Marco Cappetta is a talented cinematographer. You can see his work currently in Stevan Mena's new film Bereavement now available on DVD/Blu-Ray. He's a busy man as I'm sure his keen eye for expansive beauty is in high demand from several directors out there, so we are very fortunate to sit down and talk with the man behind this new vision of horror.
Film Deviant: As your work on Bereavement is being widely recognized, your name is becoming associated with the horror genre. Are you a fan? Argento, Fulci, Bava?
Marco Cappetta: When I was growing up, Dario Argento was mainstream. His movies were big box office hits in Italy and everyone went to see them, even people who were not necessarily into horror. Later in life, my taste drifted more towards drama. When Bereavement was presented to me, I watched Malevolence and Halloween to do some research and these were the first horror films I’ve watched in many years. You would think that to be proficient at shooting horror one would have to intimately know the genre, but low-key lighting and dramatic composition are my forte, so it was a natural growth for me. I really enjoyed shooting horror, but I like to keep my work varied and conceive different visual styles, so I am always looking for projects that appeal to me, regardless of genre.
Film Deviant: Bereavement won the Best Cinematography Award at the New York Horror Film Festival and the film’s cinematography received a lot of great press. John Anderson, chair of the New York Film Critics Circle, described the film as “almost flawless visually”, the Los Angeles Times called it “evocatively photographed” and The Hollywood Reporter “stylishly filmed”. Some critics even described Bereavement as one of the best-looking films of the year. Did you expect this success or were you surprised by it?
Film Deviant: We actually took a poll here at Film Deviant through our Facebook page and Bereavement won “Best Cinematography” in our “Best of 2011” list. It edged out films like A Horrible Way To Die, Stake Land and I Saw the Devil. We'll be posting all of the results after Christmas.
Marco Cappetta: This is great! Thanks to Film Deviant and all the horror fans, I sincerely appreciate it.
Film Deviant: You were born into a family of artistic creativity. How did that influence your work?
Marco Cappetta: Looking back, I definitely see a great influence coming from my father being a painter and my mom being a teacher and a writer. Both are extremely artistic and well-educated people in spite of having being raised during the hardships of World War Two. They really tried to instill in me and my brother a sense of appreciation for beauty. Growing up in Italy, there is so much classic art and natural beauty that it’s definitely a great influence, even if on a subconscious level. I can’t stress enough how important it is to “see things” with a personal point of view for a cinematographer, that’s what makes your work unique and it’s much more important than what camera you use. Nowadays, many aspiring cinematographers are drawn to technique and technology because they can be learned with a mathematical approach, however these things will give you technical competence but no aesthetic direction. For me, cinematography is about emotion and mood, it’s a more subjective and conceptual approach. An image that is technically exact, yet is completely devoid of emotional substance, is not fully expressing its narrative potential.
Film Deviant: All of us here at Film Deviant absolutely love your work on Bereavement. We wish you all the luck in the world and hope to see more of your talents in the genre.
Thank you so much for your time!
Thank you so much for your time!
Marco Cappetta: Any time! Thank you so much for your kind words, Bryan!
Marco Cappetta is an Italian cinematographer and photographer based in Los Angeles.
His website is Cinemarco.com
Thanks for reading,