Interviews from "Expanded Cinematography":
Rapid Fire Interview with Affonso Beato, ASC, ABC
Learn more about our Award-Winning GCI Guest Instructor
(Credits include: The Queen, Love in the Time of Cholera, Nights in Rodanthe, Ghost World and more)
Q) In The Queen, how did the choice to shoot some on 35mm and some on 16mm come about?
Affonso Beato, ASC, ABC: Designing a look unity to The Queen, I divided it in two parts. "The Royalty, was shot in 35mm Film with the camera always on the dolly, geared head for smooth movements, framing traditionally composed, fixed lenses, and saturating primary colors in the DI. "The Administration" part of the film was shot in 16mm Film, handheld with some zoom movements, more of an ENG approach, with the primary colors saturated.
Q) How the visual design of the film Love in the Time of Cholera developed?
Affonso Beato, ASC, ABC: Since its story takes place before electricity, candle light was used as reference until the 1900, after which the look becomes a bit more cold. The primary colors were accentuated to increase the tropical feeling of Colombia.
Q) When you were teenager / young man, what film made the strongest impression on you?
Affonso Beato, ASC, ABC: TOUCH OF EVIL
Q) Which cinematographers, past or present, do you most admire?
Affonso Beato, ASC, ABC: Giuseppe Rotunno, Jordan Cronenweth and Hoyte Van Hoytema
Q) Who were your early teachers or mentors?
Affonso Beato, ASC, ABC: Ricardo Aronovich, AFC, AAC
Q) What is the best professional advice you’ve ever received?
Affonso Beato, ASC, ABC: Always listen to the most experienced.
Q) What has been your most satisfying moment on a project?
Affonso Beato, ASC, ABC: Color Grading after Sound Mixing.
Q) How did you get your first break in the business?
Affonso Beato, ASC, ABC: I was invited to shoot a short about a decadent Circus in Brazil, the movie and its Cinematography, received the most important film prizes at that time. I've never stopped shooting since then.
Q) What are some of your key artistic influences?
Affonso Beato, ASC, ABC: Modern Painting - I have a BFA in Fine Arts Film History.
Q) What would you call the style of cinematographer?
Affonso Beato, ASC, ABC: I believe of the Cinematographer more as a Designer, serving the script and the Director's vision, than a stylist, that brings only his vision to a project. Cinematography is a collaborative, creative, environment where the key players serve a designed function, based on a script, with a director's, production designer's and cinematographer's input.
Q) What is the key to success?
Affonso Beato, ASC, ABC: First - Reputation. Second - when a project is offered, study it deeply, looking for proper references and propose a design for it, with an analytical documentation.
Q) What advice would you give to anyone wishing to get into cinematography?
Affonso Beato, ASC, ABC: Cinematography is a complex Art. It is important to maintain a good balance between the artistical and technological knowledge and development, by following both actual achievements all the time.