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DP "Pato" Lopez: Debut among friends
Text and photos: Loft Cinema
GUADALAJARA.-There is nothing that can be compared with the excitement of shooting your first film. And if not, ask Patricio "Pato" López, whom we visited on the set of "Los inquilinos" (The Tenants) in the Guadalajara capital to witness his debut as a cinematographer.
We met on the roof of an old neighborhood in the center of Guadalajara, where the native of Mazatlán, Sinaloa, filmed his debut under the guidance of his friend Chava Cartas and the production of All about media.
"Shooting your first film as DP is something indescribable. You feel a lot of emotion, but also great responsibility."
"But I'm very happy, especially because my first feature film is with Chava as director and I am surrounded by all the people that I have always worked with: my gaffer Manuel Sánchez "El Caballito" and David Gomez, who is in charge of the second camera and is a great operator," said the DP during a break from filming.
With this same team, "Pato" had worked on the series Gossip Girl Acapulco, El Mariachi, Señorita Pólvora and El Dandy, which has given him confidence to face his full-length film as Director of Photography.
"The series has been a great school, because it allows you to have a lot of rhythm to your work, but in addition it gives you a great trade, which you can only get by working everyday," said "Pato" Lopez, who recognizes Chava Cartas as his true mentor, but above all a friend who has helped him to achieve his own dreams.
"Chava was Director of Photography and was my true teacher in this."
"He is a person that I love working with, whom I love. He is also a director who makes things very clear and has a very dynamic form of filming."
"But in addition, he always plans new challenges, so then it is not easy to achieve what he wants, but for that, there is the equipment, to respond to his ideas," he adds.
To achieve an atmosphere of suspense that is required for a horror movie such as "Los inquilinos", "Pato" López selected within the whole catalog of EFD cameras, the Alexa XT from ARRI, as well as a variety of lights ranging from the 18k to the range of ARRI M, LEDs, passing by the panels of LEDs, the practical lights, the dedolight's and some kinos that have been adapted as light boxes.
"In making a horror movie we are working with very dark atmospheres, but taking great care with the contrasts."
"In the story, the exterior should be rainy and cloudy, but we have a summer that is fantastically sunny in Guadalajara, so it has also been a challenge to achieve semi-darkness," indicated the DP, who will soon complete filming and then will concentrate on his second feature film: "Buscando a Inés" (Looking for Inés), a comedy that will also be directed by Chava Chartas in Guadalajara.
"I hope that this luck does not end. I feel happy filming movies, because my dream is that precisely that, filmmaking, to continue forward and never stop."