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“I Am an Obsessive Collector of Photography Books”: DP Alejandro Mejia on In the Summers


January 22, 2024

Each summer, the sisters at the center of Alessandra Lacorazza’s Sundance 2024 premiere In the Summers visit their father in Las Cruces, New Mexico. The film spans several formative years of the sisters’ lives, and their father sometimes struggles to keep pace.

Below, cinematographer Alejandro Mejia, whose recent credits include Stolen Youth, discusses shooting the film, including how his love of photography books helped inform the film’s look.

Filmmaker: How and why did you wind up being the cinematographer of your film? What were the factors and attributes that led to your being hired for this job?

Mejia: I think it was my artistic and realistic approach to the story. Dan, one of the producers, saw my work in the feature film Son of Monarchs that was at Sundance 2021 and contacted me through my agent at 9AM to send me the script. I really liked the story and got together with Alessandra, the director and screenwriter. We immediately developed an interesting connection and similar visions of the project. I joined without a doubt.

Filmmaker: What were your artistic goals on this film, and how did you realize them?

Mejia: The artistic goals of this project were to give each chapter of the film the correct visual language in terms of color, camera movement and composition. We were able to achieve it with great collaboration between the production designer Estefania Larrain and my team. Larrain, the director Alessandra and I had extensive conversations about color palette, references and locations. I also want to mention my gaffer, Makoto Matsuo, who helped us create the light atmospheres necessary to tell the story.

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