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Cannes Cameraman 1/8: "I usually lose my voice by the end of day 5"

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Cannes Cameraman 1/8: "I usually lose my voice by the end of day 5"


Media coverage of the Cannes festival requires an army of photographers. Some stand on duty alongside the red carpet while others are sent on sorties in the town’s streets and alleys. Away from the action, their editors sit in darkened rooms working furiously on images that will be seen across the world. But what is it like being at the front line in Cannes? What goes on behind the camera? euronews is following a team from Getty Images to get their unique perspective of life on the Croisette.

Pascal Le Segretain, red carpet photographer:

“I got here the day before yesterday, on the eve of the opening ceremony. I always arrive one or two days before to get ready, pick up my security pass and make sure I’ve got a place next to the red carpet. The photographers’ places are all numbered and there are three rows. At Getty we get a good spot in the first row with one person on each side of the red carpet. That way we can get good photos even when lots of people all arrive at the same time.”

“The first day wasn’t too bad. I just had one little technical problem. My flash stopped working because it overheated, so I just had to cool it down. But I got a really good spot, the light was good and people stopped right in front of me which is not always the case. The stars make three stops along the red carpet but they don’t always face us directly, especially when the carpet is busy.”

“On day 1 we – 25 photographers – sent more than 10,000 photos to the agency and 1,167 of them were put online. We send them through transmitters, thick cables linked directly to the Getty office under the Palais des Festivals where the 10 editors are. On average it takes less than a minute between the time I take the photo and the moment it appears on the website.”

“During the festival I cover the red carpet and the photocalls, which is what we call the official photo shoots. For either job it’s always best to bring ear plugs so that the other photographers don’t make you go deaf with all their shouting. I also take throat sweets and cough syrups. I usually lose my voice by the end of day 5. But if you get a big name on the first day, like Angelina Jolie or Brad Pitt, then you can go through the whole festival without a voice.”

“At Cannes it’s just work, work, work. In the 12 festivals that I’ve covered I haven’t once been to the cinema, I’ve not seen one film. I just don’t have time because it’s just one shoot after another. Lunch is tricky and dinner is never before midnight or one o’clock in the morning…that is if we eat at all!”

“Of all the photos I took yesterday there are two that I particularly like. One is a photo of Salma Hayek. She was well positioned on the red carpet and had nobody around her so I was able to get a wide angle shot. She turned towards me in her lovely dress and thanks to the wide angle you can see the photographers and palm trees behind her. The other photo is one of Uma Thurman during the morning jury photocall. All the official photocalls are held on the balcony of the Palais des Festivals and there are two places for the photographers to stand: either front-facing with a white canvas and Cannes port in the background or a reverse shot with a wall of photographers as the backdrop. I always go for that, the reverse shot. In yesterday’s photocall Uma turned around and looked straight at me among all the others who were taking photos of her.”

Pascal Le Segretain

Pascal Le Segretain is a ‘red carpet photographer’ for Getty. He is French and covering his 12th Cannes festival.

The Cannes festival on the Wire Image website

The Cannes festival on the Getty Images website

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