Talent, Vision, and Ambition with Samon Siripanichgon

Talent, Vision, and Ambition with Samon Siripanichgon

Samon Siripanichgon has achieved the utmost respect within the production community for more than simply his impressive talent.  He has continually exhibited that he is drawn to working in scenarios that are more inclined towards the kind of pressure that demands “on the spot” creativity” rather than leisurely confidence. Being tested by the unpredictability of a situation is a mindset for Samon; one which has proven a powerful asset for the many filmmakers who collaborate with him. Vacillating through a variety of platforms, from narrative films to music videos to high-end YouTube productions and more, Samon is the kind of camera expert/set lighting expert who revels in the creative self-discovery that magnifies the efforts of those whom he creates with. This is perhaps the reason he is the first-call for so many filmmakers today. 2023 is proving to be a busy year for Samon as he works on diverse productions in a constant pursuit of flexing his creative muscles.

  2022 ended with Samon collaborating with the likes of director Francesca Scorsese (Martin Scorsese’s daughter), cinematographer Idil Eryurekli, actors Steve Witting, Stephanie Kurtzuba, and Welker White (all three of whom starred in the Oscar Award–nominated film The Irishman) on Fish Out of Water. Contrasting this family themed drama, Mr. Siripanichgon signed on for the film Speed Queen 51 about two strangers who meet in a laundromat to unburden their souls. Ms. Eryurekli also served as DP on Speed Queen 51 and was instrumental in Samon’s decision. He relates, “My decision wasn’t just about the film and script; it was about the people that I was going to be working with. Idil [Eryurekli] had also brought me on Fish Out of Water earlier in December. The gaffer, Emmet Luciano, also gaffed for Fish Out of Water. A lot of the crew was the same so it was like a mini reunion. It helps if you both respect and like the people you are working with. I was also interested in this production because Idil pitched the job with many opportunities to be creative in terms of the camera work and the laundromat setting. I’m always excited by the chance to try new things and shake things up from the norm.” 

  Taking another unexpected turn in the new year, Samon just completed a music video for female rapper Kenya Vaun. Known for their somewhat chaotic and short schedules, music videos afford creative professionals like Samon the chance to take risks without extensive corporate oversight. It’s an idea that makes the long hours more than worth it as Samon confesses, “Music videos in general are not my favorite things to work on though they can be fun when there are cool lighting plans or fun shots to play with. A lot of what happens depends on the artist and how committed/professional they are. In the right situation, it can be a really fun collaborative environment where everyone throws ideas out and you have to make it happen. I thrive on that kind of ‘must make it happen’ vibe. There are also a different set of boundaries in place for a music video and that feeds something I don’t get in film. For a lot of music videos, continuity doesn’t really matter where as in narrative projects, the lighting departments have to keep a closer eye on these details. Not to say that music videos don’t have any structure, the lighting still has to be consistent with the mood we are going for.”

   There’s freedom in the lack of hierarchy of what are the most desirable types of productions that exists for professionals like Samon Siripanichgon, as compared to those of only a decade ago. Streaming services, social media, content websites like YouTube and others; these have multiplied the opportunities for expressing creativity and cultivating a personal voice. This is the essence of what is attractive for those like Samon. Boundaries and walls have crumbled, leaving only talent, vision, and ambition as essential elements of achieving success. Samon is excited about what this year will bring and he’s actively pursuing the unexpected. 

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