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Meet Gabe Knoos-Newton

Today we’d like to introduce you to Gabe Knoos-Newton.

So, before we jump into specific questions, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I grew up on the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii and became fascinated in photography and cartooning at a young age. I was always interested in the visuals and aesthetics of things, but I wasn’t entirely sure what kind of career path I was headed towards.

After getting on my first few sets at Chapman University, I immediately knew that I wanted to do cinematography. During my time there, I was on set almost every weekend studying lighting setups and developing an eye for what makes a compelling and cinematic image. Since graduating from Chapman with a BFA in Film Production, I work as a freelance cinematographer on commercials, music videos and narrative films. When I’m not on set, I spend my time surfing and keeping up to date with movies and TV.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Filmmaking is never easy, and I’ve found that especially true when it comes to cinematography. I’ve found that cinematography is a blend of creativity and technical expertise. No amount of research and studying can properly prepare someone for good cinematography, so I had to learn through trial and error with my projects. This has led me to constantly develop my technique and style, which will likely be an indefinite process.

We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
I work as a freelance director of photography and specialize in commercial, music video, and narrative content. As a DP, it’s not easy to get noticed in the film-centric Los Angeles. I’ve developed a network of Chapman alumni and outside directors and producers that I collaborate with often, but I’m always looking to expand my network.

I believe my strengths lie in my ability to adapt to unpredictable environments and my ability to set a clear mood in visuals. Whether it be photographing a dark, underground 1990s Los Angeles in my senior thesis film “Iron Head”, creating a clean commercial look or shooting fast-paced action sequences, my goal is to make the audience recognize the tone and the intention of the piece from the visual language alone.

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
In the past, I’ve found it difficult to find a balance between work and personal life. It was very easy to let myself become engrossed in the preproduction and production of a film, which often led me to throw away time for myself. I’ve learned the importance of taking breaks and doing things purely for fun, which helps me be more focused and energized when I get back to work. I’m excited about the path I’m currently on, but if there’s anything I would change, it would be to have realized this earlier in my career.

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