Checco Varese (Director of Photography)
(Director of Photography)
Born in Peru, Checco began his career as a news cameraman working for all of the major news networks, including NBC, CNN, CBS, CBC (Canada), BBC (UK), RAI (Italy) and TVE (Spain). From 1985 to 1994, Varese specialized in shooting the world's major areas of conflict, from Mexico, Central America, and South America (Chiapas Uprising, Salvador and Nicaragua Wars, Panama Invasion, Columbia Drug War, Shining Path, Haiti Crisis, Chile Military Junta), to Europe (Bosnia Crisis, Chechnya Crisis), the Middle East (Gulf War, West Bank and Gaza Strip Crisis), and Africa (South African Riots and the Rwanda Crisis).
Varese retired from news only to become one of the leading Latin American directors of photography. He has shot hundreds of music videos, including Dave Matthew's Band "Crash" and Prince's "Black Sweat" for which he was nominated for Best Cinematography at the 2006 MTV VMA Awards. Varese's visual talent and expertise is sought after by TV commercial clients such as McDonalds, Budweiser, Miller Lite Beer, Bell South and Dannon Yogurt.
His television and feature films credits include "Their Eyes Were Watching God," starring Halle Barry and produced by Ophrah Winfrey, "El Aura," the follow-up film from "Nine Queens" director Fabian Bielinsky, the Showtime mini-series, "Fidel," starring Gael Garcia Bernal, the box office and audience success "Under the Same Moon," directed by Patricia Riggen, "True Blood," the HBO vampire series directed by Alan Ball, the Kevin Costner film "The New Daughter," directed by Luis Berdejo, and "5 Days of War," Renny Harlin's "anti war, war movie" starring Andy Garcia, Rupert Friend and Val Kilmer.
Varese shot 2nd unit on Guillermo del Toro's huge summer blockbuster "Pacific Rim" for Legendary Pictures and went on to shoot the pilot for the upcoming series "The Strain," also written and directed by Del Toro. Additionally, Varese shot the pilot for the successful period drama "Reign." His most recent film as cinematographer, "The 33," is based on the dramatic rescue of the 33 trapped Chilean miners, and stars Antonio Banderas and Juliette Binoche.