Visit to Russian Guild of Cinematographers RGC

While in Moscow for the CILECT Conference I was invited by the RGC team to visit their headquarters and to have a chat about cinematographer’s authorship rights. I was received with a very warm welcome by a group RGC cinematographers along with general secretary Tatiana Plakhova who organised the meeting including a translator.

The meeting was programmed to be in the evening and while talking we would have inevitably a lot to drink and to eat.

Concerning the authorship, the Russian cinematographers are also in the same situation as everyone else. Difficulties of recognition, including from the local collecting society that seems not to be in place, contractual conditions and also some overlapping tasks taken by others like not being present as the cinematographer in the color grading booth.   

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 From Left to right: Tatiana Plakhova, Vladimir Klimov, Sasha Ilkhovsky, Tatiana Makovskaya (student), Tony Costa, Alexander (translator), Denis
Alarcon Ramirez, Alexey Fedorov and Sergey Akopov.

It was explained that it was a very complex matter that starts by the fact that the law only recognises three major elements of the film production. Director/Writer/musician. The cinematographers could in certain cases get secondary rights throughout our local collecting societies to get some «royalties» from retransmission rights, copies and others. To be able to get that we cinematographers need to be recognised first as authors of the photography by the collecting society. It seemed by the conversation that is not the case in Russian and the cinematographers must first approach the local collecting society and become members.

The procedure of taking these steps can vary from country to country but the major obstacle is in fact the non-recognition of the cinematographer as an author in the feature narrative films by the law of authorship.

Luciano Tovoli AIC ASC founder of IMAGO is leading the authorship committee to reinforce the need to have more action in this field. It is important for cinematographers to reach a level of recognition that can protect their intellectual work and creativity input given to into the films and not rather be considered.   

IMAGO has been pursuing the objective of reaching one day authorship recognition for the cinematography and you can read some documentation and info in this section of the website Read authorship

Tony Costa aip

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  Yuri liubshin arrived a few minutes later  Cheers to IMAGO
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The building where RGC has its own headquarters  Sasha Ilkhovsky explains the plaque that is right at the
entrance of the building 
honouring Vladimir Lenin.
The plaque marks the place 
Lenin has given a speech during the rallies in 1918.
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 At the entrance of the building we can see a gallery of
from Russian film sets.
 A counter also where there is a book shop with cinema books.
a bit abandoned a few film cans on the floor.
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 The first President of the Guild of cinematographers Alexander
Knyazhinsky (worked with Andrei Tarkovsky
 The RGC was founded in 1989 and in the office walls
there are depicted several group pictures of Russian
cinematographers taken all throughout the years
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