The 2014 BSC Expo was held at Warner Bros Studios in Leavesden, near London, on January 24 and 25. This year, the Expo hosted around 2.500 visitors—up from last year at Pinewood.
Attending the Expo was also an opportunity to visit part of the newly restored Studio. The facility was a historical WW II airfield and Rolls Royce aircraft factory. The studio was home to “James Bond (GoldenEye)” in 1995 and all eight “Harry Potter” films through 2010. The factory used as a studio was so enormous that crews joked it had its own weather system (icy cold in winter, wind howling inside). Warner Bros spent over $140 million renovating it into a modern film and television studio complex. With a quarter million square feet of stage space, it competes with Pinewood and Shepperton.
This Expo was a compact show with around 80 exhibitors from the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Japan and USA—with cameras, lenses, supports, lights, audio, VFX and possible pre-NAB products. BSC seminars were held in the Expo theatre.
IMAGO President Nigel Walters, BSC told FDTimes “The BSC Expo of 2014 at Warner Bros Leavesden Studios will be remembered as the Vittorio Storaro Show. The British launch of his magnificent book “The Art of Cinematography” was an unqualified success. The overflow audience was fascinated for over two hours by his exposition on visual storytelling and the importance of the image.”
In his introduction to the man regarded as one of the ten most important Cinematographers of all time, the IMAGO President praised the vision of some of the great Italian Cinematographers, Vittorio Storaro, ASC, AIC, Giuseppe Rotunno, ASC, AIC, and especially Luciano Tovoli, ASC, AIC of the AIC (Italian Society of Cinematographers) by inspiring the Societies of Europe to create IMAGO.
“The homage created in this fine book ‘The Art of Cinematography’ is itself a tribute to the 150 great Cinematographers featured in its pages. It is also a tribute to the passion of its creator Vittorio Storaro.”
Almost an hour prior to Storaro’s conference, all 50 seats of the seminar theatre were taken and at least 60 people stood around the 3 time Academy Award winner (“Apocalypse Now”, “Reds,” “The last Emperor”). For over two hours, the crowd of young cinematographers, operators, students from film schools and enthusiasts, listened in total silence, eager to hear this Master of Cinematography explain in detail the meaning of his philosophy of light and color, inspired by Goethe’s theory of colors; and stimulated by Caravaggio’s unique vision of light and chiaroscuro shadows.
Before the screening of a special video on the phases of his extraordinary creative career – produced by the American Society of Cinematographers for Storaro’s Lifetime Achievement Award – he talked about his graduation in 1960 from the Italian Film Institute (Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia) followed by his first film as cinematographer on Franco Rossi’s “Giovinezza Giovinezza”. Storaro talked about when he met Bernardo Bertolucci with whom he made “The Conformist”, “Last Tango in Paris”, “1900”, “La luna”, “The last Emperor” “The Sheltering Sky” and “Little Buddha”. Anecdotes on his relationship with the directors he worked with and technical details on his cinematography on “Apocalypse Now”, “Reds”, “Dick Tracy”, “Tucker”, “One from the Heart”, “Bulworth”, “Tango” and “Goya in Burdeos”, “Flamenco” “Caravaggio” and operas as “Traviata” and “Rigoletto” all the way to his recent “Mohammed” directed by Majid Majidi and shot in Iran.
He then presented his latest book “The Art of Cinematography” which he decribed as “a great visual experience…a tribute to 150 Cinematographers from Cinematographers… that underscores the fundamental place of the Cinematographer in the creation of the Seventh Art.”
Bob Fisher wrote the text for 75 entries and Lorenzo Codelli, a well-known Italian writer and film critic, the other 75. The book, published by Skira and Aurea, is in both English and Italian, and each entry is accompanied by a “double vision” image… a photo collage created by Storaro to represent the imagery in each film and a DVD. Daniele Nannuzzi, AIC and Luciano Tovoli consulted on the 3 year long project.
To end the presentation, he screened a very interesting thirteen minute video made by Daniele Nannuzzi that showed some original footage of the films illustrated in the book.
Later, Storaro was asked to sign several autographs and at one point a young camera operator asked him: “After Italian Neorealism, in Italy, what developed more– the art of cinematography or camera movement?” Vittorio stared at him in dismay… smiled, and asked him if he had any children. “Yes,” said the operator. “Well,” Vittorio said “to have a baby you need a man and a woman and in filming it’s the same… to make a film you need Cinematography and Camera moves, the two are one and cannot be separated….”
We took a slow stroll around the booths and saw the RED Dragon on display, working in 6K, wireless focus and zoom and touch-control monitors. The Amira from ARRI. The Panavision motorized camera axis and their new Primo V Series, ARRI/ZEISS Master Anamorphics, Cooke’s new Anamorphic primes and the Angenieux 25-250mm PL DP Lens; the Mini Libra head from Camera Revolution, and the MoVi — the miniature remote stabilised Head that can be mounted on bicycles, motorcyles or hand held.
Tiffen presented their Diffusion Test Film showing their 4K Diffusion tests. The tests included a series of comparisons of many varieties of Tiffen diffusion, fog, smoque and other filters. The screen was “split” to show with and without filter on two models.
Servicevision showed a split screen test image with or without the stabilization on their new Scorpio Head.
Another attraction was the iDailies Lab and transfer booth. iDailies, in cooperation with Kodak, is one of the only two companies processing film and original negative in the UK.
Transvideo, cmotion, Dedolight, Vitec Group, Ronford-Baker, Sony, Schneider, K5600 Lighting, Codex, Steadicam, Lee Filters, Panalux, Lite Panel, Octica Professional displaying Cartoni, Mole Richardson, Matthews were among the other exhibitors of this successful BSC Expo.