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Lester Beck, París, New York, filmmaker, Director of Photography

Lester Beck speaks about the inspiration behind his photography and latest Cinematography work, Stay Inside

Stay Inside will be streaming on Xerb’s Independent Shorts Awards…

The world is in constant never-stopping motion and for people who are passionate about photography it is fundamental to live their lives on alert to be able to capture these moments and immortalize them through an image.

This is what is like for Lester Beck, originally from Paris, France who immigrated to New York to enter the entertainment world and motion pictures. Currently freelancing and working various roles in the commercial and filmmaking industry, Lester has capture with his still photography incredible moments within the city that never sleeps and abroad. Plus, his works as a Director of Photography have been awarded by film festivals.

We had the opportunity to quickly chat with Lester for to speak about his inspiration behind the images that he takes, his latest job as Director of Photography for a award winning thriller/comedy short film, Stay Inside, and the creation of a soundtrack for a film series as a musician.

1. Thank you Lester for chatting with us. We know you have a great passion for cinematography but also enjoy capturing great moments in still photography, how different is this from moving pictures?
Lester: Still photography is fascinating, one fraction of a second of life is capture into a composition. Which makes the thought process a bit different from cinematography. But at the end of the day, film is nothing else but 24 photographs per second which makes both art very related.

2. Definitely, we noticed in your photographs that you work with artists, how has this fusion emerged?
Lester: I often bring my camera with me, I like to shoot film more than digital but honestly have love for both. Most times, I end up taking pictures of the people I’m hanging or working with.

3. Your friends and colleagues must be very thankful, which is your own personal favorite photograph and why?
Lester: For some reason it would be this one. It just says it all, the true and life lasting love. I published it on my Instagram, Last July 19, 2019.

4. I see what you mean, the serenity and symbolism is beautiful. What do you look for when you do still photography?
Lester: I’m usually more attracted to lighting at first. I love photographing empty urban spaces, like at a corner of a street for example. I sometimes wait until there is nobody in the frame, or sometimes I just wait for one person to be isolated. I also like to get some neighborhood moments of life, for example an old man playing dominos, or a mother doing laundry, a kid getting ice cream from an ice cream truck. But lights and colors would most of the time motivate me to take a picture.

5. You do a great job and capturing such unique moments. In your latest work as a Director of Photography, Stay Inside, how did they attach you to this thriller film and what is it about?
Lester: It was a very fun project, sort of Thriller/Comedy because of some situations. I knew the director from a different set, we had a few meetings about it to prepare the shot list and equipment we would need. It’s about a serial killer that is out in the streets, the news are telling people to stay inside and lock themself in. We are with this lonely woman who decided to order a pizza… Then I can’t spoil it.

6. Haha I’m intrigued, how long did it take to film?
Lester: It was shot all in the same location, and took us two days to shoot.

The 15-minute short film, Stay Inside, as premiered in various film festivals such as Venice Shorts and Indie X Film Fest in Los Angeles. Not just that, the film has won first place in the thriller category at the Top Shorts Film Festival. Plus, stating this week, Stay Inside will be streaming on Xerb’s Independent Shorts Awards channel, click here to watch it free for a limited time.

7. That’s impressive work, do you strive for a particular style or from where do you get your inspiration?
Lester: I am mostly inspired by Gregory Crewdson photographs, I follow his work since I’m in high school. Also in other ways, I admire Benoit Debie, he is a Belgian cinematographer who shot movies like Enter The Void and Spring Breakers.

8. It seems to be very complex sometimes, is it hard to be a Director of Photography?
Lester: Depends on the content, but usually thriller and horror bring to a movie a very contrasty lighting and it’s something that I enjoy building.

9. Your professional preparation has brought you to become a musician, you collaborated in the series, Lost and Found, NY in 2016. What can you tell us about your experience as a music composer?
Lester: I started doing beats and instrumentals through the computer 10 years ago. I am a huge fan of Hip-Hop/Trap/Jazz and Funk. So, when I met Vanina (Lost & Found Director) she told me she wanted a score for the show which I happened to have, a jazzy track that I just finished. She definitely liked it and now it’s on her show!

10. That’s pretty incredible. What’s left for Lester Beck to do, do you have an ultimate goal to achieve in the entertainment industry?
Lester: Hopefully doing more Director of Photography work and hopefully for the long term create my own production company.

We look forward seeing what you do next Lester and thank you for taking the time to chat with us and sharing your experience.

To learn more about Lester Beck and how he is knocking and opening doors in New York, read our previews interview with him, “From Paris to New York, Lester Beck shows us how he’s reaching the American dream in the entertainment industry.”

We recommend watching Lester’s latest work, Stay Inside, and follow his journey over at his Instagram.

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