of this process.
Are some subjects harder/easier to treat than others? Why?
I would say people who want to control everything, and are not willing to be themselves in front of the camera. And of course, children. Because they are so unpredictable, you have to make sure that you are fully there in the moment or they will disappear from your frame in a second; but if you are able to capture them at the right moment they will give you the most incredible footage.
Is cinematography more expensive than videography? Why?
Yes, it is, because art has a price! And when you spend a fairly good amount of money to create a fantastic event like a wedding you want the memories of it to be something you enjoy watching more than once. In the past years, there has been a stigma on wedding videos to the point that people are not even considering it anymore. “Why spend so much money on that long boring video that we will only watch once?” I really hope that wedding cinema will change that old thought. You can have a three-minute highlight that says a lot more about your day than a 45- minute video. Also the short cinematic format is appealing to everybody, people who know you and those who don’t; it’s the story that makes people connect to your film. And anybody will go through the 5 minutes without being bored!
Why would someone opt to have their wedding turned into a cinematic movie as opposed to a video?
I guess it’s a question of taste but seeing is believing!
Is this the next new thing?
I hope so! It’s my passion for sure!