[Photo credit: Joel Ryan / AP]

It isn’t too often I have the opportunity to walk the red carpet and hobnob among the industry elite, and, to tell you the truth, with the nearby likes of Bruce Willis, Ed Norton, Jason Schwartzman and Tilda Swinton, I received something less than zero notice strolling up the stairs into the Palais. I shot second unit camera on Moonrise Kingdom, specifically aerial work from the seaplane and several other scenes, and was in Cannes to support my long-time friend and director Wes Anderson, above, with whom I’ve had a mutually inspiring relationship ever since our first collaboration on Bottle Rocket over twenty years ago.

In many ways Moonrise Kingdom was perfect to open the festival. Owing to its strong artistic underpinnings and Alexandre Desplat’s very French musical score, the film's European sensibility is amply reflected in the director’s imprimateur, which is evident in virtually every scene, frame and composition.

Inside the Palais on a sixty-foot screen the digitally projected film appeared breathtaking, and the Super 16-originated production held up extremely well at high magnification, thanks mostly to today’s superior film stocks and Zeiss lenses. In fact, virtually the entire show was shot with Zeiss Super Speeds, specifically the 9.5mm, the beauty and versatility of this now vintage 16mm format lens being apparent throughout the production.

If you’ve never been to Cannes let me just say the festival can be WAY over the top. Between the swarming crowds, screaming paparazzi, run-amok star worship, and the world’s rudest waiters brought in from miles around to man the local cafes, the festival can be a challenging ordeal to navigate and somehow enjoy.

Still the presentation of Moonrise Kingdom in such a venue, before an adoring and appreciative international audience, was a joy to behold. My minor role in the production notwithstanding, it helped restore my faith in the industry, that it is still possible to produce compelling film art exhibiting a high degree of craft and grace.

The author during his red carpet moment.