Ever since first meeting Adrian Toto nine years ago we’ve marveled at his sharp mind and keen humor. Both are on display in his most recent film reel, which apart from featuring the world’s most beautiful weddings also stars synchronized swimmers, a bride on a BMX and an extremely elegant elephant.
We spoke to Adrian about his creative influences, favorite shooting moments and obscure Latin references. Check out our interview after his reel.
Photo by Joanna Toto
“Si hoc signum legere potes, nimium doctus es”: Latin was surely my 6th-grade tormentor. Ever since it stopped swinging from trees, mankind has had a need to create, and the argument is that without creativity we have no progress. It can be as organic as whistling a tune when you are bored out of your mind, or as complex as spending months on a sand mandala and blowing it in the wind upon completion. For some people, even breathing is an art: just witness Maria Callas. Others make faces, like Luis Defunes; Fred Astaire had some seriously shaky legs and Antoni Gaudi had a thing for stacking stones. I don’t compare myself to these monsters, yet everything we humans do is art. I guess using it in my logo was a reaction—a rebellion against the “videographer” mantra: “Just point the camera and press Record.”
The Beastie Boys. No, seriously, Spike Jonze’s “Sabotage” made my drink come out through my nose as I jumped up and said, with outmost eloquence, “THIS IS NUTS!” My mustache communicated back that my choice of career was acceptable, as long as it didn’t involve shaving. This prompted me to look at music videoclips with different eyes, and as soon as I started digging into the genre (even going to the oldies) I found myself entranced by A-Ha’s “Take On Me” by Stuart Gosling or Sophie Muller’s visual interpretation of Bjork’s “Venus as a Boy.” I could go on and date myself even more but the point of attraction for me was telling a beautiful story in just a few minutes, without too many artifacts, fancy effects or CGI.
My favorite time of the wedding is the party. After all, the wedding for me is a grand celebration of two human’s decision to entangle their lives forever and eventually create a younger life to be sheltered and nourished under the canopy of their love. A wedding used to be one of the very few reasons for humans to come together and eat, drink, sing and dance as they promise to help this couple in their fulfilling their human potential. I love being in the middle of it, dancing, filming, laughing and being as much of a “guest” as I can, so that later the footage can convey that immersive point of view. What did it feel like being there, on the dance floor, celebrating the couple’s first step on this weird and wonderful journey of human existence?
I hope it is different, but that’s not for me to judge, I leave that to my past and future patrons.
That’s an easy one: Camera Operator for David Lynch’s Twin Peaks. Or water boy for same—it doesn’t really matter, I just want to be inside Lynch’s universe in whatever capacity.
I connected the most with James Franco’s The Disaster Artist. It documents how, with absolutely no understanding of the craft, everyone is born an artist. In the words of Richard Dreyfuss in Always, “You’re a poet, Al. You’re a really bad poet, but you’re a poet.”