CineD is always searching for a way to connect creators and manufacturers – and, of course, to help filmmakers show their work. This is why we teamed up with FUJIFILM to show our filming community work that has been done with FUJIFILM cameras. If you use a FUJIFILM camera and are interested in getting your work featured click here to learn more. For our next “In the Spotlight” article, please meet Director Anna Andersen and DoP Nilu Amin, two NYC-based filmmakers. “In the Spotlight” is proudly sponsored by FUJIFILM.
Anna Andersen, an award-winning documentary and commercial filmmaker, and Nilu Amin, director of photography and producer, own and run the production company NINA FILMS in Brooklyn, NYC. Being young women in the industry allows them to provide a uniquely female perspective in telling a story with a film. They form a highly creative team with their work perfectly in sync. So let’s take a closer look at their recent work Promise of Spring (trailer below)!
In the Spotlight with FUJIFILM – Anna Andersen & Nilu Amin
Name: Anna Andersen (director) & Nilu Amin (DoP)
Currently based in: Brooklyn, NY
Language(s) spoken: Anna Andersen – English
Language(s) spoken: Nilu Amin – English and Farsi
Q: How did you get started in our industry?
Anna A: My path into filmmaking has many twists and turns — I didn’t study filmmaking in college and I honestly didn’t even know this was a feasible profession growing up. I came to New York in my early twenties and started photographing bands in the underground music scene. From there, I made connections and started to get on sets more often and explore a dynamic image versus a static one. Over the years I worked at various organizations specializing in video production and eventually I decided to take the leap and become a freelance filmmaker. I was extremely lucky in regards to the people I met along the way who taught invaluable lessons, created friendships, and solid foundations to explore this craft. I met Nilu in 2019 and we decided to team up and create NINA FILMS and focus on both commercial and documentary work. We were lucky enough to pitch The Promise of Spring to FUJIFILM and have this passion project film become a reality!
Q: What types of productions do you mostly shoot?
Anna A: Nilu and I have a wide array of clients ranging from green-tech commercials to heart-felt branded docs and short-form documentaries.
Q: What is your dream assignment/job in our industry and what are you really passionate about?
Anna A: This production would be considered a dream job for me. Having the opportunity to work with a company like FUJIFILM, tell the story of one of my best friends and her mother, and to co-collaborate with some of my closest friends behind the lens… this project really was a dream come true. I’d love to do more of these in the future.
Q: In the work that you are presenting us, now that it is done, what would you have done differently throughout the production?
Anna A: I am so grateful to FUJIFILM for supporting this project and to the incredible team behind making this vision come to life. We had a limited amount of time, but I am so greatly appreciative of all the hard work that everyone put into making The Promise of Spring. I am so proud of this production and the team. I wouldn’t have done anything differently!
Q: What current camera, lenses and sound equipment do you use?
Nilu A: For The Promise of Spring we used the FUJIFILM X-H2 prototype with the FUJINON MK lens set and that was a great setup. This was the perfect package for The Promise of Spring, but every project requires a different camera/lens package depending on the needs of the story. For sound equipment, we generally defer to an audio professional.
Q: You chose to shoot your project with the FUJIFILM X-H2 camera. Did you impose on yourself any limitations like not shooting with a tripod?
Nilu A: Currently, we have access to so much equipment, but ultimately your shots need to serve the story. We didn’t necessarily create any limitations but we intentionally decided whether or not we would shoot each scene with a tripod, handheld, or gimbal based on what we wanted to convey.
Q: What’s your favorite lighting equipment and why did you choose that kit over other solutions?
Nilu A: We had an incredibly talented gaffer and grip on set who helped us light each scene as naturally and beautifully as possible. I use them as often as I can and they help me be a better DP.
Q: Do you use drones/gimbals in your productions? If so, what is the most effective way you’ve found of deploying them?
Nilu A: There’s always a place for drones, gimbals, and any other piece of equipment that helps tell the story. Having a small, nimble camera setup like the FUJIFILM X-H2 can really help me take my camera virtually anywhere and still get a smooth shot when limitations on budget don’t allow for a Steadicam.
Q: What editing systems do you use and are you satisfied working with them?
A: We usually hire an editor who works in Premiere. We feel very lucky to have found some incredible editors who can bring our visions to life.
Q: How much of your work do you shoot in “flat picture profile” and what is your preferred way of color correcting?
A: We shoot everything in Log, so we can maximize the dynamic range. We usually work with a colorist who can bring the footage to life through various coloring programs.
Q: How frequently do you travel and do you have any tips when it comes to packing your gear?
A: We travel throughout the year, but we usually pack a few pelican cases and ship gear to our destinations, if possible. We recommend having a few extra hands to help carry all the bags through security!
Full disclosure: This “In The Spotlight” series of interviews is sponsored by FUJIFILM.