Manaki Brothers - International Cinematographers’ Film Festival

Master Class with the film director Milcho Manchevski

The most famous Macedonian film director Milcho Manchevski, recipient of the Special “Golden Camera 300” award for Outstanding Contribution to World Cinema Art at the 38th ICFF “Manaki Brothers”, held a Master Class in front of the present guests, students and the audience in Bitola. Moderator of the Master Class was the journalist, film critic and a very well acquainted with his work, Marina Kostova.

The thematic focus of the Master Class was put on the work of Milcho Manchevski with the full film crew, from the moment of appearance of the idea and the concept of a certain film work, through the pre-production period, the defining of the script, the choice of the film crew, the shooting of the film and up to the post-production and the screening of the film.

Talking about his personal experiences, Manchevski pointed out that the word is always at the start, and if a picture appears as well, then the first idea put in concept on a few pages is spread into a film story from which the characters and the film scenes which build the story are born through the imagination of the picture. Having the story, the production process is opened up and a producer, a script writer, a DOP are included, all with the purpose to get to the financial construction of the whole project.

In terms of the work with the script, Manchevski explained that the emotional moment should be acknowledged already in the first few readings and the real story in the film should be defined. While reading the script, the ideas of casting and visualization of the text appear, and with the inclusion of the DOP you get a more precise picture of the way the story will be visualized. Manchevski pointed out that there is no formula by which he creates his own films and that he is always thoroughly included in the creation of the script and the picture in the film, which pushes him to research continually. He does the development of the skills for creation of the pictures by shooting short film forms, as for example, music videos.

Having worked with multiple DOPs in his works so far, Manchevski explained that the work with them always brought new experiences and that he learned something new in terms of lighting the set with every film, as well as resolving various situations that happen on the film set. In terms of shooting the film, he says that it is an execution of a previously crafted plan, i.e. that there is a creation previously and a (re)creation whilst shooting the film.

In terms of the editing, he explained that it is happening as though plying an emotional game of chess with the shot takes and scenes. In doing so, if you change a scene from one spot in the film to another, you get a whole different flow of the dramatic act.

-You sometimes throw away some scenes, and sometimes you throw away some very beautiful and very expensive scenes as well, all to give life to the film – emphasized Manchevski.

In terms of working with the actors, Manchevski explained that there are multiple levels of defining of the character. First comes the reading of the script, then it is the adoption of a personal history of the character, and the character defines itself whilst shooting. The most important voices in that process are the ones of the script wirter and of the actor.

-I want the actor/character to be truly human, and not some character who doesn’t glare with emotion, because I make films about individuals and their personal drama, and not films about the society – sais Manchevski precisely.

The trailer of Manchevski’s new film “Bikini Moon” was also shown at the Master Class, and whose premiere should happen soon at one of the world film festivals.