Laurent Terzieff

Laurent Terzieff in Cologne, May 2010 © Cedric Arnold / realfeatures.com

French cinema and theatre lost one of its great talents last week when Laurent Terzieff passed away. I had the honor of working with him on what turned out to be his very last day at work. I arranged a portrait session between scenes – Above are some of the resulting images – shot with my trusty old Bronica SQ.

It felt very strange when I heard the news; after all, we’d only wrapped filming just over a month before… The conversations I had with him were extraordinary, he was so giving, he told me about his experiences with Godard, Luis Bunuel and all the greats… We chatted on several occasions throughout that day in Cologne while lighting and camera gear was set up for different scenes… About cinematography, the superb candle-lit scenes in Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon, the magnificent tones in Welles’ The Third Man… How actors need to adapt when moving from the stage to the film set, the eye line, the pace of sentences…

It was fascinating and I wish I could have spoken longer with him. I was humbled by his experience, knowledge and kindness. The first assistant came to tell us he was needed back on set – Mr Terzieff could see I was not done yet and said “lets finish this roll shall we, it won’t make any difference if I’m a few minutes late and we’ll make sure you have what you need”. RIP