James Chressanthis has worked on numerous projects over the last several years as a cinematographer, including "The Watsons Go To Birmingham," "The Makeover," "The Music Man," "Life With Judy Garland," "Ghost Whisperer," and "Hide." His latest, "Cesar's Last Fast," directed by Richard Ray Perez & Lorena Parlee, is a documentary chronicling Cesar Chavez's 36-day water-only fast in 1988. It is screening at this year's Sundance Film Festival.
Which cameras and lens did you use? Betacam, Panavision Genesis, Canon C300 & 5D, Arri Alexa and Canon C300 with Super 8mm, Arri 416 and Panavision Genesis, Arri Super16 SR3, 35mm Panavision.
What was the most difficult shot in your movie and how did you pull it off? It was being unobtrusive and capturing the private moments, and the tremendous sacrifice of Cesar Chavez. His breaking of his fast with Ethel Kennedy was the most difficult moment: feeling the tremendous outpouring of emotions while clearly rendering the event.
Who is your favorite cinematographer and why? Vilmos Zsigmond, ASC. For all the reasons you can think of.What's the best film school for an aspiring cinematographer? American Film Institute.