Every movie begins with a script they say, but without cinematography involved you would only be able to read the script and not see the story come alive. Cinematography is in the process of making a good film. In fact, with a conscientious and intelligent cinematographer like Saif Al-Sobaihi, a film can easily transform from a good-looking movie into a great cinematic experience.
Saif is from Saudi Arabia and he has always admired beautiful and artistic images since he was a kid. He is one of the first young Saudi’s who have come to study Cinema and the art of cinematography in the United States and he hopes to continue his work as Director of Photography in the United States, Saudi Arabia and internationally. Although the film industry isn’t huge in Saudi Arabia right now, it is growing. Saif intends to invest his studies and his immense work experience that he learned in the United States to help advance the Saudi cinema industry that is aligned with the future vision of the currently changing Kingdom.
Saif just finished four short films as the cinematographer and he believes they are on their way to entertain viewers and win awards on the film festival circuit. La Calvita is one of the films and it tells the story of a Latina girl who travels to the border in hopes of selling her hair. El Circo is about Charles the clown whose aim is to teach his audience about one’s self, family and the power of laughter. Pinwheel’s main character “John” is looking for love and he hopes that decorating his garden will attract his next door neighbor into his arms. Saif had a great time working on these projects with his team. He is grateful for all the work he gets and he feels that the crew and the cast made it a wonderful experience.
A cinematographer is also known as Director of Photography. That title carries with it a lot of responsibilities. Saif tells us that a good skill for a cinematographer is to be a good researcher and understand different kinds of cameras and lighting. Another important skill is to know when to keep it simple; because at the end of the day, the DP needs to make pictures that serve the story and work for what’s best for the story.
Saif has won several awards for his beautiful cinematography, including the Adobe Award, The Rookie Award and the Emmy Student Award. He has also worked on numerous short films, documentaries and a Sony Music Corporation music video for Swedish artist Peg Parnavik. One of many successful pieces, it has garnered over 1.7 million views and rave reviews.