Podcast

Independent Filmmaker's Guide

Episode #1

July 7, 2020

Title:

A Short Film That Gets Over Half A Million Views - "NY RHAPSODY"


  • On IFG we talk about independent film from development through delivery. By featuring discussions with creators and collaborators about their experiences, we form a roadmap to help you have the most success with your projects.

 

  • Mastering the short film medium is a skill in and of itself, so for today’s episode we brought in the filmmaking team who have certainly shown their mastery in this form by earning over half a million views so far, for their tone-poem of a short film set around George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody In Blue”, NY RHAPSODY. 

WATCH NY RHAPSODY

Watch the video version of this episode:

Full Interview

Salvatore D’Alia:       “Rhapsody in Blue” is probably one of my favorite pieces of all time. Every time, even before moving to New York I always thought about that music, every time I’m in New York I always think about that music, even now. So I wanted to do something with that music that will go beyond, kind of Woody Allen did in Manhattan, because I love that intro but I think the entire piece is made for New York, so I wanted to get those visuals of the CD and go with the entirety of the piece. So, the idea was that I wanted to shoot New York every day for one year, and do kind of like 365 days of shooting New York with that music. The problem is that I knew that because of the copyright with the music, it wouldn’t just be a personal project that maybe, probably YouTube would have flagged me and not even make it public. It would have been maybe a Vimeo thing, or something personal.

A shot from New York Rhapsody

 

Salvatore D’Alia:       So when basically Adorama asked me to think about a commercial, something that would speak about the mission of the company, then I kind of like, tried to basically get two birds with one stone. And I pitched the idea of making a story about New York and a story about creativity and the artists in this city.

Steven Pierce:          It is basically kind of between a music video and an experimental film. Right guys? So, where does that fall for you and was that ever a challenge for what the tone and what the structure was going to be?

Salvatore D’Alia:       I mean, structuring tone, it’s something that I was kind of sure from the beginning, what I wanted and the fact that it is a mute movie, just because it’s kind of like a music video. So, there’s no nobody’s speaking, I always loved it because it’s a message of what New York is for the rest of the world. So I didn’t want to, kind of a language barrier. I wanted people in India to watch it, in Japan to watch it and kind of relate right away with the characters, with the city, know what the city’s about without even, you don’t need to understand the language basically.

Steven Pierce:          Well, what’s the challenge within that? Also making a piece where it is, the visual sequence is the story, and the music’s just lifting that up, right, so how does that play? Do you shortlist it any differently?

Salvatore D’Alia:       Well, I think in this case, kind of like in a music video is the music that gives the structure and gives the story. So the music was for me, kind of, the storyboard came after the music, right? So, based on the music, I basically created a storyboard and what I wanted to see based on the mood of the music, the rhythm, because in this case that the hero was the music, is the one that kind of came first and then everything else kind of fell into place after that.

Storyboards of NY Rhapsody from Salvatore D’Alia

Paul Del Gesso:         Sal you had mentioned to me in pre production, and I think we had in the back of our minds, movies like Koyaanisqatsi and Baraka, that we were doing something experimental, but we were treading on somewhat treaded territory already. And how to tell a story visual, that was like you said, understandable with the music and with the subject matter. So, it was definitely an influence in our minds when we stepped into the process.

Steven Pierce:          And Trost, you and Sal shot a couple of things together. This was first or second? Did you do the commercial second or this first?

Andrew Trost:          The first time we worked together directly, I mean, we had met before and chatted a little bit, but this was really the first creative collaboration between the two of us. And we jumped right from Rhapsody into another one with a pretty similar pitch and creative backing to it. So it was kind of fun to just get a few months to work with him and just, really get on the same page. 

Steven Pierce:          So how much did you storyboard this all out to the music, so how much did, of what we see in the final cut, is what you initially storyboarded?

Salvatore D’Alia:       Actually, on my end the storyboard was mostly, basically the storytelling of the three characters. That’s kind of a storyboard. So it’s kind of the skeleton, the structure of the movie. And on that one, we basically almost shot and used almost everything that we shot, because of the way the production worked, we shot everything in five days, all the characters and it was very fast. Every shot was important and we knew that we needed to get every single shot. So almost everything that we shot it’s in there. The selection was mostly for the B roll. So how to kind of tell the story of the city outside the three main characters, basically. So, for the B roll, yes. Only probably 15% of the B roll that I had at the beginning actually made the final cut. But, for the three characters, which are the one that we actually shot the three of us together in those five days, almost everything actually made the cut.

Salvatore D’Alia and Andrew Trost filming in Coney Island

Steven Pierce:          So let’s talk about schedule and crew size. Could you kind of start there anyway? What was your crew like?

Paul Del Gesso:         Well I would say smaller than we would have wanted in this normal production, but small enough that kept us fluid and fast, because as Sal said we were shooting in five days and we had about two to three repos a day, with a second unit shooting at the same time where we were passing actors to and from. So we had a good seven people I’d say on average, and that helped us get just what we needed and fast repos and breakdowns, everybody to and from locations, because it was definitely a dance with the schedule. We did have five days to fit, I think it was something like 15 locations. I have to go back and look, but we were doing two to three locations a day and we nailed it. I think any more crew and it would have been too much and any less and we would’ve lost quality.

Steven Pierce:          So, how much shaping and structure were you able to do Andrew, with a crew like that? With your moving that quickly with those many locations, what’s your creative visual approach?

Andrew Trost:          Yeah. You don’t really have a whole lot of time either way. So, it was really just what was available and choosing the right angles. It really had a very sort of, I would almost say verite approach just because, we would scout locations or get location photos, but anyone who’s ever done this knows that it’s very different from whatever day you actually show up on, with the actual talent in front of you, but those storyboards, they came in handy because it was really just about making sure we got the right moment and just kind of dancing around to make sure that we’re picking out the best angles. It’s not to say we didn’t do any lighting, we did some but it was always super nimble and fast, because we’d be in a spot for 45 minutes, we’d shoot it out, and then it’s like, okay, we got to go to the next spot. And, you don’t want to be dealing with stands and lights and grip and all that stuff when you have to move that fast.

Andrew Trost and crew film Vanessa Joy

Steven Pierce:          So what was your basic crew?

Andrew Trost:          As far as a technical crew, it was me. We had our first AC, Steven Hicken was on and I would say that’s it. We had hands on deck for sure, to help move cases and stuff like that. But really everything was kind of between Steven and I, if there was a lighting to be done, Steven would just kind of stay by camera and work on the tech of that. Paul would jump in and set a C-stand here and there, Sal was working with the actors constantly. So it was that and then just a couple of very nice people who helped us out moving cases up and down stairs in the middle of July. It was good.

Paul Del Gesso:         I would also add that, one of the three main talents, Chris Palermo was kind enough to double up as a second AC most days. And then some days he even took the first AC spot when he wasn’t on camera. 

Steven Pierce:          How did you get into the casting, so to speak, did you cast somebody specifically because they could be an AC?

Salvatore D’Alia:       I mean that was kind of a bonus for sure. No, it was important for us from the beginning to kind of actually have real people that wouldn’t pretend or act, what they were doing. So the photographer, we want it to actually, knows how to handle a camera, that we don’t have to teach, how do you actually shoot. So, we were lucky enough to between friends and then people that we knew already to kind of have this, through these three characters that were perfect for the part, they were basically almost acting and impersonating themselves. Chris Palermo, the filmmaker, that’s what he does. He’s a filmmaker and photographer. 

Paul Del Gesso:         And he rides his bike in traffic.

Salvatore D’Alia:       Exactly. And he also rides his bike. So, he didn’t have to pretend, you know what I mean?

Steven Pierce:          The cast then played a very big part it seems. Yeah.

Salvatore D’Alia:       It was important, and we got lucky.

Andrew Trost:          It’s kind of interesting though, because you look at people that are actually doing what they do for a living, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t have these sort of genuine moments of performance that come from them while they’re doing it. If they’re not just, wouldn’t doing what they’re doing, you had them emote. You needed them to express their frustrations and their love and all these different things, which I think, either that’s lightning in a bottle or you just chose excellent people. That’s well done.

Salvatore D’Alia:       We got lucky. I was thinking that Vanessa Joy, the photographer, she’s a mother and the whole character was basically this relationship between a working artist that has to kind of bounce between different gigs in a day and having your kid at home that you can barely see, but you have to kind of get the job done and get your money and go back home. So, when I asked her basically to think about her daughter and while she was working and other stuff like that, it was easy for her because she can just go straight into something that she knows already, right. 

Paul Del Gesso:         I would add too that the most extensive casting we did is with the daughter. That’s not her daughter in real life. Daisy, we found on Actors Access, and that was probably the longest process of actual casting we did to get her on board and she was great. And then the other casting moment I remember is trying to find the married couple. And that is a real married couple, they’re actors and they had never had wedding photos before done. So we were able to put them on video and give them the wedding photos of that scene. So even the bit players really are who they are in real life.

Steven Pierce:          That’s very smart, that you ended up getting people that they could benefit from it. So, it was a win win. Very, very clever. So let’s talk about posts. You obviously edit the piece together with the music, but then you don’t have any recorded sound on set. Right. And how much being cinema verite and ending up with kind of a cinematic vibe being black and white, how much did color play a role?

Andrew Trost:          I mean, as color, you’re going to record in color regardless, unless you’re working with a monochromatic system, which we weren’t. I don’t know, New York is full of texture and that’s really what we’re after. I don’t think that we are too terribly concerned with anything outside of just making sure that everything was pumping with contrast. Contrast was what we wanted constantly. And just making sure everything was moving. In terms of post obviously, we had a brilliant colorist on Josh Bohoskey at The Mill, which was, I don’t know, that was just putting the cherry on top for this entire piece, was getting to work with him and seeing what he’s able to do and really make everything pitch perfect. But post, I’m sure it was a nightmare for Sal because, when you worked so hard on a project like this, where you’re shooting so much, you want your darlings to make it. And I’m confident that I was rubbing him the wrong way when I first saw the first edit. Because I brought back a list of notes that was about a mile long, and like, oh, wait, where’s this shot? And, I’m sure there’s just so much you want to put in, but you only have so much time and you got to get the story across. So post is probably a better question for Sal than anyone.

Salvatore D’Alia:       Well, I wanted to leave the color for you, but editing was mostly kind of like deciding what kid to sacrifice every single time. Right. I think in the end I had something, maybe 12 versions, 12 cuts.

Steven Pierce:          So, you had 12 versions going or that you did 12 passes before your final version?

Salvatore D’Alia:       It was a good 12 passes. Yeah. 12 passes where I have to kind of cut down a bunch of the B roll. So I had to make a lot of choices on that. What is interesting is that the B roll wasn’t just taken during those days, those five days that we, production days basically, but it’s also probably three, four, maybe five years back of B roll from other cameras. I think I counted a total of eight or nine cameras I used in the shore movies, from GoPros to Blackmagic. There are a lot, many different cameras. The main one is the ARRI Amira, which is the one that we use to shoot all the characters. So those five days we used ARRI, but then all the B roll is a mix.

A Shot from “NY Rhapsody”

Andrew Trost:          Wouldn’t want to forget also, just as far as technical is concerned, we actually had a second unit for this shoot that was working for two days. We had Magid Metwaly running that second unit and Alexa Mini. I think that is what he had. And we just gave him a laundry list of things that we needed him to get. And he was in on the conversation, a good portion of that. Because the B roll still had a lot, but we needed a lot more on top of that. And that was essential. There was no way that we are going to be able to do both just with a single unit, even though we were taking B roll as we were going along, any location with the characters, we would still spray down wherever we are and try to get some good shots of anything, because we knew we would need the space for it.

Steven Pierce:          So the Amira was your primary photography camera, right?

Andrew Trost:          That’s correct. Yeah.

Steven Pierce:          And what lenses were you going with?

Andrew Trost:          We had the ARRI Master Primes and we had a 16, a 25, a 50 and a 100, I believe was what we were, and I think the Macro is 100, yeah, it was 100 Macro. So those four constantly cycling through those four. It was great.

Andrew Trost shooting with the Arri Amira and Arri Master Primes

Steven Pierce:          So, were you underexposing certain things? You shoot that whole scene with Palermo with the windows behind him, are you letting those blow out, where are you trying to put him in contrast and how are you mixing all of that so quickly without being able to control all of it?

Andrew Trost:          Time of day is number one, I think is we would wait for the right moment. We would show up in certain places, a really good example of that is actually Andre’s apartment, the musician. So, he’s in that sort of Midtown high rise building. And for moments like that, I think, I don’t know, it’s funny. We had to move around so much and we were doing location changes maybe twice or three times a day. But in moments like that, we literally had to just kind of wait for 90 minutes, maybe even two hours before we were ready to take those scenes, because they were too bright or they didn’t fit in a context of the story that we were telling. So that’s one thing, is to just kind of wait for the right time of day and shoot the other angles that you know you can get in the meantime. But aside from that, shooting in a format like Log C on an ARRI camera is going to give you a great dynamic range and those lenses kind of have a nice, inherent contrast to them to begin with. And that’s the kind of choice you make ahead of the time to make sure that your system is going to work with you and not against you. So, shooting on the fly like that is something that I’m used to. I know that Sal’s used to that as well as a photographer, you work with what you have and you make the best judgment in the moment. You want to make sure that if you care so much about those highlights and make sure it’s not going to be blown out, then protect those. You work on whatever your best strength is in the moment and try not to fret too much about it.

Andrew Trost:          When you don’t have everything within your control, if you’re working on a smaller budget and you’re working with limitations, embrace them, don’t try to fix it too much, work with what you have and be happy that you’re able to even be out there shooting something like that.

Steven Pierce:          So let’s talk about the release of the short film now. So this was a sponsored piece with Adorama and what was the release plan for it?

Salvatore D’Alia:       So the plan was, we got the copyright for two years for the music, and the plan was one full year for festivals, film festivals, and then one full year for Adorama, basically to use for their channels and to make it into ads and other stuff like that. Now is not our one full year yet, because one full year would be, we basically shot last year in July. And we started the festivals in, I think was October. But, because of COVID-19 and all the situation in New York, we decided to actually go live earlier. So we decided to basically go live now. And I think it was a good choice because the entire movie just takes up a totally different vibe. People are now more nostalgic about the New York energy and get back into work and get back into that craziness that you see in the movie basically. So now people are kind of like, can enjoy, I think the movie even more than they would five months ago lets say. 

Paul Del Gesso:         One of the interesting things, was during Corona, we started to see the general genre that we were, which is a love story, uplifting love story to New York city kind of trend in, of various, not copycats, but similar ideas as to our edit and our music and just this kind of portrait of New York. And we were basically realizing that we were sitting on the best one of all of them and that we should get it out there and basically uplift the whole city and give a positive message to everyone and remind everybody what makes the city great.

Steven Pierce:          Well, I think you have, I mean, you’ve had a very positive response. You’ve been in I mean, quite a few festivals. I think you won best experimental film in seven festivals, best cinematography in six, editing, best silent film and a couple. So, I mean, congratulations on making something really that is resonating with people. Now, you mentioned the city being kind of the third pillar of the piece, right. A big character. So, was selecting locations to tell that story, to pick that B roll up. How did you go about dissecting a big city, like New York?

Salvatore D’Alia:       I mean, we’ve been here for several years. I mean, none of us is an actual New Yorker, but we know the City at this point, we are those characters that you see in the movie. I am the filmmaker, honestly I had a point in my career where I had three gigs in one day, I will use the subway. I wouldn’t like going around with my bike, but I would just run back and forth. So, we already know locations, because also with social media and stuff like that, you can actually kind of also scout a location and say, okay, I definitely want to do something there. There were some amazing I think, spots that I didn’t know, then we found, and we weren’t lucky. I’m thinking like at the laundromat, for example, it’s kind of hard in New York to find a laundromat that is big enough to get those shots that you want. I’m thinking the one, especially with the two characters together, because all the laundromats in New York are very tight space and very dark, not very good to shoot a movie in it, but we got lucky and we found that one that I think looks amazing in the movie. It was big enough, there is a big window behind us that we could use for natural light, so. We actually got some surprise, and that’s the beauty with New York, that every day you just find a new location. I’ve been here 10 years and I’m still finding amazing locations. How is this possible, [inaudible] this place before.

Steven Pierce:          So it was five days that you filmed, pretty crazy schedule, three different locations a day, two units going, so multiple times, so assuming that everybody, I know you guys all want to work on feature films and move on to your next thing. Is that schedule sustainable? Would you be able to attempt something like this on a larger scope or would you rethink how you do it?

Andrew Trost:          What’s the project?

Paul Del Gesso:         Yeah. I think the schedule basically came down to budgetary restraints. We all knew what the piece was and we loved it. And we decided with the vision and we all kind of understood that it was worth the personal sacrifice of us and our small crew to make such a thing with the limitations we got. But I don’t think it is as scalable as maybe it should be, if the budget is there, I think that you should let your crew and your filmmakers get the appropriate time to basically make the vision as good as they can be. But that being said for this piece, we were all fully on board and we loved the creative and we loved the idea and believed in it and took the sacrifices.

Andrew Trost:          I think it’s an interesting question. Just because it’s so much more dependent on what the content is or what is the script. What is the story you’re trying to tell. Obviously you’re not going to … It’s like that classic Venn diagram, you want it good, fast or cheap? It’s like pick two and if you want all of them, then you got to spend the money basically to do that. Could you do it? Yeah, but you’re definitely going to up your costs across the board, but honestly outside of the fact that it was 95 degrees plus every day, there wasn’t that much discomfort, I didn’t think. And, it’s kind of telling that as long as you have a good plan and you stick with the plan, I don’t know, films are made in pre-production. When you get on set and you don’t really have many questions left, or you’re not supposed to really. You leave room for improvisation obviously, but I don’t know that I would recommend trying to do this if every location you’re going to try to shoot out is going to be lit or need a pre-reg, and you’re not going to have a pre-reg crew or de-reg crew. It’s like, you wouldn’t be able to do this production on the scale of something, if you weren’t to do it either verite or natural light style, mostly handheld unless you just have a lot of money, frankly, and you can pay crew, that’s going to be able to just cycle that in and out. And, even right now, I don’t think that’s feasible, because we’re looking at smaller crews being the new normal and things going a lot slower, I think is just how things are going to be at least for a couple of years, till we get back on our feet.

Steven Pierce:          So you guys also did a commercial series for Adorama. I want to talk about that maybe briefly, if you guys are cool, you had some quite unique experiences in a similar setting, but in kind of expanding it. What was it like shooting on the boat? If you had to rank of the ones of you who succeeded or who got the most sick? Who do you think got there?

Salvatore D’Alia:       It was our first AC for sure. 

Paul Del Gesso:         Oh yeah. Any award, anybody on Deadliest Catch is everyone. Give that man two awards.

Andrew Trost:          Out of, well Steve you don’t count because you weren’t there, but of the people you’re looking at here, only one of us made it through without getting seasick. And that was our fearless leader Sal D’Alia.

Steven Pierce:          What was it like shooting on a boat and what made it so challenging?

Andrew Trost:          I mean, everyone’s going to have a story for this, but I think just from the camera perspective, something that I was not really prepared for, and I did some reading and some research on it before getting on the boat. But if you don’t know what the conditions of the water are going to be, that tiny little screen becomes your worst enemy very quickly, because if you’re dealing with choppy waters, which we were, that takes your focus away from the horizon, which starts getting those inner ear problems going, and then the sea sickness starts.

Andrew Trost:          And so filmmaking is a lot of like minutia, it’s getting all of the focus on there, working your aperture, little menu settings and stuff like that. And as soon as you drill into that, if you got rough seas it’s game over for most people. Yeah, it was pretty tough, but the negative aside, it was awesome. I had a great time, even though the second half was more miserable than even the first, I thought it was great. Shooting anamorphics underwater. Oh, it was awesome.

Underwater shot from “Equip Your Creativity”

Steven Pierce:          Yeah. Talk about that for a second. Talk about that for a second. What were you filming and what was the technical background on it? 

Andrew Trost:          We wanted to showcase some underwater equipment that I had around my house for sale and for rent. Sal can probably talk more about that particular aspect, but we were very, very adamant about wanting to shoot specifically anamorphic for the whole project, including the underwater portion, which is not particularly advisable. And it’s not really done that often, because there’s an issue with the dome port acting as a diopter in constitution with the distance of the lens to that diopter.

Steven Pierce:          Right? So it changes the focal distance of the lens.

Andrew Trost:          Exactly. And you can’t necessarily get a close or a far distance focus at any point unless, you really have to fine tune the strength of diopter that you’re going to use and the distance of the lens from the dome port. 

Steven Pierce:          All on pitching seas.

Andrew Trost:          We were smart enough to do that before, I told you a film is made in prep. So the night before we made sure to make, we knew exactly where that stuff had to be, but that said, if a diopter fell off a couple of times, we had to fix it. And that was no fun. But

Steven Pierce:          And you were working with an Alexa Mini on and the Lomo Russian lenses, right? The USSR?

Andrew Trost:          Yeah, the Round Front Lomos. Yeah.

Steven Pierce:          Which I love the lenses, but they are a pain. They are old rehoused monsters.

Andrew Trost:          Yeah. I love them to be honest. I mean, I don’t want to take up all the airtime here, but I think for budget anamorphics, they’re just absolutely the best ones you can get. They’re my favorite.

Paul Del Gesso:         The other crucial piece of hardware that we had was the Nauticam housing for the Alexa Mini. And that has sort of an adaptable system where you can add layers to extend the dome port out to fit their anamorphics, because their anamorphics are traditionally longer than lenses people do use to shoot underwater, which is another one of the hiccups we ran into. And we basically settled on the Nauticam with the extended housing as well, that basically got us through that whole shoot.

Steven Pierce:          Now, that’s not something you just went and rented yourselves 

Paul Del Gesso:         We got it flown in. We flew in a DP from Atlanta, Josh Howsley. And he was the liaison for the rental of the housing. And he had various professionals to basically ask all the questions that got us through the finish line.

Steven Pierce:          Yeah. Just meaning you guys didn’t just throw an Alexa Mini with an anamorphic lens into an underwater housing and jump off a boat.

Paul Del Gesso:         No, no.

Andrew Trost:          It was not our plan. I will say that it took us a while to find the right person, which we ended up landing on Josh, but we did get a good amount of pushback from a few other people that we talked to. I hopped on the phone with other scuba certified people who had done underwater things before. And, I don’t want to make it sound like we talked to two dozen or something, but all of them said, “Eh, you don’t want to do that. You don’t want to do anamorphics. It’s not worth the trouble.” But we’re diligent.

Steven Pierce:          Well, here’s the real proving point, Sal was it worth it? Getting the shots underwater, do you think you could have got them with the Sony a7S and a spherical lens, or are you glad you did it with the Alexa and anamorphics?

Salvatore D’Alia:       Absolutely not. I mean, it was totally worth it just because, actually that footage is not just going to be in the big overall commercial for Adorama, but actually it’s going to be also a standalone commercial for Leisure Pro, which is like the other Adorama department for underwater gear. Because they love this so much that, just that footage underwater is going to become a standalone commercial. So, it was definitely worth it, but we definitely learned a lot from it. I mean, I shot on both before underwater stuff, but how rocky it was on that boat and, that totally changed the whole thing. Plus all the technical difficulties, the anamorphics. So it’s kind of different things that kind of add it up to make it kind of a rough, they shoot for sure.

Salvatore D’Alia:       And also, we wanted to kind of save some money. That’s why we picked Florida, not just because of the wildlife or something that we wanted to shoot, but because we were on the budget. But then we also learned that sometimes a little bit of more budget, but you go in the right location where you know that, you never get, let’s say a rocky sea or stuff like that. So you know that you can go any day, it’s going to be sunny every day and you can shoot without problem. That’s also something that you want to put in consideration when you pick a location. Sometimes a little bit more money and can really save the day sometimes. We were able to shoot, but maybe a little bit more than that, maybe we were not able to shoot that one. And we would have lost a lot of money.

Steven Pierce:          So Sal, anybody that follows your work, I mean, you are in the Sony Alpha Collective and you have been for years. And I mean, you’re an amazing cinematographer in, and of yourself with just a camera in your hands. I think you’re one of the best people with a camera in his hands I’ve ever seen. So, when you start to choose a project to work with, someone like Andy and when do you make those distinctions? Is it just always budget or is it always time or is it the type of project and you want to separate your brain?

Salvatore D’Alia:       Well, the first thing that I look for is aesthetic. I think I have a strong aesthetic in my work. You can kind of recognize my work compared to other people. So, when I pick someone, especially like a DP in this case, aesthetic is the first thing that I look for. I mean, I don’t care about budgets or other stuff. I care about that after. The first thing that I really care is, can I trust this person? I mean, whenever I turn away from the camera to actually get the shots that I really have in my mind. Not all directors are like that, because some directors are more focused on be the story, the actors, stuff like that. And they just trust the professional to do his work. In my case, the aesthetic is very important for me. So, if I hire a DP, I really know that I can trust, first of everything. Then, it was also the first time that we worked together with Andrew. So, who knows he would actually maybe fight like crazy on set, because our characters were not compatible on set, that might happen. But by meeting in pre production, we actually found a bunch of our ideas where we were on the same page basically. So then on set, I think was pretty easy.

Steven Pierce:          Andy, does it affect how you work whenever you know that the director is a cinematographer in and of themselves?

Andrew Trost:          I mean, it’s going to affect it, not only from the point of view of knowing that I’m just going to have to make sure what I’m doing is of a certain standard, which I think is always there. But when you know somebody is coming with a strong photography background like Sal has, there’s very little room for error. You want to make sure that you’re giving your best all the time. But I guess there’s also a certain level of comfort that comes from it, because if it’s not working and it doesn’t work for his vision, he knows how to express that to me. And he knows what’s going to fix it. Whether it’s just compositionally or the angle of the light or the exposure, et cetera. He knows what he wants and that makes my job frankly, a lot easier. But it’s always just about making sure you’re working for their particular vision. I don’t really like to put my stamp on anything in my position, it’s more about what are you doing and how can I help you do that as efficiently and accurately as possible.

Steven Pierce:          So where can people see New York Rhapsody? 

Salvatore D’Alia:       Right now it’s live on Adorama TV, on YouTube. It’s actually right on the homepage of the YouTube channel. So you can find it, it’s easy to find. Or you can just Google YouTube, search for Adorama Rhapsody and it will pop up.

Steven Pierce:          And what’s next for you, all you guys? What are you working on now?

Salvatore D’Alia:       So for me, I have more projects with Adorama, probably more commercial work to do. So, I’m already in the pre production for those jobs.

Andrew Trost:          I just wrapped a shoot this past weekend that I’ll share with you guys whenever it comes out in a few weeks. Should be pretty exciting, it’s a music video. Other than that, I’m in pre-production for two separate features. But things are on hold for now because of our pandemic situation. So, just kind of waiting and biting my time.

Paul Del Gesso:         Yup. Just waiting for quarantine to go away and the industry to come back.

Steven Pierce:          If people want to follow you guys on social media, where would you tell them to go find your work?

Salvatore D’Alia:       I only basically have two platforms. One is my website, saldalia.com. And the other one is Instagram @timbuz. T-I-M-B-U-Z.

Andrew Trost:          The same for me, my website and my Instagram handle are the same. It’s Andrew Trost or AndrewTrost.com.

Paul Del Gesso:         Yup. Same PaulDelGesso.com or Paul Del Gesso on Instagram. And I just kind of want to say, the other project that we referenced to commercial is not out yet, but potentially by the time you listen to this or end of summer early fall, is how I believe that commercial will be available as well.

Salvatore D’Alia:       It will be very soon, very soon. Definitely, this is going to be live, probably the commercial is going to be live as well.

Paul Del Gesso:         It’s another one to check out.

Steven Pierce:          What would that be called guys? What’s that commercial called?

Paul Del Gesso:         That is “Equip Your Creativity” for Adorama. Unless it’s changed. 

Steven Pierce:          Great.

Salvatore D’Alia:       It’s going to be everywhere. It’s a commercial. So, it’s going to pop up on all your YouTube videos.