September 28, Bitola – Eric Gautier, the cinematographer from France, whose film Ash is Purest White was screened last night at the Manaki Brothers festival in the Golden Camera 300 competition, spoke today at the meet-up with the press about the shooting of the film.
-The Manaki Brothers festival is quite an important festival for cinematographers. The film Ask is Purest White is one of my favorite films, the festival selector Blagoja Kunovski – Dore pointed out.
Eric Gautier is one of the leading cinematographers in France and he spoke of the experience on working on a film in China.
-I was rather familiar with the work of the director Jia Zhang-Ke, his films were viewed quite much. I met him for the first time 15 years ago when a film of his was screened, and when his cinematographer didn’t take on working on this project, I was invited to work. I was aware that I will be living in China, that I will travel long distances and that there was almost no script at that moment, almost all of it was improvisation, which is actually the Asian way of work. They don’t work like us in Europe or in USA, but I felt that way of working as an adventure, Gautier said.
This film is a parabola of the modern Chinese society, it talks about the Chinese underground.
-I have worked abroad multiple times and I always want to film with a local crew because I learn and think in a different way then. The Chinese don’t speak English and I knew I will have difficulties with the communication. Still, the work with a crew is always a matter of trust, and since they knew I asked for, we had a great collaboration. My crew usually is about 3 people, but now I had 6 assistants, and they can make you a platform in just half an hour, they come out of nowhere and work. I was filming with an ARRI ALEXA Mini in 4K, but we also shot afterwards on filmstrip with different lenses and a different camera, and all the scenes at the Yangtze river are shot on a filmstrip, and, at the end, I was filming with an ARRI ALEXA Red because I was trying to give a violent contrast, an aggressive contrast, Gautier explained.