'The Wrestler'

Maryse Alberti has spent her days as a d.p. traveling back and forth between documentaries like “Taxi to the Dark Side” and narrative films like “Happiness” and, now, “The Wrestler.”

Alberti believes her familiarity with both forms aided her work on helmer Darren Aronofsky’s latest film. She was able to adapt quickly to her surroundings, whether filming Mickey Rourke’s wrestling scenes in real wrestling matches or simply moving from location to location with little commotion.

“Documentaries are very instinctual because you just have to be in the moment,” says Alberti. “It was very helpful in a movie like ‘The Wrestler’ to be able to go to a location and know you can shoot it as is.”

Shooting scenes for the film between actual wrestling matches in order to get a solid crowd reaction became Alberti’s biggest challenge.

“We were in the middle of a live event, working with people who like to watch wrestling,” says Alberti. “There you had to work fast and go in and be ready. And the match was really pretty bloody.”

Born in France, Alberti came to the U.S. in the mid-1970s and began taking photos of Lou Reed, Iggy Pop and Frank Zappa for the New York Rocker. Eventually she began taking photos on film sets and later began to work as a d.p. on independent films.

“I was lucky,” Alberti says of her path to film. “I like to think I had a little bit of talent and I had timing, and that’s really what you need.”

TOOLS OF THE TRADE

Camera: Arri 416 Super 16 camera

Secret weapon: “Being able to stay in my creative zone whether I’m working on a documentary or a feature.”

Aesthetic: “It’s not one thing. I’m there to serve the story.”

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