Camerimage, the International Film Festival of the Art of Cinematography, announced today that long-time, award-winning collaborators Marc Forster (World War Z, Finding Neverland, Quantum of Solace) and Roberto Schaefer (Finding Neverland, Quantum of Solace, Stranger Than Fiction) will receive the Festival’s special ‘Cinematographer / Director Duo Award,’ honoring both their creativity and passion, and their ability to reach compromise in realizing a joint vision.
Throughout a decade of collaboration, Forster and Schaefer have made eight diverse, award-winning films. They know each other so well that they could work in silence, but they always invest their time and imagination in several week-long preparation periods during which they think about the given project’s visual style and draw up the schematics of each scene, with all the camera angles, filters to consider and lenses to be used.
Their first collaboration began with Everything Put Together, the story of a Californian couple expecting a child and their group of friends confronted with the tragedy of a big loss. Shot on early digital cameras, the film is raw and harrowing, which only accentuates the emotional honesty with which the story is told.
Forster and Schaefers next project was Oscar winner Monster’s Ball. Set in the American south, the film tells a story of an unlikely romance between a racist prison guard and the African-American wife of the last prisoner he executed, The film displays a wide range of the filmmakers’ skills in emotionally complicated storytelling and incredible sensitivity. The film’s success catapulted Forster and Schaefers visibility within the film industry, which led to the creation of their next Oscar winner, Finding Neverland, a semi-biographical story about the playwright J.M. Barrie and his friendship with a family who inspired him to create “Peter Pan.” This film gave the duo the opporunity to demonstrate the power of human imagination both through careful use of colors and light as well as staging and shot composition. In recognition of their work, Schaefer was nominated for a BAFTA Film Award and Forster a BAFTA Film Award and a Golden Globe.
A year after Finding Neverland‘s success, Forster and Schaefer made the thriller Stay, a surreal journey into the darkest corners of the human mind. For this project, the filmmakers created a labyrinthine game of illusions, intricately designed to play with the perception of the viewers who are oblivious to whats real and what’s only a figment of their imagination.
Stranger Than Fiction was very similar in the way Forster and Schaefer balanced the line between reality and fiction. Its main character suddenly finds himself the subject of narration only he can hear: narration that begins to affect his entire life, from his work, to his love-interest, to his death.
A year later, the duo made the Academy Award nominated The Kite Runner, based on Khaled Hosseini’s bestselling novel of the same name. The film follows an Afghan boy and the hardships and positive moments of his life. Machine Gun Preacher, the duo’s last collaboration, is a true story of an ex-criminal who becomes an activist fighting for the better future of children in Sudan.
Before Machine Gun Preacher, Forster and Schaefer took their biggest challenge making Quantum of Solace, the second James Bond movie starring Daniel Craig. The duo made a film that was fastpaced, loaded with impressive visual effects and was eye-catching in terms of exotic locations used. In this film, Forster and Schaefer imprinted their own style onto the series a mixture of old elegance and modern style.