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Rising Stars: Meet Nicola Raggi

Today we’d like to introduce you to Nicola Raggi.

Hi Nicola, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?
Always passionate about photography from the age of four, I always played with my father’s cameras. I started dedicating my life to Cinematography during University studies, where I studied film languages in deep. When I graduated, I open a little production company, The LoadingLab Inc. and in the meanwhile, I was teaching at the University of Siena in the Video-production department. Sick and sad of the Italian artistry and economic situation, I applied for the Bernardo Bertolucci Foundation scholarship that Brough me to New York City to attend at the intense Cinematography program at the New York Film Academy where I’ve got my master in Cinematography. Soon after graduation, I took the teaching license and start teaching at the New York Film Academy (NYC campus) as Cinematography Instructor and start Dworkin on the field as Director of Photography and Camera Operator, after ten years in NYC I decided that was the time for me to make the big leap and move to LA where I could keep walking the Cinematography path along with the bests in the industry and climb the stairs to the Academy.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Absolutely not: the cinematography path is probably one of the most difficult in the industry. You must be creative and at the same time, a super tech-savvy, above all nowadays with all this new digital technology that evolves really fast. Everybody is in a super competition and understanding the Director’s vision to make their story come true is probably the most difficult, indeed exciting, thing in the world. Takes a lot of years, blood and soul and the economic side of the road usually depress you quite a bit: sometimes you wonder why u did walk that road at the beginning, sometimes you want to change direction and leave that road, but I believe that only the ones who don’t give up, push themselves harder everyday and open their minds to other will make it sooner or later.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I’m a Cinematographer with vast experience, fueled with endless artistic creativity, an unwavering commitment to detail and a passion for visual storytelling. As a Cinematographer, I am proud of my multi-cultural background, this gave me a deep appreciation for world cinema, film history and a strong understanding of light. With a strong cinematic flair, I always strive to create a unique approach for every project: the rhythm, the harmony and the dynamism in the composition and movements of an image are what make my camerawork and lighting stand apart and bring intimate motion pictures to life. What sets me apart from others? Simple…I am a hope fiend, a gap leaper and I always been a gleam finder, a launch catalyst, a chief Improviser and I define myself a “Change Artist” I am also an Award-winning cinematographer with a strong and unique style, deeply influenced by three-time Academy Award winner Vittoio Storaro as well as my great mentor and inspirational Luca Bigazzi. I won the Award for Best Cinematography in a Feature Film at Milan IFF 2021 for “FLESH IS HEIR TO”​Nominated four times for Best Cinematography in 2020 at: Warsaw IFF 2020 Nice IFF 2020 for “LADY GODIVA”, Valencia IFF 2020 for “FLESH IS HEIR TO” Madrid IFF 2020 for “FLESH IS HEIR TO” Nice IFF 2020 for “FLESH IS HEIR TO”​Won the “Golden Gondola” for Best Cinematography (Torino Film Festival) in 2015.

What would you say has been one of the most important lessons you’ve learned?
That there is always a lesson to learn.

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Nicola Raggi

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