Happy Birthday Geoff!
Geoff Schaaf was an incredible cinematographer, colleague and friend. His storytelling skills showed up in every frame. When we shot the first scenes for THE LAST WITCH, we didn’t know yet what an incredible adventure we were about to embark on. Geoff’s sensitive work shaped the initial scenes as we captured the innocence of North Andover Middle School’s 8th grade students who were not yet aware of the impact that their work would have or even the significance of what they were doing.
For many of the students that were in the classroom that day, going to the cemetery where Elizabeth Johnson Jr was not buried because of her status as a convicted “witch” was the transformative moment when they realized that Elizabeth was a person, just like them, who needed justice. Geoff’s ability to capture shadows and light shows us those moments of change that take place within the confines of a civics class.
As a collaborator off camera, Geoff was one of the best. Sharing ideas, brainstorming shots, and discussing how to tell a story within the frame as that story evolved was a joy. Often those conversations would be punctuated by stories from sets past (including the TV-series “Charmed” which he lensed) and inquiries into what witches have meant to us all over time, why they are part of our human zeitgeist, and deeper questions of what we are all capable of in our own psychological and psychic beings. His laughter was unforgettable, his kindness and generosity something to be aspired to.
I wish we could share another glass of wine or cup of coffee.
Miss you, Geoff! I know you are watching us film and nudging us in the edit.