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Behind the Lens: An Interview with Cinematographer Francesco Malandrino

by eyesonhollywood

Interview with Francesco Malandrino – Cinematographer

Francesco Malandrino is a name synonymous with innovation and visual storytelling in the world of cinematography. With a career that spans over various genres and includes working alongside iconic superstars, Francesco’s journey is a testament to his passion and dedication to the craft. In this interview, we delve into his inspirations, experiences, and the valuable lessons he’s learned along the way. From breaking into the industry in bustling cities like Los Angeles and Miami to working on high-profile projects, Francesco shares his insights and the dynamics of his successful partnership with fellow cinematographer Maria Perlifonova. Join us as we explore the fascinating world of cinematography through the lens of Francesco Malandrino.

Q: What initially sparked your interest in cinematography, and how did you break into the industry in Los Angeles, CA, and Miami, FL?

Francesco Malandrino: My interest in cinematography was sparked by a passion for visual storytelling and the magic of film. From a young age, I was fascinated by how images convey emotions and narratives.

Breaking into the industry in Los Angeles and Miami required persistence, networking, and skill development. In Los Angeles, I worked on independent projects to build my portfolio and networked with industry professionals. This helped me gain recognition and opportunities.

In Miami, I used my experience and connections from Los Angeles to explore new projects. The creative community in Miami offered unique opportunities to grow and develop my craft. Both cities have been crucial in shaping my career, providing diverse environments to thrive as a cinematographer.

Q. Reflecting on your role as a DP for two feature films, what were some of the most valuable lessons you learned?

Francesco Malandrino: Reflecting on my role as a DP for two feature films, I learned that collaboration is key. Working closely with the director and crew is crucial for achieving the film’s vision. Flexibility in the face of unexpected challenges, such as weather changes or technical issues, ensures that the production stays on schedule without compromising quality. Paying meticulous attention to details like lighting and camera angles significantly enhances visual storytelling. Efficient workflow and time management are critical for maintaining the production timeline and budget.

Q. Working with iconic superstars like Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa must have been unique. Can you share any memorable moments or challenges from those projects?

Francesco Malandrino: Shooting for Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa was one of the most important projects in my career. I worked as a DP duo with my partner Maria Perlifonova. Having two DPs on set was essential, considering the production company only allowed us two days for the project (one of which was for pre-lighting). Both Snoop and Wiz were fantastic and extremely professional. I would love to work with them every day. I also have to mention our stunt coordinator, Jeremy Marinas. Jeremy has worked on movies such as *John Wick 4* and *Captain America: Civil War*. He was essential for us, even operating the camera for a few shots to create real-life cinematic camera movements.

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Q. Describe the dynamic of working as a DP duo with Maria Perlifonova. How do you divide responsibilities, and what makes your partnership effective?

Francesco Malandrino: Our collaboration sparks creativity and innovation. For example, in a recent project, our combined efforts led to a visually stunning shot sequence that enhanced the entire narrative. Clear communication and mutual trust are foundational, allowing us to navigate challenges and maintain a consistent vision. What makes our partnership successful is our shared aesthetic goals and ability to give and receive constructive feedback. This continuous exchange helps us grow and refine our craft, making our work stand out in the industry. It’s not very common in the film industry to find a DP duo that can work together 90% of the time.

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