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Cannes Cameraman 2/8: "I'm not there to sully stars' images or put them in a bad light"

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Cannes Cameraman 2/8: "I'm not there to sully stars' images or put them in a bad light"


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.

Marc Piasecki, street photographer:

“My job consists of ‘celebrity sighting’ in other words I take photos of French and foreign stars when they arrive at the airport or leave their hotel, go out to parties, on boats or on the beach. I take photos of them when they’re not made up or not ready. Of course there are some I like more than others. I love cinema, I’m not there to sully their image or put them in a bad light.”

“There are certain places you need to go to find the stars. Airports for example. We also hang around to see if they’re in certain hotels or villas, or on a boat or even outside of Cannes itself. Some celebrities go as far as Monaco. We check out the information first to make sure we’re not going to be running around for nothing. There are a few of us and we communicate with each other, swap information. Otherwise the days are quite normal. For instance at lunchtime we go looking on the balconies of the big hotels like the Majestic or the Martinez.”

“I also follow people into nightclubs like the Jean Roch VIP room and the beach parties. Every year it gets a little bit more difficult to get close though. Three years ago we could get right up to the beachfront and see everything that was happening at the parties and get photos without even needing a press pass. But now they have tents, which are almost like buildings that hide everything. We can only get photos as they come in or out, or if we take them from boats.”

“The set of (French chat show) Le Grand Journal is also a great place to meet stars. Yesterday, I was able to get a picture of Lady Gaga. I like Lady Gaga a lot as she’s always reinventing herself. Whatsmore, she’s our top-selling image right now. She is surpassing even Brad (Pitt) and Angelina (Jolie). We call these stars ‘cash machines’ because when I take a picture of them, I can sell it worldwide.

I usually get about the festival quickly by scooter. I pick up my travel pass from the local police at the same time as my accreditation. This allows me to move around easily, even when the roads have been blocked off. I never get lost. In all, the most important part of the festival site covers no more than 800 square metres.

The Cannes festival on the Wire Image website

The Cannes festival on the Getty Images website

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