Denis Alarcón Ramírez is one of the most prominent figures of a new generation in modern film photography. In his work, he harmoniously combines best practices inherited from the classic film school of Russia with contemporary global trends in the industry. He always keeps on searching for the most striking visual effects that are impressive enough to emphasize the right tone of shots, create an atmosphere, capture and convey the mood of characters, and enhance emotional impact of visuals.
Denis was born to a Russian-Chilean family. His father, Sebastián Alarcón, is a film director, and his mother, Tatiana Yakovleva, is a film studies specialist, holding a PhD in Film History. As such, his true identity was formed during interesting discussions and meet-the- artists sessions, film shootings and journeys around the world. During the late 1990s, he embarked on a career as a camera operator, shooting news stories for the Spanish TV channel TVE in Moscow. In 2003, he successfully graduated from the Faculty of Camera Operators at VGIK (Russian State University of Cinematography). Once graduated, he worked on several debut films.
The Clairvoyant (Ясновидящая in Russian) became iconic in his career in 2009. A mystic touch was both in the movie’s plot and the life behind the scenes: after having watched The Clairvoyant, a producer Sergey Shumakov decided to leave the shooting of the Boris Akunin’s novel adaptation The Spy Novel in the trust of a young camera operator. For the next two years, Denis got totally wrapped up in crafting an aesthetic and image of mythological Moscow- a city of dreams, a city of utopian communist heaven. The Spy (Шпион in Russian) hit the industry and turned out to be one of the most impressive movie releases. The film received multiple awards and nominations, thereof for the best cinematographer work.
‘I like when films move away from reality, when the selection of costumes, stage properties and special film sets, well grounded in creativity, gets the shape to create a totally new universe…’
In 2013 the director Renny Harlin invited Denis to work on horror movie Devil’s Pass (Тайна перевала Дятлова in Russian) – a story that shook the world far back in 1959. After that Denis took another journey through time and ended up in the late 19th century to convey in the most intimate way the experiences and manners of the Dostoyevsky’s Demons (Бесы in Russian), adapted and directed by Vladimir Khotinenko. The film was awarded the Golden Eagle, a Russian Merit Award, as the Best Mini Series. In Denis’ next work (director Vladimir Khotinenko) Successors (Наследники in Russian) he succeeded to demonstrate the heritage of Venerable Sergius of Radonezh as well as to articulate a picture of contemporary problem-plagued Russia from the perspective of heroes of our time. In 2015, Denis ventured into the genre of comedy and worked on a Tatiana Kapitan’s movie 30 Dates (30 свиданий in Russian). One year later, in 2016, a Russian TV Channel Rossiya 1 released historical series Sofia by Alexei Adrianov that was shot in Pskov, Moscow, Kaluga regions, in the cities of Borovsk, Novgorod and Astrakhan, as well as in Italy and the Czech Republic.
Professionalism and sensitiveness, fine nature and soft skills, eagerness to search for new meanings and proficiency in history—all this helps Denis Alarcón Ramírez reflect the Zeitgeist of our times and bask in a wide variety of visual means to incarnate director’s visions and reveal insights into dramaturgical tasks.