I look to enhance the visual landscape and shooting style to seamlessly match the world of the story I am trying to tell. The choices I make in setting, colors, style and cinematography are driven by the behavior, tone and truth brought by the complicated and flawed characters to pull me into the story.
I’ve been able to shoot in styles that range from sweeping revenge drama, to kitchen sink realism, to mockumentary style micro-budget stories. Regardless, I start with the realism of the story and what the camera needs to see and do to be in alignment with the film’s energy. Once I have a sense of that approach, then the focus is on the camera, lens and final look that will bring a believable, but cinematic experience for the audience.
Equally important is understanding not only how to cast your film, but how to cast your set. Everything that happens in the shooting process is influenced by the moment to moment reality of the people that are all their to support the story. If there is the wrong level of focus or personal tension in any area, the shoot suffers. There is a saying that nothing matters except what was in the dailies. However, what ends up in the dailies must be a complete team effort. Like any endeavor where time is money, a film shoot can quickly go off the rails unless everyone is there as a team, working for a common goal.
It is my constant intent to lead a team of people that feel supported, guided and appreciated. Because I’ve been able to bring this approach to hundreds of hours behind the camera, my projects are on time, under budget and experiences the cast and crew talk about well after the shoot is complete.