We’ve had many instances of students not only collaborating with their peers, but also students and alumni reconnecting and working with their former instructors. As many of the New York Film Academy instructors are working professionals outside of the classroom, Cinematography School alumnus Jeremy Harris was able to capitalize on this through his relationship with Cinematography Chair Tony Richmond.
Richmond, who has an extensive career as a professional cinematographer, was recently brought on board as Director of Photography for the upcoming Twentieth Century Fox sequel, “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul.” The film, which stars Alicia Silverstone, Tom Everett Scott and Jason Drucker, revolves around the character of Greg (played by Drucker), who convinces his family to take a road trip to attend his great grandmother’s 90th birthday as a cover for what he really wants: to attend a nearby gamer convention.
“It was great having Jeremy on set with me on ‘Wimpy Kid “The Long Haul,'” said Richmond. “I am convinced, having seen Jeremy work on the set, that he is now well on his way to a long and successful career as a cinematographer.”
As Assistant to the Director of Photography, Harris was able to see first-hand the working relationship between the Director and the Director of Photography. He was able to work with Richmond’s three camera crews and the three Alexa cameras, as well as two sets of old Taylor Hopson Cooke Speed Pancro Lenses, which were used from the 1950’s. Even more exciting for the young cinematographer, he had access to multiple techno cranes and stabilized heads.
Some other valuable experiences that Richmond noted for Harris were him being able to be in the DIT tent with not only Richmond, but also his Digital Imaging Technician — to see how the team was using the Technicolor LUT and the color and contrast decisions they were making. He gained working experience with both the electrical and grip crews as well as the rigging crews. Harris also worked with both the 2nd Unit and Stunt Unit of the film.
“I think the most exciting and fulfilling part of this endeavor was just waking up knowing that every day I would get a chance to not only learn, but be around some of the most lovely, hard-working people I’ve ever met, as well as just having quality time with Tony,” said Harris. “NYFA helped me a lot when it comes to understanding each aspect of being a crew member, as well as being a DP. I didn’t always feel like a fish out of water on set.”
As for where this position could lead him in the future, Harris says he still can’t quite put a finger on the exact direction, adding, “I think that’s a good thing. I do know that anything, any opportunity that comes my way from now on, I feel as though I am definitely more prepared, more skillful, clever, and creative.”
This role also allowed Harris to join the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) Union, which supports Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts. Being a member of the IATSE gives Harris a huge leg up in his career pursuits.
“Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul” is currently in post-production and will be in theaters May 19, 2017.