On Saturday, December 6, 2014, as part of the 25th Anniversary celebration, AbelCine sponsored a panel, “The Feeling of Being There: Shaping Today’s Cinematic Language.”
The panel focused on the innovation driven by filmmakers and camera engineers that led to portable sync-sound technology, which facilitated “cinema vérité” in the 1960s. The goal, in the words of pioneers like Ricky Leacock, D.A. Pennebaker, and Jean-Pierre Beauviala was to create “the feeling of being there.” Since then, the language of vérité has moved beyond the documentary into a myriad of forms.
The panel featured four cinematographers who discussed their experiences in documentary, indies, major features, and new genres, as well as the influence of vérité on today’s cinematic language. The cinematographers (DPs) all with extensive credits and experience were: Frankie DeMarco, Paul Koestner, Jojo Pennebaker, and Will Rexer.
Attending from The International Film Institute of New York was Misael Sanchez, Founder and Director, who commented about the sponsor’s position in the industry and relationship with the program as follows:
“Abelcine has a very clear focus as to what they provide the industry. It is reflected in every aspect of their business from their expertise in technology to their focus on the individual client. They are a role model to how we continue to grow our program and how we develop as a provider of an educational service to the film community.”
Also in attendance from the International Film Institute was Donella Alanwick, Managing Director, who reflected on the panel’s content:
“It was insightful to hear of the different techniques used by each DP and how they were adapted to different projects, especially their desire to make things, not clean and perfect, but more real. One repeated point throughout was the reiteration of their role as storyteller. ‘Stories, that’s what matters,’ Paul Koestner said. We at the IFI believe and share the feeling that story is one of the most important elements of filmmaking. Technology is a tool to help bring the story to life but it’s important to learn the components of a good story first before bringing all the other pieces together.”