"Acknowledge the black and white, but enhance the grey."



Born and raised in the the harshly lit desert of Phoenix, Arizona, Chris McAlister always had the notion he would end up behind the camera. It didn't take long for him to go from the dark room in high school, to assisting on commercial photo shoots in Phoenix and surrounding Southwest cities throughout his college years.  Months before graduating college, he traveled throughout Central & Southern Mexico with his mentor, Scott Baxter, and captured 10 days of raw footage on subjects ranging from schools for orphans, water system installations in several villages, and fair trade coffee miles from South America.  

Two weeks after graduating with a B.F.A. in Film & Media Studies from Arizona State University in 2010, he made the trek out to Chicago to begin his career making movies. Within 24 hours, he was already on set. The process evolved exponentially from there; a month later, he shot his first short film; a year later he shot his first feature-length film Older Children, which eventually was well received by critics such as Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune and Roger Ebert, months before his passing.

Over the next 6 years, Chris would travel from Chicago to Los Angeles, and back to Chicago in 2014; all while still maintaining a healthy and steady diet of shorts, music videos, and feature length films as a Cinematographer.  Today, Chris still lives in Chicago, and is a member of IATSE Local 476 and works as a Set Lighting Technician on shows such as Chicago PD, Empire, APB, and various feature films, shows, & commercials that come through town. He is also attached to several independent shorts and feature length films, in the midwest area and beyond.


“My main prerogative on any production, big or small, is to serve the story and the director, first and foremost; helping bring his/her vision to life.  This cannot be done without the fundamental elements that consist within a crew, and the systematic process that has followed and been instilled during the last century of filmmaking.  A process that I respect, and look forward to exercising, learning more of, and expounding upon, on each and every production, big or small."

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