Originally intending to have a career in 2D animation I ended up taking a Maya course and loving it. Upon graduating from school I managed to find a PA position at a now defunct post-production studio that did everything from VFX to editing and color correction. I got an opportunity to move into the Colour Timing department as a telecine assistant. I had no idea at the time how incredibly valuable this opportunity was or how it would shape me as an artist.
I got to work with a few different Colourists but one in particular was very kind to me. He took me on and began teaching me everything about colour timing and film. I worked the overnight shift doing film transfer. Most nights were spent listening to my Colourist talk about film and cinematography. He talked about the importance of planning a shot, selecting the right film stock, setting up the camera properly and selecting and placing lights. I gained an appreciation for good cinematography and a desire to produce work that is reflective of that appreciation.
After a couple years I moved back into animation, gravitated towards lighting and have now been working as a lighter for just about ten years.
A few films that inspire me...
1. Leave Her to Heaven
A short time ago I watched Martin Scorsese’s documentary “A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese Through American Movies“. I discovered films I had never seen before and through his analysis saw so many new layers to films I have long loved. One of the films I had never seen was “Leave Her to Heaven”. A Technicolor film, it was shot by Leon Shamroy and released in 1945. This film won an Oscar in 1946 for Best Cinematography. It was the first time I understood how film noir could be done in color. I was mesmerized. Seeing dark and deep emotions played out in hyper-real color was an incredible experience and I have been a bit obsessed with this film since then.
2. There Will Be Blood
A more recent film that I have found inspiration in is “There Will Be Blood”. I enjoy the various palettes used in the film from the wide, bright and dusty landscapes…
Lastly, I love Pixar’s “Up”. I love Carl, Ellie, Russell and Dug. To me the whole film is great. It’s beautiful and colorful and an exquisite execution of storytelling through lighting. My favorite part is the first sequence. Carl and Ellie’s love story. Instead of treating it with a sepia tone or using another obvious visual trick to signify past events its colorful and saturated like a happy love story should be.