Khalid Alsudairy

Cinematographer based in Riyadh

"I believe it is a never-ending pursuit of finding your voice through moving images."

When did you start in the film business?

In 2017 I took a film course in NYU. I knew majoring in film was the right path for me even though there was no film industry in Saudi Arabia at the time. I concentrated on camera and lighting because I simply love to frame and light scenes.

I was intrigued by cameras from an early age. I wanted to know how to use them to their full potential. The way you can portray limitless expression and mood through a single frame is just incredible. I believe it is a never-ending pursuit of finding your voice through moving images.

Describe your job?

Currently I'm a one-man crew looking for unique opportunities and growth. I work as a freelance cinematographer. I’m responsible for the camera and lights and responsible for making artistic and technical decisions related to the image.

What productions have you worked on?

I worked on the long-form Saudi films produced by Ithra* such as Distance Zero, where I worked mostly behind the scenes managing the editing phase, and Last Visit, also where I was an assistant cameraman. I also worked on Haifa Al Mansour movie The Perfect Candidate as a video operator. My main job was to manage all monitors on set and operate playback. I also assisted as 3rd AC when we shot with two cameras.

*Ithra is the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture in Dahran. It is a center pioneering innovation, culture, and knowledge founded by Saudi Aramco.

What is your favourite filming location?

This is a hard one to answer, but I believe one of the most interesting was when we filmed scenes of The Perfect Candidate in Saudi TV’s studios. It might seem like an odd one to choose, but what was very interesting to see was the difference in the way TV and film cinematographers use the same equipment. It was a glimpse into a workflow that was very close to what I know yet very different at the same time.

What is your most satisfying moment working in the film industry?

I think usually the most satisfying moments happen when you wrap. The reason is not that we are done with the project; instead it's the realization that we have finally achieved the goal set out from day one. It is a feeling of pride.