This  “Flash Exhibition” is open Sunday, May 10, 10:00 am to 6:00 pm and May 11-15 by appointment.


Using traditional photographic techniques, digital tools, painting and drawing Chressanthis combines images from around the world: Europe, Greece, Russia, Thailand and across North America. Subjects are as varied as shepherds living on a mountaintop beneath an ancient temple, a Muslim family in coastal Thailand, a rapper and his crew in Oaktown California, the people living at the end of the Trans Siberian railway, the estuaries of Eastern Quebec, Nomads in Mongolia who carry a satellite dish with them.

“I always look where the ancient and traditional intersect with the archetypal and modern.”

artist website:
Alternative website:   

Reprise from 2010: Vladivostok: A Soviet Time Machine

Vladivostok Train Station

Vladivostok Train Station – the end of the Trans Siberian Railway its cornerstone was laid by Czar Nicholas and actor Yule Brynner’s grandfather. I walked Vladivostok looking everywhere. I can’t read any signs so I focus completely on the people, what they are doing, details of dress, what they carry, their energy. It’s busy here, jammed with traffic but as packed as the streets are the sidewalks flow with people, most walk with purpose, the ones that wait sit with intention.The light is amazing, a silky veil of marine clouds softens the edges, it often glows. I’m shooting a black and white photographic portrait so in keeping with this city’s face: harbor, ships, train station, shopping districts, pedestrian underpasses filled with little shops, new construction everywhere beside decaying buildings and crumbling roads, passageways, begging bubuschas and striking, gorgeous fashionistas (are all the Russian women so beautiful?) strutting on amazing heels, North Korean laborers digging with picks and shovels, choking traffic jams of Japanese cars, army trucks and smoky diesel buses, the whole city a fifties Soviet time machine pasted with gaudy billboards, bustling with the brightly dressed carrying Blackberries and iPhones.

I conduct a filmmaking seminar workshop at Far Eastern State Technical University. The students are bright, friendly and optimistic. They smile so much I kid them that they defy the stereotype of dour Russian pessimism. They laugh at that, they want to be free of their Soviet baggage and the opening of my film reminds them of their grandparents world only half known through the propaganda of official history versus first hand accounts. You get the feeling they want to throw that deadweight overboard but can’t. I point out parallels in the American experience that they have to “own” their history to ultimately be free of it (or free of repeating it). Through their lives Laszlo and Vilmos show us that out of great tragedy can come great art and beauty and ultimately forgiveness and renewal. When talk turns to the corporate and political oligarchs or Putin, an unspoken tension arises, looks and shrugs acknowledging that this is the big problem and challenge of their time.

Cinema is the universal language, its inherently natural to communicate with images, ever more so with each succeeding generation. The seminar becomes a workshop, I gather everyone in a tight group. Our camera has a live feed to a large flat screen monitor and we review the grammar of shot making, that we all grasp, even if we have not analyzed how we see movies and television. I tell them first of all that they already have a deep grasp of the language of images and cinema and we know how to read them as well as we do our native language. The camera is a pointing device; you point it at what is important. It is free to move and point at anything your own mind decides: “This girl’s hand writing a note panning up to her face watching the class, panning over to this man’s face watching her, panning to the rest of the group.” We quickly review all the kinds of shots and angles we can make without restriction: wide angle, telephoto detail, high or low, close and intimate or distant and objective, camera movement with almost invisible subtlety or swiftly with sharp dramatic intent. We stage little scenes and try different camera grammar. I ask them what is the next shot that we need to see? They realize they know intuitively how to shoot. We talk about the editing of those shots and point of view. To make a film you the filmmaker has to have a point of view.

FRESH FOCUS City Hearts Photography Benefit Auction and Party – October 19

Saturday, October 19 3:00-5:30 with VIP After Party 6:00pm  –  Old Canyon Ranch, Topanga tickets & map

Please give your generous support to City Hearts Kids Say “Yes” To The Arts. This critical program that has reached thousands of young people is in its 28th year providing after-school arts programs in Music, Dance, Theater, Art and Photography in the Los Angeles public schools.

The auction includes vintage and contemporary images of Ray Charles, Bob Marley, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Whoopi Goldberg, Jane Seymour,  Federico Fellini, Cesar Chavez, Kristen Chenoweth,  Chevy Metal, Emma Thompson, Judy Davis and Max Adler. 40 photographers exhibiting and donating their work include Vilmos ZsigmondJeff BridgesRobin Becker,  Anthony FriedkinWalton GogginsKim Gottlieb-WalkerJane KerrJessica LangeGraham NashJane Seymour, Peter SorelBarbra Streisand, Raul VegaFelice Willat, and Henry Winkler. All this is complimented by great folks, food and music. We hope to see you there but if you cannot attend in person please consider the Online Auction by contacting City Hearts or making a direct donation

Below: GET HAPPY: Judy Davis as Judy Garland, 2000 by James Chressanthis, ASC archival print from 35mm black & white negative

Get Happy_2013_small_Judy Davis as Judy Galand_20a























Don’t miss THE MAKEOVER, Sunday, January 27 on ABC

Watch the trailer here

“Prosecuting Casey Anthony” airs January 19 on Lifetime

This Saturday, January 19, at 8pm Eastern and Pacific, the Lifetime movie, which I shot, “Prosecuting Casey Anthony,” will air. Starring Rob Lowe, “Prosecuting Casey Anthony” tells the story of the eponymous trial that attempted to convict the defendant for the death of her 2-year-old daughter in Orlando, Florida in 2008. This true story of the mind-blowing trial will astonish and move you. Please tune in!

The Client List: Season 2 Coming Soon…

Here we are making The Client List, which returns to Lifetime this Spring!

“The Client List” shoots season 2

This fall I am returning to shoot the second season of ”The Client List” for Lifetime, starring Jennifer Love Hewitt as Riley Parks, a deserted Texas housewife who leads a double life running a sexy spa, The Rub of Sugar Land, while meeting the challenges of a single mother who’s trying to raise her kids right.

See more at

“The Mindy Project” Picked up by FOX

“Handsomely shot with a single camera by the great Vilmos Zsigmond,” says Greg Evans of Bloomberg Businessweek of the new FOX sitcom The Mindy Project, the first foray into television for the Academy-Award-winning cinematographer. The Mindy Project, which was picked up by FOX last week, takes a break this week, but will return next Tuesday, October 23 at 9:30 pm.

Notes from the field: “The Makeover” (2013)

We’re just about ready to wrap on “The Makeover,” a Hallmark Hall of Fame production that will air on ABC in January 2013. The star, Julia Stiles, and the production itself have been garnering quite a lot of attention from the press in Boston, who are proud to welcome Hollywood to work in their fair city.

A couple few slideshows of us at work have appeared on various blogs. Check out some behind-the-scenes production shots on Bostinno and Zimbio.

“The Mindy Project” airs tonight on FOX

One of Vilmos Zsigmond‘s most recent endeavors, the new FOX series The Mindy Project, airs tonight at 9:30/8:30c. The series, from Emmy Award-nominated writer/producer and New York Times best-selling author Mindy Kaling, proves to be uproariously funny. In the able hands of Zsigmond, the series is unlike most sitcoms in the genre in that it is shot with a single camera. This will undoubtedly give “The Mindy Project” a fresh and unique look that will hopefully stand out among many network offerings this fall season.

Zsigmond shoots The Mindy Project

Vilmos Zsigmond is in the news this week as the DP of the new Fox series The Mindy Project, created by and staring the hilarious Mindy Kaling from The Office. Peter Martin’s story on Twitch reviews Zsigmond’s first foray into this format and the trend of indie filmmakers on TV.


The Mindy Project, FOX, 2012