Christophe Beaucarne had established his own “theory of moviemaking” before he turned 16. His father bought a JVC camcorder and for three years, he and his cousins shot movies on the weekends. “Without knowing, it we did some editing, some close ups,” Beaucarne says. “I explained what I was doing to a sound designer friend of my father’s, and he said, ‘I think you want to be a cinematographer.’ ”
Beaucarne then learned a more traditional film theory at Insas in Belgium, and went on to shoot 1997’s “Nous sommes tous encore ici,” directed by Anne Marie Mieville, Jean-Luc Godard’s wife. “Godard was an actor in the movie and they pushed me to use only natural light and slow film stock, with less granulation,” Beaucarne says. “I learned a lot.”
In 2009, he shot both “Coco Before Chanel” and “Mr. Nobody,” helmed by Jaco Van Dormeal. “I experimented with everything on that great movie,” Beaucarne says.
“I describe my approach to cinema like an Indian looking at the sky,” he says. “I observe nature a lot.”
To get a natural look for 2013’s “Beauty and the Beast,” Beaucarne used an arc light as a nod to Henri Alekan, d.p. for Cocteau’s 1946 version of the story. “The light of those arc lights seems to be less perfect than others in studio, and makes a sunlight effect on skin.”
Beaucarne just wrapped filming on Mathieu Amalric’s “The Blue Room,” based on the novel of the same name by Georges Simenon.