This weekend the 20th Annual French Film Festival was held right here in Richmond!
The Symposium was a hit! VCUarts Cinema’s own Dr. Rob Tregenza spoke on lighting and film technology. Leading film industry figures were present to share their experiences, including la FEMIS director Pierre-William Glenn (cinematographer for François Truffaut) and camera inventor and engineer Jean-Pierre Beauviala (creator of Jean-Luc Godard’s cameras), just to name just a few. The topics discussed moved from the artistry of cinematic language to the technology used to bring films to an audience. It was such an honor for VCUarts Cinema to take part in such an educational experience, especially in the presence of so many talented and boundary-breaking figures.
Also, VCUarts Cinema’s film “LAILA” screened at the festival. Director Duy Nguyen and writer Yossera La Bouch were in attendance to share a few words about the film.
We can’t wait until next years festival!
Rosenbaum, whose work has appeared in some of the worlds most distinguished film publications including “Cahiers du cinema,” is one of the worlds leading experts on Jacques Rivette.
We screened clips from Rivette’s film, “Haut bas fragile” and then were able to have a discussion with Rosenbaum. We were so honored to have him come speak on Rivette and answer students questions.
(left to right) Autumn Dea, Ana Lucia Figueroa, Evan McLeod, Steven Spielberg, Eliot Hagen, Marlee Kamis
The city of Richmond hosted production for Stephen Spielberg’s upcoming historic biopic, Lincoln, during the fall semester of 2011. 9 alumni and 13 current VCU cinema students became involved as production assistants and paid crew members during the pre-production and principal photography stages of the Richmond leg of filming. Students had the opportunity to work in close proximity with the cast and crew of a full scale Hollywood motion picture, most of them for the first time, and gained a lot from the experience. We caught up with some of them, now that production has wrapped, and asked them to describe what it was like.
WHAT WAS YOUR ROLE ON LINCOLN?
AUTUMN DEA: Assistant Directors’ department intern.
ANDY KENNEDY-DERKAY: Assistant Directors’ department intern, featured extra.
JAMIE HARDESTY: Assistant Directors’ department intern, extra.
MARLEE KAMIS: Assistant Directors’ department intern.
CHANDLER HONEYCUTT: I was an assistant in the wardrobe department.
HOW DID THE VCU CINEMA PROGRAM PREPARE YOU FOR THIS JOB?
AD: The way our program is set up, especially the way we do stuff over the summer, is basically the same but on a smaller scale.
JH: Chain of command, learning the lingo, VCU Cinema will actually prepare you for a Hollywood production.
MK: Professionalism is a big thing. Cinema taught me how to act and present myself on a film set, and moreover who the important people are, who to talk to, who to not talk to, etc. Having good ‘set-iquette’ will set you apart from other industry newcomers.
CH: Having been on countless VCU Cinema productions I was pretty well practiced in working at the often demanding pace that’s natural to a film set. Things can get stressful quickly so being able to adapt to that is essential.
WHAT DID YOU TAKE AWAY FROM THE EXPERIENCE?
AD: Nothing beats the experience itself. You can learn, and study, and read about it but you don’t really know it until you’re on set doing it. It makes me more confident in what else I’m doing and I can refer back to my time on set.
AKD: If you’re able to do a good or adequate job in front of all of your heroes without getting distracted, then you’re able to do your job. Treat it like a job and in your quiet moments you’ll be fine. Also, learning that everyone is super brilliant, but they’re all just people.
MK: This experience reaffirmed for me that I’ve chosen the right career path. I can’t wait until I graduate and start working full time as a PA, then eventually as an AD. I’ve been pretty sure of this dream for a while, but working on this film made it seem so real. Everything I saw the AD’s do was exactly what I want to be doing in a few years.
CH: The simple answer- contacts. Aside from having my first major motion picture credit on my resume, I now have a few connections and pretty likely a job on another film to be shot later in the year.
WHAT DID YOU LEARN ABOUT THE FILM INDUSTRY WHILE ON SET?
AD: You’re kind of aware of how tough of an industry it is when you’re learning about it, but until you’re there and watching people, you can’t totally understand how tough it actually is.
JH: I learned that time management is crucial.
MK: It is completely unique from any other industry. One of my bosses likened it to a traveling Carnival. It’s dirty and hectic. There are all kinds of crazy people working together— the ‘carnies’. They move from town to town, set up tents, and put on a show. No two days are the same. It’s thrilling.
WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE PART OF WORKING ON LINCOLN?
AD: Just being on set in general. Any time you’re on set you feel like you’re learning something.
MK: We got to meet so many amazing people. The most incredible thing was meeting people I’d never heard of before—whose names I know I’ll want to remember. So many amazing unsung heroes go into make films this big, and it was a privilege to get to know all the crew members.
Spielberg’s Lincoln, starring Daniel Day-Lewis, James Spader, Sally Field and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, will be released in theaters at the end of 2012.
The 20th French Film Festival will be held March 29th-April 1st! Co-academic sponsors, VCU and UR will kick off the celebration with 3-day symposium on French Film: Art, Science & Technology at Work for Humanity. Go to http://frenchfilmfestival.us/ for more info!
The VCU French Film Festival provides our students with access to the top filmmakers in France with master workshops and seminars.