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Meet Aiden Chapparone

Today we’d like to introduce you to Aiden Chapparone.

Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
I grew up playing music, the recorder first, then piano, Trombone in middle school and high school. Taught myself Guitar and played in punk rock bands around the valley. After high school, I did some work in the music industry as a runner and decided to go back to school for screenwriting. While on the screenwriting track at SCC, other filmmakers kept putting a camera in my hand and asking me to shoot their projects. I was always curious why they asked me, the screenwriting student, but being a cinematographer felt comfortable to me. Leading the crew and delegating tasks came naturally. I started researching lighting and composition for specific projects and became really interested in it. Right after school, I got an opportunity to Camera PA for an indie film shot by Jayson Corothers he assigned me to the camera department, and I learned all about how a proper camera department operates under 1st AC Melvina Repozo. I still wasn’t entirely sure if Cinematography was for me, but right after that movie, I worked on a week-long table top food commercial, under 1st AC’s Dennis Scully and Von Scott. Those guys really taught me a lot and started hiring me to 2nd AC for them. I started working professionally in the camera department as I finished my degree at ASU. Towards the end of my education at ASU, I was already on the path up the ranks of the camera department. I shot my first feature film the summer before I graduated college and that’s when I knew, I love this job. I love shooting narrative, and I love tabletop food shoots and other commercials. I love the storytelling aspects of the narrative, and I love the meticulous lighting of tabletop photography. I also love it when I get an opportunity to collaborate on a project and help bring the directors vision to life, no matter what the vision, commercial, doc, music video, short film whatever. I love the collaborative aspects of filmmaking, it reminds me of being in a band, and every day on set is rock and roll.

Please tell us about your art.
As a Cinematographer, my art is to help bring the directors vision to life. I use lighting, color, composition, focal lengths, exposure, and movement to create moods that serve the story. My art is all about my interpretation of the director’s vision for the story.

We spend time in prep discussing the story, meanings, color palettes, and lighting styles so that when we get on set, and the clock is ticking we can be on the same page, or if we aren’t on the same page, I can pivot quickly, and we can achieve the desired goals. Being able to adapt to the challenges of shooting on location and the other various curveballs that come at you is a necessity. There are always unforeseen obstacles, and if we are prepared, we can handle them quickly under pressure.

The sometimes most important and often forgotten role of the cinematographer is the color grade. With so many cameras shooting raw and log there is a lot of flexibility to make changes, good changes like being able to accomplish multiple exposures within the same frame or adjusting things that we didn’t have the time or resources on set. You can even change the mood and entire feeling of the film if in the edit you find the story edited together differently than you originally intended, or that the director realized might be best in the beginning. I can’t talk enough about the collaborative nature of filmmaking and especially when you have an editor who takes creative licenses. I love it when another set of eyes and creative expression puts in their input and change things for the better. I love that.

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing artists today?
I think one of the biggest challenges facing artists is finding an audience. Do you focus on your niche and what’s true to you, or do you try to cast a wider net? Sometimes there is a specific demographic in mind, and sometimes we just make stuff for ourselves. It’s always more rewarding when we get to make the stuff we want to make or when a project speaks to you, that’s pretty awesome.

How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
I currently have an exhibit on display at the Phoenix Art Museum a collaboration with Shanice Malakai some selected images from our film Souls, we have a family and friends screening of the film June 7 at the Phoenix Art Museum with live performances of the musicians, q&a, and also the headdresses from the film are on display. It will also be screening at some festivals check back on my Instagram for more info if you can’t make it June 7.

I just had a few screenings of a film Paradise Terrace at the Phoenix film festival. A collaboration with Director Pedro Perez. We have another screening coming up at the Dumbo film festival in Brooklyn.

People can find me on Instagram Aiden_macaroni, and I post various behind the scenes and frame grabs from projects I also usually announce festivals and other screenings. I have been fortunate to have a few screenings this year at the Arizona Filmmaker showcase at the Film bar. I hope to screen some more stuff there soon. I also have some 2nd Unit work on Netflix, I shot all the Chicago exteriors of a movie called The Case for Christ, and I shot the final dance sequence and another scene for a movie called Driven to Dance. I’m really excited to have another opportunity to collaborate with the director of that film, Tati Vogt. We start prep on her next feature film this week. We also shot a YouTube series called “Borne on Pointe.”

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Said Ramierez – Futbol kid poster
Pedro Perez- Paradise Terrace poster design
Shanice Malakai- Souls
Smiths Anna – rain BTS

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