Some people dream of great accomplishments, while others just go and do them. This interview is about Claire and Max, a lovely and funny couple that fell in love and shared the same passion: images and travel. They travel around the world once a month since 2008. I discovered them on the web and I contacted them to do this interview. Something I admire, is people that work hard and at the same time live their passions and have fun…
Claire, Max, thanks for sharing. I’m looking forward to meet you guys soon!
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Alexander Benedik is an underwater filmmaker who is diving since 1998 and doing videos since 2008. In this interview Alex will tell us why he started with underwater filming and share with us some of his best experiences while shooting in remote locations like Alaska and Antarctica. You can learn more from him and discover what it is that has pushed him to start diving and doing these amazing underwater videos.
Cameraman: Tell us about yourself and how you got started doing underwater videos.
Alex: After 10 years of scuba diving I have started my underwater video career. In those ten years I had many of exciting and once in a life time experiences underwater. The key moment to start underwater video was in Bali 2007. I was alone on 5 meters with a dozen of very relaxed Bumphead Parrotfish that swam close around me for 10 minutes or more. The dive buddy with the camera was out of sight, so no one was there to capture this unique scenery.
Still in Bali I grabbed a German underwater magazine and did some research on video housings. Three weeks later I bought my first housing on a water sport convention in Vienna, Austria.
Cameraman: And how did you get into diving?
Alex: Good fellows of mine had a scuba license. I spent a vacation with them at Dominican Republic. They went for scuba and I was alone on the beach. It was really boring lying on the beach. For me it’s a waste of time. So I booked a scuba course. From that moment scuba became an obsession.
Cameraman: Moving on to the videos you make – how do you choose the locations?
Alex: For this question I have to make a big swing. I was very lucky to meet an Austrian underwater photographer on an Egypt live aboard in 2002 or 2003. He is a really macro and critters specialist. He showed me some of his pictures. Until that time I had no clue about what you can really find underwater – if you have a closer look. Usually people see colored fish, corals and that’s it. We both share the same underwater interests, so we travel and choose our dive spots and dive vacations together since then. Only the cold water regions, like Antarctica, Iceland, Alaska, I dived without him.
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Welcome back to Cameraman.com! First of all I would like to thank you all for your visit and for your support to the community!
This time I would like to introduce you with Glenn Harris, a cameraman, editor and director who works between New York and Los Angeles. Glenn has had a lifelong career in cinema and television. He began at the age of 2 as a child actor appearing in features and television – notably in the 80s classic “Say Anything” and a regular on daytime soap opera “General Hospital”. He switched to the production side after attending film school at USC. His hobbies include flying airplanes, surfing, and scuba diving.
Glenn tells us a bit about how he discovered scuba diving and a few tips of underwater filmmaking. As I’m also a passionate about underwater filmmaking I will be posting more interviews… so stay in touch!
Cameraman: Tell me a little bit about yourself and how you got started with diving and underwater filming?
Glenn: About a year ago I was looking for a new adventure. I’m from Southern California where most all of my friends and I grew up surfing and snowboarding. I love both of those, but diving was something not as many people seemed to do. When I breathed underwater for the first time, even though it was just in a pool, I was hooked.
Underwater filming then became a natural outgrowth for me. Filmmaking has always been in my life – through child acting, going to film school, and now leading a career in it. The difference though with underwater shooting is I was driven purely by a sense of exploration and adventure that I wanted to share with everyone.
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I have had the pleasure to interview cinematographer Sebastian Cepeda, the Director of Photography of the coming science fiction movie The Rift. Sebastian was born in Argentina and studied Fimmaking in the SAE Institute. He lives in Switzerland and he is starting his third feature film this year as a Director of Photography. Before leaving you with the interview I would like to say that I’m also delighted to share our 10th interview on Cameraman.com. Thanks for your support! I hope you enjoy it.
Sebastian Cepeda at work
Cameraman: How and why did you become a cinematographer?
Sebastian: I became a cinematographer because I love to tell stories and the best way for me to do that is with images. I’m a very visual person, writing was never my strong side, so I started drawing comics when I was around 10. Drawing comics was like storyboarding movies for me at that age.
Afterwards when I came to Switzerland at the age of 15 I decided to become an actor, but it was pretty hard in Switzerland. I had minor roles for TV as well as theater but then I realized that I wanted to be on the other side of the camera. I studied at the SAE Institute and had a Bachelor of Arts in Filmmaking. The school was good to learn some basics, but in my opinion the best way to become a Cinematographer is watching at a lot of movies, TV shows, music videos, pictures and other images. You get a sense for the lighting as well as framing. There are a lot of books too that were very helpful, one of my favorites is “Painting with Light” by John Alton.
Cameraman: Tell me about The Rift and how you got involved in that movie.
Sebastian: The Rift is a low budget science fiction/thriller movie set in America. I got involved in the project thanks to the director Robert Kouba. I was his teacher at SAE and thought him “Camera & Lighting”. So after having my class he asked me if I wanted to be the Director of Photography for the movie. We had a couple of meetings and I was very impressed with him, being such a young guy and so talented, and he thinks a lot with images like myself.
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