Thank you speech from Charlotte Bruus Christensen
The WIFTS Foundation International Visionary Awards 2015
First of all - I very much regret not being able to attend the event this Saturday evening, as I am currently on set in NY. However, it doesn't change the fact that I am very honored to receive the WIFTS Foundation International Visionary Award 2015.
I always had the desire to tell stories with light and framing. As cinematographers its our responsibility to create a visual language thats stays true to the story. Far from the Madding Crowd gave me the opportunity to translate visually the iconic work of Thomas Hardy, exploring realistic candlelight settings, whilst lighting the portraits of a strong yet vulnerable woman. This was challenge that in many ways came close to who I am- coming from a country life, horses and farm work - something very close to my heart.
Working on Far from the Madding Crowd was a collaborative privilege. Across departments we worked as shepherds of the visual language, achieving a look and a style that I believe created an honest image of the Dorset setting, treating the landscape as a character of its own.
Receiving this award is a great reminder of the hard work this endeavor required not only from myself but all those who supported me through the process. From them and myself I say with deep sincerity, thank you.
THE WOMEN'S INTERNATIONAL FILM & TELEVISION SHOWCASE
DEC 5th 2015 WEST HOLLYWOOD
Passion & Integrity Commerce & Creativity Equality Not Hierarchy
Charlotte Bruus Christensen
The Cinematographer Award
- Far From The Madding Crowd
Charlotte Bruus Christensen Cinematographer
For her sublimely outstanding visuals of the life in the rural English countryside brought to cinematic splendour in the 2015 remake of Thomas Hardy's Far From The Madding Crowd, Charlotte Bruus Christensen is the recipient of TheWIFTS Cinematographer Award 2015.
Charlotte Bruus Christensen was born and grew up on a farm in rural Denmark. When she was 9 or 10 she stole her parents' camera and would spend a roll of film photographing elements around the farm, using the images she created to form a story.
She knew no one in the film industry, but when she was a teenager her father sold a property to a film composer and film director which introduced her to the fact that there were jobs out there where you could actually be paid doing what you loved: in Charlotte's case this was telling stories with images, or, as she later discovered it was called, cinematography.
In order to gain experience in cinematography, Charlotte continued to work on her own photography skills as well as attended any film courses she could, before enrolling at the European Film College in Denmark in 1999, a place she calls "a playground for young film enthusiasts." The college gave her a greater knowledge of what the film industry is all about but it also confirmed that, irrespective of the business, her passion was quite simply looking at light: observing how it falls on different surfaces or different textures; its warmth or coldness; shadows.
Taking this further, she is fascinated by what happens emotionally to the light when you frame it in a square box, or select a specific area to focus on, and more specifically how such choices can be used to express certain ideas.
After graduating from the European Film College in Denmark in 2000, Charlotte was admitted to the National Film and Television School in London in 2002 and graduated from the Cinematography course led by UK-based DoP Brian Tufano in 2004.
After shooting several no-budget shorts and a few adverts soon after graduating, Charlotte returned to her native Denmark in 2008 to shoot for the famous Danish Dogme 95 director Thomas Vinterberg (FESTEN) who had seen her showreel and loved her work. Their first film together was the Danish social drama SUBMARINO (2010), which competed at the Berlinale Film Festival.
Vinterberg and Charlotte continued their collaboration on the Oscar-nominated film (Best Foreign Language Film) The Hunt (2012), starring Danish superstar Mads Mikkelsen, for which Charlotte won the Vulcain Prize for best Technical Artist at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. Vinterberg and Charlotte's most recent collaboration is the English romantic drama Far From The Madding Crowd (2015, BBC Films, DNA Films, Fox Searchlight) starring Carey Mulligan, based on Thomas Hardy's classic novel.
Charlotte is currently in New York shooting the film adaptation of the international bestseller The Girl On The Train with director Tate Taylor for DreamWorks, starring Emily Blunt. She is still passionate about "looking at light," and operating the camera personally has become essential to her in order to make the two components of light and frame work as one.
To Charlotte, moving the camera is an instinct, and she very much relies on this instinct, using it to serve any scripted story in the way it needs. She has no idea where it comes from, or if it will keep coming, but she likes its inexplicable nature, and hopes that it retains this quality as she continues in her career.
Filmography: Shorts Charlotte's worked on include her own multi-award winning Between Us (2005), made in collaboration with her husband, editor and musician Stefan Mork, and Chalk (2010), directed by Martina Amati, which won Best British Short at the British Independent Film Awards 2011 and was nominated for Best Short Film at the BAFTA Film Awards 2012. Charlotte shot Marc Evans's Welsh summer blast Hunky Dory starring Minnie Driver in 2011, but alongside Far From The Madding Crowd her most recent work for the big screen has been on director Anton Corbijn's Life (2015), starring Robert Pattinson, Ben Kingsley and Dane DeHaan.