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PAVAROTTI: GENIUS IS FOREVER

It was great to work on the second UK stint of this. I had to light some very important people in the life of the great singer within nice and atmospheric locations in London. It was a pleasure to be part of the amazing crew and the great award winning production behind it, Whitehorse Pictures and Imagine Entertainment. They called me back last year to photograph the EU part of their upcoming new high profile documentary.

Directed by Ron Howard.

Shot on Alexa Mini with Cooke S4i Prime Lenses.

FIFA WOMEN WORLD CUP 2019

In order to establish a bigger presence of the Women National Football Team among the people the advertising department of the Italian state television (RAI) asked me to follow and film in cinematic way our most recognisable female players. This is what actually came out of it.

Shot on Red Helium S35 with Cooke S3 Panchro Primes and Alexa Mini with Cooke S4 Primes

 

WE ARE VENOM – LENS CHOICE

This is what I had to say when the guys at Cooke Optics asked me why I chose their lenses for filming that particular commercial”

“I shot Arri RAW using one Alexa SXT and one Alexa Mini, the latter being the A camera on steadicam, the former used for most SFX shots and inserts.

Cookes are usually my lenses of choice, for their beautiful warm, organic and three-dimensional look, however in this particular case the choice was not a given, I had to mix spherical and anamorphic lenses and needed a package that would match seamlessly, with glass that had the same characteristics of color and contrast between the two formats. I considered a few different options but ended up picking Cooke Anamorphic lenses and Cooke S4i primes once again, their look and coupling being the best I could find. In the end it transpired that the same lenses were also used during the filming of “Venom” itself, which was a lucky coincidence as at the time of choosing my lens package no specific information was yet available. In deciding the mood and colours of the commercial I was directly inspired by the film’s trailer, specifically tuning in on it’s neo-noir approach, rich dense shadows and clean strong highlights alongside the use of a color dominant. In this particular instance I picked a blue gel (Lee Glacier Blue) that seemed coherent to the one used on some scenes within the movie, with which I gelled some of my lights and kept it throughout as colour dominant in the shadows. We had to reverse engineer the SFX, as given our tight schedule and copyright restrictions we could not generate brand new effects on time and had to use templates handed to us by the people at Sony US that were working on the effects of the actual feature film. I used the Cooke Anamorphic 50mm as main focal length, for it’s beautiful bokeh and lack of optical distortion, coupled with 40mm and 75mm whereas the Cooke S4i 32mm, 40mm and 50mm have been mostly on camera for SFX plates. Atmospheric haze and Tiffen SFX filters were also employed at times.”

Color and SFX were carried out at Frame By Frame in Rome.

 

 

The Making Of Morning Blues

Here’s a very nice article about Rose’s music video I shot last year with the brilliant Gray Bryan at the helm.

https://elementtwentysix.com/morning-blues/

FABRI FIBRA feat. THEGIORNALISTI – PAMPLONA

Here we are again with yet another Italian mainstream music video for the renowned Italian rapper Fabri Fibra featuring the 2017 new pop sensation Thegiornalisti helmed by Tommaso Paradiso.

The music video was shot over the course of two very fun days in Trieste on the northern east side of Italy, close to the Slovakian border. The video uses the harbour area as main exterior setting, a local landmark that was used to replicate some of NY street in Sergio Leone’s classic “Once Upon a Time in America”.

The video was shot on a Red Dragon with Cooke S4s Primes.

Directed by Cosimo Alema’

Produced by Matteo Stefani for Brotalco.tv

Cinematography and Camera by me.

LEJOE – A SHORT FILM PROMO ETC.

During late spring 2016 I started collaborating with the Royal Central School of Speech and drama ending up delving into directing a couple of scenes and a short film promo, with their cast of talented young actors. It was interesting and refreshing for me to tackle all the filmmaking disciplines involved in making a movie. I directed two short scenes extrapolated from screenplays that already have been made into movies and had to direct two sets of actors I was given for them. Not having been able to cast the actors myself I had to adapt to their style and looks and make the most out of it and with the given material at hand, which was next to nothing as the budget was non-existent. I made a point of not try to recreate the movies in question as it would have been impossible, actor’s physiques aside, by our budget time and equipment. Plus I wanted to give it a go at shaping my own take on the script, without trying to mimic two successful existing films with big movies stars, it wouldn’t have been fair on everybody involved and most importantly it wouldn’t have been fun. During this time I rehearsed with the actors extensively and searched for the right locations and tried to figure out the appropriate camera and lighting style. We didn’t have much but we made the most of it. Having to be a real filmmaker for once was really exciting: directing, lighting, camera operating and then editing, sound mixing and grading was daunting for me and frightening at the same time but it turned out being extremely rewarding. While I was working on those scenes above I was approached by another student, Vanessa Calderon, who asked me to be the cinematographer of the graduation film she was starring in and producing. I agreed and the result is on my my WORKS page, titled Traces of a Soul, it was directed by the lovely Robin Rainsford who can be seen acting on one of the scenes I shot for the school shown below. At the same time Mannini Mokhotu, also acting in one of those scenes, asked me to do a short film promo for her, and lacking director, budget and any other key figure I undertook the task of doing it all myself. The result still makes me extremely proud. Mannini went on making a crowdfunding campaign and filming the whole thing during late summer last year, unfortunately by that time I was shooting on a BBC series and I could not free myself to light it for her. However here is the promo we did in all its glory.

Mannini conceived the idea and stars in it; I directed, shot, edited and graded it; the sound design and mix and graphics were done by Homebrew Film post-house in Cape Town, South Africa and the original song featured at the end was written and performed by the South African band Rheebongs (huge thanks to all of them for the amazing help they gave us, it made a real difference). Enjoy.

Below are the scenes I shot before filming Lejoe’s promo short:

 

LONDON SPY

I did some very small additional photography on this one but it was a great experience and remember it fondly. And it’s brilliant.

Produced by Guy Heeley

Directed by Jakob Verbruggen

Cinematography by Laurie Rose

Shot on Arri Alexa with Cooke S4 Prime Lenses

TAKE DOWN

Here’s the trailer for Take Down, and Anglo-American production I had the pleasure to do some additional photography for (the shots of the lead running up and down the stairs to the lighthouse with a rope on his shoulders were shot by me). Unfortunately uncredited in the final release, I was in Wales with the guys for a short while. I still remember those steps!

Produced by Radiant Film International

Directed by Jim Gillespie

Cinematography Denis Crossan

RITA ORA x TEZENIS

tezeniscroppedMy first foray into professional gimbal operating came as a surprise, when fellow cinematographer the brilliant Ed Rutherford asked me if I could operate my freshly bought Ronin for him. Although I almost always like to operate myself on my on shows I don’t usually do operating for other people (it happened recently for Andrew Dunn on the latest Bridget Jones movie “Bridget Jones Baby”, but that came after I had dome some additional photography for VFX and it was too good an opportunity to pass), but I was eager to test the gimbal on the field and have something high end to show that I had shot with it. I welcomed the opportunity and here’s the result, Ed’s lighting is brilliant and I am pretty satisfied with what I brought to the table.

Produced by Sarah Mantovanelli for Managment Artists

Directed by Michelangelo Di Battista e Lorenzo Cisi

Photographed by Ed Rutherford

Camera by Luca Ciuti

Shot on Sony F55 with Zeiss Super Speed Primes

New gimbal in da house!

Just bought myself some nifty new kit: A DJI Ronin full of all sorts of accessories and extras as well as a Easyrig with a lovely Flowcine Serene on top. Will give amazing hire price on those jobs I’m on should the director need it. Check the equipment page for a detailed list of my kit.

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