Piotra Jaxa is a Polish cinematographer and photographer living in Switzerland. He graduated from the Polish National Film School in Lodz and has worked as Director of Photography on a range of fictional and documentary films worldwide (his work has been shown at festivals such as Cannes, Mannheim, Krakow, Los Angeles and Berlin). His film style draws from the period when he did numerous documentaries. For the last few years, he has been extensively exploring the creative possibilities of digital cinematography in independent European productions for the cinema. His last analogue film was done in 2003. Following his photographic collaboration with Krzysztof Kieslowski on the set of the film trilogy “Blue”, “White” and “Red”, he prepared an exhibition entitled “Remembering Krzysztof” which has been touring the world since 1994. Since 1995, he has been working on a new book and exhibition project entitled “Cinematographers” – a collection of portraits of directors of photography from around the world. Today he is mainly shooting long feature films – “Animals” (d: Greg Zglinski, which premiered at the Berlinale Forum 2017), “Hermit” (d: Kamal Musale) and “Witness” (d: Mitko Panov)… to name just a few.
MASTERCLASS: THE EVERYDAY LIFE OF A DOP
His masterclass will cover the approach to his work as DoP before, while and after shooting the footage. He will give an insight into the basic steps of the preparation process like reading the script, meeting with the director, discussing visual concepts, visiting locations, taking lots of pictures as a base for further discussion with the director, producer and heads of the crew. Casting the crew, choice of the camera, special effects, light and grip equipment. For Jaxa the close collaboration with the art director is very important. During the filming process it is more and more common to work with two cameras and a small number of lights. He’ll point out simplistic means of achieving dramatic and visually interesting images and the importance of a professional crew on a low budget film production. For the postproduction the participants will learn about his experience in working with special effects, grading and the matter of achieving overall high-impact-shots and the final print of the DCP.
MASTERCLASS: PHOTOGRAPHY IN FILM
He was 13 years old when he started taking pictures. This has been his passion ever since, and after film school in Lodz/Poland has become his profession. He made four books, one of which he will bring to Innsbruck. He worked as a still photographer for several movies, the most well known pictures are the film stills done on the set of Krzysztof Kieslowski colour-trilogy. He will present a selection of his stills and the collection of portraits from his project “Cinematographers”.