100 Creatives

100 Creatives 2014: Larry McKee, Cinematographer, Knows How Light Behaves

What He Does: Larry McKee was a still photographer in the late '70s and through the '80s. Once he learned how to light, he found himself analyzing movies as he watched them. It became an obsession with him, trying to figure out the way that scenes were lit to bring out the best a scene could be shot from a camera. Eventually, he realized that he could do that himself.

Just in the last few years he's proven he most certainly can. He's worked as a cinematographer for more than a dozen shorts and feature-length films alone. Some of these include working with director Travis Ammons on Suicide Notes and Divorce Texas Style starring Daniel Baldwin.


Why He Likes It: "I love the creative process and working with smart people. I love collaborating and making things work. It is fun to bounce ideas around until you end up with something that is far better than any of you would have come up with on their own."

What Inspires Him: The biggest influence on McKee was a brilliant photographer named Dean Collins that taught him how not only to see light, but taught him how it behaves. From Collins, McKee learned how to use light itself, not the instruments that produced the light.

The very act of storytelling through film is also a big part of McKee's drive. He views film's ability to touch hearts and open minds to be a responsibility and a privilege more than just an artistic endeavor. He take his role extremely seriously.

If Not This, Then What: "I can't imagine doing anything else. My job is so fulfilling and so challenging, I hope I can do it for the rest of my life. I have been asked to direct on occasion. I wouldn't mind doing some of that from time to time as well."

If Not Here, Then Where: McKee has no desire to leave Houston, but if for some reason he was forced to he damn sure isn't leaving Texas. He says we have a "can-do" attitude here you just don't find anywhere else, and that's too important to what he does in film to let go of.

What's Next: "I have three more films lined up this year. KILD TV directed by William Collins, The Big Bunny directed by Wayne Slaten, and The Astrodome - A Love Story directed by Cressandra Thibodeaux. Three different genres with three different sets of challenges and opportunities. Just the way I like it."

More Creatives for 2014 (In order of most recently published; click here for the full page). Tiffany Heath, filmmaker Jonathan Pidcock, Jewelry Maker Mallory Bechtel, actor, singer, dancer Janine Hughes, visual artist Nyssa Juneau, artist John Merritt, artist Leslie Scates, choreographer and dance educator Denise O'Neal, producer, director, playwright Jason Poland, cartoonist Courtney Sandifer, filmmaker, actor, writer Lloyd Gite, gallery owner Henry Yau, The Children's Museum of Houston's publicity and promotions guru Angeli Pidcock, fantasy writer and mentor Jennifer Mathieu, author Scott Chitwood, writer Anat Ronen, urban artist Amber Galloway Gallego, rockstar and sign language interpreter Michael Weems, playwright Lane Montoya, artist Jordan Simpson, SLAM poet Joey & Jaime, designers Suzi Taylor, photographer Ashton Miyako, dressmaker T. Smith, artistLindsay Finnen, photographer Kaitlyn Stanley, tattoo artist Eleazar Galindo Navarro, video game maker Kate de Para, textile and clothing designer Shawn Swanner, video game painter Andy Gonzales, painter Chris Foreman, comic book sketcher Theresa DiMenno, photographer Jessica E. Jones, opera singer Atseko Factor, actor John Pluecker, writer, poet and language justice worker Ricky Ortiz, painter, tattoo artist Rabēa Ballin, artist David Wald, actor Lisa E. Harris, performing and visual artist Stephanie Todd Wong, executive director of Dance Source Houston Pamela Fagan Hutchins, novelist Heather Gordy, artist Mark Nasso, comic artist Shelbi-Nicole, artist Marian Szczepanski, novelist Jonathan Blake, fashion designer Doni Langlois, interior designer Kat Denson, dancer Blame the Comic, comedian Margaret Menchaca Alvarez, artist Jacquelyne Jay Boe, dancer Rene Fernandez, painter Teresa Chapman, choreographer and dancer

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Jef Rouner (not cis, he/him) is a contributing writer who covers politics, pop culture, social justice, video games, and online behavior. He is often a professional annoyance to the ignorant and hurtful.
Contact: Jef Rouner