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Meet Barry Braverman, Cinematographer & Author of Video Shooter: Mastering Storytelling Techniques, Third Edition
http://www.bookpleasures.com/websitepublisher/articles/6589/1/Meet-Barry-Braverman-Cinematographer-amp-Author-of-Video-Shooter-Mastering-Storytelling-Techniques-Third-Edition/Page1.html
Norm Goldman


Reviewer & Author Interviewer, Norm Goldman. Norm is the Publisher & Editor of Bookpleasures.com.

He has been reviewing books for the past fifteen years when he retired from the legal profession.

To read more about Norm Follow Here






 
By Norm Goldman
Published on December 10, 2013
 



Norm Goldman, Publisher & Editor of Bookpleasures.com Interviews Barry Braverman, Cinematographer & Author of Video Shooter: Mastering Storytelling Techniques, Third Edition


                                                                                                                                                                          

Today, Bookpleasures.com is pleased to have as our guest Barry Braverman. Barry is a cinematographer with over thirty years experience in television documentaries and feature films. His credits include Wes Anderson's MOONRISE KINGDOM (2012), THE DARJEELING LIMITED (2007), as well as National Geographic TV Specials, HBO 'First Look' and CBS News Sunday Morning.

Barry is a member of Hollywood's cinematographer guild and regularly conducts multi-day camera and video storytelling workshops around the world, most recently in South Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

Barry has just published Video Shooter: Mastering Storytelling Techniques, Third Edition that explores the art of video storytelling with the latest 2D and 3D cameras. He lives in Studio City, CA


Norm:

When did you first know that you wanted to be a cinematographer and why were you attracted to the profession?

Barry:

When I graduated Dartmouth in the mid-70s I had no idea I would become a cinematographer. I was meeting a friend one day at a production company in New York and was seated in the screening room waiting for him to get free.  The company president walked in, looked at me for a moment, and wondered who I was.  I said, "I'm Barry Braverman."  And he replied, "Oh you're the cameraman!"  And that's how I became a cameraman. To be honest I had always been interested in telling visually compelling stories. I was never great with words but I had a good eye.

Norm:

Who were the first cinematographers that inspired you and what made them so special to you?

Barry:

The late Andrew Laszlo ASC was my mentor who actually took time off to accompany me on some of my student films.  I learned a lot about camera operation from Andy and also the business aspects like getting into the union!  I also learned a great deal about lighting efficiently from Michael Ballhaus ASC (Broadcast News, Color of Money, Air Force One) whom I was fortunate enough to work with early on. In terms of craft I especially admired the great Néstor Almendros (Sophie's Choice, Kramer vs Kramer, Days of Heaven) who employed minimal supplemental lighting, usually just one light and a mirror.

Norm:

As you mention in your book VIDEO SHOOTER, great storytelling requires compelling visuals. What are the fundamental ingredients of compelling visuals?

Barry:

If you've read the book you know!  Like a Renoir painting truly compelling images capture the world in a way our viewers haven't seen before. This is the goal of every cinematographer.  The lessons in my book notwithstanding there are no rules about how to achieve this except well, maybe one - NO MEDIUM SHOTS AT EYE LEVEL!

Norm:

 
What was the most difficult assignment you had ever undertaken and why was it so difficult?

Barry:

Difficult in what way? I was in Cairo in the streets during the recent revolution. It was chaos with the promise of violence (or actual violence) in every direction. But it was more perilous than difficult.  I think the most difficult challenge on any shoot tends to be interpersonal. I pride myself with being able to get along with almost anyone. But I met my match recently on a new reality show. It is difficult to stay focused and perform well when the director is woefully indecisive, and addresses the crew in a demeaning and condescending way.

Norm:

 
What would say was your dream assignment and why?

Barry:

In the mid 80s the legendary new-age group TANGERINE DREAM asked me to shoot their first music video. It was February in New York, grey and freezing cold when the band's leader Peter Baumann gave me a cassette of his yet-to-be-released single. He called me into his office and said, "Here is the music. Here's a check for $25,000. I rented a condo for you in Hawaii.  Go be creative."  It was the best work I've ever done.

Norm

Could you tell our readers a little about Video Shooter? What motivated you to write the book? What purpose do you believe your book serves and what matters to you about the book?

Barry:

Every accomplished artist at some point wishes to synthesize the essence of what he or she knows and does. In my case VIDEO SHOOTER is a distillation of my philosophy and the many techniques that go into my craft. The book has proved helpful in my visual storytelling workshops that I conduct around the world.

Norm:

If you could go back ten years, what advice would you give yourself?

Barry:

I would recommend much better lying skills. I am a little too honest and forthcoming with my opinions. In Hollywood lying is good and necessary. I never quite understood that concept.

Norm:


Where can our readers find out more about you and Video Shooter?


Barry:

Check out MY BLOG.  Also keep an eye out for one of my workshops nearby.

Norm:

What is next for Barry Braverman? 

Barry:

One never knows, which is what is so nice about this business.  New opportunities come and go. For the aspiring cinematographer, learning to love the unpredictability may be the most difficult assignment of all. :)

Norm:

Thanks once again and good luck with all of your endeavors

Follow Here To Purchase Video Shooter: Mastering Storytelling Techniques