Seeing Life Through the Lens

FSSA senior film student Antonio Teoli behind the lens of his camera.

He sits in his bedroom unsure of what the future has in store for him.  He rubs his hands together, pulling his shirt away from his neck. The darkened room seems to be closing in on him, as the thoughts of what could go wrong engulf his mind. The loud music playing and summer assignment on his laptop can’t even get his attention.

Now, fast forward to three years later and one would think they’re speaking to a new person. He holds his camera at ease, picturing his art through a small lens. Thinking of how much he has changed, he reflects on his journey to senior year.

Antonio Teoli, a hopeful teenager, stands in the media lab of Frank Sinatra School of the Arts (FSSA) as a cinematographer, understanding his power, he is confident about the opportunity he has to create something dear to him. What interests him most is being able to change and tell a story with visuals using his own eye and camera.

“I always knew I wanted to do something related to the arts, I never really wanted to pursue a normal job. Initially I was undecided on whether film was my passion or not,” Antonio said.

Antonio has always loved the field of film, but wasn’t sure if he wanted this to be his major.  For the past three years his main positions during student shoots were working as boom operator and audio mixer.

“As someone who doesn’t have a serious personality with a lighthearted attitude, I often felt overlooked in my abilities of handling and succeeding in other roles,” he said.

For many students, finding what they are best at, in film, can take some time, but ultimately it’s very rewarding.  

Inspired by many artists’ work, over the summer, Antonio took a real interest in cinematography. Having met the famous, Tony Vaccaro, a World War II veteran and photographer, Antonio watched his documentary, “Under Fire.” Realizing what Antonio could accomplish just a camera, drove him to want to learn more. He was ecstatic when a friend asked him to be the assistant director of photography for a music video.  

“This film was to be done with NYU students. I didn’t want to crumble under the pressure and be intimidated by college students, so I went in with the mindset that I have a great opportunity here to prove the art that I can create, not only to others, but mainly myself,” he added.

Antonio likes to think of his ideas as something no one has ever seen before. He doesn’t want to stick to any rules and really let himself free with whatever he is trying to convey. Not having any confinements with his art form,specifically this year, has really allowed him to grow as a person and release his vision onto a camera.

“If your job isn’t something that you love, it isn’t a job worth having. After not feeling like I was reaching my full potential the past three years of high school, I realized that I wanted to do something more fulfilling.  Depicting a message through certain shots and camera movements is something that can resonate with anyone which I find to be pretty amazing,” Antonio stated.

– by Evthoxia Zamagias ’19