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.
Rollo Ross, Video Journalist:
TV producer Rollo Ross is no stranger to the Cannes film festival. He has covered it for 14 years. The Londoner is there for Getty, and he is responsible for making sure that his video cameras catch all there is to be caught in what he called ‘one huge sprawling showbiz event.’
Rollo Ross has to find the big names, make sure the pictures are shot and edited, and then sent back for worldwide distribution.
‘Cannes is a bunch of random factors,’ Ross told euronews. It’s a guessing game. It’s possibly the most star-packed event, and everyone wants a party.’
But Ross has to go to the parties to capture those celebrities on tape. He said all the glitz and the glamour can be a mixed blessing.
‘It’s the most tiring film-festival by far. It’s late nights. You work horrendously long shifts and often people are surprised to see you come the next morning and ask: “Are you still here?” And the conditions are not always the easiest. At one party we had to edit in a cupboard with all the noise of people enjoying themselves outside. It’s difficult to concentrate when there are half-naked dancers wearing just thongs wandering around the other side of the door.
‘Not having any food is the real killer. We’re always running here, there and everywhere. It’s non-stop and you just forget. Often you reach 8pm and you realise you’ve not eaten all day.’
And with camera crews from all over the world in the French riviera, getting something that stands out from the crowd is a major challenge for a TV producer.
Ross said: ‘It’s difficult to get something different from everyone else. The main people to talk to are the publicists for going to parties, and it all revolves around trust. If they want to do something, and they know you’re not going to upset the celebrity, you might get to do something exclusive. But it all depends on a lot of favours.
‘We chanced on Kanye West going into a restaurant for lunch. We couldn’t grab an interview, but we got the pictures. After 14 years here I’ve got a few techniques and a few spots — I call them my secret spots — where I know there’s a good chance we can get additional pictures that no-one else will have.’
‘So far we’ve done Puss in Boots with Antonio Banderas and Salma Hayek; Angelina Jolie and Jack Black for Kung Fu Panda II and we’re hoping for Brad Pitt.’
But for Ross the party-of-parties is the event by the American Foundation for AIDS research AMFAR
‘AMFAR is possibly the most glam event of the year but it’s a real back-breaker. As a TV producer, once you get past AMFAR you know Cannes is downhill, and you can begin getting an extra hour in bed in the mornings.’
Rollo Ross is a TV producer for Getty who has covered the Cannes film festival 14 times.
The Londoner is responsible for making sure that his video cameras catch all there is to be caught in what he called ‘one huge sprawling showbiz event.’
Ross is responsible for finding the big names, making sure the pictures are shot, editing the video and sending it back for distribution worldwide.
He spent the first 11 years at the festival for the agency APTN.
During his time there he told us he has found several ‘secret spots’ — places where he knows there’s a good chance of snatching those vital pictures that no-one else has.
The Cannes festival on the Wire Image website
The Cannes festival on the Getty Images website