NYFA Cinematography Instructor Piero Basso Works on NAT GEO’s ‘American Genius’

May 28, 2015

wright brothers

For the history buffs and science nerds in all of us, National Geographic Channel has created a new television series called American Genius. Produced by Stephen David Entertainment, the series captures the story of the unseen forces behind the greatest races for innovation, the moments when the brightest minds were given the rare opportunity to change the world. Be it a problem, opportunity, or call to arms: when key events in our history launched a wave of innovation, genius prevailed in a neck-and-neck competition for technological superiority. Each show is a combination of re-enactment and documentary footage, plus interviews with experts and historians. An example of a show is a discussion of the Wright Brothers vs Curtiss on the invention of the airplane.

New York Film Academy Cinematography Instructor Piero Basso worked on four episodes as director of photography over a four week period in West Virginia last September.

“The production was very challenging and demanding, which made it even more interesting,” said Basso. “We shot 22 days for 4 episodes, which makes it pretty clear why speed was a necessary trait for the DP. I found myself surrounded by a great number of highly trained professionals working very efficiently as a team, and that made everything easier.”

american genius

Basso has shot nine feature films — four with very low budgets — showing a great capacity for managing the problems of limited equipment and crew while maintaining a distinctive visual character. His films have screened in major international festivals, including Cannes and Locarno and have received international recognition, including nominations at the European Film Awards & at the David di Donatello, as well as several victories at Festivals around the globe (including Oberhausen, Edinburgh, Turin, and Huesca).

Be sure to check out Basso’s work on American Genius, which begins airing on the National Geographic Channel this upcoming Monday, June 1st.