Dave and I have the same favourite song from How to Be a Human Being by Glass Animals, and it finally has a music video. 

This one was shot in a human centrifuge, which is a brilliant way to show what heartache really feels like. Just read the description below the video and if you have ever experienced excruciating emotional pain then you’ll understand – if not, well, I don’t trust you. 

ps I just saw them live at the Greek Theater in Berkeley and I can honestly say that they were the best show I have ever seen in my whole entire life. Even better than Sigur Ros. There, I said it. So go see them live, you’ll have the time of your life. 

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I must have watched this video a hundred times so far. One because the cinematography is on point, two because Sigur Ros, three because amazing choreo and superhuman dancers. 

I’ve danced for 10 years growing up and got back into contemporary dance again the past three years. And one thing that I’ve realised is that dance comes very close to how I think and feel about cinematography. It takes tons of practice to get your technique right but the technique is there not just for the hell of it, but so that your aesthetics can be expressed properly.

Just like there’s always a million different ways to express something with light and camera placement, there’s a million different ways to express a feeling with your 640 muscles and your 206 bones. 

I definitely think that everyone should take a few dance classes at some point in their life. Dance will help you develop muscles that you had no idea you had and just like any sport, it will train your discipline. Also in relation to filmmaking, more flexibility and strength = no more sore muscles when shooting handheld. And bonus, it’s so so so much fun. I’m sure that the gym is great too, but for me it does not come near to the feelings you get and abilities you develop through dance. 

Take care of your body between shoots and watch your life changing on and off set. 

Shot a short film called “Yesterday”, written and directed by Alicia Kester – and oh boy, it’s been quite the experience. 

We shot on location at the Double Tree Hotel in Newark for 4 nights. We were shooting and also staying at the hotel, so it’s been like a whisper summer camp.

Alicia and I talked about the look of this short for about two months in preproduction and I must say that it was a pretty challenging task to come up with ideas that would visually translate what Alicia wanted to communicate with this story. 

Since this is a human trafficking drama that plays with the ideas of freedom, choice and catharsis, we decided to have the element of water as one of the most important symbols in the movie. The swimming pool scene was one of great significance and also the scene that defined the visual style. 

After many conversations of what the pool scene meant, we decided to have blue tones or blue light throughout every scene that were either in the background or that were presented in subtle ways. 

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Gaffer: Jason Nou

1st AC: Susie Heyden

2nd AC: Mariamor Pazos 

BTS pics: Xanh Tran 

I do not know how a band can write so many good songs and also have some of the best music videos I have ever seen. 

If I ever shoot a music video like any of the ones below, I will die a happy woman. I mean I noticed that “Toes” doesn’t have a video yet…so… yeah…

 

Dead Envy became the third feature that I shot and it earned a very special place in my heart for a few important reasons. First and foremost, the people that worked on this were an absolute joy to work with. Hard working, talented, kind and extremely entertaining. 

Two, it was shot in black and white in a place full of mirrors – which means that it was one of the most challenging shoots I ever had. Every time we watched dailies all I was thinking about was how to push the lighting even more. Harsh shadows, very bright highlights, shapes, all the good stuff. 

Three the sound track of this movie is absolutely phenomenal. And I cannot tell you how picky I am about music, especially sound tracks. 

Four, this movie fell in my hands at a pivotal moment in my life. I decided to leave San Francisco because, well it’s time. 24 hours after I made this decision, I got offered to shoot this movie in LA and so I took it as a sign. A few days later I packed up my things and left for almost 2 months.

And all sorts of magical things happened in LA. A mix of emotions that I never felt before.

Major shout-out to my Bay Area gaffer, my one and only Geoff Norman, who came with me to LA to light the first two days and then Daniel Kautz that took over after. 

Upon my return to the Bay I made a new list of goals. Number 1 is move back to LA in a few months, number 2 shoot a movie in Iceland, number 3 eat more tacos. 

A few screenshots from the movie:

Written and directed by Harley Di Nardo

Gaffer: Geoff Norman, Daniel Kautz

 

 

Written and directed by Michael Ramos. 

I can confidently say that “Control” is one of the best stories I have ever shot. Michael understands storytelling on a deep level, which means that he is capable of translating the nuances of human behaviour in difficult situations beautifully on screen. 

My favourite lines were probably:

-What are you looking at?

-Nothing, only shadows.

Shot on a Sony A7sii, lit mostly with Kinos and a couple of fresnels. 

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We were nominated for best actress and best cinematography for Siskin at the Meisner Technique Studio this past Saturday. We didn’t win, but I am so so so very happy and thankful. Thank you to everyone who came and for the love and support you made me feel. Nothing like it. Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

Brilliant:

Went to Mendocino with a small crew for 5 days to shoot a 20 minute short called Siskin, written and directed by Genevieve Howell. 

We all stayed in the same cabin in the woods which meant lots of work, lots of talk, lots of wine. Had some great long conversations about what it means to be a filmmaker, saw a trillion shooting stars and some glowing bugs in the dark and laughed a lot. 

The footage wasn’t bad either:gentering

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I used Kinos to light the daylight scenes and a few china balls to light the night scenes. 

The short will be screened in December at the The Meisner Technique Studio Festival, so come check it out if you want to support indie filmmakers.

A couple of moments when the camera wasn’t rolling captured by Dani and Gen:

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Missing my buds and feeling grateful despite a heavy heart. #siskinthefilm #femalefilmmakers

A post shared by Genevieve Howell (@genhowell) on

 

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