Zooming In At Daufenbach Camera
September 21, 2012 by Screenmag
Hollywood can rest assured that members of The Chicago Acting in Film Meetup, nfp (CAFM) are ready for work, having met monthly for more than five years to become stronger working film actors. Last Monday night, using the expertise of Daufenbach Camera owner Lawrence Dauffenbach and lead technician Stephen Wheeler, the group put their skills in front of the myriad of lenses at the company’s Chicago office (320 N. Damen), achieving humorous and heart-warming results.
“Understanding the basic power that a camera possesses can be very beneficial to an actor,” says Daufenbach. “It helps one realize why hitting a mark or finding one's light matters from a visual side. Simple things like lens choices can often change how a Director or a Director of Photography want an actor to look.”
On-Camera Actors On Cameras! A Night @ Daufenbach Camera was the Meetup group’s first “on location” event, and Daufenbach Camera’s first venture with CAFM. Actors spent the night learning about and performing for the Red and Scarlett cameras, and gave high marks to the experience. “I thought the staff from Daufenbach were great,” says SAG-AFTRA actor Steve Bayorgeon, “and their enthusiasm and willingness to share and teach is what made the difference.” Daufenbach said the feelings were mutual. “It was a pleasure having CAFM at our space, and we look forward to more collaboration.”
Because of limited seating, only 45 of the group’s 189 members were allowed to attend. “The reservations filled up just two days after we announced the event, and I’m not surprised,” says Grace McPhillips, CAFM Founder and Co-Director. “Filmmaking is a collaborative journey, and actors want to be in the loop more than most filmmakers realize. Gone are the days when we just stepped on set and did our job. We now want to know what lens they are working with for this scene, and what camera the project is shooting on. We’re producing our own work, too, and we want to speak intelligently when interviewing Directors of Photography for our own projects.”
CAFM is a non-for-profit educational group that holds monthly co-mentoring events for members, plus special opportunities that help Chicago actors working in film become stronger professionals and better actors. The chance to collaborate with Daufenbach’s staff on a camera and lens workshop seemed a perfect fit.
“Although CAFM’s monthly events are for members only, their 4th Annual Networking Night As an actor myself, I understand that any edge you can have in life can be the difference,” said Gregger Jones, Daufenbach’s Director of Business Development.
“A knowledge of why camera types work the way they do can be super helpful. We are proud to do anything we can to build our community in a positive way.”
Although CAFM’s monthly events are for members only, their 4th Annual Networking Night and Holiday Fundraiser on December 10th will be open to the public.
“Mark your calendar to come hobnob with Chicago’s own film actors,” says McPhillips. “You might recognize our members as you’re watching them weekly on BOSS, or the soon-to-be-seen CHICAGO FIRE, or many times daily in Walmart, US Bank and Illinois Lottery Commercials. Like Hollywood, we do have film celebrities here. They are just far more sane, and becoming smarter every month through The Chicago Acting in Film Meetup.”