Many of you know how I love to celebrate creativity here on my blog. It’s even better when that creativity runs in the family. Today, I have the pleasure of introducing Tyler LaPlant, my nephew, to the world of filmmaking.
Tyler is a budding artist in the film world, interning for New Sky Productions and studying cinematography at Emerson College in Massachusetts. He’s only nineteen and already has a couple of film credits under his belt including: Mirrored, and Unfortunate which both were featured in the New Hampshire High School Film Festival 2020; Soldato’s Fate; a PSA about bullying which brings chills to those who watch it; and special footage in a music video by the artist Cameen. Today, his team is launching his newest short film, Retribution. Welcome Tyler!
For those who don’t know, what specifically is cinematography?
TYLER: Simply put, they’re the person who points the camera at stuff. However, it is much much more involved than that. A cinematographer’s job is to help bring the director’s vision to life through the lense of their camera. Not only are they responsible for camera operations, they also play a huge role in developing the visual style for the project.
What got you interested in cinematography?
TYLER: I took video production and tv broadcasting in high school and I fell in love with it. Behind the camera is my happy place. As I continue to study film, my appreciation for new and unique cinematography grows.
Is there a movie that inspired you into the field? Or maybe one that inspires you now to strive for in the future?
TYLER: I have to say Robert Richardson’s work in Kill Bill vol 1. really opened my eyes to what striking visuals can do to an audience. That movie is a huge inspiration for me as both a cinematographer and director. As I watch more and more movies, I take mental notes on what I like, whether it’s framing, lighting, or camera motion. I’m always looking for little bits to add into my own work in the future.
When you’re working on a film, tell us how you block out your shots? Are they done before hand or do you go by how the day looks and wing it?
TYLER: My former teacher would like to hear that I’m committing to the pre-production process fully and having a complete shot list before I go on set, however I’m going to have to let them down a little bit haha. On the last short film I worked on, Retribution, I took on a more “run and gun” approach. We didn’t write anything down ahead of time, but the directors I worked with had a very clear vision for what they wanted. Ideally, though, I do work on an extensive shot sheet and paper edit for films that I work on. Ultimately, it’s better to have a plan rather than winging it.
Do you take specific classes for cinematography? If so, what is a typical class like?
TYLER: I took a 2-year, college accredited, high school video production program. They went over everything from cinematography to lights and audio. I also interned for New Sky Productions for 9 months learning everything I could about the video production business. Currently, I’m saving up for school to further my education and take college level cinematography and film courses.
What is your ultimate goal in cinematography?
TYLER: I want to really create a story that people care about. I want my love and appreciation for this art to be seen through my cinematography.
Would you ever want to venture into other aspects of filmmaking?
TYLER: Though I really love cinematography and being behind a camera, my ultimate goal is to be a director. I enjoy fully fleshing out stories. When I have a vision in my head, I feel confident enough to make that a reality through film. I have stories I think people would really want to see and hear and my life goal is to share those stories. Through school, and as an intern, I’ve done editing, script writing, audio and lighting, and live TV broadcasting.
Tell us about your latest film, Retribution.
TYLER: Retribution is an action packed crime revenge story! It’s got blood, it’s got action, it’s got some really good cinematography from yours truly. Working on this project was a real blast, I got a chance to work with some really awesome local directors, and some amazingly talented actors. Everybody came together to show off the best of their abilities and I’m really proud of our efforts. I am really thankful to be able to be the director of photography on this one. Retribution we’ll be on YouTube September 25th!
Where do you see yourself in 5 years… & then 10 years?
TYLER: In 5 years, I’d like to be finished with school and continuing work on independent films. In 10 years, I’d better be out of my mom’s house by then! In all seriousness, though, I really want to be working for A 24, they are my favorite production company right now. They have so many amazing movies in their catalog and I feel like some of my stories belong there.
What’s on the docket next for you?
TYLER: I’m currently writing a screenplay for a short film I’m going to be directing. It’s an Italian gangster film about a newbie on his first job with the crime family he comes from. I’m hoping to get this, and Retribution into the New Hampshire Film Festival.
Thank you for your time with me today, Tyler. I’m sure Retribution and whatever else you have in the pipeline is going to be incredible. You are a very talented young man. I hope perhaps one day we can work together on a project. Good luck in all you do!
Please give Retribution a click and like, and check out Tyler’s instagram feed for more and upcoming projects. https://www.instagram.com/videotyler27