Sam Ciaramitaro: A Few Of My Favourite Things
The Rodeo Show director talks us through the memorabilia, mementoes and motivational tomes that keep his creativity fresh.
With work for brands including Chevy, Coca-Cola, Delta Airlines, Kellogg’s, and McDonald’s on his CV, it's unsurprising that Sam Ciaramitaro's Favourite Things carry an air of Americana.
Taking a snapshot of both his personal and professional life, the Rodeo Show director's creative choices include an ill-chosen (but still heartfelt) sporting memento and a pin that makes a point about his love of automotive.
Early on, I was lucky enough to work with some true masters of cinematography.
One of my most cherished experiences was working with Allen Daviau (E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, The Color Purple, Empire of the Sun).
We spent three weeks together outside Seattle, directing a campaign for the US Army.
I was a little kid when E.T. came out and it was a dream come true to be directing alongside Allen.
The Grand Prix Pin
I’m originally from Detroit, and the city tried Grand Prix racing back in the early ‘80s.
My grandmother got me this pin. I still haven’t removed the tag.
My parents tell me that when I was about four years old, sitting in the back seat of the car, I'd look out the window and name every car on the road.
Being from Detroit, you're immediately immersed in car culture, and I always hoped that I would get the opportunity to do car work.
Directing for Porsche and Corvette has been my dream realized.
When I was young, my dad gave me the choice between two baseballs: one with tons of autographs and the other with just one.
I chose the one with all of them.
It was a 1971 team ball with Hall of Famer Al Kaline and famous Yankees manager Billy Martin, from when he managed the Tigers for two seasons.
The one-off was Ted Williams, so I chose poorly.
Coming from a difficult childhood, the idea of home has always been one of the most important yet elusive concepts for me.
Since coming to Los Angeles a few years ago, I have felt closer to home than ever before.
I love being at home in my neighborhood in Laurel Canyon, where I’ve met some of the most amazing people.
The Early Edition
NEW YORK, the William Klein book.
I saw a photograph of Klein’s hanging at the Chicago Art Institute and I loved it.
For a moment, I began to think that I might be able to achieve something similar but when I stopped to really study it, I realized the genius and just how difficult it would be.
I decided I would buy a Leica and see what I could do with street photography.
Klein would say that he tried to get as close to the subject as possible so that he could see better. So many pearls of wisdom in that simple statement and I thought if I could put on a wide lens and get that close to a stranger, maybe my photos would be interesting.
I love the challenge of positioning myself in a split second to capture the shot, taking into account the position of the subject as they're moving toward me along with the light and all of it.
Figuring out how to tell a story in a split second is incredibly challenging and when you nail it, it’s very rewarding.
I find that it helps me make very quick decisions on the filmmaking side.