Thursday, March 15, 2012

Vincent Laforet's favorite apps

Here's a screenshot of Vincent of the Forest's favorite iPhone apps. I saw Vincent speak last night here in Amsterdam. He is a great photographer, an eloquent & funny speaker and one of the first DSLR filmers. I knew Vincent's name and had seen some of his video work, which looks great btw but to me lacks soul. His videowork so far is an example of technical mastery without a heart. Vincent, so it appeared last night, is a visual artist and a gadget-man, not a storyteller. Vincent likes to shoot from helicopters, get a bird's eye view, have a unique perspective. He doesn't submerge in the pain nor does he get 'up close & personal', to stay in film terms... In that respect it was interesting to see that of all the photographs he showed of New Orleans after hurricane Katrina, just a few were close to actual people. Most shots kept a safe distance and the disaster became a series of impressive yet abstract images. With the exception of a man holding a girl and a photograph of dead and wounded people in an arrival hall (also an overview, yet less distant).
Vincent Laforet in Amsterdam
It was also paradoxical after all this grief to see 'Vincent the documentary photographer' making the switch to 'Vincent the commercial director' shooting a $600.000,- commercial shot with a Phantom slomo camera for a shoe manufacturer. Great footage, but going from such human suffering and poverty to this decadent production was hard to rhyme. It invariably made you wonder: is every second of this commercial worth $10.000,-? My answer was no. It left me completely cold. The same for his film Möbius. It's a DOP's production, full of great shots, beautiful lighting and effects. But rather cliché in drama and lacking real emotion. (But I'm sure it was a lot of fun making it!)
To be clear, I'm not trying to knock the guy. He has worked hard enough to earn the right to fool around for a few years and prove himself as a filmmaker. He is a young guy and will get many more chances. I have great respect for his craftsmanship and what he has achieved for himself. But amidst all the fireworks of amazingly perfect images, I was never really touched by Möbius. I clinically hovered over it in awe, like his favorite gyrocopter shooting from the air. I longed for something imperfect and ugly, something real. All this money and talent towards... this? I felt I had seen it before. Coming from someone with a documentary background, I had expected something more.  I hope his next, feature film, will have some more emotional texture. So that his technical wizardry will be matched by more profound content.


  1. here's the exclusive video-interview with Vincent Laforet, which I made that evening:

  2. Mooie blog Jeroen! Gr. Hans. (RefHan)

    1. Dank je, Hans! Ben je mooie dingen aan het maken? Waar draai je mee? Nog leuke speeltjes?