Anthony Mandler was generous enough to offer one aspiring filmmaker from our community the chance to work with him on the set of a high-profile shoot — in this case with Lil’ Wayne. That filmmaker was Brian Luco of Chile and he wanted to share his thoughts on his time with Anthony in Los Angeles.
I’m going back to Chile with a pleasant taste of the experience I had, trying to include many moments and transmit them in one article. There were two intense days of shooting in Los Angeles with Anthony Mandler and all of his working team; a wonderful moment in which I learned many things.
Everything was so fast, you travel to Los Angeles, arrive to a huge city where you don’t know anything, and without noticing you are in a set shooting a video clip with Lil Wayne. So much information and stimulation don’t give you time to even be nervous or to reflect about it.
When I arrived to the set, I found something totally different to what I had imagined. Everything was filled with professional equipment, various trucks for the production and a work team much bigger to what I am used to see. I felt like a kid when entering a toy store for the first time, not knowing where to look or what toy to grab first. What it was amazing is that there were more kids like me, people that enjoy what they do, and take it easy and with passion, but always getting things done with professionalism. While the shooting was occurring, I was observing the operation of the equipment, organization and work rate, at the same time, I was meeting people and learning from them. I felt very comfortable during the shooting, so much that I was able to be an extra, which I thought it was very entertaining,
Observing, I was able to notice the method that Anthony uses to approach the direction, he uses a very discreet way to treat actors when giving them directions. Always respecting their space at the moment of shooting a scene, keeping the set empty in order to create a more intimate space. In regards to the technical side, Anthony had a close working relationship with Malik Sayeed (director of photography). Together they planed how to shoot a specific scene and carried it out together, always respecting each other’s job. As a team, they used various narrative techniques that helped to empower the visual style of the story. There’s no doubt, that being this one a great production, they had many resources that allowed the creation of great things, but those were not the resources that at the end took my breath away. Again, I saw kids playing with elements that I had never thought to include in a professional shooting. Extremely cheap resources: $5 lights or tissue paper that they placed in front of the lens, which you can find in any store.
Everything is useful, nothing is useless. How could I have ever imagined that something so small (trivial) could give as a result an impressing aesthetic and image to the shooting? [cquote]It made me understand that creativity goes far beyond of the resources that you have.[/cquote]
On the other hand, I want to highlight the excellent manner in which the team treated me, very honest. I felt very well accepted by everyone.
I want to thank everyone for their help, to the Talenthouse team for this opportunity, to Anthony for his willingness to teach and transmit his knowledge, to Jonas Morales (first assistant director), to Meg Cassidy (executive assistant) and in general to all of those who helped in any way, especially Giovanni Cotto-Ortiz (second assistant director), a very talented man who guided me very much during the days I was in Los Angeles and with whom I developed a great friendship.
Ahhh — we feel like proud parents, almost! We are certainly grateful to Anthony Mandler and his team for providing this opportunity to Brian! So amazing and we hope you all enjoyed his story.