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Biography

Jump to: Overview (1)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Trivia (2)  | Personal Quotes (7)

Overview (1)

Born in Budapest, Hungary

Mini Bio (1)

Mátyás Erdély was born on September 17, 1976 in Budapest, Hungary. He is known for his work on Son of Saul (2015), Tender Son: The Frankenstein Project (2010) and My Backyard Was a Mountain (2005).

Trivia (2)

Member of the 'Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' (AMPAS) since 2016.
Graduated from the American Film Institute Conservatory in 2005.

Personal Quotes (7)

[on the Miss Bala (2011) shoot in Mexico] It was fantastic. It was like a dream come true in many ways: it was a much bigger budget than anything I'd done before, the script was something that I really enjoyed and the concept was great. My crew in Mexico was fantastic. [2015]
I did a lot of shorts. That was my school, basically. I did, like, 30-40 shorts. I never counted them. But I did a lot of shorts with people that I still admire. While I was at AFI I was approached by a director called Kornel Mundruczo, who was really the most interesting director in Hungary of his generation. He was shooting a film called Johanna (2005) and his DoP had to leave, so he called me back from the States to finish. I shot, like, 25 per cent of that film. After that we started collaborating and we did another two films together [Delta (2008) and Tender Son: The Frankenstein Project (2010)], both of which ended up in competition in Cannes. That brought me Miss Bala (2011) and my agent in Los Angeles - that's what really started me. [2015]
Laszlo [László Nemes] and I have been working together since 2007 - we shot three short films together, and in the first film we did, which I shot, he already had a very precise idea of this very unique approach, which we developed for Son of Saul (2015). So he already had a very strong idea, eight years ago, and then when we were shooting it we knew that the story and the form had to be developed in parallel - we knew that this story and this film "language" were inseparable. They couldn't exist without each other, so it was a constant back and forth between the content and the form. (...) We had a small budget - around $1.4 million - and 28 days to shot the whole film. We were shooting on 35mm, we had built sets, we had hundreds of extras. It was tough. And it was a first feature, so there was a huge amount of pressure on Lazslo. What I did is, I basically stood by him throughout the whole thing and made sure he got what he wanted and what he needed. I supported him in each and every argument. We became comrades, fighting against the elements. It was a very unique concept, and nobody really knew if it would work on not. (...) Once we started to shoot and we had our first rushes, then a rough assembly, it was obvious that it was extremely interesting and extremely powerful. But nobody really knew. We never shot any coverage, we never shot any close-ups. We shot what we set out to do and that's all. [Laughs] If we'd failed, we'd have failed big time, because we had no Plan B whatsoever. [2015]
[on the approach of Son of Saul (2015)] We try to hide as much of the information as possible but give the audience just the right amount of information in the exact right moment. It's about controlling the visual information and using sound in relation to that. I can give you the sound of something without showing it to you, and then when I show it to you it's going to have a much bigger effect because you saw it at first out of focus or blurred but you heard the sound of it, so you have a relationship with it. The whole idea is based on this desire to be super-subjective and base the experience on a single person - that is the key. It's almost like being there because it's so subjective. [Variety 2015]
[on Son of Saul (2015)] The film focuses on one character and his journey. We wanted to limit the amount of information that reaches the audience that is not relevant to Saul's "mission" and keep the background secondary. One reason was not to show too much of the horrors that are impossible to portray, and the other reason was really to focus on Saul's story. [2015]
[on Son of Saul (2015)] We visited the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp and also had extensive discussions with our production designer. The main photographic references were the two photographs that were taken by the members of the Sonderkommando that we used as a reference for our photography scene. [2015]
[on Son of Saul (2015)] Long takes require a huge amount of concentration from the whole cast and crew. Shooting on film actually helps to create concentration. Lighting needs to be variable during the shot according to the needs of the scene and the operating of camera and the coordination of background were usually very complex and complicated. We did many elaborate rehearsals to figure out the details and timings. [2015]

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