Claude Lelouch – A Man And A Canon C500

Published On May 17, 2014 | By Mike Carroll | Claude Lelouch, Director-Cameraman, Filmmakers

Since I was an early teenager I have been in love with the films and filmmaking of French auteur Claude Lelouch when I first saw A Man And A Woman.

His work inspired me to become a TV news cameraman & sometime reporter, as well as an independent filmmaker producing, financing, writing, directing, shooting, editing and distributing my own films. I even dedicated my first feature-length film Year to Claude Lelouch.

The term “auteur” is tossed around freely when referring to film directors, but Lelouch truly earns the title, through sweat-equity if nothing else, as the producer-financier-writer-director-cameraman of his films. With his latest film (Salaud, on t’aime / We Love You, You Bastard) he has, after a career of nearly half-a-century, finally added the title of “cinematographer.”

Several years ago he transitioned from shooting 35mm to High Definition, and with his latest film, We Love You, You Bastard, he has become the first mainstream filmmaker in the world to release a new motion picture that originated in 4K using the Canon EOS C500 camera.

(Photographs on this page are courtesy of Canon and Les Films 13.)

This is a French article by LEPIDI Pierre-Paul from his blog which I have run through Google Translator and reposted here:

Lelouch C500 7

By using two EOS C500 cameras from Canon to make “We Love You, You Bastard,” Claude Lelouch became the first French filmmaker to produce and release a film in UltraHD Definition (4K). He had also been the first mainstream French filmmaker to make a film in High Definition with Les Parisians (released in 2004) and to have used a EOS 5D Mark II for filming parts of  Ces amours-là What War May Bring (in 2010).

It is for the image quality and the compactness of the EOS C500 that Claude Lelouch has chosen this camera. The filmmaker, accustomed to the long shoots (often more than 7 hours per day for 12 weeks), particularly appreciated the camera’s lightness and maneuverability. Lelouch always serves as the A-camera operator on his films explaining: “It is like asking a painter to lend his brush: impossible!”

Lelouch C500 6

The film was shot in RAW 4K non-compressed. Given the size  of the uncompressed images, it was necessary to create a new workflow to quickly transfer the rushes to his editors to prepare for post-production.

Claude Lelouch explains: “The Cinema is fundamentally linked to technology, and I am pleased to have been able to be at the advent of a camera like the Canon EOS C500  in my lifetime. With it, a director can go very far. A camera must be compact and lightweight and these are clearly two strengths of the C500, in addition to its incredible image quality.”

The image is in the center of the last film of We Love You, You Bastard, in which Johnny Hallyday embodies a former war photographer working for Paris Match and is equipped with an EOS 5D Mark III Canon, who appears regularly on the screen.

Lelouch C500 Canon 5DMk3

Stephane Dery, Director Professional Imaging Group of Canon France said:
“Claude Lelouch has always had a particular interest in new technology. We have worked with him for the past 11 years with immense pride. The two EOS C500 that Claude used on the shoot together with the expertise of Canon image quality and optical design. We wish the same success to We Love You, You Bastard to Blue Is The Warmest Color, the film by Abdelatif Kechiche rewarded by the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival 2013 and which had been filmed entirely with a EOS camera C300 Canon!”

Salaud, on t’aime / We Love You, You Bastard was released in French cinemas on April 2, 2014.

Claude Lelouch is a totally independent filmmaker, producing all of his films under the banner of his own production company Les Films 13. Thirteen, Lelouch has always said, is his lucky number.

His writes or co-writes all of his films, frequently with collaborator Pierre Uytterhoeven, never working from scripts by other writers or adaptations. Even his version of Les Miserables was a complete reworking of the Victor Hugo classic incorporating some scenes from the book into a 20th century setting against the backdrop of World War Two.

Lelouch is a storyteller who not only uses cameras to tell his story, but who is also the main cameraman of the storytelling. When you watch a Claude Lelouch film you are literally watching it through his eyes.

Salaud, on t’aime / We Love You, You Bastard premiered in the United States at the City of Lights-City of Angels Film Festival (COLCOA) in Los Angeles on April 22, 2014. It is awaiting a U.S. release.

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About The Author

Mike Carroll joined the digital revolution in 1999 with a Sony TRV900 camcorder and Final Cut Pro, when it was only Final Cut Pro and not version 2, 4 or a Suite.

One Response to Claude Lelouch – A Man And A Canon C500

  1. Nikole Ware says:

    Claude Lelouch is one of my idols. I admire him for his work. His first full length film as director, Le Propre de l’homme, was decried by the critics – ‘Claude Lelouch, remember this name well, because you will not hear it again’ Cahiers du cinema said. Then A Man and a Woman changed his fortunes and were met with favour even by the Cahiers group. He is the best! Anyway, I hope he’ll shoot his next film at I am looking forward to it.

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