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The Influence

Vincent Laforet has a pretty endless list of hyphenates. He’s a filmmaker, blogger, professor, Pulitzer-prize winning photographer (sent on assignment for Vanity Fair, National Geographic, Sports Illustrated, Time and the New York Times, where he was the paper's youngest-ever staff reporter at 24), pioneer in the field of HD-capable DSLR cameras and sought-after consultant for tech companies.

But in 2008, his short film "Reverie" – the first 1080p video shot with a still camera – was seen over 2 million times in its first week of online release. This kickstarted his film career, which Laforet said was "where I've always wanted to go." It also coincided with the rise in popularity of his blog, which became a must read for budding photographers and filmmakers. Collectively, this piqued the interest of companies ranging from Apple to Adobe to Canon to Technicolor, all of which have hired Laforet on as a consultant.

Laforet grew up on film sets from a very young age, as his father was the photographer for the French edition of Premiere magazine. Laforet always wanted to be a filmmaker, but decided to study journalism instead of attending film school, because he "wanted to document real life first." This led to a remarkable career as a photojournalist, most notably on staff at The New York Times for seven years (where he covered "pretty much every major news and sporting event," including Katrina, four Olympics and six Super Bowls).

A pioneer in integrating new technology with creativity and social media, Laforet has gone on to make multiple commercials and short films as a filmmaker, and said his aforementioned feature film debut is "realistically maybe a year or two away" from continuing to expand his already sizable body of work.

Biggest Success

Being on the needle of the Empire State Building, looking down and taking a photo.


Biggest Disappointment

"My divorce," he said with a laugh. "But I won’t get into that." He did get into the fact, however, that he studies his mistakes instead of his successes. "Every low is a chance to improve," he said.


Biggest Challenge

"Slowing down and refocusing on the craft of storytelling and directing," he said. "I came into filmmaking with a vast experience visually, but I needed to focus on the craft of what being a director was."


What's Next

His feature film, which he describes as a "high-tech thriller related to social media."


The Survey
My Biggest Career Break...
Ones I made happen -- usually after being turned down a minimum of six times. Seven seems to be a good number for getting a "yes" if you can get there without irritating the recipient of your pleas.
Best Filmmaker Working Today...
Ethan & Joel Coen -- for their incredible attention to every single detail... phenomenal.
A Guilty Pleasure Movie...
Top Gun -- I always wanted to be a jet pilot and the aerial cinematography is second to none...the music and editing turned a non‑existent script in to a movie....not often done.
My First Job...
The New York Times Staff Photographer