A frequent member of the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival is Sean Penn who gets to share the experience with his daughter Dylan Penn both as a director and co-star with the world premiere of Flag Day; based on the memoir Flim-Flam Man: The True Story of My Father’s Counterfeit Life, Dylan Penn portrays journalist Jennifer Vogel while Sean Penn stars as the con artist patriarch John Vogel. Coincidentally, cinematographer Daniel Moder carries on the father-daughter theme even further as his daughter sits in the front passenger’s seat as he drives and talks about the biographical drama. “Going into it we knew the story and the actors were like lightning in a bottle so we were doing our best to keep the quality and energy in the right place. It was Sean’s first time as actor and director on a movie, and since it was our first time working together there was more pressure to get it right and not have him worry. Some days we didn’t have as much of a plan as we would have liked, but the shorthand developed until there was an organic evolution to how we captured our footage.”

“Sean and I grew up in the same town and usually had shared sensibilities in how to tell the story,” states Moder. “It has been 30 years since Sean had his first movie The Indian Runner at Cannes and prior to that so many movies as an actor; he has picked up a lot of stuff along the way and doesn’t forget it. It was tricky finding some of our visual language because it was in his head; sometimes he would want to be real classic or run and gun or homage to a zoom shot he wanted to do. In the beginning when the kids are younger there is definitely a lot more handheld and movement to the camera. When the story shifts to Dylan Penn, we settled the camera much more. Personally, my absolute favorite part, maybe of my career, was looking through the eyepiece at Sean and being able to just stare and witness the amazing choices and details he applies as an actor. All of the hustle would fall away and we could enjoy the performance.”

Read the full article here