Paolo Cascio, Harper Alum, Cinematographer, and Photographer

Some of Paolo Cascio’s earliest formative experiences came as a photographer working on Harper College’s student newspaper, The Harbinger.

It was during those assignments – be it on the sidelines of a football game or at a Buddy Rich or Muddy Waters concert – that Cascio solidified his path toward a career in the entertainment industry.

More than 30 years later, Cascio has accrued more than 120 credits on feature films, television shows and commercials as a cinematographer.

“My time at Harper, especially with the newspaper staff, definitely had a big impact on me,” said Cascio, who went on to attend film school at Columbia College in Chicago.

In 2009, the International Cinematographers Guild honored Cascio with its Emerging Cinematographers Award for the short film Almost Perfect. He was internationally recognized for the film at Camerimage in Lodz, Poland. Cascio also received nominations at the 168 Film Festival for Best Cinematography in 2008 for Unbound and in 2007 for A Good Day.

The Schaumburg native openly shares his expertise with others, leading workshops for up-and-coming filmmakers, visiting high schools and colleges and serving as a juror at film festivals. He has a reputation for always being willing to help a cause or organization, trying to make a difference.

He regularly donates his technical and photography skills to Willow Creek Community Church and is currently working with Gigi’s Playhouse, a nationwide organization that offers therapeutic and educational support to individuals with Down syndrome and their families. He recently completed a powerful public service video for WINGS.

His biggest project to date is about to unfold in Honolulu, where he’ll work on a documentary and coffee table book about the remaining five survivors of the USS Arizona, the battleship destroyed in the bombing of Pearl Harbor. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the families and foundation.

According to Academy Awards strategist Bruce Carse, Cascio is “a wonderful example of a student who has gone on to achieve great things with authenticity, compassion and curiosity.”

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