ABOUT ADAM SCHARF
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Laffrey Witbrod is a director of photography and owner operator with over ten years of freelance experience, including shorts, features, and television. Recent projects includes cinematography on a feature film, work on the Jason Mraz music video 93 Million Miles, and ABC's 20/20.
Laffrey studied Cinematography at the Colorado Film School (CFS). While getting his BFA in filmmaking, he studied lighting with Ric Waite ASC. During his time at CFS he worked on many award winning short films, including The Herald, Taken, and Ropies.
Laffrey grew up in the mountains of Montana, where he was home-schooled until high school. He has always wanted to be a storyteller and now uses cinematography to tell stories visually. Between the ages of three and six, he appeared in some of the first live action videos developed especially for toddlers, produced by Bo Peep Productions. Since his mother, aunt and grandmother were developing these videos, he was exposed to many aspects of video production during these early years.
Later his family bought a home video camera and Laffrey started making his own movies. At the age of 14, he was able to purchase his own camera by filming local events and distributing them to parents.Today he has shot in countries around the world and has experience on narrative films, documentaries, television, and music videos. To see more of Laffrey’s work check out his demo reel.
“help to create a hyper real world, blurring that line between reality and the Surreal.”
I like to create and view movies that blur the line between what is real and the surreal. "I cannot understand why a film should be ugly to be moving" - Jean-Pierre Jeunet. I enjoy making movies with interesting ideas and powerful stories and characters. I also like the process of creating a beautiful image that helps to tell that story. I love the work of Jeunet. In fact, Amelie is my favorite movie. I also enjoy films like Richard Linklater’s Slacker. I like the beauty and precision of a film like Amelie, the use of color and perfectly timed special effects that help to create a hyper real world, blurring that line between reality and the Surreal. Slacker is at the opposite end of the spectrum but is equally as enjoyable. It has a very simple, seemingly unplanned visual style that makes you feel like you are just there following these random people and getting a glimpse into their interesting ideas. I like that its structure pushes the boundaries of traditional narrative film.
In general I don’t like labels however sometimes they can be helpful when used as jumping off points and not as a definition to box you in. You could describe me as a dyslexic, bisexual, liberal, filmmaker from Montana. Although all of these and other things influence who I am and how I express myself through art, they're not all of who I am. For instance, the label "dyslexic" refers to the fact that I have a hard time with written expression, which led to my love for oral and visual storytelling.
When I’m not in the process of creating, I start to get antsy. Between working on films, I channel my energy into painting, sketching, photography, writing, and cooking. I just have to be creating something. But when it comes down to it, cinema is my favorite medium. Cinematography brings together many of my favorite parts of the creative process. First and foremost it is a story telling tool and I love telling and receiving stories. It also involves the visual aspects of photography and lighting, which is like painting in real life. I like working with the space to tell the story. Choosing what you see or do not see when you look at a frame is what makes it art and not just a snapshot. Waiting until just the right moment to reveal something is what gives you control of your audience and they want you to control them. Color correction is another aspect of filmmaking that has recently peaked my interest. It is an extension of what I do as a gaffer or cinematographer. It can be used to further manipulate the image and the viewer’s relationship with the image. Even when you want a very naturalistic look to your film you are manipulating it in all sorts of ways: by the simple choice of what you do and don’t show at a bare minimum, and usually much more than that. Often we go to elaborate lengths to make the image seem “natural” because the whole process of filmmaking is unnatural.
As a young person I thought I wanted to be a writer, but at some point I realized what I wanted to be was a storyteller. Throughout my childhood I spent a lot of time listening to stories and creating the images of them in my head. Now I get the chance to create those images on screen for others to enjoy what I have seen for years.
In my art I strive to do one of two things, either show you how I see the world around us, or show you the visual representation of the stories in my head. I also enjoy helping other artists to achieve these things, when I work as a collaborator to put their vision or perspective on the big screen.
A quote from Jean-Pierre Jeunet helped me start to explain my philosophy about filmmaking and here is one from Joseph Campbell which has helped guide me for a long time: “follow your bliss.” This is what I strive to do, one of the things that means to me is, pursuing my passion for creating moving images.
- Laffrey Witbrod