How did you become a part of Chasing Taste?
To be perfectly honest, my original connection is pretty stereotypically one of those stories that everyone has but no one really wants to be the one to tell. A friend of a friend of mine is friends with our producer and actor Maitely Weismann. I'd have to guess that Maitely and I played a bit of phone tag over the course of a year and almost worked on a project together but ended up with a few scheduling conflicts. I have no idea which one of us got back in touch with the other first, but ultimately Maitely connected me to Sean, invited me to join the cast at our films script brainstorm storytelling session, and then a few weeks later I found myself crammed into a basement pantry with a camera and four other people. I have no idea how I got there.
Honestly, the cast, crew and script was a blast to work with, and I'm so happy that the random chain of film industry connections led me to be a part of this project.
Can you talk about how important the cinematography plays in the film as far as establishing the overall feel of the film and characters?
This is actually an interesting question because there are a significant number of factors that play into the cinematography of the film, both creative and technical. When Sean and I first discussed the film during pre-production, we were both pretty clear about what we wanted and what our limitations were. We knew that we were going to be working with a modest budget of both time and money. This always creates an obstacle - as a DP you want the cinematography of the film to match the production aesthetic the Director had envisioned. In this case, both Sean and I agreed that we wanted a film that had a clean, natural cinema look that could stand up against anything else on the big screen while highlighting our actors and the great locations we had access to throughout New York City. I basically threw out a lot of the indie tricks I knew right away - with the clean look we were going for, we couldn't hide behind and purposefully incorporate technical limitations into our aesthetic. So it meant getting creative with locations, setups and equipment to squeeze out every bit of production value we could. I enjoy that kind of problem solving and I think we all had a lot of fun with.
In terms of the cinematography from a narrative standpoint, the focus was always on the characters first, and then the image that surrounded them. Intimacy with the ensemble of characters in this film is essential. Sean and I agreed on using just the right balance of natural and creative lighting techniques. While we wanted the film to have a polished look, it was also important to have the characters and their surroundings feel natural and not over-crafted. Whether we were using natural or additional light in any space, we paid close attention to lighting scenes naturally first, then accenting them slightly. From the camera's perspective, presence with the characters was also the primary goal, and for the most part we shot with a narrow depth of field and flattening focal lengths that felt natural and intimate.
I don't understand a word you just said..
I guess you just had to be there.... or have studied film.
Well, good luck, I'm excited to see it.