Through my membership of the 2014 BAFTA Crew and my BAFTA Scholarship I was fortunate to be invited to the ,BAFTA Film Craft: The Sessions' 2015.
The event was organised the day before the 2015 BAFTA ceremony, as the speakers were all nominated for there respective feilds and were in London for the ceremony on Sunday the 8th of Febuary 2015.
There were four pairs of talks and I chose the following:
11.30 – 12.30
Special Visual Effects - Jonathan Fawkner (Guardians of the Galaxy, The Dark Knight)
Paul Corbould (Guardians of the Galaxy, Thor: The Dark World, Skyfall)
Stephane Ceretti (Captain America: The First Avenger, X-Men: First Class)
Tim Crosbie (The Wolverine, XMEN: Days of Future Past, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire)
Joe Letteri (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Avatar)
Andrew Lockley (Interstellar, Rush, The Dark Knight Rises)
Paul Franklin (Interstellar, Inception)
13:00 – 14:00
Make-Up and Hair - Peter King (Into The Woods, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Nine) Morag Ross (Hugo,
The Aviator, Sense and Sensibility) Elizabeth Yianni-Georgiou (Guardians of the Galaxy, Thor:
The Dark World, Dark Shadows) David White (Guardians of the Galaxy, Maleficent, Snow
White and the Huntsman)Jan Sewell (The Theory of Everything, The Riot Club, The Double) Kristyan Mallett (The Theory of Everything, ’71, Guardians of the Galaxy) J. Roy Hellend (Into
The Woods, The Iron Lady, The Hours) Lesa Warrener (Mr Turner, The Fifth Estate)
15.00 – 16.00
Cinematography – Robert Yeoman (The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, The Royal
16.30 – 17.30
Production Design - Eve Stewart (The King’s Speech, Les Miserables, Vera Drake) Suzie Davies (Mr Turner)
Charlotte Watts (Mr Turner, Bright Star)
The most striking and surreal part of the day was being in the company of such outstanding industry leaders, I was literally feet away from the artists working on some of the highest quality cinematic productions of the last few years, my tiny little mind was blown.
I was reassured to hear that amongst the technically driven VFX Studios such as Double Negative, they actually retain there own micro concept art department to accommodate the inevitable overspill of new requirements that appear long after the pre production art department have finished their duties, This gives me hope as a practicing generalist.
During the make up and hair session I had the opportunity to ask how the advancement of 3D printing was playing a role in prosthetic's, it was good to hear that amongst these industry veterans who rely predominantly on traditional techniques they acknowledged the growing presence of prosthetic parts more commonly being produced in 3D and printed to fit the actors profile, as opposed to the traditional approach of sculpting, casting and hand rendering. Although there was an emphasized consensus that the core traditional make up and prosthetic skills are at risk of being lost if not accurately recorded and handed down to the upcoming generations of artists.
The penultimate session was a one man insight into the film making of Wes Anderson by his ongoing cinematographer Robert Yeoman, who was one of the most down to earth and relaxed industry veterans I have witnessed. Robert gave us a glimpse into the world of a leading cinematographer as well as a glimpse of the mind set of Wes Anderson, talking about the practicalities and restrictions of film making with regards to cinematography, specifically the setting up of lighting and his own preference for the art of subtle lighting that actually looks like the shot is not lit! Robert mentioned Wes's reliance on animatics as a key aid for reference when filming, I had the opportunity to ask if Wes produces those himself (as with Ridley Scott) Robert commented that Wes sketches out the keyframes and an assistant finalizes the animatics under his direction.
The image below shows my few notes and sketch studies of a some of the nominees: