This reel showcases my cinematic style as a Documentary Filmmaker.
Aloha Friday-Documentary. Cinematographer/Camera Operator. Understand Aloha and the Hawaiian cultural community facilitated at Pono’s Hawaiian Grill in Santa Cruz. A bar that has a lively crowd of Hawaiian cultural enthusiasts who get together to play music, dance, and sing together.
This was a no prep shoot, I just grabbed my gear and shot anything I could pick up that caught my eye. The setup was light, with no camera stabilizing gears or rigs, just me, the camera, and the camera strap. I was able to find many interesting engaging moments through the crowd through insert shots to really highlight the little things that conveyed the energy of the bar, while also finding ways to simply sit back and observe.
Little Violins-Faux Documentary. Cinematographer/Camera Operator. Follow the mute boy Jackson, and his fascination with capturing peoples’ stories for documentary purposes. Jackson sets the stage to capture the broad range of emotions that people are willing to share with someone who is only capable of listening.
The challenge of this film was to keep the room where the interviews were done interesting. My technique, thus, focused on tight insert shots of the small processes that went into the interview. Documenting the set up through various build shots and through the perspective of various equipment pieces to give the same “observer” feel that the protagonist gives during the interviews. This solution turned out to be the film’s greatest visual strength, and this class project was nominated by class vote to go off to the Santa Cruz film festival.
Dogs-Faux Documentary. Cinematographer/Camera Operator. A budding documentarian provokes directionless losers into becoming violent criminals in order to exploit them for his “masterpiece”.
This film required a lot of staging and thinking about how best to seem like a single camera documentary crew, while still providing an interesting film-like aesthetic. The big challenge to this film was finding a way to look like a believable one crew documentary. This meant picking apart the script with the director to find natural “cut points” in the script where the character of the filmmaker would cut to a differnt point in a conversation. To make the video feel real, we essentially had to make each cut feel like something happened between the last cut and the next cut that the filmmaker chose not to show the viewer. The hardest challenge technically, for me, was to find a way to fight my cinematographer instincts and appear to look “professionally homemade”, which upon watching, Im proud to say I did well. My favorite shot in this piece has the be the turning point with the gun. The long build up and the character break within the camera really set a precedent for how out of control the narcissistic filmmaker’s project got.
SDA Capabilities-Producer. Cinematographer/Camera Operator. This is a commercial video for a company called Symmetricom, which was recently acquired and turned into Microsemi. This was a brief video describing Symmetricoms market strengths in SDA Capbilities, and was to be used by the company salesmen as a sales tool.
This video was difficult because the SDA division is actually pretty kept under wraps. As such, I couldn’t show any of the processes or projects that were described in the video. I compensated by keeping the video brief, intercutting a wide and a close camera angle to punctuate his information, and just generally picked a shot with a lot of visual interest in the background.