“A certain instinct and a sense of precision are the result of this mix that makes my personality, today, behind the camera”
Jean Claude Aumont is one of the most celebrated cinematographers of today’s commercial and film industry. CMD had the honor of asking him a few questions and adding him to the head of our TOP GUN list. Aumont’s lists of credits are quite impressive and you definitely see the work of an incredibly talented man with a truly gifted eye.
Why did you decide to become a Photographer/Cinematographer? Who inspired this decision?
Photography and cinematography are linked, for me, through framing. That’s why whenever possible, I like being behind the camera, to work on composition and feel the light through the lens. When I started, I was actually more interested in the cameraman’s or camera operator’s work, than by the lighting aspect. But it was easier for me at first, to start doing both and I developed my skills that way. Nestor Almendros, Philippe Rousselot, Conrad Hall, Vittorio Storaro, Gordon Willis, among others were particularly inspiring and energizing for me.
Photo Courtesy of Jean Claude Aumont
Can you think of a shot, throughout your career that has been particularly challenging and was very satisfying when you completed it?
The most challenging shots I have done, were the ones where timing between the camera move, the focus changes and the acting , all come together to create magic in one single shot. Another challenging and very satisfying situation, was coming out of an international Procter meeting for a commercial I was directing as well as lighting, with the sense of having held the meeting from beginning to end , and feeling as if the film was already shot.
Where is your favorite place in the world to shoot?
A part from France, where I know the crews, I like working with South African and Belgium teams, they have a lot of humor and talent in their work.
What are you working on right now?
My most recent job, is a French feature, shot in Cuba and directed by 3 directors at the same time. Lionel Steketee was essentially the technical and artistic director, while Fabrice Eboue and Thomas Ngijol, were co-writers and co-actors in the film and more attached to directing the various talents. The story is a comedy around the subject of slavery. Our two heroes find themselves at the end of the 18th century, enduring what their forefathers had lived. The Cuban crew was great and the landscapes and sets constructed by Pascal Marty were magnificent.
« Case Départ » is due out first week of July
Coca-Cola Black commercial . Director of photography . Jean Claude Aumont
CMD also sends a sincere thank you to Chut on vous écoute Studio in Paris for this unedited version of the Commercial. http://www.chut-designsonore.com
Be sure and visit Jean Claude’s website to view this and many, many more examples of his extraordinary work.