Jérôme de Gerlache Director / Cinematographer and his AMIRA


I’m Jérôme de Gerlache, a director
and sometimes director of photography. At first, I directed
and filmed myself a lot. I gradually moved away from that. I worked with lots of different DPs such as Thierry Arbogast,
Christophe Beaucarne, Mathias Boucard, Jacques Ballard. It’s a great pleasure to work
with DPs whose work I admire. When you’re filming the real world, being able to capture
what you’re trying to film and being able to film yourself
is a real strength. In fiction and advertising, being able to delegate that pressure and sharing the creative process
is a boon. I’ve been lucky to meet over the course of my career
people who have greatly inspired me. It all started
with a young glass blower, Jeremy Wintrebert. He’s had an extraordinary life. So I filmed him in 2010
which became a feature in 2016,
“Heart of Glass”. It was shown
in theaters and festivals worldwide
and was shown on a dozen channels. Today, advertisers and brands
have developed a new format, branded content. It’s a new concept which focuses on people
who are the ones who make the objects
or embody the brands and act as the vectors of their advertising image. So, that requires portraits to be made or mini-documentaries on brands. Having made
all these documentary shorts and this feature-length documentary
made me an obvious choice, because I could render in an epic, spectacular way ordinary people. It was an interesting choice to get me to direct them, because
through a documentary approach, we create a rendering between fiction and documentary. It was important for me
that the footage be very naturalistic yet very aesthetically pleasing, with filming choices which were attractive and epic. I’m doing an advertising film
for the next awareness-raising campaign for the Fondation des Femmes. I was director and DP. And it’s a great film. It’s complicated, too
as it’s for a major cause, so, often they’re films with partners who work together, but the working conditions
are limited. We used my AMIRA
and Cooke S4 lenses from RVZ. The shoot setup was rather light. The AMIRA let me make a film with excellent image quality. I wanted to have a kit which would let me
make documentaries, advertising films, or clips at a low budget. It also had to be capable of handling
commercials and documentaries as well as personal projects
with no finance. I started the kit
with the purchase of an AMIRA with EF lenses I had in a previous kit. I replaced them with Angénieux
Optimo DP lenses and more recently, I acquired a Sigma Cine series with a SkyPanel 30
and an L5 kit. This equipment is extremely reliable in terms of colorimetry and its sturdiness over time. I’ve finished
my first feature film, “Where We’re Going”.
I worked with the DP, Jacques Ballard who is very talented, physical
and keen on dynamic visuals, which is the look I sought. There are 2 very different
lighting approaches in the film. The first part is set in a hospital with tight framing and lighting which is very classic.
The 2nd part is in Thailand where real life
and my documentary background took over
in the lighting approach. We wanted very lively, colorful and spontaneous lighting. And so, there were
opposite approaches. So, we used wide-angle Master Primes which Mathias Boucard lent us.
They let us make the most of natural light and the lighting elements such as neon tubes,
Chinese lanterns, the lights from the traffic or the lights in the markets. They were sometimes enough
to convey the intensity of light. The AMIRA and the MINI are a perfect match
as they have the same sensor. That’s something that Arthur Paux, the colorist or Jacques
can tell you more, but it’s as if we’d used
2 MINIS or 2 AMIRAS. ARRI was an interesting partner
from the start, because I met the person
in charge of the AMIRA, Markus Dürr. He regularly asks
for feedback on the updates. I give him feedback
on using the camera. I travel a lot for my projects. So, the fact that ARRI has a network all over the world let me find support or answers to my questions,
whatever the place, such as in Los Angeles or Beijing. Thanks to this worldwide network, it’s very reassuring
to use these tools as you know
that whatever happens… One of the stresses
for a director and DP is the reliability of the equipment. Even though it’s very reliable,
outside elements can damage it. So, having people who can help you
24/7 anywhere in the world is a key reason
for buying these products.

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