DCP 180: Alex Buono - Director of Photography for Saturday Night Live and Documentary Now

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Saturday Night Live and Documentary Now Director of Photography - Alex Buono - talks about visual subtext in filmmaking. Alex let’s us take a peek inside his surprising small gear toolbox and explains why he owns so little gear. Alex shares his thoughts on avoiding budget greed and why art direction matters.

Alex Buono teaching at the Art of Visual Storytelling 2 workshop.

Alex Buono teaching at the Art of Visual Storytelling 2 workshop.

Here are some of the topics Alex Buono discusses:

  • The key that separates most films from the works of the masters
  • Learning the language of film
  • How Alex became a cinematography detective de-constructing the masters
  • Everything we do comes in service of the script
  • Visual subtext and semiotics (the study of signs and symbols in art)
  • Alex's minimalist approach to owning gear
  • How gear can be a crutch
  • On being a technician vs a filmmaker
  • Focus on storytelling skills before obsessing over something else to buy
  • A collection of shots vs a story
  • Don’t be greedy with gear – nothing makes you look better than good art direction

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