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Voice Of The Crew - Since 2002

Los Angeles, California

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DP David Stockton

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David Stockton
By Mark London Williams
People think only struggling actors or writers need a first break, but David Stockton , cinematographer on House of Sand and Fog, knows that camera people need them, too. And he thanks Otto Nemenz for his.
“They were extremely helpful,” Stockton recalled, “when I moved to L.A. from New York in 1990. They gave us free equipment to make our short spec reels.” Those 16 mm reels began a “mutually reciprocal” relationship that Stockton still enjoys, calling on the rental facility when he needs to gear up—or when a problem occurs on location. Stockton recalls the time the equipment house flew a lens back, along with dailies, to track down the source of focus problems—which, in that instance, was caused by an errant pressure plate.
Not only repairs, but a willingness to customize keeps bringing Stockton back. He shoots a lot of music videos and commercials, and notes that Otto Nemenz is “always willing to create oddball new gear” like special mounting brackets, including ones that allowed Stockton to “shoot through the lens backwards” for a particular music video effect.
The Nemenz gang is “there when you reach out” at any stage of the job, Stockton avers. It’s a real “sense of family” he adds, “a lot of smiling faces.”
Stockton was invited to sit with those smiling faces at the Nemenz table at this year’s ASC Awards dinner. One might guess they were toasting not the beginning of a beautiful friendship, but one that has endured for 10-plus years. Toasting, that is, unless they were busy sketching custom lens brackets on the napkins.

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