DIFF 2015 Camera Symposium & Convo with Cinematographers | 2015 Dallas International Film Festival—April 9-19

DIFF 2015 Camera Symposium & Convo with Cinematographers

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by Holly Wright
DIFF Writer


The Talks of the Trade: a Camera Symposium took place at The Highland this past weekend at the 2-15 Dallas International Film Festival. James Finn, marketing exec from Panavision started it off by explaining pros and cons of some of the various cameras he brought with him. James rents equipment for most of the films in Texas, Louisiana, New Mexico and Atlanta. Knowing that most of the audience was made up of indie film makers, he addressed how to make films on a budget.


The biggest take away James had though was the advice “you can’t make a crap story good by the equipment you use.” He urged new film makers “don’t get too wrapped up in the KS, get caught up in telling your story.” That said there was plenty of technical information given, not only by James, but also by Barak Epstein from Vision Tex. Barak brought some of the cameras they sell and the advantages of the various lenses out there.


Mike Dallatore was on the panel as well. Mike is the New Film Maker Program Manager for Panavision. In the 3 1/2 years that Mike has been managing the program, he has helped new film makers with over 400 projects. They take film maker proposals and choose those that they want to help and give them a free package to help them realize their dreams. They were involved in projects like REQUIEM FOR A DREAM and NAPOLEON DYNAMITE, to name a few. Mike’s advice is to “try and build relationships as you grow in your film making”.

For more information about the New Film Maker Program, visit www.panavision.com.

Immediately following the Camera Symposium, Dallas’ own HutcH moderated the panel today for Trends in Technology, A Conversation a with Cinematographers.

There was a lot of discussion/debate on the pros and cons of shooting in 35mm vs. shooting in digital. Alain Choquart quipped that when you shoot in 35 mm “every day after shooting you go back, you pray to God, you go to church and light a candle”. But seriously, shooting a film has always been creating a work of art. The subtleties of light and color are as important to a cinematographer as they are to a painter.

North Nivens pointed out that when shooting digitally “we miss the beauty of the happy accidents because you see everything with digital”. Norry mentioned that Ron Howard has gone back to shooting his films in 35mm these days. With digital, any mistakes can be fixed later, which HutcH finds really annoying, “I love this craft and technology is being used as a crutch, not a tool”. All differences aside, Norry summed up one thing everyone agreed upon, “what you’re putting in front of the lense is more important than what you are shooting with”.




L.M. Kit Carson (Posthumously)
Lone Star State legend and influential writer, actor and producer Carson first gained recognition as creator of the mockumentary, DAVID HOLZMAN’s DIARY (1968), and co-wrote PARIS, TEXAS (1984).

Blythe Danner
Danner is well regarded for her roles in films such as MEET THE PARENTS and THE GREAT SANTINI. The Emmy-winning and Golden Globe-nominated actress is alos know for her work on television shows such as Will & Grace and Huff.

John Landis
A director for more than 40 years, Landis' films include NATIONAL LAMPOON’S ANIMAL HOUSE (1980), THE BLUES BROTHERS (1978) and AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON (1981).

Learn more about the honorees

Presented by REEL FX

Phil Lord and Chris Miller
are the prolific writing and directing duo behind some of today’s most successful comedy films including, THE LEGO MOVIE, 21 & 22 JUMP STREET and CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS.

Learn more about the honorees


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