Chicago Cinematographer: C. A. Smith

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C. A. Smith

A “Cinematographer” is responsible for achieving artistic and technical decisions related to the visual aspects of a film.

Hi everyone and thanks for joining us here at Exposing the Crew: A Place for Chicago-made Short Films!

This week’s ETC HIGHLIGHT is Duet.

“As a Director I’m a huge fan of working with Cinematographers who shoot in a very symmetrical way. Just watch the first minute of this short film and you’ll know what I’m talking about.” (Justin Jackola, Director at JJack  Productions)

Chad stated that Duet was designed so that every shot was balanced and symmetrical.  Drawing from multiple resources, his biggest influences on his aesthetic was Wes Anderson and Stanley Kubrick.  Prior to shooting, Chad studied and took notes on films such as “Close Encounters”, The Shining”, “Signs”, and “Under the Skin” (just to name a few).

He used a Canon 70D with a Canon 50mm f/1.8, a Canon 100mm f/2.8L Macro, and a Sigma 18-55 f/2.8 lenses.  Along with a tripod, Gorillapod, Glidecam HD2000, and  Kamerar 24″ slider.  Using equipment and resources he already owned allowed Chad a lot of options for creativity.

The film was story boarded in a week when they realized that the house would be available, then shot over a course of three nights.  Sleeping during the day and working at night without any breaks.  However, Chad said that “Since I love nothing more than to make movies, it was really a 3-day party.”

If you’d like to see more work by C.A. Smith, please visit  You can also vote for this film by going to

Thank you for watching this week’s “EXPOSED” short film, and reading our new blog Exposing the Crew: A Place for Chicago-made Short Films!

See you next Tuesday!