PETRA KORNER

 

Born: c. 1977, Vienna, Austria.

Education: Tisch School of the Arts, Kanbar Institute of Film & Television, New York University [NYU] [BFA, 1999]; FAMU, Prague; Graduate School of the American Film Institute [AFI] [MFA in Cinematography, 2004].

Career: 'My father was probably my biggest influence. Besides being an excellent still photographer, he is a huge art and antiques collector. There was not one inch of empty wall to be found in our house. Growing up in Vienna, where you bump into art everywhere you turn, was certainly part of it, too... although Austria is pretty removed from any kind of film industry. [...] My father gave me one of his old still cameras, a Pentax Spotmatic, with a set of very nice prime lenses. I eventually got my own Super 8 camera and a bunch of Tri-X film. I made strange and dark experimental films that really made no sense. [...] During my first semester at NYU, I was supposed to write, direct and produce a short film, and recruit classmates to be the crew. When I had to pick a cinematographer to shoot my film, I was devastated. Letting go of the camera was unimaginable to me. Letting go of the script or directing the actors, however was not so hard. After pleading with the faculty, I was allowed to shoot my own short film. The shortcomings were obvious. The film made no sense whatsoever, and I remember the poor actors feeling very neglected. When this became a pattern, two faculty members took me aside and said, 'Petra, you shoot these beautiful images. Have you ever though about becoming a cinematographer?' I listened and enrolled in a cinematography class. My first day in that class, I knew I had found my true calling. I felt like someone had opened the door to paradise. The head of the cinematography department was a Russian cinematographer named Arnold Basov. He was very passionate about cinematography. That rubbed off on all his students. [...] I went to live in Paris for about two and a half years after NYU. I made a living working as a camera assistant. At the same time I also shot music videos and a large number of short films to build my reel. When I moved back to the U.S., I switched [from camera] to the electric and grip departments. […] Almost every teacher at the AFI influenced me. The cinematography department was amazing. We had lighting seminars with great cinematographers. Bill Dill was the head of the department at the time. I have to give him credit for so much. He taught us invaluable lessons about humility, work ethics and fighting for first-class images.' [From interview with Bob Fisher on the KODAK OnFilm website.]

Ph commercials dir by Martin Romanella, Alonso F. Mayo [for BMW], Augusto Gimenez Zapiola [for Chevrolet], a.o. Ph music videos.

Is a member of the ICG Local 600.

Awards: NYU 'Nestor Almendros Award' for Cinematography [?] for 'Two Pieces'; Brooklyn IFF 'Certificate for Outstanding Achievement - Cinematography' [2004] for 'Shards'; Women In Film 'Kodak Vision Award' for Cinematography [2009].

Website: Petra Korner


Video vs. Film: 'They are different mediums. Video is electronic rather than organic. Film is also much better at holding highlights and reproducing true blacks. I haven't seen any video that looks remotely like film. Why take a medium and try to manipulate it to make it look like something else? Unfortunately, some people are blinded by the latest technological hype. I feel like there has been so much HD propaganda out there that it's our responsibility to tell producers, directors and the upcoming generations of young cinematographers that all they need to do is look at the two mediums side by side and make an informed decision. The comparison speaks for itself. It doesn't take a cinematographer's eye to see and feel the shortcomings of the electronic capture medium.

My agents used to be terrified when I told them I wasn't interested in taking films shooting HD. Now they respect this. As long as there is a significant difference between the two mediums, I stand by my decision. And seeing how every year new and improved film stocks with unparalleled latitude and richness hit the market, I don't have to be afraid for this to happen in my lifetime.'


 

 FILMS & TELEVISION

1999

Two Pieces [Gil Gruenberg] s16/c; short/25m; + co-scrpl; P. Korner's thesis film NYU

2001

Lumières en sous-sol [Thomas Guttierrez] c; short/15m

2003

Collectibles [Miranda Yousef] c; short/12m; prod UCLA (director's thesis film)

2004

Shards [Jonathan Levine] scope/c; short/23m; prod AFI (USA)

2005

Minotauro [Alejandro Cano] s16/c

2005

Love Bytes [Jonathan Levine] HD/c; comm doc/15m; for Audi of America promoting the new Audi A3

2006

All the Boys Love Mandy Lane [Jonathan Levine] s35/c; 2uc; ph: Darren Genet

2006

Burwa dii ebo/The Wind and the Water [Vero Bollow & The Igar Yala Collective] HD/c; 2nd doph: David Walter Lech

2006

Stefan's Green Card [Alonso F. Mayo] c; short/2m

2006

It Looks Just Like You [Monique N. Matthews] c; PSA/90s

2006

Mommy's House [Aron Kantor] s16/c; short/19m

2006

Warrior Queen [Hezekiah L. Lewis III] s35/c; short/21m; cph: Paul DeLumen; prod UCLA

2007

Fred and Ted [Max Leavitt] c; short/15m

2007

The Wackness [Jonathan Levine] s35/c

2007

The Informers [Gregor Jordan] s35 (+ D-Cinema)/c; aph: Dylan Goss

2008

My Soul to Take [Wes Craven] s35/c; addph: William Rexer; 2uc: Richard Rutkowski

2012

Die Werkstürmer/Taking It Back [Andreas Schmied] s35 (+ digital)/c

2013

Lacrimosa [Tanja Mairitsch] HD (ARRI ALEXA)/c; exp short/18m; uwph: Sascha Mieke; filmed 2013-15

2013

Umrika [Prashant Nair] s16-to-digital (scope)/c; filmed 2013-14

2015

Zayed/Zayed the First - Story of Union [Mohammed Gomaa] HD (ARRI ALEXA); pre-production

2016

Chicken|Egg [James D'Arcy] HD/c; short/15m; 2uc: Catherine Goldschmidt

2017

Harri Pinter, Drecksau [Andreas Schmied] tvm

2017

The Pages [Joe Chappelle] HD/c

2017

Sugar [?] pre-production

 

 MISCELLANEOUS

2000

The Laughter of God [Dylan Verrechia; short] co-c.asst; ph: Mario Pegoraro & (uncred) D. Verrechia

200?

Goodbye [dir; short/?m] ph: ?; prod AFI (USA)

2004

Wednesday Afternoon [Alonso F. Mayo; short] co-electrician; ph: Paula Huidobro; prod AFI (USA)

2004

Keeper of the Past [Alonso F. Mayo; short] co-electrician; ph: Zoltán Honti; prod AFI (USA)

2004

The Secret Parts of Fortune [Todd Albright; short] co-electrician; ph: Darren Genet; prod AFI (USA)

2005

Skylab [Mark Landsman; short] electrician; ph: Young-Rho Kim; prod AFI (USA)

2005

[Tillie Olsen:] I Stand Here Ironing [Bruce Schwartz; short] co-1st c.asst; ph: Darren Genet

2005

Entity: Nine [Brad Kean; short] co-c.op; ph: Nelson Cragg; prod USC

2005

The Key [Todd Kaufman; short] co-grip; ph: Dave Perkal

2006

El Mascarado Massacre/Wrestlemaniac [Jesse Baget] co-asst chief lighting tech; ph: Tabbert Fiiller