Cinequipwhite's Blog

Spotlight on: Barry Cheong by cinequipwhite
December 3, 2009, 11:08 am
Filed under: Interview, Spotlight | Tags: , , , , ,

   For those of you out there not lucky enough to know Barry first hand, he is a freelance Cinematographer working mainly in the Toronto area, and was one of the first names I had heard reference to when looking to crew a short film. He is the go to guy in the city for top notch gear and quality camera work for the independent production. We were lucky enough to have him take some time out of his busy life to answer a few questions about working in the industry, how to prep for the future, and what motivates him to keep pushing forward.

   Barry first started out working on set as an assistant producer and shooting low – no budget work with his trusty Panasonic DVX100. From there he decided to gain formal training at Humber’s Film and Television production program which honed many of the skills he had already learned in previous years in the industry. From there the next natural step was freelancing.

I do enjoy the freelance thing a lot, the turnaround is generally always really quick so it keeps everything fresh and you’re always encountering new faces and challenges.  The downside is you don’t know where the next job is coming from; but I’ve been really lucky and not much time ever passes before I get the next call.”

   Currently working between Doc/lifestyle work and narrative, Barry has been able to benefit from working with a multitude of genres; often times incorporating ideas from one to enhance the other. 
   However, with the changes in how people watch their TV, and Movies being more and more relevant ; filmmakers have to be sure they can adapt to the future.

With his zest for the newest gear and desire to keep up to date with the pulse of all aspects of production Barry has been able to keep afloat amidst an industry in troubled waters.

I think it’s going to be important for all filmmakers to be tech savvy as we go forward, Be able to understand the newer developments in camera gear and  to make the right decisions for any given project.  Understanding (and recognizing) the importance of the post-production workflow is also exceptionally important – even more so as there are that many more delivery options now ie: mobile, internet, blue-ray, etc…

Barry working with his custom Canon 7D  package, photo courtesy Ryan Hughes

   It definitely is changing and evolving out there.  With the internet and mobile devices becoming more prevalent and traditional TV/cinema becoming less so, I think the need for more content suited to the before mentioned delivery chain is going to be demanded.
   But what keeps Barry going through these diffucult times? “Moments like going to work at 1am in the morning and knowing when everyone else is sleeping you’re off to make a movie,  peering down that viewfinder and knowing you’re seeing the project unfold firsthand in front of you, and probably most enjoyably, working with the crew (specifically my tech crew – large or small) and seeing them hustle to help you get (through) the day…”

   When asked about his gear, what was new and what stood out, Barry couldn’t help but mention his new on set monitor: “I recently purchased a Panasonic 8.4″ HD monitor from you guys and having a real high quality monitor that I can rely on has been great for making all the decisions I need to make regarding exposure and color.  Again, having it battery op’d so I can use it anywhere without having to worry about AC power is really great.”

Thanks again Barry for your time!
You can find out what Barry Cheong is doing via his blog:  
~Jonathan Stainton
CinequipWhite Inc.

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