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Art & Life with Carlo Rinaldi

Today we’d like to introduce you to Carlo Rinaldi.

Carlo, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
I was born in Bracciano, a beautiful town near Roma, in Italy. I attended school and university in Italy majoring in Math and Computer Technologies. I started photographing as a hobby since I was 18 years old: I think it was a way for me to express myself while studying something very abstract and dry, made of pure numbers and algorithms.

After my degree, I decided to apply for the highly selective Italian National School of Cinema (known as “Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia”), right across the street from Cinecittà, and I was accepted in the 3-years conservatory as one of the 8 Cinematographers, under the guidance of Giuseppe Rotunno ASC AIC, former Fellini’s and Visconti’s cinematographer.

Filmmaking was a revelation for me. The opportunity of capturing images and lighting for a motion picture, and to be part of a collaborative process such as making a movie was so inspiring: I felt I finally found what I wanted to do!

I never stopped working with still photography for many years, traveling and shooting for different clients, and I also worked in the camera department on international productions like “HBO Rome”, Spike Lee’s “Miracle at St. Anna”, “Angels and Daemons” (R. Howard), “Brightstar” (J. Campion), working closely with cinematographers like Matthew Libatique ASC, Greig Fraser ACS, ASC, Salvatore Totino AIC ASC, Alik Sakarov ASC, Johnatan Freeman ASC.

I moved to Los Angeles in 2008. At the beginning was really hard! I was still taking still pictures with my film camera, so after being recognized during the prestigious Eddie Adams Workshop in New York, I got a job for the LA Times. I was shooting pictures but also video documentaries, and I ended up collaboration on Pulitzer Prize and Emmy award-winning projects such as “Caught in the Crossfire: Victims of Gang Violence” by Barbara Davidson.

After that my career brought me around the world for documentaries and commercials, and then back in LA for TV shows and feature films. I’m now a member of the Italian Society of Cinematographers (AIC) and of the International Cinematographers Guild, Local 600.

It takes time and patience to build a strong reputation and a network of people in this industry, and I feel I’m still working on it!

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
I create images. Whether I do that with a digital movie camera or with a film photo camera, that’s also “visual storytelling,” so the opportunity of telling a whole story through those images.

I think photography and filmmaking are the same art form, but with two different purposes: still photography is something very intimate and personal for me, I use that medium to explore and know myself better, to capture some moments and fix them in time, like a memory, places, sometimes even the abstract feel of them. And I’m very shy of my still pictures.

Cinematography is almost the opposite. I use that to create a world that comes from someone’s writing, so it’s not real. I like the fantasy component in filmmaking, I like to create something that conveys an emotion, trough framing and with lighting, and that brings that emotion to the audience.

People should be able to travel through an image, get lost into a landscape and be in that place for a second, or bond with the emotion of a movie character. I always hope that people would be touched or emotionally influenced by an image and maybe that’s why I like to shoot genre movies, thrillers, horrors, dramas.

How do you think about success, as an artist, and what do quality do you feel is most helpful?
For an artist, success is something very personal, not necessarily related to fame or wealth. I think an artist can feel successful if he or she is able to support him/herself while creating his content with the greatest amount of freedom. Being able to take creative decisions without compromise, while having a happy life.

Therefore, to me, an artist needs to be honest, authentic.

It’s very hard in today’s society, where most people want to appear different from what they really are. And it’s even harder in the entertainment industry, which is very contaminated.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
My latest feature film, “The Haunting of Sharon Tate,” starring Hillary Duff, will be in the movie theaters in the USA on Apr 5th and in many VOD platform around the world.

I also have a website and an Instagram page where I started to publish my photography work.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Carlo Rinaldi
Alex Lombardi (personal portrait)

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