Lights, Camera, Action…Production!: Biographies 2020

PANELISTS
CHECCO VARESE, ASC
Checco Varese is an accomplished Cinematographer from Lima, Peru. Varese began his career in the mid-1980's, spending nearly a decade shooting news coverage and documentaries in major conflict zones. In the mid-90s, Varese established himself as a leading director of photography, shooting hundreds of music videos and building a reputation as the unofficial ‘pilot guy.’ He worked on nearly two dozen season starters including fantasy horror and horror drama’s: The Strain (FX), The Returned (A&E) and the pilot for True Blood (HBO). Recent films he has worked on are director’s Jeffrey Nachmanoff’s sci-fi thriller Replicas and Guillermo del Torro’s Pacific Rim. In 2019 he worked on the horror/thriller film IT: Chapter Two. He is currently working on the horror anthology Them: Covenant for Amazon Studios. He speaks six languages and resides in Los Angeles, CA.

JENNIFER SPENCE
Originally from Canada, Jennifer moved to Los Angeles in the 90s and began working in the industry. She came to master the art of painting and proceeded to work her way through all aspects of the Art department. Working primarily as a Production Designer, she has worked with notable directors and on multiple popular franchises. Jennifer began her lasting love affair with the horror genre with the sequel to the sleeper hit Paranormal Activity, designing the next three films in the popular franchise.  In 2010, she began another partnership on a franchise with Insidious, a property she would return to collaborate on with Insidious: Chapter 2 (2013) and Insidious Chapter: 3 (2015). In between work on those popular franchises, Jennifer worked on a number of cult classics and with fan-favorite directors. Having already collaborated with James Wan, she designed films for Darren Bousman (Abattoir) Bryan Bertino (Mockingbird) and Rob Zombie (The Lords of Salem) before journeying to Eastern Europe for the gothic period piece Lady of Csejte directed by Andrei Konst.  Working in the drama/fantasy genre, she designed the prolific Akiva Goldsman’s Stephanie (2016); David Sandberg’s Lights Out (2016); and finally, Stacy Title’s The Bye Bye Man (2016). Some of her most recent horror films include three more from The Conjuring franchise with The Nun (2018), Annabelle Comes Home (2019) and The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It (2021).

LUIS SEQUEIRA
Luis Sequeira is a Canadian costume designer of Portuguese descent. He is best known for his work in Guillermo del Toro's The Shape of Water for which he received an Academy Award Nomination for Best Costume Design at the 90th Academy Awards.  He has worked in TV and film for the last 30 years in a mix of genres, including horror and thrillers like It Chapter Two, Carrie and Mama. He is currently working on Guillermo del Toro’s new film Nightmare Alley.

MAXIME ALEXANDRE
Maxime Alexandre is a Belgium Italian cinematographer, recognized by Variety as one of its Ten Cinematographers to Watch in 2006. He was the cinematographer on Alexandre Aja's directorial debut, High Tension, which was internationally recognized as the beginning of the French New Wave of horror in the 2000s. Alexandre and Aja collaborated again on the remake of The Hills Have Eyes, where he met and later worked with Wes Craven on Paris, je j'aime .  He continues to work with Aja and many other wonderful directors in TV and film, and in different genres, especially the horror genre.  These are just some of his popular horror films:  Maniac, The Hills Have Eyes, High Tension, The Crazies, Annabelle: Creation, The Nun and Come Play, which is released this month.

RICK BAKER
Rick Baker is a special make-up effects creator, mostly known for his creature effects and designs. Baker won the Academy Award for Best Makeup a record seven times from a record eleven nominations, beginning when he won the inaugural award for the 1981 film An American Werewolf in London.  He has worked with some of the biggest names in Hollywood completely transforming them with his special make-up effects.  Some of his horror films include: It’s alive, The Funhouse, Videodrome, The Incredible Melting Man, The Ring, The Ring Two and another of his Academy Award winning films, The Wolfman.

MODERATOR
AUDREY YAP