I was lucky enough to attend a talk between award winning Directors/DOP Conor Horgan and Ruairi O'Brien at Filmbase this week and it was really inspiring to listen to these men talking passionately about their previous work and how they managed to put all the right pieces together to make the great movies and shorts that they made.
The talk was oriented towards the special relationship between the director of photography and the director. How they choose one another, how they complete each other, what it takes to make a successful movie and the reality of a film set.
What I took from it is that it is really about chemistry and the synergy of people that commit to a story and a movie, rather than the gathering of technically skilled people. Conor for instance explained how he picked Suzie Lavelle for One Hundred Mornings when he realised that they had several inspiration shots in common for the script. Later they searched together for the right house in the right location and spent 2 weeks planning the movie, scene by scene.
Both Ruairi and Conor very much agreed that the success of the process of filmmaking lies in not only the extensive preparation but also – and maybe more importantly- in how adaptive the crew and the director are to the unforeseen problems / circumstances, rather than following the storyboard shot by shot, and how the director is willing to be helped and to listen to his crew's suggestions.
We got a few visual treats with clips of movies they did. These ones are my favorites, they hold a bit of magic and poetry in their own way.
Here's the making of Deep End by Conor Horgan. The short itself is viewable here. I love how this playful child-like dance is made so effortless and peaceful. Conor said the shooting of it only took 1 day 1/2 (or was it 2 days 1/2?) but so much preparation and rehearsing was put into it, every single move was storyboarded.
And Ruairi spoilt us with a short, Teeth, that, as a DoP, he had tried to convince directors to make for a long time until he decided he would do it himself, with his dad as one of the actors.
It's hilarious and touching at once. Though there's no dialogue, and probably BECAUSE there is no dialogue, it really portrays well the kind of relationship old friends can have.