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Pre-production was really exciting, mostly consisting of group meetings every week, recce and costume design. The director and I would attend recces and mark down spots for a particular scene. I would take this time to roughly get ideas for angles and together we would figure out rough blocking of the actors, so we both are always on the same page. I would then use this as my base to work on the other different elements (lighting, shot angles, set design, etc). 

Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975) and Pride and Prejudice(2005) were the main visual inspirations for As you wish. The hazy wrap of the frame and the cottagecore aesthetic was essential to create a nostalgic sense of the time. 


As you wish



As you wish is a period drama short set in an Edwardian girls boarding school. The story revolves around Valentine's obsessive infatuation with the popular kid, Ava. Their crash and burn relationship is reflected through the lens of a female gaze.

Shot on: Arri Alexa Mini
Lenses: Zeiss Arriflex Primes, Arri Alura Zooms 

We funded the film through a successful kickstarter. All of the crew and cast are aspiring students. 

Coming soon - May 2023

After months of emailing, our producer was able to secure Queen Mary undercroft for the ballet scene. I immediately fell in love with the place. Our director envisioned this scene to be a dream-like fairytale sequence, and I don’t think there could have been a better place to achieve this. I was able to draw a rough lighting plan and consult with my gaffer, who knew that this was going to be the most elaborate setup. The sunlight from window was to be fully blocked, to gain more control over shaping the light. 3 HMIs were to be shone through the breaks of the pillars, creating a shaped, ethereal feel to the space, as Ava would appear and disappear from the shadows into the golden rays of the sun.

Unfortunately, we were unable to acquire enough black flags to cover the windows we wanted to, and we had 2 instead of 3 HMIs. So, on the day, we worked with what we could, to try and get closest to the ideal look. It somehow worked to an extent. There was still sunlight entering the room, in a different color temperature, more visible in close up shots . But many a times, the shot doesn’t work the way cinematographers want it to. (Laszlo, 2000, p. 57) and that’s something to learn. We took almost 3 hours to set up this shot, which didn’t necessarily affect the schedule since it was planned, but it did make the other people on set slightly restless, waiting for us to deliver something. It is sometimes really hard to avoid complicated lighting set ups that I instinctively want to introduce, as I mentioned in the one above. Bruno Delbonnel highlights to which I agree, “Shooting day is the actor’s time. There is no time to try out anything on set.” (Deakins, R. and Deakins, J., 2020)

"Trying to find the continuity from the first frame to the last frame, and a rhythm within the film is what interests me" Bruno Delbonnel (Deakins, R. and Deakins, J., 2020)

"Filter is just another brush, another statement used in the painting of pictures" (Alton, 1995, p.130)

During all the exterior shoots, we were running at the rate of 10-15 minutes per shot, since we lost sunlight at 5pm every day. After 5pm, we would notice significant continuity errors and we couldn’t transport and store HMIs (Boosters) on a daily basis. “If we use boosters on top of the existing general light, the illumination naturally must be done in a much high key” (Alton, 1995, p.130). Hence, I always prepared a plan and lit my wides and didn’t overcomplicate them during close-ups. 
Night shoots were the most fun to shoot, since we were mostly indoors and warm, and the rest of the crew and cast could relax while we were planning out our set ups for the day. Pearl(2022) was a big inspiration for nighttime indoors. The childish, gleeful unease that it creates with it’s overly saturated color and an unhinged character was something we drew from to integrate into As you wish. Since there was no budget for oil lamps inside the bedroom, we used candle and moonlight (Arri Sky Panel) as our only sources. Candlelight was naturally very soft on the face, and additionally, the Black Promist filter, created the right amount of halation around it. When a slight amount of fill or backlight was required in close ups, Aperture MCs saved my life. Most importantly, the support of the camera department made the whole process significantly faster on shoot days

 In order to get the film within time and to properly payoff one setup at a time, we had to cut down a couple of scenes. This was a conversation we had during pre-production but our director was determined in having all the elements and actors as a part of the film, so we trusted that gut. It was a learning experience for all of us. 

Overall, it was a positive experience, even though there were ups and downs at every stage. But which production doesn't have those?

I am so grateful to be a part of such a passionate team and I am truly inspired by their dedication to this project. This is just the first of many more in the future. 


 As you wish stills (graded)


 As you wish stills that did not make the cut (ungraded)




Alton, K. (1993) Painting with Light. New York: Macmillan. pp 113-131.

Deakins, R. and Deakins, J. (2020) Team Deakins: Episode 141: Bruno Delbonnel - Cinematographer. [Podcast]. 15 August. Available at: (Accessed: 12th May 2023).

Laszlo, A. (2000) Every frame a Rembrandt: An art and practice of cinematography. Oxford: Focal press. p.57.

Pearl (2022) Directed by Ti West. [Feature Film]. United states: A24 films.

Picnic at Hanging rock (1975) Directed by Peter Weir. [Feature film]. Australia: B.E.F Film distributors. 

Pride and Prejudice (2005) Directed by Joe Wright. [Feature film]. United Kingdom: Universal Pictures.


Video essay

 As you wish (2023) Directed by Valerie Gorieva. [Short film]. Available at: (Accessed: 12 May 2023). 


Cinematheque Trailers (2021) Boiling point (2021) – Stephan Graham, Philip Barantini – HD Trailer. 24 September. Available at: (Accessed: 20 May 2023). 

Studio Binder (2020) Roger Deakins on 'Learning to Light' -Cinematography techniques ep. 1. 12 October. Available at: (Accessed: 22 May 2023).

The Hollywood Reporter (2018) Full Cinematographers Roundtable: Roger Deakins, Rachel Morrison, Dan Laustsen | Close up with THR. 27 February. Available at: 12 May 2023).

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