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The laboratory
Raoul Coutard Film-maker
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And so then, so I mean, actually all this taught me a lot of things about cinema, I mean because eventually well, I was able to contact a whole series of people that I didn't know. Editor that I had never met. People from the lab maybe? People from the lab, people in charge of the post-prod, no it wasn't called that at the time, I mean people that were in charge of mixing, editing, audio. That's when you're chemistry studies, in regards to the lab, must have helped you? Yes, that's right. Because on top of that it made me laugh because actually in comparison to the photographers- as photographers, we used hundreds of types of developers, depending on what we wanted to do, whereas in the lab they only used one developer which was the D76, the thing from Kodak. So. At the same time it was quite amusing, I mean it was- I wasn't- At the lab I wasn't disturbed, because at the lab, when we talked, people from the lab could see that I was aware of the way things were done. So the only disturbing thing was the fact that we didn't have, like on photographs, the possibility of changing exposure, we were in halls… I won't say that they were computerised because they weren't at the time but in technical halls, that we couldn't use.
Et alors là, bon donc je veux dire, en fait cette histoire-là m'a appris beaucoup de choses sur le cinéma, je veux dire parce que finalement bon, j'ai pu contacter si on veut tout un tas de gens que je ne connaissais pas. C'est-à-dire les monteurs, que je n'avais jamais vus. Des gens du labo peut-être ? Les gens du labo, les gens qui s'occupaient de la post-prod, c'était pas ça à l'époque, qui s'occupaient je veux dire du mixage, du montage, du son. C'est là où tes études de chimie, en ce qui concerne la labo, ont pu te servir ? Voilà, c'est ça. Parce que en plus ça me faisait rigoler parce qu'en fait par rapport aux photographes, les photographes on utilisait 36 sortes de révélateurs, suivant ce qu'on voulait faire, alors qu'au labo ils utilisaient qu'un seul révélateur qui était le D76, le truc de chez Kodak. Bon. En même temps c'était assez marrant, je veux dire c'était- J'étais pas- Au labo j'étais pas perturbé, parce qu'au labo, quand on en parlait, les gens du labo voyaient que j'étais au courant du traitement des choses. Bon la seule chose qui était perturbante c'était le fait qu'on ne fasse pas comme sur les photographies des possibilités de changer les expositions, on était dans des couloirs, je ne vais pas dire informatisés parce que ça ne l'était pas à l'époque mais dans des couloirs techniques, dont on ne pouvait pas se servir.

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.

Duration: 1 minute, 41 seconds

Date story recorded: October 2004

Date story went live: 24 January 2008