Posts tagged filmmaking

We just completed a week-long film shoot with our friends from Spectrecom Films in London, UK, and Allianz Global Investors.

Allianz hired Spectrecom to create a commercial film for one of their most recent projects, and Spectrecom chose us to help them out with the shoot in cinematography, logistics and aerial/drone captures.

We had an amazing shoot, using the C300mk2 as the main camera, some great lighting supplies by Kinoflo and Litepanels, our very own Inspire 2 for aerial shots, and a lot of other gear.

Check out the shoot photos below taken by the ever-useful iPhone X. The video will be completed and launched by the end of the year, so stay tuned here for updates.


We are proud to announce that we are now offering a series of small, private, one-to-one workshops in our studios in Oakland. With over fifteen years of professional industry experience, and many credits in films, shorts, and published photographs, one of our favorite things to do is still to share everything we learn to other people. To you.

We've taught and mentored for many years at all kinds of places and countries, and now we're happy to go live with our online booking system to make it easy for you to choose a private workshop time with us.

Want to learn photography basics? Always wanted to venture into Adobe Lightroom to edit your photos, but always felt overwhelmed by the interface? How about editing those great videos you have collected over the years, and know nothing of what to do with them? Or color, how can you train your eye to see things in a different way, bringing your work to the next level?

We want to tailor this experience to you, so every workshop is different. When you sign up for a session, we'll email you asking about your goals and what you'd like to concentrate on. And anytime you sign for another workshop we'll make sure we keep teaching you more advanced skills allowing you to grow at your own pace.

It's not a class environment. This is a private and comfortable place to make sure you get the best tuition possible out of the class.

Let us know if you have any questions, but check out the page below for the latest info on current offered classes. There's always new classes to be offered, so sign up to our newsletter too for the latest and greatest!

Current Workshops

The Velvet Underground

We are proud to share with you our submission to The Velvet Underground's music video competition for "After Hours", their infamous 1969 song by Moe Tucker, written by Lou Reed.

It's always been one of our favorite songs, so we love that and The Velvet Underground partnered up in this online competition. There's some amazing talent out there, so check out the other videos too.

Watch our video below, or on by clicking here.

Location Scouting

We started doing some location scouting in San Francisco today, for a potential film Afonso Salcedo might DP this summer.

Always fun doing some tests with a camera, and seeing where we could take the image and the color profile of the images for the film. And of course, figure out the logistics and planning for actually using certain locations for the shoots.

Many more to come... This is only the beginning.

There Was Magic

We officially launched this morning our Kickstarter campaign for There Was Magic.

Here's a copy of the official press release.

“There Was Magic” on Kickstarter

San Francisco, CA – June 02, 2013 – “There Was Magic” is a touching, witty and glamorous look back at Hollywood and Fashion’s most memorable AIDS benefit.  A new documentary feature film directed by Afonso Salcedo which launched this morning in a crowd-funding campaign on Kickstarter. Spanning a period of ten years during the height of the AIDS epidemic, (1986-1996) “There Was Magic” provides a unique and rich perspective of historical significance for the LGBT, Fashion, Hollywood and communities at large around the world.  The film is inspired by the book Heavenly Bodies: Remembering Hollywood and Fashion’s Favorite AIDS Benefit written by Michael Anketell who founded the event in 1986.  Anketell, alongside a small group of friends inaugurated the first show in early 1987 against a backdrop of fear and misinformation.  Remarkably, over the next decade the events grew in numbers and stature attracting some of the most iconic figures in fashion, film, television, music and sports—raising more than $12 million for people living with HIV/AIDS. This is their story—the people behind the scenes and of course the fabulous people who ‘made the scene’.

You can find more information about the film on its official website: and the Kickstarter page at For general inquiries about the film, please contact

Afonso Salcedo has been working in the film industry for nearly 15 years, having collaborated on several Oscar winning films for Pixar Animation Studios and DreamWorks. He currently owns his own production company, Sutro Studios. “There Was Magic” is his first feature documentary.

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Sutro Studios is based in San Francisco, CA and was founded on January 1st, 2013. Sutro Studios excels in creating engaging stories, in both film and photographic mediums, to captivate, entertain and inspire audiences of all ages with the highest quality and professionalism in directing, cinematography and post-production.


Yes, we finally caved in and we joined the latest and greatest social media phenomenon. No, not Pinterest, we're talking about Instagram. As you can imagine we're pretty picky with photo sites, and most of our actual work can be seen at places like, but we figured that Instagram could be a great way of quickly sharing behind the scenes moments of our set-ups, trips, adventures and misadventures in filmmaking. So follow us, subscribe to us, like us, read us, click us, share us and recommend us! And hopefully you like what we start sharing :)

Click on the button to the right of this page on the sidebar, or on the link below. Or of course, on your Instagram app.

Imperial College

A few months ago Imperial College (London, UK) interviewed Afonso Salcedo about his life, career and goals. Afonso graduated from a Msc in Computing back in 2001/2002, while he was still living in London.  

You can see an excerpt from the interview here, or read the full text following this link.




We started working several months ago on this feature documentary that is slowly coming to fruition. Making a documentary is one of those fascinating learning experiences, when the whole film becomes a character in itself, slowly growing, changing and morphing as you go along. Sometimes it’s easy to get along with, sometimes it has temper tantrums, but in the end you always love each other. It’s still too early to go into any details about our project, but it’s an exciting and promising adventure, one that we heartily believe in that it will make a good film one day soon. It’s incredibly exciting being surrounded by so much history and so many fascinating and important people that are willing to share their own stories, their own experiences and in the end, themselves.

Like any other film, you never know where it’s going to take you so early in the process. It’s a journey like so many others in life. So much hard work is involved, so many meetings and chats and conversations and hopefully, just hopefully, in the end it all works out magically into 90 minutes... and if those 90 minutes or so inspire you, make you smile, or make you at least learn something new about some really neat things that happened twenty or so years ago, then it would all be worth it.

Because in the end, that’s what a movie is all about. We hope this film will one day, later this year or next year, transport yourself into a whole new perspective on some historical events that brought much needed fun, joy and hope to many people in the past. And we hope that it makes you smile.

You’ll hear much more on this in the coming months, and whatever it happens, good or bad, we will share some of the making of and behind-the-scenes with you as appropriate.


A film is – or should be – more like music than like fiction. It should be a progression of moods and feelings. The theme, what’s behind the emotion, the meaning, all that comes later.” Stanley Kubrick.