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Working with foreign directors


Lighting in theatre
Raoul Coutard Film-maker
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[Q] I was asking you whether you had ever done theatre lighting? No?

I didn't do any lighting for...

[Q] You were never offered to do any?

Yes, Dembo had offered me some once.

[Q] Because he did directed some operas?

He directed some operas but I didn't want to because it's something that I really don't know how to do... I mean, I've never done any so I don't know how to do it. On top of that, there are people that are capable of doing it so it's better to leave them to it. No, and on top of that I really don't know if it would have provided anything extra. Because the projectors are always far in theatre, the seats aren't. When we make films, in the end even now even though people don't want to, I mean the actors, we mark out stopping marks for them and things like that. So if we're dealing with professionals like Delon, all you have to say is, 'Here you see, the projector over there is for you when you're on that spot'. And we're sure that he's in it, he won't go to the side, that's certain. But for others, we put their marks on the floor, things they touch with their feet, etc. In theatre, they are at approximate spots. I mean I can't see what we could add, in addition to what people do. And then, at the same time, you have to let the specialists do their thing.

[Q] Je t'avais demandé si tu avais déjà fait des éclairages de théâtre, non?

J'ai pas fait d'éclairages.

[Q] On t'en a jamais proposés?

Si, Dembo m'en avait proposés un jour.

[Q] Parce qu'il a fait des mises en scène d'opéra?

Il a fait des mises en scène d'opéra. J'ai pas voulu parce que c'est un truc que je sais pas faire du tout... Je veux dire j'en ai jamais faits donc je sais pas faire. Je préfère en plus il y a des gens qui sont compétents pour faire ça, autant les laisser faire. Non et puis en plus je ne sais pas du tout... Si ça aurait apporté quelque chose en plus. Parce que les projecteurs sont toujours loin au théâtre... Les places sont pas... Quand on fait des films, finalement même maintenant bien que les gens ne veulent plus- Je veux dire les comédiens, on leur fixe des places d'arrêt, des choses comme ça. Alors si on a affaire à des professionnels comme Delon, il suffit de lui dire, 'Tiens tu vois, ce projecteur qui est là c'est pour toi quand tu es à cette place-là'. On est sûr qu'il est dedans, il va pas se mettre à côté, c'est sûr. Mais pour les autres on leur met des marques au sol, des trucs qu'ils touchent avec le pied, etc. Dans le théâtre, ils sont à des places approximatives. Je ne vois pas ce qu'on pourrait apporter de plus que ce que font les gens. Et puis en même temps il faut laisser les spécialistes faire leur truc.

French cinematographer, Raoul Coutard (1924-2016) was twice nominated for the César Award for best cinematography which he won in 1978 for 'Le Crabe-tambour'. He made over 75 films and documentaries, including 'À Bout de Souffle', Le Mépris' and 'Band à Part'. He was the most acclaimed French cinematographer of his generation and one of the key figures of the New Wave.

Listeners: Bernard Cohn

Benard Cohn is a French filmmaker and writer, who has directed five films as well as numerous documentaries and television series. As an assistant director, he worked with many important filmmakers, including Luis Buñuel, François Jacob, Otto Preminger and Woody Allen. He was a founding member of the Ciné-Qua-Non cinema club and has acted as editor and translator for various publications on the world of cinema.

Bernard Cohn est un réalisateur et écrivain français, ayant réalisé cinq film ainsi que de nombreux reportages et séries télévisées. En tant qu'assistant réalisateur, il a travaillé avec plusieurs grands cinéastes, notamment Luis Buñuel, François Truffaut, Otto Preminger et Woody Allen. Il fut membre fondateur du ciné-club Ciné-Qua-Non et a participé à la rédaction et traduction en anglais, de plusieurs ouvrages sur le cinéma.

Tags: Richard Dembo

Duration: 1 minute, 23 seconds

Date story recorded: October 2004

Date story went live: 24 January 2008