Understanding the Cinematography of Rodrigo Prieto

Rodrigo Prieto is one of the most in-demand and leading cinematographers working today. In this video I go through some of his cinematography lighting and camera techniques to help you understand his unique style.

Just to be clear: Rodrigo Prieto changes his style to suit the movies he shoots. The goal of this video and article is to drum up enthusiasm and a yearning to learn more.

Warning: I do not claim this knowledge is 100% accurate. Just think of it as an endorsement of his work. If you want accuracy, look someplace else.

Here’s the video illuminating the cinematography style of Rodrigo Prieto:

How he lights faces

He typically favors the three-quarter lighting style, and often has a kicker or hair light at an opposite angle.

He excels at lighting in tight spaces, with low budgets.

Some terms mentioned in the video

  • Diffusion filters – Tiffen Black Pro Mist (1/8, 1/4, etc.) and Tiffen Smoque
  • IR Stock for Alexander – he shot on infrared stock so lights react differently. This is what gives greens the reddish hue. He also used basic ND filters so he could take advantage of IR pollution.
  • The cameras he prefers for handheld are the Moviecam JL (earlier) and the Arricam Lite.

I hope you’ve found this video useful. If I’ve stoked your interest in Rodrigo Prieto’s work, please watch the movies he shot and check out his Instagram feed.


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