Sponsored: Surviving Cannes - star interviews

Total Film's insider guide to the Cannes Film Festival, in association with Microsoft, powered by the HP Spectre x360.

At home or abroad, interviews are always one of the most exciting parts of the job for a film journo.

Like everything else, the experience is magnified one-hundred-fold in Cannes. Maybe it's the combination of the heat, the sleep deprivation, and the daily diet of snatched croissants, fast food and constant caffeine inhalation, but everything feels more intense during the festival. Time is limited, meaning much of the pitching for interviews is done on Day 0, in between arranging your screening schedule, finding your hotel and liaising with your teams (both here and in the UK). Often, interviews will be confirmed at the last minute – meaning you've always got to be on top of your schedule, and ready to interview an A-lister at a moment's notice.

Not that we're complaining. Amid all the hustle and bustle, Cannes is often the place where you get some of your very best interviews. Why? Because of where you get to do the interviews. Where else do you get to talk to your favourite director, actor or actress while sipping an ice-cold refreshment on the beach with the surf lapping and the horizon dotted by yachts? Roof top terraces are also a favourite, the sun-soaked town offering a panoramic view. And occasionally, if you’re lucky, the interview might take place on one of those yachts you’ve been espying. That said, having to remove your shoes to climb aboard makes for a weird environment – Total Film once went literally toe-to-toe with Jason Statham.

Conducting interviews in t-shirts, shorts and flip-flops certainly adds to the relaxed ambience (don't forget your sunglasses - they're often essential for those magic-hour time-slots). Who isn't more chilled out when they're barefoot on the beach with a glass of rosé in hand? Even so, after a laidback chat, the commotion resumes the moment you're done. Needing to file copy fast, having the HP Spectre x360 to hand is a huge help; the ability to switch straight from laptop mode to tablet is extremely useful when you're required to write on the hoof. Space is often at a premium at Cannes, so you'll be typing up you material in a crowded press room, perched on a wall by the seafront, or even in the queue for your next film.

With downtime at a minimum during the buzz of the fest, you have to make it count. No matter how small your hotel room, there's always space to pop the HP Spectre x360 into tent-mode to cram in an episode of your latest Netflix obsession, or to Skype with your loved ones back home (often essential when you're away for the best part of two weeks). Failing that, you can simply fall back on your bed and check your Twitter timeline in tablet mode; nobody sees films in Cannes without wanting to know what everyone else in the industry thought of them as well...

For anything to work successfully in Cannes, it has to be fast, flexible, and able to sustain energy over long, relentless days. And yes, that goes for the journos as much as their gadgets.

In partnership with Microsoft, powered by the HP Spectre x360