Manaki Brothers - International Cinematographers’ Film Festival

Master Class with Christian Berger

In the regular time for hosting the Master Classes at the 38th “Manaki Brothers”, every day at 12 o’clock in the small hall of the Center for Culture, the festival guests, the audience and the students had a chance to attend the talk with the Austrian cinematographer Christian Berger, known as a close and permanent associate of the top director Michael Haneke. The Master Class was held in collaboration with First Films First.

Talking about his work with Haneke, with an emphasis on the film “The White Ribbon”, winner of an Oscar for a foreign language film, Berger said that it’s a great privilege to work with such a great director and that in working with him, a lot of concentration and large energy is needed.

Berger pointed out that the relationship of the actors towards the camera should be as in a love relationship, that he wants a clean scene so that there aren’t many obstacles for the actors to fulfill the requirements of the director and that his first lighting principle is based on the documentary approach, i.e. to be on the right spot at the right time.

-The actors and cinematographers always need to be partners while shooting the film scenes, and I think that women feel more free in front of the camera then men – Berger had concluded.

As a high expert in setting the lighting of the film set, he presented multiple lighting systems which he had used in various films he worked on so far.

-It’s not such a big problem to light the film set, though I always tend to use the natural light to the maximum – reveals Berger.

Among the lighting systems Berger explained the properties and manner of the use of a parabolic mirror, of aluminum plates with a diffusing surface for reflection of the light and lighting the set with a laser beam light.