Introducing cinematographer Damien Dufresne, new active member at the AFC

By Olivier Chambon, AFC, and Pierre Milon, AFC

Damien Dufresne, the AFC’s newest active member, is presented below by Olivier Chambon and Pierre Milon, his AFC sponsors, via two texts they wrote in support of his admission.

Damien, welcome to the AFC !, by Olivier Chambon, AFC
I met Damien in 2004 when he was working as a film color timer at GTC. I was color timing Le Silence, Orso Miret’s second feature film, shot in Super 35. I’ll admit that when GTC introduced me to him, I was a bit skeptical because of his young age. The film had a number of day-for-night sequences that required a sure hand, as color timing possibilities are very limited in film and having recourse to a 2K scan and a digital color grading were completely out of reach for a low-budget film such as ours. To add to the difficulty, I was shooting another film in the French provinces and therefore I could only watch 35mm reels screened in a cinema on Sunday mornings and then send my notes to Damien, and wait for the corrections to be sent to me the following Sunday, knowing that it wouldn’t be possible to cut and develop 600 meters of film over and over again just to adjust two or three shots. I had the happy surprise to discover that he did a perfect job transcribing them onto film. He had told me he intended to compete for admission to La Fémis to become a cinematographer, and that seemed completely reasonable to me given how sensitive he was to the image and how well he knew the film production chain. I was very happy to learn, later on, that he had successfully been admitted.
Many years later, I heard tell of him again by a producer friend, Nicolas Lesoult, who was producing a documentary in Israel and was telling me wonderful things about a young French cameraman who lived there… Damien Dufresne.
In Spring 2022, while I was preparing for a film that was being shot in Israel, I first contacted my friend Michel Abramowicz to learn about how things are done in Israeli cinema, and I also contacted Damien, who was most helpful. That is why, firmly convinced that he has earned his place amongst us, I ask you to welcome Damien as one of us, because, ever since the bygone days of GTC, he has fully proven himself as a cinematographer. I will add that I am also very moved that Pierre Milon is his other sponsor, as he was one of my sponsors for my own membership application to the AFC, and the other was my very dear and sorely missed friend Matthieu Poirot-Delpech.
Welcome to the AFC, Damien !

Dynamic and enthusiastic, Damien Dufresne will be an active contributor to the AFC, by Pierre Milon, AFC
I met Damien at La Fémis while I was supervising a 16mm shoot for the first-year students. Our discussions were very rich and his experience as a color timer at GTC before attending La Fémis allowed him to approach camera work with a great deal of pertinence.
I then saw his work on lighting and camera again when I watched the graduation-project films three years later. I was struck and astonished by the quality of his images, the exactness of his choices, and his very-mature camera artistry. As far as I was concerned, he was already a cinematographer in his own right.
In 2010, I recommended him to a director friend to do the cinematography on a feature film I was unable to do myself. As a result, Viene una chica, directed by Chema Sarmiento, is a complete success from the standpoint of the cinematography and was the confirmation of his professional and personal competence on set.
We have remained in contact, and he always invites me to see the films he has worked on.
Since then, he has brilliantly forged his path in France and abroad with about fifteen shorts, two television series, and three features to his credit.
I think that he absolutely has his place amongst us and that his dynamic spirit and enthusiasm will allow him to play an active role in our association.