Oliver Astrologo is a talented Italian video maker. Besides working for fashion companies, he makes intense and fascinating short movies of his journeys through the world. Those videos are a brilliant description not only of the locations but also of the people and the local cultures he meets in his trips.
He tested our Neptune Convertible Art Lens System in the streets of London, let's look at the results!
Welcome to Lomography Oliver! Can you tell us more about your professional path?
At the age of 21, after my university studies, I've started to work in the advertising sector. It wasn't a random choice since communication skills and the attention toward graphic composition are two important elements of photography and video making as well. I am sure that what I've learned working in advertisement has helped me a lot in developing the best expressive tools to express my creativity. Due to this, I've always worked on my personal projects with the same precision and carefulness of my commissioned ones.
Eventually, my personal projects were those which helped my professional growth the most. Thanks to the visibility I gained from works like ROMA and VIETNAM I've decided to focus full time in these works. I am very lucky because working with international tourism and fashion brands make me travel a lot.
How would you describe your video making style?
Usually, my videos do not last more than 3 minutes. The audience appreciates a lot the framing of the footage, which aims to describe the location from the point of view of the people who live there, rather than a mere touristic perspective. In addition, the fast editing together with a tailored soundtrack, give the feeling of a long take video.
You spend your life between London and Rome. Which are the influences that these cities have on your creativity and your lifestyle?
I love the continuous evolution of London; it is still transforming super quickly. You can notice the changes in the skyline in just a few months! People who live in London have to cope with this endless changing environment, facing a lot of new exciting situations, which stimulates creativity as well. On the other hand, Rome is lazier, but its beauty is unquestionable, that's why I made a video on the eternal city.
Which is the creative process that leads you into the creation of your videos?
Once I've chosen the destination, I develop a rough working plan. I try to identify which are the less touristic places and I try to contact people or public authorities that may help me to get into the local lifestyle. I also study the works done by other video makers. This research process is crucial to understand how other people have approached the location and to identify which are the topics that can or can't be told.
Once I reach a location, I always give myself some spare time to explore. It is not rare to bump into an unexpected situation which eventually becomes the main theme of the video.
My suggestion is always to be patient and wait before start shooting: take the time to know better the location and think about the best way to shoot it and its lifestyle as well. This is the only way to shoot just the clips you really need for the final footage.
What did you shoot with the Neptune Convertible Art Lens System and which focal length have you used?
I shot some footage of London and left room for improvisation when shooting the city’s hectic lifestyle. I shot some photographs and a short video which shows the features of the Neptune Convertible Art Lens System. I worked with all three focal lengths and I really enjoyed the Proteus 80mm; it’s perfect for portraits and it gives a very cinematographic look and feel to the video. The clips shot in Piccadilly Circus were taken with the Proteus 80 mm.
Which feature of this lens system have you enjoyed the most?
I love the continuously variable aperture —a feature which is very often appreciated by video makers. The drop-in aperture plates are very peculiar, I used them very often as you can see from the bokeh in the video I've shot. Thanks to the system’s two-pieces structures, I could exchange lenses very quickly avoiding the deposit of dirt and dust on the image sensor. The presence of the piece always attached to camera body avoided the annoying problem of the deposit of dust on the image sensor, which is typical when you change the lens on a mirrorless camera.