Cinematographer Andreas von Scheele on his new film 'All Relative'
Well-spoken and up and coming cinematographer Andreas von Scheele speaks about his career path of becoming a cinematographer, his new film "All Relative," and his film inspirations in this exclusive and in-depth interview.
Andreas von Scheele grew up in New York, but this first generation American came from Swedish parents and went back and forth to Sweden often during his childhood. He took inspiration from American and Swedish filmmakers alike and considers himself to be a romantic. The films of Swedish director Ingmar Bergman and American films such as "The Apartment," "Bringing Up Baby," and "Breakfast at Tiffany's" influenced this young man early in his life.
Andreas attended college just outside of Philadelphia at Villanova University. "They didn't have a film program. I was in the honors program and we could develop our own curriculum. I decided to focus on August Strindberg - a Swedish playwright, writer and painter. I adapted one of his plays to a film and it was the first film ever made at Villanova."
At the end of college Andreas set off to become a poet. But soon the realization hit, "I concluded that I would end up lonely and poor the rest of my life if I didn't find a new career."
Friends suggested to Andreas that he take up screenwriting, "I started writing screenplays. I spent three years working on odd jobs and working on screenplays. And after a few years I realized that this could also lead me to be lonely and broke as well. "
His friends then encourage him to start making the film's he was writing, "I had a camera and started making short films for other filmmakers. I just love getting on set and manifesting material into a visual form."
To perfect his craft, Andreas attended the film academy program in New York City.
One of his first jobs was as a walk on extra for the Academy Award-winning film "The English Patient." He stayed on as production assistant and really took in the great challenges and obstacles that director Anthony Minghella had in making this epic tale.
Andreas met aspiring filmmaker J.C. Khoury while working for Sigourney Weaver's production company Goat Cay Productions. The team was set-up for Sigourney by 21st Century Fox and Andreas and J.C.'s main task was to read scripts for future projects for Weaver, "We spent our day reading scripts, we optioned a few projects but they never got green lit."
Working for the A-list actress also served Andreas in other areas as well, "Working with Sigourney gave me insight on working with well known actors. As a cinematographer I do what I can to make the actor comfortable, actors are so sensitive to their performance, they are so vulnerable, I try to be an actor's cinematographer, I only light in the direction of the woman."
Andreas and J.C. Khoury have just completed their second film together, titled "All Relative." Andreas used a Canon Cinema EOS C100 to film the movie. The story in "All Relative" is a look at similar themes from Mike Nichols' classic film "The Graduate," and takes a look at the emotional complexities of a young man that has had a relationship with a mother and her daughter.
Andreas had a personal connection to the film as his wife had also dated his best friend. "'The Graduate' never dealt with the emotional aspects of the story. It definitely is a film from the male perspective."
Andreas finds inspiration from his collaboration with J.C. Khoury, "He has been great to work with, he stays pure to the story."
He is also inspired by the work by Wes Anderson ("The Grand Budapest Hotel") and the work by Academy Award winning cinematographer Jack Cardiff. He is most taken by his work in the 1947 film "Black Narcissus," "It was all shot in a studio, in spite of the nun's habits they are shot with incredible engineering. He had an incredible approach to color and light. I try to live up to his example."
Andreas and J.C. are continuing to work together and Andreas, who also makes films for the fashion industry, just finished one for designer Kate Spade.
When asked about his future goals, Andreas spoke fervently about taking the story of Lorenzo dé Medici and creating a film that explores the birth of the renaissance, "It would be an epic project called 'The Sempter'."
Such a film would definitely be in the right hands of a modern filmmaker with the touch of a pure romantic.