Camerimage 2021 Diary – by the team at public relations and publicity firm EB Comms
- Robert & Robert make sure things are running just right
- ARRI’s Big Screen Experience
- Lamb, shot by DP Eli Arenson, proves a breathtaking treat
- Some people stay out late!
- Mothering Sunday, shot by DP Jamie Ramsay, proves sensual and steamy
- Robbie Ryan BSC ISC’s work on C’mon C’mon is a sensation
- Some other people stay out even later!!
Tuesday, November 16th:
The early morning went by in a blur, with no time to enjoy a breakfast of champions – owsianka (porridge) and prunes. We were fuelled on pure adrenaline and a decent night’s sleep.
It is always wonderful and reassuring to see Robert and Robert on security duties at the world greatest cinematography event, and they are here once again. Surely someone can give these photogenic chaps parts in their next movie? Or else!
In a special virtual appearance, DP Mihai Mălaimare Jr. joined Jakob Ballinger, of The Light Bridge, for a “Light!Talk” where they discussed Mihai’s work on The Harder They Fall, screening at the festival. For those who haven’t seen the eye-popping picture, Mihai supported director Jeymes Samuel in numerous ways by moving the camera along with the action or framing the characters in fresh and interesting ways.
In the seminar room, Alice Brooks ASC, Robert Yeoman ASC, Leo Hinstin AFC and gaffer Jonny Franklin joined in the Rosco panel to discuss how LED lighting, switched-on gaffers and desk ops, can create a more efficient workflow. Then we went to ARRI’s Big Screen Experience, featuring the paradigm-shifting technology of LED screens and high-quality rendered background images, that could very well replace greenscreening. Greig Fraser ACS ASC used a similar ground-breaking technology for The Mandalorian.
Cinematographer Nikolaus Summerer, accompanied on-stage by cinematographer Rob Payton, who recently completed over 100 days shooting with this technology on his new show, called 1899, and gave an in-depth review about how it can help with productions. Arguably the most game-changing factor is the collaboration between post and pre-production. Rather than the tradition of cinematographers having to rely, often blindly, on VFX to fill in the gaps months after shooting, now they can see exactly what’s in the background of their shot and can adjust accordingly. DPs and actors now have an immersive experience on-set when shooting with digital backgrounds, instead of having to rely on imagination when shooting in front of a greenscreen. Although this innovative tech has its problems when it comes to lighting with skin tones and shadows, it is surely be here to stay and will allow new and different narratives to be unshackled.
One hot ticket screening for the evening was the musical Cyrano, shot by cinematographer Seamus McGarvey BSC ASC for director Joe Wright. Alongside Peter Dinklage as Cyrano de Bergerac, the film features Haley Bennett, as Roxanne. She won Camerimage’s inaugural New Generation Acting Award at this year’s festival.
“There is just something deliciously raw and grounded about Cyrano”
After the screening, of this new and fresh take on the musical genre, director Colin Tilley, this year’s Camerimage winner for achievement in music videos, noted that “there is just something deliciously raw and grounded about it, yet it still has this very dreamlike quality throughout the entire piece.” Hats off to Seamus!
Shown in the “Embrace The Unknown” section, the Icelandic/Polish co-production Lamb, shot by DP Eli Arenson, truly is a masterclass in controlling what is revealed to the audience and what remains unknown just outside the frame, as it blends together surreal twists of mundane life, breathtaking Icelandic vistas and the endless Polar Day into a visual and intellectual treat.
At the local Coffee & Whisky House for the Leitz party, 2020 Camerimage Lifetime Award recipient, Phillipe Rousselot AFC ASC, was in attendance and discussed the original energy of Camerimage in Toruń since the event stated in the city some 27 years ago. Other attendees included Lawrence Sher ASC who spent some time chatting with students from the Netherlands, as well as Amy Vincent ASC and Seamus McGarvey BSC ASC.
Leitz has a lot to celebrate this Camerimage with their lenses being used in several features and TV shows including Parallel Mothers (DP José Luis Alcaine AEC), Les Olympiades (DP Paul Guilhaume AFC), Lisey’s Story: Bool Hunt (DP Darius Khodji AFC AC) and Cyrano (DP Seamus McGarvey BSC ASC). Red also hosted a lively Pub Party at Tutu Jazz & Whiskey Club.
The evening line-up also included the well-attended “Get Noticed Panel” featuring EBComs very own Meredith Emmanuel. The panel advised up-and-coming filmmakers about how to take their first, or next, steps in selecting an agent or publicist, and the white hot topic of safety on-set and the industry’s need to address safety and working conditions for filmmakers.
The ARRI party was so good a night, that a certain “tender” German DP (who is rarely known to party) actually didn’t leave until 2:30am! The inclusion of a delicious bottle of vodka on each table with accompanying shot-glasses, helped to lubricate many deep and meaningful conversations into the wee small hours!
Wednesday, November 17th:
As midweek hits, there’s a flow and rhythm at the festival. Over at the Museum Of Contemporary Art, director Colin Tilley joined Jakob Ballinger of The Light Bridge for a “Light!Talk” about his music videos “Stay” (The Kid LAROI, Justin Bieber), “Without Me” (Halsey) and his HBO Max album/film experience “If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power” written by Halsey. Tilley talked about his creative process and influences, his origin story and what inspired him to pursue directing, as well as how he chooses to lead his tight-knit team and crew with positivity.
Later in the morning, DP Jamie Ramsay spoke after his screening of Mothering Sunday about how he utilises mood boards as an extensive source of inspiration for his works. The lighting of the film is sensual and steamy as one viewer describes, and we can say it is absolutely exquisite in its artistry.
As the afternoon rolled around it was time for Mike Mills’ C’mon C’mon, shot by the much-loved Robbie Ryan BSC ISC. With intrigue in the air, and the jury in their seats, the opening credits began to roll. Robbie’s cinematography is sensational, covering a wide array of cities such as Los Angeles, New York and New Orleans in such a beautiful and unique way. The entirety of the film is in B&W and this choice perfectly emphasises the thematic narrative of the film. C’mon C’mon focusses on some heavy themes and yet has some fun comedic moments that lead to many laughs from the audience. Overall it was incredible and received a warm response from the audience.
The last screening of the day was a comforting experience with cinematographer Martin Ruhe’s work on The Tender Bar, directed by George Clooney. Martin brought a familiar feel to the screen as the coming-of-age drama was captured with nostalgic hues of the ‘70s and ‘80s. In the discussion afterwards, he touched on his collaborative work with George Clooney and Grant Heslov (producer), and how this Massachusetts-based film was fairly straightforward and simple to shoot.
Martin noted that the overall goal was to create a safe on-set environment that was actor-focussed, and how working with an actor-turned-director such as Clooney, what you get is a deep knowledge of character and story. Hitting the midnight mark, the conversation wrapped. Some people went to bed, others stayed out late.
Emmanuel Bates Communications (www.EBComs.com) is a public relations and publicity firm that specialises in representing the world’s best behind-the-camera artists. With offices in Los Angeles, London and the bush, just outside Sydney, Australia, it delivers services to its valued clients worldwide.
Header Photo: Robert and Robert on security duties