World Renowned Cinematographer And Director Emilie Pesante

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Hi Emilie, it’s lovely to meet you. First, let’s start with your introduction into directing and cinematography. How did it all begin?

I was born and raised in Marseille, France. I pursued Audiovisual studies at the National Superior School Audiovisuel in Marseille and when I was 22, I moved to Paris to start my career as a camera operator. First I worked at Cinécinéma, a TV channel devoted to cinema. I filmed interviews of actors, directors, and red carpet events and through word of mouth, I gained recognition in the industry. I started to work as camera operator on many famous french TV shows with millions of viewers.

In 2010, I started to be a correspondent for the press agency -Sports News TV (SNTV). I covered many huge events like the Euro, the World Cup and the Championship etc. Many of my videos have been broadcast by channels across the world. In the same year, I started to be a director on documentaries for many French TV shows with millions of viewers.

In 2015, I was a director on Radio Europe 1, where the programs are filmed and broadcast live on their official website. Since 2018, I have traveled back and forth from France to Los Angeles, working as a correspondent for various prestigious press agencies. I was also a co-director on the new series documentary “Les Mamans” aired daily on 6ter and produced by Warner Bros, France. The show has enjoyed huge success and popularity.

In October 2019, I also began working with the American channel FOX Soul, a new live and interactive streaming channel dedicated to African American viewers. I work every day on 3 live talk shows, hosted by Claudia Jordan, Mike Hill & Donny Harrell, Tammi Mac and Dr. Sean McMillan.

Do you feel like you have grown a lot more as an artist over the years, through your experiences?

Of course! I’m not this 22 year old girl from Marseille, France anymore. When I came to Paris, it wasn’t easy because I didn’t know nobody and I had to prove that I had my place between these people. It was hard sometimes but I believed in myself and I knew I could have success with what I do. I learned a lot about myself, about my work, about working with a team or alone. When I started in the industry, I was shy and scared to do something wrong, or to talk to anyone, but I learned a lot. Now I’m very social, very confident in what I do -I know how I can do a good documentary, how I have to speak with my talent to do their best on the camera. I can express myself when I film and do something artistic. I’m so glad to be what I am today.

What has been one of your favorite projects to work on so far?

So many! I love covering live concerts like “Electroshock” (4h live music with famous DJ’s) in France, because I can express my creativity. But I also love doing documentaries about someone talking about their life and listening to them through my camera. I did a documentary about people who lost everything during the fires in Malibu in 2018. I didn’t want to show the sad side, but on the contrary I wanted to show the mutual aid between the community and do something positive.

On a different note, I love covering sports events like the Youth Olympic Games, The European Championships, or the Handball World Cup Championships. There is always a good atmosphere and a lot of athletes are great examples -they believe in themselves, stay focused on succeeding and share the same team spirit.

What has been one of the biggest highlights/achievements of your career?

Being a director for radio and documentaries. I started as a camera operator for short reports, I grew up and step by step I began to be a director for reports of 4 minutes, then 8 minutes. Then on radio with 7 robotics cameras. I hope to be a director for a big show soon.

Who has been one of your favorite actors/filmmakers you have worked with so far and why?

I love working with Michel Denisot, a French host. We worked together on the daily show “Le grand journal”. I loved working with him because he is really talented, smart and nice. On this show, many American celebrities were guests like Leonardo DiCaprio, Martin Scorsese, Justin Timberlake and Pharrell Williams. This TV show is very successful thanks to the quality of the show.

I also loved working with TV Director Mathieu Besset. I learned a lot by being next to him -he knows exactly what he wants and how to achieve it. He doesn’t hesitate to go on stage and move a chair himself and check that everything is clear for the scene or shoot. He is really talented and a very nice person.

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What other projects do you have coming up?

I work on the Youth Olympic Games in Switzerland until the 23rd January of 2020. Then I go back to Los Angeles and start my work again on Fox Soul, a new live streaming channel dedicated to the African American viewers. I am also going to be working on a new documentary for Netflix and another produced by Warner Bros.

What is your best piece of advice for aspiring artists?

Trust in yourself! If you trust in yourself, 50% of your journey is done. Even if it’s hard, don’t give up, be persistent, work hard, believe in your dream, and prove to everybody who said “you can’t do it” -that they were wrong!

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Entertainment, News, Features & Interviews From Around The World -By: Amber Bollard (Interviewer/Writer)

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