Phedon Papamichael recently spoke to Greek Reporter, and urged all Greeks of diaspora to support filmmakers in Greece and abroad who are struggling to find work due to budgets cuts as a result of the financial crisis. Greece is currently lacking in production when it comes to professional filmmaking.
“The spirit of the Greek Artists is not broken yet, but it is injured,” stated Papamichael in an exclusive interview. Watch the full interview below:
One of the most successful cinematographers in Hollywood, Papamichael was born in Greece but came to the USA at age six when his father took a job as a production designer for John Cassavetes.
After high school, he studied photography and art at the University of Munich (his mother is German), graduating with a degree in Fine Arts in 1982. He learned cinematography firsthand while working in the field, getting his start on “Dance of the Damned” in 1988.
Papamichael has shot many successful movies including “The Descendants,” “The Ides of March,” “W.,” “3:10 to Yuma,” “The Pursuit of Happyness,” “The Weather Man,” “Walk the Line” and “Sideways.”
Speaking about how he finds success as a cinematographer and deciding on which script to shoot, Papamichael says that he just trusts his instinct.
“I don’t really go for the big spectacle movies, or the big action movies, I always go for the simpler character pieces,” he added.
Papamichael made his directorial debut with Showtime’s “Sketch Artist” in 1992. Since then, he has directed four movies including “Dark Side of Genius,” “Arcadia Lost” and “From Within.” His latest film “Lost Angeles” will be released this year.
“It is a love story between two not fully functional people, a slice of Los Angeles life,” he says.
Papamichael spends most of his time in Hollywood but visits Greece often, and he worries about the situation facing his Greek colleagues.
“It’s very problematic. Even the filmmakers who had recent success and won international Awards are struggling to get their next film made. It is not a situation that is really acceptable. If we do not support them they will leave the country and then there will be a void of young creative power.”