In Newport Beach, Calif. — the epitome of “aspirational” before the word was appropriated by Madison Avenue — this playground for the uber rich could have been mistaken for New Bohemia, at least judging from certain events tied to the weekend’s 15th Newport Beach Film Festival.
At the Variety brunch honoring the publication’s 10 Cinematographers to Watch on Sunday, hipster filmmakers mingled with fest organizers, sponsors and media on the deck of the Hornblower as it cruised Newport Harbor and provided an enviable view. Two of the 10 Cinematographers, Daniel Landin and Frankie DeMarco — responsible for a couple of the most strikingly visual films of the past year, “Under the Skin” and “All Is Lost,” respectively — talked process and logistical challenges with Variety’s Steven Gaydos and Steve Chagollan.
The day before at the Regency Lido Theater, Chagollan moderated a Master Class panel with Matthew Libatique, the d.p. best known for his work with Darren Aronofsky (“Black Swan,” “Noah”), and an alum from Variety’s very first class of 10 Cinematographers in 1998. When asked to choose the greatest living d.p. not to win an Oscar (now that Emmanuel Lubezki had won for “Gravity”), Libatique showed respect for one of the elder statesman of his profession. “Roger Deakins, absolutely,” said Libatique before wowing the assembled with his own deep knowledge of the craft.
(Pictured: Frankie DeMarco, Daniel Landin, Variety’s Steven Gaydos and Newport Film Festival’s CEO Gregg Schwenk)