I just returned from Camerimage, the best and biggest cinematography festival in the world, held in the charming city of Bydgoszcz in northern Poland.
Camerimage is truly an embarrassment of riches, you can’t see everything. This will be more of a journal entry than a regular post, with my own photos (including a few images from past years), and an account of some of the events I was able to attend.
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Bydgoszcz is pronounced “bidgosh”. The festival takes place in the city center, in and near the cylindrical Opera Nova theater by the Brda river.
The relationship between cinematographers and gaffers is essential to lighting.
During last year’s Camerimage, I had the pleasure to moderate a seminar with American and European cinematographers and gaffers, in collaboration with my friends at K5600 Lighting. To my knowledge this is the first time gaffers are panelists at the festival.
In part 1, the panel discusses who does what, and the difference between the American and European systems.
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The panelists: Vilmos Zsigmond, ASC, gaffer James Plannette, Michel Abramowicz, AFC, gaffer Reuben Garrett, moderator Benjamin B and best boy Matthew Butler
I now turn to a second theme of the IBC show, and of its conferences: “4K” resolution, and more generally “better pixels”.
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Panasonic’s Martin Faehnrich presenting the evolution of TV formats at an IBC conference
As you can see UltraHD in blue is simply four times HD in green
Note that a grey oval is left blank for a possible evolution to 8K in another decade or so…
1. 4K and UHD
2. the 4K wave
3. better pixels
4. Arri 2.8K
5. Sony 4K and UHD
6. theaters challenged
7. compression & Rec 2020
8. 2K VFX
I continue here my exploration of the business of Hollywood.
In PART ONE, we saw that Hollywood studios which used to be aimed at American audiences are presently trying to appeal to a global, increasingly Chinese audience with mega films based on franchises. Here I look at the new business models for American independent films, and the emergence of omni-screen cinema.
1. changing cinema
2. the $60 million minimum
4. marketing: getting it seen
5. distribution: internet, TV, binges
6. omni-screen cinema?
I don’t usually write about the business side of the industry, but I was struck by the recent remarks of director/producers Steven Soderbergh, Steven Spielberg and George Lucas, which led me to reflect about the current Hollywood business model, and how it effects the movies that are made.
Is Hollywood in crisis? And what does the future hold?
In my mind Hollywood 1.0 is the Golden Age of the studios, Hollywood 2.0 begins with the Blockbusters.
So what is Hollywood 3.0?
1. mega films
2. two-thirds from international
3. Asian growth
4. China syndrome
6. a new paradigm
7. global cinema?
Part 3 of my interview with cinematographer Christopher Doyle at the Camerimage Festival. Here he talks about the artistic process on the set, and the collaboration between his friends Harris Savides & Gus van Sant.
there & ready
Christopher Doyle starts here with the frustration of an error due to a moment’s inattention, and stresses the importance of “being there” on set.
Chris also speaks about “being ready” for collaboration, giving the example of the magnificent collaboration between the late Harris Savides and Gus van Sant, on the director’s so-called “death trilogy”: Gerry, Elephant and Last Days.
The interview was shot during the 2012 Camerimage Festival which featured several tributes to Harris Savides, the speakers included friends and collaborators Gus van Sant, Anthony Dod Mantle, Chris Doyle, Ed Lachman and Jason McCormick.
From time to time, I will publish video interviews, addressing the art and/or technology of filmmaking. Below is a first excerpt from my interview with cinematographer Christopher Doyle at the 2012 Camerimage Festival in Poland, on the subject of the artistic process.
Hong Kong filmmaker
Christopher Doyle was born in Australia, but after years of roaming, he finally settled in Hong Kong, and his work as a cinematographer there helped to define the beautiful formalism of contemporary Asian cinema. He is best known for his collaboration with Wong Kar-Wai, for whom he shot 7 films including Chungking Express, Happy Together, 2046 and the sublime In the Mood for Love, a reference for many students of cinema.
Chris’ work on Hero for Yimou Zhang is also stunning. The other directors Chris has worked with include Zhang Yuan, Gus Van Sant, Phillip Noyce, James Ivory, M. Night Shyamalan and Neil Jordan.
Christopher Doyle, HKSC – photo Benjamin B
When I first met Chris in Bangkok ten years ago, he told me that he wanted to become the Keith Richards of cinematography, and he sure has succeeded in acquiring a reputation for drinking and partying. He has also shown a penchant for making provocative, sometimes hasty, statements to the press… Continue reading ‘Christopher Doyle Interview : The Artistic Process’
A look back at an important theme of the 2013 Cannes Film Festival.
The Cannes Film Festival is arguably the most important international festival. It offers a wide-angle snapshot of world cinema, as seen by organizers Thierry Frémaux, Gilles Jacob and their team. They consistently propose a heady mix of avant-garde fare, small films and mainstream glamor. The Cannes jury of filmmakers give out half a dozen prizes, culminating in the the Palme d’Or (the golden palm), which was recently awarded to The Tree of Life by Terrence Malick and Amour by Michael Haneke. This year the Palme d’Or was given by a jury headed by Steven Spielberg to Blue is the Warmest Color by Abdellatif Kechiche .
Cinema of course reflects society, and sometimes Cannes also expresses the zeitgeist, the trends in our culture. This year’s crop included several key films with gay characters including Blue is the Warmest Color & Behind the Candelabra in the Official Selection, and Stranger at the Lake in the sidebar selection (Un Certain Regard). Continue reading ‘Cannes 2013: The Gay Palme d’Or’