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Meet Francesco Malandrino

Today we’d like to introduce you to Francesco Malandrino.

Francesco, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
It was my eighth birthday when I received a gift from my father a small VHS Camcorder, so I got a chance to realize a “kind of documentary” of my holiday that year. It was my first video experience in my life, and maybe from that moment my destiny has been written.

Currently, I work as Director of Photography and Camera Operator in Los Angeles, I am an Associate member of Society of Camera Operators (SOC). Since I moved in this crazy city, I found incredible opportunities and I had a chance to work with Film industry union professionals. My first year in California was devoted to complete my education, I graduated in one of the most famous film school – New York Film Academy in Cinematography department, I made this choice to continue my film education that started a few years earlier in Milan, Italy. After graduation my thesis Film “Painted Survival” was selected in six different Film Festivals around LA area, with three different live screenings in amazing Hollywood theaters, this was a big benefit to my Cinematographer career, I understood that film festival distribution is very important in this business, but still today I try to polish my skills during every single shooting.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It hasn’t been a smooth road for me, I can say that it was a road with a lot of obstacles and challenges, but I like challenges especially if they concern my greatest passion. Exactly passion, I absolutely think that this is the main key of the success in every careers, without passion maybe it’s too hard for anyone, in the most difficult moments of my career, passion for what I do, the desire to create, experiment and shoot every single day helped me a lot to figured out and made great projects.

Something really important, a lesson that I have learned since I have been doing this activity is that: relationship with others is extremely important. If you work in film industry especially in Hollywood where you met and you work with a lot of people, and large crew members, creating a good relationship with your colleagues can only help you and the quality of the project, respect is essential for me, and when you work in an environment of professionals where there is respect and professionalism then you are in the right place for testing your skills as an artist, this was my experience.

We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
I shoot several projects during last years in Italy and in California, but one project that makes me very proud since I moved in Los Angeles was as I mentioned before my thesis film “Painted Survival” directed by my wife Maria Perlifonova. We won several awards together, I won an award as “Best Cinematography” in “Independent Short Award” in Hollywood, I was a finalist in the prestigious “Los Angeles Cinematography Awards”, and also got a special mention during the “Culver City Film Festival”. Maria won several awards in same festivals as emergent Director.

So during last year and still today, I have tested a new experience of work, I started with my wife Maria to work as CO-Cinematographers. we worked on short films, music videos, Commercial TV and documentary, we love join our forces, our passion and our art for create unique stories. With this new trend we got excellent results and satisfaction and we are very happy and we’ll continue on this road. Sometimes people asking: is it easy work with your wife on set? My answer is.. yes it is! In this word if you can work with people that you totally trust is a big advantage.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I don’t believe in luck, I don’t know.. so what I think is that probably I was very lucky [laughs] I was born and raised in Italy the country of artists, since I was a teenager I was catapulted into a world of art: visual art, street art, art cities, etc… I think that my unconscious has gradually developed an attachment to the art, so I fell in love with the world of cinema, the seventh art. I also had a lot of dear friends that started to go in film school before than me, so I had the chance through them to discover this word that will be my passion.

But my biggest luck is my family, I am very grateful to my father and my mother for this unconventional route that I have chosen, they supported me in all circumstances, thanks to their support I was able to study and move to Los Angeles, my satisfactions and my victories are also theirs.

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