Sony Pixel Power calrec Sony

Desire for Cinema

07/09/2022

The coming-of-age drama L' t ternit (released in the U.S. as Our Eternal Summer) marked the continuation of the collaboration between writer-director milie Aussel and cinematographer Mathieu Bertholet. Here, Bertholet offers his insights into the production for which he worked with Panavision Marseille to source his camera and optics package and recounts the career path that led to his current work as a director of photography.

Panavision: How did you become involved in the project?

Mathieu Bertholet: I met milie Aussel, the director, in 2013, for her short film project Petite blonde, which became our first collaboration. We worked together again for Ta bouche mon paradis, a short film made in collaboration with the ERAC [Cannes Regional School of Actors]. It was at this time that milie began to tell me about her feature film project, then titled To Die Young. We discussed the project regularly, I read the different versions of the script, and little by little, over the course of our discussions, the general idea of what the film could be, its atmospheres, its sets [came into focus]. In 2019, producer Thomas Ordonneau and Shellac Films decided to launch the preparation of the film, and I agreed to follow milie in this new adventure.

How would you describe the look of the project?

Bertholet: For this film, I wanted to move away from an image that is too naturalistic a look that is often applied to so-called realistic' cinema dealing with youth, adolescence and its emotions. For me, it was about giving the film a visual identity made up of colors and contrasts. Dealing with reality, of course, but magnifying it in one way or another. Not being afraid of summer light, which is sometimes harsh. To dare.

Paradoxically, we had very few technical means to achieve this. It was therefore necessary to choose settings, day and night, on which I could intervene. We worked in negative, cutting existing lights to build the desired image, and adding little touches a color, a contrast that would take us into fiction.

The night scene in the skate park between the characters Malo [Matthieu Lucci] and Elias [Louis Pluton] is quite representative of this approach. The lighting mixed several types of light sources sodium, neon tubes, etc. and the colors blended together. By cutting off certain sources, we built a nighttime atmosphere that I really like. Ditto when the character Eve [Rose Timbert] goes to the beach at night to look for her friend Lise [Agathe Talrich]. The sodium lit up the cornice and immersed the beach in this yellow-orange glow. In the distance, a few neon lights gave a colder touch in shades of blue-green.

Outdoors during the day, and especially for the long beach sequence at the beginning of the film, which opens with the sun at its zenith and continues until nightfall, our principle was to respect very precise shooting schedules. Thus, each part of the sequence swimming, discussions on the beach, aperitif, bathing at the end of the day, etc. has its own identity. Then, the digital color correction allowed me to accentuate these small differences to further mark the passage of time.

There was also, for us, this very present idea of filming faces as if they were landscapes. We would take the time to look at them and try to make faces and landscapes respond to each other as if the two were linked and together participated in the expression of the characters feelings. The decor of the Palais Longchamp in Marseille, with its large columns, goes in this direction, giving the first group of friends that surrounds Lise a sacred dimension.

Were there any particular visual references you looked at for inspiration?

Bertholet: I had no precise visual references. Lets say rather that milie gave me directions in which to look things she liked, things she asked me to look at. It was then up to me to appropriate them, to digest' them, and to think about how to make them meaningful for our project and our desires. Jumbled up, I would quote the cinema of Gus Van Sant, that of Philippe Garrel, certain romantic paintings such as those of Caspar David Friedrich, the photographic work of Nan Goldin. And then, a film that personally nourished me for this project: American Honey by Andrea Arnold, photographed by Robbie Ryan [BSC, ISC]. In my opinion, it is the perfect example of an image that serves the film, its words, its staging, and participates fully in its identity.

What brought you to Panavision for this project?

Bertholet: I have lived in Marseille for almost 20 years. I was a 1st camera assistant when I moved here, and very quickly I was brought to meet the Panavision Marseille team. I have prepared a very large number of films with them, and over the years a relationship of trust has developed between us. When I started working on this project, it seemed natural to me to turn to them and use their services.

What inspired you to become a cinematographer and what keeps you inspired today?

Bertholet: I have an extremely classic background: assistant for 20 years, then operator and cinematographer. I strongly believe in this journey and its benefits. The years spent glued to the camera, close to the operator and the actors, are an extraordinary way to learn ones trade, to learn to think in terms of images, focal lengths, colors, contrast, density. In short, to learn cinematographic vocabulary and grammar. And then there comes a day when you feel like you can use this vocabulary to create images and highlight a scenario.

What inspires me today is first of all an encounter. A filmmaker who will convince me that their view of a story deserves to be told. From that moment on, I find immense pleasure in blending into an imaginary world and trying, with my tools and my own sensitivity, to respond to a desire for cinema. And then, finally, there is the
LINK: https://www.panavision.com/highlights/highlights-detail/desire-for-cin...
See more stories from panavision

More from Panavision France

15/11/2022

A Collaboration With Panavision: Anastas Michos, ASC, GSC

Anastas Michos, ASC, GSC's credits as a cinematographer include the features Man on the Moon, Keeping the Faith, Mona Lisa Smile, Freedomland, Perfect Stran...

11/11/2022

The Making of The School for Good and Evil

Based on the book by Soman Chainani, the Netflix feature The School for Good and Evil depicts an epic battle as seen through the eyes of best friends Agatha (So...

09/11/2022

The Making of Sonata

Written and directed by Bartosz Blaschke, the Polish feature Sonata is inspired by the true story of a deaf boy misdiagnosed with autism who discovers a passion...

09/11/2022

Incredible Journey

Writer-director Olivier Dahan's feature Simone, le voyage du si cle (known in English as Simone: Woman of the Century) traces the life story of Simone Veil,...

06/11/2022

A Relationship to Remember

Introduced in 2021, the FilmLight Colour Awards celebrate the art of color grading as practiced around the globe. This year's nominees in the Theatrical Fea...

24/10/2022

A Love Like This

A comedy particular to modern times, the feature I Love My Dad is equal parts true-life catfish story and popcorn comedy. The movie was written and directed by...

24/10/2022

Un Mystery Crew Diferente

Created by Saturday Night Live alums Fred Armisen and Julio Torres along with fellow comedian Ana Fabrega, the Spanish-language comedy series Los Espookys foll...

11/10/2022

Call and Response

Known for photographing cult-classic television such as Felicity and Monk, Marshall Adams, ASC knows how to identify and respond to a story that subverts ex...

03/10/2022

Guiding Principles

Based on James Lee Burke's short story Winter Light, the feature God's Country stars Thandiwe Newton as Sandra, a college professor whose encounter with...

23/09/2022

A Look Beyond Horror

When cinematographer Zach Kuperstein got the job to shoot writer-director Zach Cregger's horror feature Barbarian, one of the first things he did was reach ...

21/09/2022

In Lieu of Lumon

From the eerie calm of Lynne Cohen photographs to the is it safe aesthetic of Marathon Man, cinematographer Jessica Lee Gagn has underscored her own creative...

19/09/2022

A New Arena

Only a veteran cinematographer such as Donald A. Morgan, ASC could take chisel and hammer and recontour the shape of sitcoms. The eye behind the camera of class...

19/09/2022

Controlled Chaos in the Kitchen

Cinematographer Andrew Wehde spent more than a decade shooting commercials for Michelin-star restaurants before he ventured into the frenetic kitchen of The Ori...

07/09/2022

90-Second Portrait

For the KCB Bank Kenya commercial Go Ahead, director Blake Farber and cinematographer Nicholas Bluff collaborated to craft a portrait of the vibrant people, p...

07/09/2022

Desire for Cinema

The coming-of-age drama L' t ternit (released in the U.S. as Our Eternal Summer) marked the continuation of the collaboration between writer-director mi...

07/09/2022

Mystery Down Under

The Australian series Mystery Road: Origin adds to the popular mythology established in the franchise's preceding features and television seasons. The detec...

06/09/2022

Authenticity and Optimism

After a grim and gritty fourth season, the Showtime series The Chi returned to its more optimistic roots for Season 5, changing not only the tone of its stories...

30/08/2022

Multi-Cam Matchmaking

Continuing the legacy of the fan-favorite CBS series How I Met Your Mother, the Hulu original How I Met Your Father lends a new perspective for a new generation...

29/08/2022

The Wheres and Whys and Whos

Known for his work on movies such as 300, Watchmen, Super 8 and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Larry Fong, ASC has brought his magical talents to bear for ...

26/08/2022

Life, Love and Laughter

The second season of the Chuck Lorre CBS sitcom B Positive finds the kismet-connected duo Gina (Annaleigh Ashford) and Drew (Thomas Middleditch) diving deeper ...

18/08/2022

Villainy Never Looked So Good

Following the events of Avengers: Endgame, Season 1 of the Marvel Studios series Loki finds the titular God of Mischief (played by Tom Hiddleston) in the custod...

15/08/2022

Funny Business

In Season 1 of the HBO Max original series Hacks, legendary but no longer irreplaceable Las Vegas comedian Deborah Vance (Jean Smart) and canceled television ...

12/08/2022

In Conversation: Winning Time

The HBO original series Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty re-creates the Los Angeles Lakers' historic climb to prominence over the rest of the NB...

03/08/2022

The Old, the New and the Gritty

The FX original series The Old Man stars Jeff Bridges as the eponymous lead, former CIA operative Dan Chase, whose off-the-grid existence is rudely interrupted ...

20/07/2022

The Natural World

Based on the best-selling mystery novel of the same name, the feature Where the Crawdads Sing tells the story of Kya (Daisy Edgar-Jones), a young woman who grew...

13/07/2022

Deal With a Devil

Inspired by real events, the Apple TV+ limited series Black Bird tells the story of Jimmy Keene (Taron Egerton), who, in exchange for early release from his 10-...

29/06/2022

Tribute to the King

It was June 2019 when director Baz Luhrmann first approached cinematographer Mandy Walker, ACS, ASC about collaborating on the new biopic Elvis. I was extremel...

28/06/2022

Light Iron solidifies management team with 2 key hires

LOS ANGELES (June 28, 2022) Light Iron, an industry leader in providing innovative post-production creative services and part of Panavision's end-to-end o...

21/06/2022

Different Worlds

After years of shooting television dramas like Snowfall and Empire, cinematographer Tommy Maddox-Upshaw, ASC longed for a project that explored the mysterious a...

09/06/2022

Championship Caliber

The give-and-go between cinematographers Todd Banhazl and Mihai Malaimare Jr. on the HBO series Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty has been as impress...

08/06/2022

Outpost RC enables remote near-set dailies for a trio of productions

Since its founding in 2009, Light Iron has been reimagining post-production workflows. Over the past two years, as the pandemic has driven productions to embrac...

08/06/2022

A Collaboration With Panavision: Markus Frderer, ASC, BVK

Always try to do something that you find visually interesting, and use it as an opportunity to do something new, encourages Markus F rderer, ASC, BVK. In this v...

08/06/2022

A Conversation With Producer Daniel Lupi

Producer Daniel Lupi's credits include the features Catch Me If You Can, Lincoln, Ready Player One and West Side Story with director Steven Spielberg; Hard ...

31/05/2022

The Making of Red Notice

Directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber, the Netflix feature Red Notice stars Gal Gadot, Dwayne Johnson and Ryan Reynolds in a globe-trotting caper that blends come...

31/05/2022

Extended Family

On Sept. 20, 2016, This Is Us premiered on NBC, introducing viewers to the cross-generational story of the Pearson family. Over the course of six seasons and a ...

24/05/2022

Colorful Combination of Characters

The latest installment into the family friendly Cheaper by the Dozen franchise depicts how a blended multiracial family can grow together despite the challenges...

19/05/2022

The Making of 12 Mighty Orphans

For director Ty Roberts Depression-era feature 12 Mighty Orphans, cinematographer David McFarland worked with Panavision to assemble an eclectic mix of vintage ...

19/05/2022

The Making of The Last Duel & House of Gucci

Cinematographer Dariusz Wolski, ASC and director Ridley Scott first partnered on the 2012 feature Prometheus. Since then, they've reteamed for such projects...

18/05/2022

The Legacy Continues

As one of Amazon Prime's earliest hits, Bosch left a legion of watchers wanting more after its Season 7 finale. Bosch fans can rest assured knowing that the...

17/05/2022

Lighting Spotlight: Cinematographer Kit Fraser

I am certain I wouldn't be where I am today if it wasn't for Panalux's help and support. Director of Photography Kit Fraser has been a loyal Panalu...

17/05/2022

Lighting Spotlight: Gaffer Andrew Taylor

It's like they are always on standby! Panalux's response is second to none. Gaffer Andrew Tala Taylor has built a solid working relationship with the...

17/05/2022

The Artistry of Anamorphic

Dan Sasaki, Panavision's senior vice president of optical engineering, touches on recent advancements in digital imagers as well as the continued popularity...

17/05/2022

The Five Pillars of Anamorphic - Magnification and Perspective

As Panavision senior vice president of optical engineering Dan Sasaki explains, magnification and perspective collectively make for a very strong defining poin...

17/05/2022

The Five Pillars of Anamorphic - Disproportionate Breathing

Panavision senior vice president of optical engineering Dan Sasaki explores the distinct way that anamorphic lenses breathe as their focus is adjusted, a qualit...

17/05/2022

The Five Pillars of Anamorphic - Flare

Dan Sasaki, Panavision's senior vice president of optical engineering, shines a light on the unique flare characteristics of various series of Panavision an...

17/05/2022

The Five Pillars of Anamorphic - Bokeh

The combination of an anamorphic lens' powered and non-powered axes lends an elliptical shape to out-of-focus elements within the image, explains Panavision...

17/05/2022

The Five Pillars of Anamorphic - Organic Focus Roll-Off

Panavision senior vice president of optical engineering Dan Sasaki discusses how the inherent softness in anamorphic optics takes the edge off of sharp digital ...

17/05/2022

The Aesthetics of Anamorphic in Film and Digital

With examples from the features Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Suicide Squad, Chef, The Equalizer, and Spectre as well as the...

17/05/2022

The Five Pillars of Anamorphic

Hosted by Dan Sasaki, Panavision's senior vice president of optical engineering, the Five Pillars of Anamorphic video series provides an in-depth analysis o...

17/05/2022

Lighting Spotlight: Gaffer Scott Napier

Scottish gaffer Scott Napier has had the good fortune of working on Starz/Sony TV Drama Outlander right from the very beginning through season two, which wrappe...