Interview with Alexx Paul Sherman
We recently spoke to Alexx Paul Sherman, who was cinematographer and editor on our film The Last Lighthouse Keeper, to talk about his experiences as a film maker. As a freelancer, Alexx works in a variety of digital video production formats for shorts and feature films, music videos and video interviews. He has also worked for TV with companies including Blink TV and Scuzz TV, together with many online mediums such as TotalRock Radio (Bloodstock Radio).
What drew you to cinematography?
Well, there are two answers to this. At the adventurous age of twelve, I had this fascination for making home movies with my Mum’s Sony Handycam Camcorder that took mini VHS tapes. During sleepovers in the summer holidays, I would convince my friends to act out the most outrageous things, or recreate our favourite scenes in video games or movies.
Later, as I grew, so did my love for cinema. As a teenager, watching behind-the-scenes footage from films started to fuel my obsession with cameras, sparking my interest in filming.
How do you prepare for a shoot?
In so many ways. But the most pivotal is making sure I have everything I need to tell the story. I need to make sure the vision of the film is clear and true to the narrative. Depending on my role in a production, I believe that being in line with the director’s vision and understanding my role is key.
What has influenced you in filmmaking?
From a young age – and even now as an adult – the ability to tell a story or show someone that I’ve created something, or if I have had an idea for something, was only palpable in the format of movies. The storytelling I’ve seen, the way to spark the emotions I feel when watching movies, has been a craft I’ve wanted to hone for years, and filmmaking is the best way for me to express this.
When you aren’t working on your own projects, what do you look for when working with other creatives?
If we share not only the same ideas and vision, but also, are we compatible in our personalities. Who we are people is primary for me. Am I someone they can not only work with, but also do we get on as people?
For any project or collaboration outside of my own work, will I learn anything new? Can I bring anything substantial to the project? Can not only myself, but will others benefit? Does the project have legs to launch into bigger propositions ?
Any funny moments from your times on set?
Too many to name – but one instance will always haunt me. I shot an interview for Benji Webbe, the lead singer of Skindred, which is my favourite band of all time. This interview was to be aired on TV. Prior to filming, I had eaten what I presumed was food for all backstage members. To my regret, I’d eaten Benji’s wife’s homemade hummus. You could feel the anger on his breath and frustration in his eyes when I eventually owned up to him, ‘jokingly’ placing me in a headlock and saying: “All is forgiving, ya rude boy! Cameramen are starving artists too.”