Unit Stills Photography
As a Unit Stills Photographer my job is to create two types of images. The first is, photos specifically intended for use in the marketing and publicity of feature films or television productions, shot as the main camera sees it, while the movie is being filmed. I always look for alternative angles and shots taken from a different point of view than the main camera as long as they can capture the movie mood and feel without altering the meaning of the scene.
The second type of images I produce on the set is to document the making of the movie and includes close-ups of the actors and crew, wide shots of the crew shooting the action or even setting up the equipment, props etc. Basically anything that goes on behind the scenes that can still used for press releases and/or released to the media.
I shoot with top of the line Canon bodies, the fastest and best lenses available ( I can shoot on VERY dark sets when needed with the fastest primes available on the market) and two professional sound blimps to reduce (almost mute) the sound of my camera’s motor drives & shutters, so its noise won’t get picked on the film’s recorded dialogue soundtrack while the action is rolling. All of the above must be done while not getting in the way of the crew, or even worse, without getting in the shot myself or in the actors’ eyeline. In order to accomplish all this and get the job done it is extremely important to always understand and be aware of what’s happening on the set around me and what is going to happen next, and, last but not least be as invisible as possible and blend in with the crew/background.
How do I approach shooting on the set? The rules of photography are the same, you can break them “sometimes”, and doing that can work quite well (once in a while), but I get very aggravated when I see “some” top notch and well known unit stills photographer’s work! Show me their eyes dammit! And why are their faces covered? I wanna see all of them! Why is she in the smack middle of the frame? HELLO? The building is falling backwards! Yes the camera wasn’t leveled, duh, but who am I to criticize their work!!! I feel strongly about this, so pardon my rants but the same old rules of photography apply, same rules, plus the so called “SETIQUETTE”, and there you have it, plenty more rules to play by HA!
While I am very well aware that stills taken on a movie set are very low on the priority list of producers and DOP, I take this job very seriously at producing the very best shots while I blend into the background without being in the way of the crew. The stills are available almost instantly, minutes after they have been taken on the set, and are therefore, a very powerful promotional tool that can and will be used right away for press releases and later on, once the movie is completed, for its marketing and promotional collaterals. As David Puttman said
“ More people will see the stills of the movie than will ever actually see the movie’ so stills are very important.”
As you can see from my Fine Art Photography site I have a keen eye for composition, which is very useful when shooting on the set as well.
Feel free to contact me for unit photography work, I will be very happy provide also my resume and portfolio. I am a Local hire in New Orleans and New York City and a IATSE Local 600 member.
Some recent set stills with Eric Roberts on a “un-named” for now feature film I just worked on this November:
Cooking Channel new television series “Chuck’s Eat the Street” with Host Chuck Hughes.
Travel Channel’s television series “Adam Richman’s Best Sandwich in America”. A few shots below. Adam rocks and so is his new show…Check it out!
Here below is another photo I took on the same set, published on the Los Angeles Times.
Jerome High’s Scream Team – Unit Stills Photography by Alfonso Bresciani – © Upperline Entertainment LLC
When time permits I like to take the time to do special shoots with leads in between takes.
These below are just a few of the shots I took on the set of Jerome High’s Scream team, a lot more have been taken and will be released to the public soon.
© Upperline Entertainment LLC
Director: John Swider.
Release date: 2013
Unit Stills Photography by Alfonso “Pompo” Bresciani
Jerome High Scream Team News Package with Anne Cutler. Originally aired on News With A Twist on WGNO-TV New Orleans.
Photography by Richard Sprinkle
News Package edited by Ann Cutler
Anne’s Horror Segment edited by Richard Sprinkle.
The following images below were taken on the set of HBO’s Treme first season, and while I wasn’t actually working for HBO or the Discovery Channel (next gallery below Treme’s) I’m displaying them here to show that if I can get the job done without even being a crew member, when it’s even harder to be out of the way and yet, manage to capture the action … I can get the job done period .