15 April 2014

Danny Camara behind the scenes

Images: Saskia Edwards
Words: Saskia Edwards
Video: Danny Camara in collaboration with Aesthetic Fixation

For the record, Danny Camara’s surname is no joke. While it seems absurdly coincidental that he’s a director and filmmaker, it’s no lame fabrication.  But what is gospel is his ability to create incredible cinematography. I got inside his brains here:

SE: What’s your all time favourite scene from a movie?
DC: The first one that comes to mind is the Greyhound Bus scene from Royal Tenembaums when Margot Tenembaum is meeting Richie. It’s shot in slow-mo, there’s stuff happening in the background, it’s a really nice moment. It’s one of those real moments that great in movies where you really feel what’s happening. Another that I re-watch that’s in Lost In Translation. There’s lots of good scenes in that. There’s this scene where it’s just Scarlet Johansson in her room just chilling doing nothing. In that movie there’s a lot of nothing happening, but at the same there’s so much happening underneath, between the lines. That’s what I like and that’s what I try to do.

SE: Directors sometimes have one thing that they constantly use in their works – something like hyper-realism or long tracks or a particular style of music. If you did have one, what would be your trademark?
DC: I guess from what I’ve done in the past and I haven’t planned it. But I try to do something serious and it ends up becoming a little bit funny, but it’s kind of black humour. So I guess mixing drama and comedy.

SE: If you were to have any cast you wanted, who would you pick?
DC: I just watched Thin Red Line by Terrence Malick last night and Adrian Brody is in that. I’ve always had a bit of a man crush on him. For actresses, I like Jennifer Lawrence. That’s the first one that comes to my head.

SE: If you could shoot anywhere, where would you choose as a location?
DC: I guess my favourite place in the world that I’ve been to is Barcelona. It’s a beautiful city, nice weather and lots of skating. So I guess skating has a lot to do with it. I was thinking the other day I’d like to do a non-shit film about skating or involving skating. So I guess Barcelona would be a pretty good city.

SE: Tell me about how skating has influenced you to get into this line of work or interjects with what you’re doing.
DC: I guess watching skate videos for hours each day when I was growing up gave me a bit of an eye for making videos. Choosing angles, choosing music, editing to music. A lot of stuff I learnt from making skate videos I apply to my work today. I guess I'd like that influence to come across in my work, not really sure how. I have booked jobs in the past because of being a skater, so hopefully more of those!

SE: What kind of equipment do you like to work with?
DC: I would like to work with a better digital camera, but I just work with a Cannon 5D mark iii. I play around with Super8, I just got a 16mm camera, which I’m pretty excited about. I play around with my mentor’s Red Epic.

Disclaimer (FULL DISCLOSURE: The author has a personal relationship with Danny Camara)

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