Ted von Bevern
Cinematographer
Smile 2019 Dir. Natalie Peracchio

Smile is a surreal story integrating stop motion and live action. In order to ground the surrealism, the director and I decided on a completely realistic documentary feel. Our goal was to recreate as closely as possible the look and feel of DA Pennebaker's documentary The War Room, one of my favorite documentaries. After analyzing the color in that movie, I created a new film look to match the color palette. I was also able to get the same model of 16mm format lens that Pennebaker used during the early 90's. This not only matched the optical characteristics, but also affected the feel of the perspective and camera movement. We learned early in prep that the personality of the camera was just as important as the personalities of the characters onscreen. After realizing this, I began taking part in the several weeks of rehearsals leading up to the shoot. Our immaculate preparation and rehearsal was key to selling the realistic documentary feel.

Available on nobudge.com.