In September 2014, I was tasked with spearheading a photo/video studio at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), something we had never done before at Deadline/AwardsLine. We felt the festival provided a great opportunity to photograph and interview actors and filmmakers who would become part of the Oscar/awards season conversation once things really got underway in November-December. Because my art and editorial budgets were so tiny, we needed to shoot several portraits in one day to maximize the day rate we pay our photographers. So, in the four days we were in Toronto we photographed and interviewed upwards of 70 people. It was an insane amount of work, especially for our first festival. Mark Mann, an amazing and insanely generous photographer, was the perfect choice to cycle through portrait sessions that often lasted only a few minutes. I handled off-camera video interviews with the talent, which Mark recorded for us. We did such a great job in Toronto that we did similar studios at Deadline's The Contenders event (a day of panel sessions with studios and talent from over a dozen awards season films), the Sundance Film Festival, the Tribeca Film Festival and several one-off studio days that we hosted in PMC's in-house photo studio, and even in the PMC newsroom. We primarily worked with two photographers: Mark Mann (who is New York-based) and J.R. Mankoff (who is L.A.-based). I wrangled the talent, organized the schedules, wrote and sent out the call sheets and kept the days running smoothly. In an ideal world I would have had a photo editor or video producer to do this work, but in today's reality of wearing multiple hats, I pretty much did the organizational heavy lifting myself, with occasional help.
Some of the video that was taken at both Toronto and Sundance can be seen at these links: Dominic Patten interviews Ethan Hawke @ Sundance, Toronto Rough Cuts Videos with Jake Gyllenhaal, Miles Teller and Eddie Redmayne.
Below are some behind-the-scenes images from these studios. Please hover your mouse over each pic for more details. (If you're on a mobile device, click the gray circle on the bottom right-hand side of each pic to launch the slide's information.)