Press Release (ePRNews.com) - LOS ANGELES - Jul 25, 2017 - For the past five years cinematographer Andrea Gonzalez Mereles has been using her unparalleled skill behind the lens to create captivating visual stories for a plethora of films and television series.
Originally from Mexico City, Mereles has made a name for herself both at home, as well as in the U.S., due to her powerful work as the cinematographer behind films such as Roberto Escamilla’s (The One Who Couldn’t Love, Passion and Power) 2016 drama Changes, Bo-You Niou’s (Manners of Dying) drama The 12th Stare starring Christine Kellogg-Darrin (Shameless)and many more.
Mereles recently wrapped production on Camilo Collazos’ riveting 2017 drama Flesh & Blood starring multi-award winning actor Jorge A. Jimenez (Hermoso Silencio, Machete Kills), L.J. Batinas (Hawaii Five-O, Black Jesus) and Mariana Novak (Rose Colored, The Moleskin Diary).
Flesh & Blood revolves largely around the life of Rodrigo, played by Jimenez, an inmate who makes a deal to testify against a dangerous prisoner named Luis in exchange for early release via deportation.
While the deal includes an offer of witness protection for Rodrigo’s estranged daughter Laura, as she would most likely be targeted after Luis and his men on the outside find out what her father’s done, she’s far from a willing participant. Her reluctance puts Rodrigo in a tricky situation where he must try to convince a daughter he barely knows to give up her normal life in order to save them both before Luis finds out the extent of Rodrigo’s betrayal.
As the cinematographer of the film, Mereles’ brilliant use of lighting, camera placement and methodical lens choices were tantamount to drawing audiences into the film and driving home the emotional aspects of Rodrigo’s story.
“We decided that we wanted the film to feel very personal and close to Rodrigo. This was his story and we were determined to capture this in the numerous visual aspects,” explains Mereles.
“Given that this was Rodrigo’s story I wanted the spectator to feel he was seeing the world through his eyes. This required a careful planning around camera placement, deliberated camera movement motivated by the main character’s internal and external motion and the use of anamorphic lenses.”
Through her lighting choices alone it’s easy to see that Mereles is an incredibly skilled cinematographer who knows exactly how to create a visual story that touches viewers on multiple levels and heightens the impact of the narrative unfolding on the screen. Using darker lighting to portray the gloomy nature of Rodrigo’s life in prison, and then using natural sunlight to brighten up the scenes and visually express the hope Rodrigo feels where his daughter Laura appears, Mereles juxtaposition of light and dark within the film emphasizes the dichotomy between Rodrigo’s current experience and the possibility of a brighter future.
“[Andrea’s] acute sensibilities with the film medium facilitate the understanding of the point of view and solidify the lives of the characters by enhancing the atmosphere around their universe or emphasising their intentions,” explains Flesh & Blood director Camilo Collazos.
“She is a DP who is always prepared and is very accurate when reading the intentions of the voice guiding the storytelling. Her vision carries a charismatic, distinctive signature that allows the viewer to be in with the story and its world.”
The film, which premiered at the Mexican Embassy in Los Angeles as part of the Mexican Filmmakers Showcase on July 20, was shot primarily at the Sybil Brand Institute in Los Angeles, the same location used for other hits films such as Blow, 21 Grams, Legally Blonde and Malcolm X.
Mereles, whose name is already well-known in Mexico, has made extraordinary strides in Hollywood over the last few years thanks to her inimitable skill behind the lens and unique creative vision. While she knew early on that she would go on to work in the film industry, what sparked her career as a cinematographer was when she was on set for the first time working as a camera assistant.
“I knew I wanted to be a filmmaker. My intention was to become a director and a screenwriter, but the first time I was on a movie set I realized that what I wanted to tell a story visually,” explains Mereles.
“For me cinematography means telling stories as a whole but also with every image. I’m passionate about constructing stories through lighting, composition and movement and creating emotions within the spectator. Cinematography is a journey I started a long time ago. It is a journey to tell stories but it’s also a journey to find answers; trying to understand what it means to be human.”
After the firm realization that cinematography was the one field that would fulfill her creative passions and utilize her wide range of talents, Mereles went to work honing her skills in the artform at some of the world’s most prestigious schools. Shortly after completing Maine Media Workshops’ cinematography residency, Mereles went on to complete her master’s degree in cinematography at the American Film Institute, a highly competitive conservatory program that boasts an impressive alumni list including filmmakers such as three-time Oscar nominee John Cassavetes, four-time Golden Globe Award nominee David Lynch, Oscar nominee Darren Aronofsky and many more. In 2014 Mereles was selected as a Fullbright Scholar, an international merit-based scholarship program that gives a limited number of individuals the opportunity to study abroad.
As a cinematographer, Andrea Gonzalez Mereles has carved out a prominent position for herself internationally as an artist behind the lens whose creative capacity and keen vision have given way to both the commercial success and emotional impact of a wide range of films. Up next for Mereles is the thriller film Plain Fiction directed by Cyrus Duff, which is due out in 2018. Source :
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