In 1992, Silvio graduated from Humber College with a diploma in film and television production. His first professional opportunity was with President’s Choice, where he worked as Dave Nichols’ camera assistant in the video department at Loblaws’ head office in Toronto. For two years he worked full-time on broadcast infomercials, 30-second commercials, and corporate videos to promote the President’s Choice brand. This position allowed him to learn the craft of lighting, as well as the often-overlooked art of multi-cam shooting. Plenty of Silvio’s time was spent lighting small-scale areas which displayed table-top food and products. From there he went on to freelance and pursued his passion for table-top food and product, shooting still images for Loblaws, Shiseido Cosmetics and Longo’s Food. He also spent time as a camera assistant for an on-figure fashion photographer, working with fashion models, shooting with 35mm film, for Sears catalog images. Silvio continued to diversify and upgrade his lighting skills by incorporating flash lighting to his repertoire.
After two years of photography work, Silvio was offered a position as a video camera operator at Pyman Studios. There he worked on a multitude of video productions; mainly corporate videos and television series, as a studio multi-cam shooter, a field videographer and lighting director. This is where Silvio applied all of his focus to the craft of lighting. Before long, lighting interviews for corporate videos with large lighting packages became Silvio’s obsession. He also enjoyed studio lighting and hanging lights on a grid for television series. He had the opportunity to do so while working as head lighting director on the TV series “Video and Arcade”, managing a lighting crew and a five-camera in-studio setup. The lighting on this new challenge consisted of 55 lighting fixtures, which consumed a whopping 75,000 watts of power.
Five years flew by at Pyman Studios, and Silvio up and left to work for Garth Turner. The task: shoot a weekly television series on business & finance in the heart of the Toronto financial district. Silvio’s daily schedule consisted of shooting interviews with a variety of financial experts, which required him to hop between roughly 8 different locations per day. This is where he learned how to think and act quickly. “I had 10 minutes to frame a shot, set up 3 lights on stands, and get audio up & running. This is where I learned to imagine the final shot, framed and lit, within 10 seconds of entering the room.”
Silvio finished this two-year stint and decided to return to the world of freelance. He bought his first camera package and began his career as an owner/operator, working with producers and networks to shoot corporate video productions and television series – not just in Toronto – but worldwide. A two-week stretch in the desolate Yukon to shoot “Mantracker” led straight to the grand forests of British Columbia to film “Lumberjacks Challenge”. Silvio shot it all, from sports series, news format television, studio cooking series and science documentaries. His propensity for lighting is just the tip of the iceberg; Silvio’s true passion is trying new things and taking on new challenges. So in that vein, he purchased a Stanton crane and turned it into yet another tool to offer his clients, shooting live to tape and live to air for news and entertainment series, namely “E News Weekend” and “Entertainment Tonight Canada”.
In 2008, Silvio took a deep dive into a new technology: full frame video. Canon had announced that their still camera was now capable of shooting video. Silvio’s immediate reaction was that the full frame/crushed background look would take off and become trendy. Within days, he purchased a full frame camera package and began to promote this new look with clients. He shot two television series that year with a Canon 5D, and may have been the first cameraman in Canada to shoot a television series with a full frame sensor. “I bought the world’s first slider for DSLR cameras from London, England. Still have it today,” says Silvio. He likes to use sliders and gimbals with his full frame camera package, as he enjoys the array of options that come with them. Silvio eventually phased the new camera look into most of his work, eventually upgrading to the RED Epic, Sony FS7 and Canon C500 camera formats.
Ever the trailblazer, Silvio introduced himself to drone technology from its inception. From the year 2000, he was neck-deep in remotely controlled helicopters, flying T-Rex’s and Raptors, fuel based helicopters. He began mounting MiniDV cameras to the remote helicopter for aerial video shots on select shoots. When DJI started selling drones with cameras, Silvio instantly pounced on it and started offering aerial video to his clients. As the technology evolved and grew more popular, Silvio linked up with a small drone company to form a 3-man crew, joining the International Film Union and Local 667. There he became one of the inaugural crews in the newly formed UAV department at IATSE Labour Union. With an impressive resume under his belt, Silvio worked on many American-based television series and feature films in the Toronto area. He was the 2 nd camera operator, pulling focus for cameras like the RED Cinema and ARRI cameras, which were mounted on the massive Octocopter. Working with this new technology on Hollywood films, bigger sets than he’d ever previously experienced, was a stark change. But Silvio has always put professionalism first, and he approached films like “The Shape of Water” and Stephen King’s “IT: Chapter One” (2017) as exciting challenges. Silvio now offers his drone services with his camera package, possessing an advanced pilot’s license that allows him to fly anywhere in Canada, day or night.
Presently, after 30 years working in the film, television and corporate video production business, Silvio offers a wide array of services to local and international producers. His services come with a multifaceted skill set and a storied career, which has earned him a reputation for being reliable and knowledgeable in all things camera and lighting. Although his credentials extend to videographer, crane operator, UAV camera operator, UAV pilot, camera operator, studio lighting director, studio pedestal camera operator, director of photography and photographer, Silvio prefers to call himself a cinematographer.
Film and Television
The Shape of Water, Stephen King’s “It”, The Indian Detective, The Strain, Ransom, Shadow Hunters, Fahrenheit 451, Et Canada(Global), 360 Vision(Vision TV), ManTracker(OLN), Daily Planet(Discovery Channel), Off The Record(TSN), City Commando(MenTV), Get Real Get Lucky(MenTV), Golf Report(Sportsnet), Inside The AHL(Fox Sports), Video and Arcade(YTV), Score Golf(Global), Score Golf For Women(Global), Beer TV(Global), Casino Life(Global), Celebrating Science(TVO), Spill Your Guts(WAM), Canadian Motocross Race Circut(OLN), Lumberjack’s Challenge(TSN), Canadian Sport Fishing(TSN), Cooking With The Wolfman(APTN), Real Estate Television(Global), Investment Television(CTV), Linda’s Money Show(Prime), E News Weekend (Global), 16×9 (Global), Global National News (Global), Max Keiser Reprot(RT), Squawk on the street(CNBC), Top Million Dollar Agent(Corus)
IBM, Microsoft, Canadian Tire Corporation, Petro Canada, Tim Hortons, Visa, CIBC, TD Bank, ScotiaBank, President’s Choice, LCBO, Shiseido Cosmetics, Labatt Breweries, Molson Breweries, Hill and Knowlton, Loblaws International Merchants, Holt Renfrew, Perimeter Institute For Theoretical Physics, The Living Arts Centre, Davis Ward Phillips and Vineberg, Symcor, World Vision, Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, Rick Hansen Foundation,Prostate Cancer Canada, Heart and Stroke Foundation, Canadian Armed Forces, Ontario Hydro, Ford, IA Clarington Investments, Seneca College, Ryerson, University of Toronto, York University, Insurance Bureau of Canada, Sunwing Airlines, Elite Island Resorts, Toronto Real Estate Board, Real Estate Council of Ontario, Cineplex Entertainment, Food Banks Canada, Salvation Army, Volkswagen, Goldcorp, Ontario Power Generation, John Hancock, GlaxoSmithKline, McKinsey & Company