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  The cinema photos
by Lina Job Wertmuller

The cinema crew is a family, one patrol of soldiers that goes to the assault, a group of adventurous looking for emotions...argonauts hunting the golden fleece. The treasure, the golden fleece is always given by the images. It is in the story for images that it is the movie, there is narrator of the adventure that is the photographer of scene. Who had to believe that it deals with an easy work, he is wrong because of the apparent confusion of the set, where all persons work behind their assignments to put together at their best the tragic equation: time, money, quality. The Still Photographer, that has to document the whole progress of the production, must have a lot of qualities. He has to become a kind of elf. He must know how thread his way in the close meshes of the group formed by the camera, the direction of movie and that is for lights, finding himself from the point of the camera, just to have the same view of the shot, all this without interfering in the delicate job of the group. Then he must have a good athletic preparation, and I say this because sometimes he has to climb on a staircase or to slither like a serpent along the ground, and know how to move in a synchronized way with the movements of the camera, always avoiding to upset the delicate equilibrium of the scene, the tension of the actors and the technicians, the magic circle of the direction in relation to the concentration requested by the recitation, with the careful eye to catch on fast the key moments of the action that is taking place. Thousand of times, during my thirty-four movies, I have chased, with friendly swearwords and even also with physical threats, the omnipresent photographer that was settled under the camera in what is instead the place of the director.
Besides, he has to photograph the set and the whole movement of the troupe job, without missing all the possible epic moments: quarrels, loves, stripteases and apocalyptic rages.
Then its job has to suffer the control of the direction and of the actors, categories of notorious nuisances. In short, it is not an easy job, it is job of battle.
I have been lucky. For many of my movies, I had good photographers.
Who has been me nearer was Tonino Benedetti. With his red hair worse of a Scottish, the green eyes and a poet soul, he was one of the greatest photographers of scene of our cinema.
I can never forget his desperation, during the shots of "Travolti da un insolito destino nell'azzurro mare d'agosto", when transferring from a boat to another, an anomalous wave made him to fall in water his cameras. All people dived into the sea for recovering them. But they were uselessly recovered, the brackish made them unusable. Tonino cried like a child.


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