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Small town Uruguayan Diego Ferres finds his way to cinematic success
Back before on-demand and instant streaming, if you ever noticed the smell emitted by tearing off the plastic on a brand new DVD, you're not alone. Born in a small city in Uruguay known as Salto, Diego Ferres recalls the distinct scent and says that he would spend so much time in the VHS/DVD store that "it was kind of awkward at some point."

Ferres reports he was interested in architecture as a child, but then started getting hired by locals to film and edit different kinds of videos for them, including weddings and other events. He reflects on his first film, "Ipoll," which he says was a successful venture in his home country. Despite using a "cheap" camera, he was able to use fluorescent light tubes to give it the "cinematic" blue-ish look boasted by most blockbuster horror films.

Set in a small high school, "Ipoll" features five students who choose to go try to debunk the myths surrounding the "haunted" building. The trailer shows the students exploring the school and running into a lot of trouble once strange things start happening and they realize they aren't alone. The lighting Ferres utilized gives a dark, creepy vibe that adds to the viewer experience.

Even though Ferres completed just about every task for the film himself (writing, videography, lighting, and editing) with minimal funding and no production team, "Ipoll" went on to sell out theaters as well as win second place for the Jury Recognition Award at the Argentinian "Cortos de Aqui" Film Festival.

Ferres mentions he struggled with the film because he could have used more on-set assistance; however, when speaking about how much joy he got seeing other people enjoying his work in "Ipoll," he recalls knowing that "this was definitely the path that I was going to follow."

Even though Ferres got his start in editing, he was more interested in cinematography. He enjoys the post-production process, but also likes to be next to the scene while it's happening, as he finds that "it's much easier to connect with the story and understanding it because you were there actually filming it." Early this year Ferres proved his cinematic finesse once again, this time as the cinematographer on the comedy film "Sitting in the '80s," which stars Kristen Hancher ("Mani," "Misshaps") , Piper Rockelle ("Piperazzi"), CoCo Quinn ("Crazy Ex-Girlfriend") and Riley Lewis ("Chicken Girls," "Bratchat").

Ferres also joined forces with "The Amazing Race" Director Fawn Testa in 2018 to create "Lost and Found," which was a huge transition from his early horror film into a more sentimental, emotional project detailing a son's loss of his father and the unexpected gift he gained from it. "Lost and Found" would solidify Ferres' expertise as a cinematographer, as the film would go on to win an Audience Award as well as the Best Short Film Drama Award at the Silicon Beach Film Festival.

Los Angeles-based Ferres received the Best Thriller Short Film award at the Five Continents International Film Festival in Venezuela earlier this year for his cinematographer role in the production "Play to Live." This film also won him a spot on the Direct Monthly Online Film Festival board in March 2018 and recognition at the Digital Griffix Film Festival. Ferres also teamed up with Pittsburg-born Marcus Mortland and took home the Award of Recognition at California's 2018 IndieFest Film Awards for his cinematography work on the film "Hold."

He has directed music videos for artists such as Nacho Toso and Will Champlin and worked on production crews for BleakPop Films and Balcony TV. He contributed his cinematography skills to Kelvin Batiste's "Hustler's Luck" in 2016 and had previously worked as a camera operator on the set of Gabriel Bibbo?'s "Martinazzing" (2014). More recently, he paired his cinematography skills with Mortland again on "T&T" (2018).

When asked what his favorite projects are, Ferres states, "Anything that gives me the opportunity to create a cool image, it's really fun for me." From music videos to films, he loves every aspect of the job and reiterates that he enjoys when audiences appreciate his work, stating "I really enjoy when people like it."

In regard to his favorite project, he says it might be a music video he produced and edited for Brazilian singer Tiago ("No More") because he "was able to do a really colorful lighting setup" that turned out well and was enjoyed by fans.

Ferres' success is at least partially due to the fact that he can play so many different roles on a production set. Not only is he a skilled photographer, videographer, and editor, but he also has other talents including light directing, writing, and designing websites, among many others.  

In his own words, he is most confident in his roles as a cinematographer and an editor. Ferres' strengths within cinematography include that he can work on "any budget or type of production" and regardless what funds or equipment he's provided, he "can always make it look good anyway." Seeing as his first film ("Ipoll") sold out theaters, his talents are wide-ranging even on a tight budget.

Also a skilled editor, he feels his strongest quality is that he "can edit really fast without losing quality." He also adds that another helpful factor is "the fact that I really enjoy all genres, I can visualize and understand very well the time [needed] for every project." Not only does Ferres shine on set and during production, but his strength as an editor does not go unnoticed. .

Upcoming projects include serving as a cinematographer for comedy show "LNL" ("Late night Latino"), which will be produced by director Juan Feldman. The production companies behind the project include Mano a Mano Films ("After Words") and Endemol Shine ("Big Brother," "Black Mirror," "Master Chef"). The release date is set for 2020.

Ferres also has plans to return to his horror/suspense genre roots as he has been tapped as the editor of "Voces Ano?nimas The Movie," which is based off of a TV show that he previously worked on as a cinematographer in 2014 that was shown in Uruguay, Los Angeles, and the Philippines. When discussing the movie, Ferres states he cannot reveal much information but "it will definitely be really scary." The release date is currently set for late 2021.

Ferres' works are solid pieces of art that have remained on viewers' minds, and he thrives on feedback from audiences.

"Sometime I would like to go to the cinema to have that magical experience of buying the ticket, walking through the hallway with carpet floor feeling that popcorn smell everywhere and jump of excitement on the cinema seat for a movie that I made," he says. "Then I'd love to grow a production company of music videos for big artists and show the people my work."

Ultimately, when asked what makes good cinema, Ferres' response is a simple one, he says, "[It's] a combination of everything, good story, directing, cast, cinematography and editing."

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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