Maurice and Roger Fellous

Two new honorary members for the AFC

La Lettre AFC n°140

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Roger and Maurice Fellous, seen through the eyes of Georges Lautner
Roger Fellous agreed to direct the photography of my first film. I thought I " knew " after spending years as an assistant... fortunately, he taught me to be right.
He refused to do my second film. Either he didn’t believe in me, or he had designs on a better job. He introduced me to his brother - to replace him - and it worked out... How come ? It’s all down to the " Fellous charm " and I made the right decision. I’ve liked Maurice for a long time and I still do. He’s a great bloke. Back in those days - or thanks to the New Wave which now seems quite old - we criticised the supremacy of the Director of Photography (I knew what that meant since I had assisted great directors) and I dreamt of using some of the time devoted to them for directing.

It was Maurice’s first film and my second. My whole team was made up of beginners and we were all in the same boat. Even though Maurice accommodated my directions (short shooting time, immediate efficiency), he strove constantly to improve his images. We were very close. The whole team knew that our strength lay in the fact that we obtained good quality in a short space of time.

I am full of admiration for Maurice, he invented lenses and dioptres with his brother (and with Angénieux). He was always striving for perfection using his " make do " approach.
At the same time, in the spare time I left him, his quest was for anything strange or unexpected... in other words, inexpensive inventiveness.
I owe him a lot - I daren’t say everything.
My success is a collective success, that of a team.

Welcome to our new honorary members, by Jean-Jacques Bouhon
Just a few words to say how happy I am to welcome Roger and Maurice Fellous to our ranks. It brings back memories of the early days of my career.
I worked more regularly with Roger, whom I look upon as my " film daddy ".
He taught me something very important : human relations on a set. Working with him was a joy, even if we weren’t making a masterpiece... And I still put into practice what he often repeated to me : find some enjoyment and originality even in the most “ bread and butter ” filming : this will allow you to look people in the eye when you talk about your work...

Roger and Maurice are handymen and talented inventors. In particular, they contributed to developing a French “ Scope ” system. On a set, Roger had the knack of finding quick solutions to any problems. He rigged up a lightweight rucksack, an aluminium post and elastics and used this contraption to film amazingly flexible shots with a hand-held camera. Something like an ancestor to the Easy Rig, which resembles it closely !

Roger and Maurice both have a very long and varied filmography and careers that continued into their old age : in our business, retirement is not always a restful time... but would we wish for that ?

Welcome to the AFC, the Fellous Brothers (as you are sometimes known in our circles). I hope we shall have the pleasure of seeing you at our " avant-premières " and the various events we organise.

(Translated from French by Moira Tulloch)