Don Brubaker Reflects on SBIFF
Shooting the red carpet is just one of the many hats Don Brubaker has worn over the past few months. We asked him a couple of questions about his experience.
Covering SBIFF is just a whirlwind! What were some highlights for you? Brubaker: First and foremost, the incredible SBIFF staff. Huge shoutout to press coordinator Tyler Carr and her team for keeping the media organized and informed. I’m not prone to getting starstruck but it was pretty cool to see a few top-tier actors in person — all of whom were incredibly kind. Of personal note were Ke Huy Quan and Stephanie Hsu; not only were they in my favorite film of 2022 (Everything Everywhere All at Once), but they were having the absolute time of their lives on the red carpet, a total joy to photograph.
Take us through a typical night of a red-carpet photographer. Festival press is a definite “hurry up and wait” game. I typically arrived to check in at the Arlington around 6 p.m. I would get my cameras dialed in and patiently wait for talent to arrive. The arrival of a black SUV in front of the theater, immediately followed by screams from onlooking fans, were the obvious tells that a bona fide celebrity was in our midst. Some walked the carpet quickly, others more casually. Some answered questions while others preferred a poised stoicism likely to draw the awe of even the most unstarstruckable (like myself). After a few photo ops, the talent would be ushered into the Arlington, bringing a swift end to my work. The hour-plus wait most evenings would usually only yield 10-15 minutes of concentrated shutter-snapping, but it was sure fun while it lasted.
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