Georges de Keerle: Director of Photography, Europe
“What makes Cannes so special is that it is where America meets Europe; you have a lot of European film entries, Asian entries and, of course, American entries. It’s the biggest award a film director or an actor can hope to get, along with the Oscars. It’s also the most international festival and that is very important and attractive for luxury brands as they use global ambassadors to carry their message across the world.
“What I like most about my job is meeting people, new potential partners. You have studios here that you want to engage with, you have contacts with celebrities and top models, PRs and publicists and the luxury brands are using you to get the visuals they need for their communication strategies.
“You tend to meet some top executives that you would find difficult to meet otherwise and they’re in a different, more communicative mood as well. For example last night (Thursday) at the amfAR gala – the biggest party at Cannes – you had the vice president of L’Oréal, a very important person. You can meet him and - not talk business - but put a name to a face and have him recommend you to people, which means it’s more likely they’ll listen to you next time you call them. In exchange you can introduce him to people, like Naomi Campbell and Eve Herzigova and he was very pleased to have his photo taken with them!
“I meet a lot of people and, as this is Europe, give a lot of hugs and kisses as well as shake a lot of hands. Yesterday I had about 10 memorable handshakes, five good hugs and 10 kisses. Obviously the best person I kissed is my wife!
“I like to work with the top models. They’re very professional and they’re also celebrities in their own right. They do some great work for charity. The top actors and actresses are difficult to get close to because they’re surrounded by armies of publicists who are terrified of being fired. It’s like a defensive circle. Models are used to it, that’s what they’re here for. They get hired because they are pretty and they pose with the people they’re supposed to pose with.
“Naomi Campbell is the best: she is not just all about making money and enjoying life. She deserves a lot of credit for her charity work. I know she has her tempers but the bottom line is she does a lot for other people and does it very successfully. And she’s been in the business 20 years. As a person she has always been very professional and very nice and fun to be with. She does more than just be a model.”
Georges de Keerle
Frenchman Georges de Keerle is Director of Photography, Europe, a post he has held since 1999. Before that he was a photographer. He is also responsible for Getty’s partnerships with luxury brands.
This is his ninth Cannes Film Festival as Europe’s Director of Photography at Getty Images.
The Cannes festival on the Wire Image website