Today in Zeferino we interview the director of photography Alberto Bañares. With extensive experience in commercial and international pieces, currently represented by L’Agence in Spain, Italy and France.
What were your beginnings in the direction of photography??
My beginnings in the direction of photography were marked by the creative friendships that I made in the ESCAC. During those years in school, I remember a lot of passion for cinema, for wanting to see everything and then want to find your own voice.
In part, we already felt like cinematographers, even though many of us did not know how to fix a chuko. When leaving, those of photo we put ourselves quickly like electrical or videoassistants. I had planned to take a trip around Asia as a backpacker for half a year. So when I got back I was a little off the hook. However, little by little, I was working both in the camera department, as the light, as a still photo. While doing small pieces as a director of photography. There was something in me that told me that maybe I would be a better cinematographer than a focuse or gaffer, so I took advantage of the fact that I moved to London in 2012 to give myself a self-promotion as DoP, a little jump to the void.
That was an important moment for me, it was the natural part. Coincidentally I began to work more in Barcelona than in London, where I had arrived without really knowing anyone. Small projects like DoP had been blooming before and after that moment, in many we used DSLR (I had bought one) and where there was more budget we rented a Canon 7D with PL mount that had Technok. After a moment we decided to invest and we shot a small video clip with Red One MX that attracted some glances and little by little I built my reel.
What has been your most relevant work or with which you have been most satisfied?
It is always difficult to answer such a question. It is rare that a project does not mark you in some sense, for a success, for a lesson you learned, an error that you made (and that you noticed later), for working with a new director. Where there is a challenge there is learning, they say, and that is always relevant. However, in a small attack of nostalgia, I have come to mind a project that I keep a lot of love, as was the project «The Man With The Two Mouths».
My great friend and director Marc Ortiz was starting like me in advertising and he found the possibility of filming this project, for Madrid Fusión, which offered a great deal of creativity and freedom and zero remuneration. The hook was able to go to shoot Manchester. The producer sent the great Jorge Noguerales a couple of weeks before we went and was able to pre-produce and locate the different scenes of the film with great success. He was with us a creative agency and basically no one else in production. So between us and the local team we could shoot for four days with a couple of van and get the piece that we aspired. The rewards of this type of project are always guaranteed.
What light or projector do you always take to a shoot? Why?
The lights are always subject to fashions and better techniques, as it was not so long ago the M series of HMI projectors from Arri, but certainly they still have space the Kinos in the truck and above all the fluorescent swords, which have been very useful in many filming and are always grateful in what capacity to transform a space they have.
Now I could tell you that we do not seem to know how to work without Skypanels. They are, for some time, the most sought after tool. A led light, with such low power consumption, so much power and so much versatility with its lighting effects, color range included, makes any DoP tend to have it very close at hand. It is certainly a harder light than it seems, but with the combination of a chimera and its eggcrate you end up using it even for the most beauty planes. I also get the feeling that tools like the skypanel has produced a certain frenzy in the use of color. Thing I understand is normal and, possibly, a fad too (of which I am also a part).
Do you have any audiovisual referent or cinematographer?
There are many references and it would almost be an endless list. My main references at the time of the school were Wong Kar Wai, Ingmar Bergman, David Cronenberg and Alain Resnais. As DoPs were Conrad Hall, Roger Deakins, Sven Nykvist and Christopher Doyle, mostly.
Later and with the use of the internet it is very easy to feel inspired. And hallucinate with the work that people do here and abroad. Without stopping to follow the work of DoPs that are consecrated in the fiction as; Bradford Young, Hoyte van Hoytema or Kasper Tuxen. Today we are lucky to have a large quarry of DoPs in this country. And in Barcelona in particular, people like Dani F. Abelló, Oriol Barcelona, Miquel Prohens, Borja López … and many who left me.
On the other hand, there are new advertising tops such as Mauro Chiarello, Khalid Mohtaseb, Chayse Irvin, Kajetan Plis, Rina Yang … The beauty of our job is that young people are constantly coming out. Not so young people who reinvent themselves. And heavyweights that continue to explore their creative world. Recently I am amazed by the work of directors such as Jodeb, Dani L. Fortuny or Albert Moya.
If you could order a custom projector, what characteristics would you ask for?
Well surely it would be a projector that could offer me a hard and beautiful texture like a fresnel lamp and at the same time a soft and more aesthetic. That it was light and that it could be modular. Almost a mix between 18KW, a skypanel and the lite-map.