Reuters video: On the front lines – in Cannes - Reuters News Agency

Reuters video: On the front lines – in Cannes

REUTERS/Stephane Mahe
By Yann Tessier | May 20, 2019

You really don’t want this assignment!

The 12-day Cannes film festival which kicked off last week is one event that draws global attention.

Last week, nearly 700 broadcasters and countless digital players have used our coverage from the French Mediterranean resort, which this year is hosting such big names as Leonardo DiCaprio, Julianne Moore and Elton John. By the end of the festival, Reuters will have put out the better part of 100 edits covering the celebrities, films, lifestyle and news.

REUTERS/Jean-Paul Pelissier

One of the biggest media events in the world

REUTERS/Stephane Mahe

Around 3,000 journalists are accredited to cover Cannes, one of the biggest media events in the world. Hundreds more see their requests for credentials turned down.

Reuters is at the very heart of the event with a 12-strong team of videographers, producers and photographers. Together they are bringing the full ‘big story’ treatment to the festival, which every year produces a crop of global talking points.

A dream assignment? Maybe not. The hours would make even a Wall St lawyer feel uneasy. Days often start at eight in the morning and finish at one or two the following one – after the final party has been covered.

“I sometimes think that covering the Balkan wars was less tiring,” says Belgrade-based videographer Fedja Grulovic, who cut his teeth in the conflicts of the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s and many major ones worldwide since then.

Laden with 20kg (44lbs) of equipment, Fedja estimates that he walks a good 10 kilometres (6 miles) per day from one end of the seafront to the other – from red carpet to photocall, from interview to news conference.

There’s no second chance

REUTERS/Stephane Mahe

The pressure is intense. You only get one shot at it and you have to get it right, “Everybody is here, and the whole world wants a piece of the action,” Fedja says. Getting the key shot involves turning up at the red carpet hours before the first star arrives, to secure the best position.

And with competitive pressure so high, speed is critical. A few hundred metres away from the steps, our team of producers is editing and scripting material. Once the material has been reviewed, it is injected to subscriber circuits directly from Cannes – to ensure that the material reaches our clients before anyone else. More than on many missions, minutes matter.

REUTERS/Stephane Mahe

Some Cannes wins

  • Alone to get into an event to shoot images of Penelope Cruz and Antonio Banderas drinking champagne.
  • Access to the opening ceremony.
  • Broad coverage – Cannes parties, Cannes babies, Cannes lifestyle. We have it.

And, we hope to have some big exclusives with major celebrities…watch this space.

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