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Biography - Miguel P. Gilaberte, AEC - Director of Photography

Miguel P. GilaberteI was born in Madrid in 1976. At the age of six my grandfather gave me my first photo camera, and since then I started watching life through a viewfinder. At school, I already knew I wanted to become a photographer. I read assiduously photography magazines and books. Fate decided what my first job would be: a photography magazine, Revista Foto (Photo Magazine). My main task was to file lots of stills in the archive of the editorial staff. There were unforgettable beginnings, where I was lucky enough to work with pictures of the best photographers around the world: Henri Cartier Bresson, Robert Doisneau, Ansel Adams, Robert Capa, Alberto Schommer, Annie Leibobitz... I just had to sort them alphabetically. As there were many pictures to classify -and I couldn't settle them as mere pieces of paper- I used to come every day one hour earlier to contemplate, taste and enjoy them.

One day I came across a book about Spanish Directors of Photography. I had to write a 10 line review for a new section. It was my first assignment as editor, so I took the book with great enthusiasm. At the very first pages, I realized that it was joining my passion for photography and filmmaking: the figure of the Director of Photography. If only one frame was exciting, 24 frames per second blew me away.

Miguel P. GilaberteOne year later, at the age of 18, I started my Degree in Communication. At the same time, I combined the degree with several jobs at the film&tv industry. Simultaneously I was shooting shortfilms as DoP, and joining as many film workshops as I could. Undoubtedly, one of the most intense moments became when I went to The Film Maine Workshops, in the US. It was the first time I was shooting with film stock -16mm- with great DoPs from the ASC as professors.

Some time later by chance, while I was at the lab screening the answer print of a shortfilm, they asked me if I would like to sign for a vacancy in the color grading department. I had worked as a DoP at the labs, but never before I had graded a film. This was a wonderful opportunity for learning all the post process, so important for cinematographers. I couldn't refuse the offer. I started grading short films, and a few months later I moved up to features. I shifted to other Spanish labs and I started to grade in digital, for DI. At the same time, I was using my holidays to shoot more short films as cinematographer, with the dream of shooting a feature someday.

Miguel P. GilaberteAnd that day came. In 2010 I shot Ways to live forever, with more than 17 national and international awards, and nominated by The Cinema Writers Circle Awards to some categories including Best Cinematography.

Later, I enjoyed working in commercials, music videos, and another feature: My bakery in Brooklyn, shot in 2015 in NYC.

From the traditional processes, up to the brand new digital technologies, I've experienced an evolution in my career, combining shooting and postproduction. I'm ready for the next challenge!