Gus Sacks is a New-York-based Director of Photography (DP) in the film industry. He has worked on many different kinds of film pieces as a Director of Photography or a Digital Imaging Technician. He specializes as a DP, and has worked on projects such as commercials, music, documentaries, short films, and feature films, some of which he wrote as well. His portfolio website is simple and well-designed aesthetically, but has a few technical issues that take away from its professionalism.
The Index page contains his film reel, which runs for about two minutes. Nothing else appears on this page besides the reel and navigation bar, which is aligned to the left under the title of the website which reads, “Gus Sacks-Director of Photography.” The Index page is well-designed both aesthetically and technically; the author’s name is the most prominent feature on the left side, followed by the job title and navigation bar. The author draws the most attention to the film reel, making it the largest feature and placing it in the center of the page. Although in terms of theoretical design principle it is not correct to place emphasis in the center of a composition, the reel must be the most important part of this page.
Visually, the rest of the pages on the website are designed very well and use a grayscale template. The background is fairly dark with bright white text, providing good contrast. It is easy to read everything on the website. The background is a photograph, but it is toned down so it does not distract from the content. Since the author is a DP, it would reflect badly on his talent if his website was ineffectively designed. The author does himself a service by using photographic elements in his design while also keeping it crisp, clean, and easy to view.
The only exception to the good visual design might be the “Resume” page. In comparison to the rest of the website, this page is not visually interesting. There are two resumes and one photo on this page. The website’s author made a good design choice by making the “Director of Photography” resume the largest and the “AC/Tech” resume smaller, because he is selling himself as a DP first, and not the other way around. The photo on the left provides good balance to the two PDF documents on this page.
The “Photo Gallery” page is the most emphasized element on the website. The “Photo Gallery” button on the navigation bar links to a digital portfolio on another website. The design of this website is not as visually appealing, but the content of the photos is more important than the surrounding design. The author has eleven photo albums for viewers to browse, and a viewer can click on a thumbnail in order to see the full-size photograph. This element of the website would be very important for someone looking to hire a DP, because his showcase of still photos shows his ability to compose images in a visually pleasing manner, a very important part of being a Director of Photography.
This website has a few technical flaws that take away from its functionality. None of the pages present in the navigation bar contain a “Home Button.” If the “Reel” button is selected it takes the viewer to the Index page, but that is somewhat confusing. The “More Video” page has a video box, but there is no video available. Lastly, there is no date of creation or last update on the website, so a viewer is unable to tell how recent the content is. Without these few technical issues, the website would be very well designed in all aspects.
Aside from the few technical flaws, this website is well designed in terms of prominence, repetition, and contrast. It clearly highlights the author’s skills and experience while placing emphasis on the most important portfolio aspects; the film reel, photo gallery, and resumes.
Sacks, Gus. Gus Sacks-Director of Photography. Retrieved February 10, 2010 from http://www.gussacks.com.