Member of the week: Richard López, cinematographer

Our member of the week is Richard López. Rick works in the film and television industries as a cinematographer. A former professor of cinematography at Columbia University, Rick's work has been described as “expertâ€? by Variety. To view some of Rick’s work visit his website, and to learn more about him and his views on freelancing, check out his answers to the questions below.

Rick Lopez

1. What has been your most interesting project?

Tough to choose one. In the past year, I have shot an art documentary in Europe, a Spanish-language horror/cowboy movie in Mexico, an independent feature drama in Virginia, a 25-commercial campaign for a children's hospital system, a spec Sony commercial featuring "thumbs" as characters, and a thriller in Pittsburgh with homicidal twin sisters. I am currently shooting a TV pilot that is like CSI with humans and puppets.

2. Why did you decide to go freelance?

Cinematographers that focus on feature films and commercials are all freelance. So the moment I decided to become a cinematographer, it was a decision to become a freelancer.

3. What tip would you give to a new freelancer or someone who is considering going freelance?

Have a flexible attitude and plan, plan, plan. Freelancing means you will have boom and bust periods. You must become comfortable with not knowing when or from where your paycheck will come. But you can really mitigate those slow periods with careful planning.

4. What is your favorite spot in the city in which you live?

Pam Real Thai food at 49th Street and 9th Avenue in Manhattan. Dinner for two for $25 and arguably the best food available at any price in New York City.

5. What is your inspiration?

It changes all the time. For a while, I was inspired by music, especially the compositions of Estonian composer Arvo Part and the musical stylings of the Flaming Lips. Most recently I saw Birth, shot by the great American cinematographer, Harris Savides, and Seven, shot by the Frenchman, Darius Khondji: both are works of art.

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