Hollywood-trained Director of Photography amazed by Chiatura's beauty
21 July, 2016
Hollywood-trained Director of Photography amazed by Chiatura's beauty
The director of photography of Hollywood and Bollywood Thomas Burns was living in Georgia twenty years ago. Now he is in Georgia again and planning to stay for a long time. He told us about the rise of Georgian cinematography and his love towards this country.

-Recently, a group from Hollywood was here… You have been living here for two years already and met this group from Hollywood, who wanted to see Georgia…

- Yes, I have worked in Hollywood for
ten years… As for the group you mentioned, I did not know anyone who was there. I met them here for the first time. They were mainly location managers and everything was organized by Georgian government. I was invited by the Ministry of Economy. I was very nice to meet my American colleagues. They chose several routes and we visited those places together. I have seen almost all the regions in Georgia but I had never seen Chiatura. This town is unbelievably beautiful! I think Chiatura is one of the best location in the world, where you can film to movies. The most important thing is that this is a natural beauty and we were amazed by the fact that the town was built in such an unusual locality, where everything is connected by cable cars. New ropeways and better conditions would of course make this town a lot more attractive for tourists. However, if we talk about the movies, the actual infrastructure is very interesting.

- Was there anything else in Georgia that the Americans found interesting?

- They liked Tbilisi, Kazbegi, Tskaltubo, Kutaisi… Especially it was the parliament building in Kutaisi that attracted their attention. It is a little strange and different from other parliament buildings in the world. The Tskaltubo sanatorium has its old style preserved and is also very interesting. In Kazbegi they liked Gergeti trinity church.

- Do they plan to shoot anything in Georgia in the nearest future?

- The group consisted of a very successful people. They were the makers of the movies like Mission Impossible, Transformers, Star Wars… They will now meet directors and producers in Hollywood and share their impressions with them. I have high hopes that they will chose Georgia as a shooting location. It may not be a big movie at first but gradually this country will become very popular in that direction. There is a very important renaissance in Georgian cinematography and I am very happy to be a part of that.

- You have been living here for two years already and you are in love with this country. You even expressed indignation about the fact that people throw garbage everywhere. Did the people from Hollywood mention this fact too?

- The situation now is a lot better in that respect by the way. I don’t think the group has seen anything like that or paid attention to those kinds of facts. They had other important things to see.

- Did they like Georgian cuisine?

- Yes, they liked it very much. We began from Tbilisi and visited Svaneti, Kakheti, Imereti, Adjara… Each of these regions has its own special kind of food. They were so impressed that every time they finished eating, they couldn’t wait for the next dinner time to come. Unfortunately they were very busy and did not have much time to get to know Georgian culture more.

- What are you doing in Georgia at present?

- I have just finished working on a musical video, where I was the chief cameraman. Bollywood’s professional were here and they made a video not a pornography, as some sources claimed. They chose Tbilisi Opera as the location. It is a wonderful building. There is another project coming: American and Polish movie makers will visit Georgia and we plan to shoot the movies together. The first film will be about Georgia.

- Do you plan to stay in Georgia longer?

- I was living here about twenty years ago. Then I left but missed Georgia so much that I decided to come back. I do not plan to leave for a very long time. My American dog is here, which means I will stay here for a very long time. I also have a wonderful Georgian girlfriend and everything goes perfectly in my personal life’. Now the elections are coming and I know everyone is switched to politics. I remember what Georgia was like in 1998 and I don’t think there is any other country in the world that achieved so much progress in such a short period of time. Georgians are strong, there are some wonderful people in the villages and I believe this country is approaching a very good period.

By Manana Gabrichidze

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