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Camera House : Better Pictures 14
Ricci and shared the load as unit stills photographer on acclaimed ABC series Redfern Now. “You learn from your mistakes,” she says, explaining how her stills photography has progressed in the past few years. “I’m really harsh on myself and I expect a 110 per cent performance. I always try for the best and have a high benchmark. I won’t self indulge and I see the faults and try to make it better each time. “Every job, you learn something new. You’re dealing with humans on film sets and you’re working in a fairly charged situation and you have to navigate your way, sometimes through hundreds of egos and personalities, which can be tricky.” Handling those egos and getting the required shot can involve a maze of negotiations. “You have to be everywhere and nowhere,” says Gozin’a. “It’s a balance between gaining the respect of the crew and the actors so they’ll give you what you need, and at the same time, not getting worried if somebody in the crew barks at you. You want to pick your battles – and knowledge of the storytelling is important. If you know the script and the story, you’ll know when to disappear and when to appear. Gozin’a even goes so far as to mark up the script on occasion. When it comes to a film’s key art however, the distributor, producer and publicity department collaborate with her. “They are a client so I’ll get a brief and a script in advance. I’ll have ideas that I want to shoot, but it will be an ongoing conversation. The ideas will evolve. We collaborate. In her work Gozin’a often rubs shoulders with celebrities, and shooting actors’ portraits is par for the course. Finding a way to capture a truthful image can often be a challenge. “I think it’s always more challenging [shooting celebrities] but mainly because they are so short on time and exhausted from their schedule – and whether they are a celebrity or not, that would always be a challenge. Sure, they can be guarded but don’t forget people who are not actors can be very shy, so they will need coaching and coercing to get them out of the shy mode.” Gozin’a says she has always had a skill for developing a rapport with her subject, something she makes use of in portrait situations. “I think any portrait photographer with any skill has an innate understanding and curiosity about humanity, and so it comes naturally to develop a rapport,” she says. It’s not only actors who find themselves caught in Gozin’a’s lens – everyday Aussies have been a recent focus for the photographer. Her photo essay ‘Life on the Rocks’, about the people living in housing commission properties in Sydney’s Rocks area, drew her a lot of attention and is the basis for a documentary series that she currently has in pre-production. Gozin’a is also about to teach a stills photography course at the Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS), which she developed last year and is a first of its kind. If that’s not enough to keep her busy, she’s also just signed to Filmgraphics Entertainment and is being mentored by the legendary David Denneen. She recently shot her first short, 3 Fat Babushkas which was a finalist in the Cannes Young Directors Award. The future looks bright indeed for this former law student! Fnd out more at alinagozina.com.au ■ ■ Top: Lilly, Space Cadet, Left: Hammer Bay, short film, MTV Grading and Retouching: by Rebecca Thuresson 14 Feature set photography 012_Bpics14_Alina_v2.indd 14 27/08/13 9:54 AM
Better Pictures 13