Produce and direct his film with the traditional funding it is possible…the evidence
A few weeks ago I did share the experience of a young director who was self-produced. You can find the article by clicking on this link. Today, I want to introduce you to another apprentice writer/director I’ve met, and you do enjoy his career and his experience. You will see that make the films by following the correct path it is possible.
This week I found Loïc in a restaurant, near Lille, that he can m’to explain his adventure and that of his movie : never as before.
Tom : To begin with, I’m going to ask you to introduce yourself in a few words.
Loïc : I’m Loïc Van Russel, I am 26 years old. I live in the Hauts de France, I am a director and operator, projectionist of the cinema.
Tom : I’m glad that you have agreed to meet with me and share your experience with the readers of commentFaireUnFilm. You know the blog for a long time ?
Loïc : I find it interesting to share my experience, even if I still have a long way to go. And then I know the blog for a while, I am gone a lot and seek a lot of information, especially info on funding.
Tom : This is super ! I guess you go a little less now because you went up in skill…
Loïc : yes, I’m going under, but it is a mine of information incredible.
Tom : what is it that led you to make the film ?
Loïc : I made a license cinema of Lille 3 and the idea of making the film came naturally….At the beginning, I mostly wanted to write, be a writer. The realization, it was for fun and to test stuff. One day, I wrote a screenplay about a day, took a small camera, some friends, and we went to turn…
Tom : ha yeah the hard. And the subject ?
Loïc : The goal was to turn, to see what I was capable of. Even my friends that were the’technical team and the actors…Some of them could not hold a pole or a camera. I said ” good you you hold the pole like that…and then there “. I knew that the outcome was not going to be like a “real movie”, but the subject was already more or less one of : ” never like before “, there was the theme of addiction to cannabis.
Tom : this is a topic that has been treated hundreds of times…not obvious to find the right angle…de do not fall into the clichés…
Loïc : precisely this is super important as you say, but I’ll get to that later. In short, I mounted the film and I balance it on You tube.
Tom : and ?
Loïc : There is a trick…in spite of the fact that the film has many weak points, the comments are rather good…and I see that the topic affects people. Moreover, it is actually there, thanks to the conversations I have, especially with a guy whose brother has had addiction problems, that I’m planning to go a little further…that is to say, write a script, a real one, and make a film of it for good.
Tom : It’s funny how sometimes we can have a topic which we glue. Well, once you say it, you’re no more advanced ! I mean you don’t know anyone, you don’t have the network…you have perhaps never seen a shooting or participated in a “real” shooting , etc…in short, you are all alone.
Loïc : If, I had still attended some filming with my course, but it’s true, I didn’t have any network. I put it on, I am doing an internship in the realization in my area and I want to show the movie I made with my mates to have a notice a little more pro. The person in question told me what I had felt, that is to say that there is something to do around this subject and the manner in which I began to treat this is interesting. But he advises me to climb a real team, film with real actors…in short, to make a film within the rules of art.
Tom : You decide to look for a production ?
Loïc : No, I decided to set up an associative structure to have a “framework” that is to say, rent equipment and/or apply for grants.
Tom : You forms over the water, you meet people…in short, you get a network…
Loïc : Yes, the first step that was to make up the numbers. Moreover, it’s funny because in 2012, on the series in which I was appearing, I saw a comedian that I found special and I thought it would be perfect for my film in the role of the father, it was Dominique Thomas, who plays the commissioner Tricart in the little murders of Agatha Christie.
Tom : You’re going to see ? You have tried your luck ?
Loïc : No, I said to myself that an actor with so much talent, that plays in a big series, would never accept to be led by a young director who, moreover, made his first short film.
Tom : It doesn’t mean anything, but maybe this was not the best place or the best time to propose her…So what did you do ?
Loïc : On the moment nothing, I continued to write, to train me, to make a little extra…By the way , we met on a tray, you were a wizard!
Tom : No ?! On what ?
Loïc : On a telefilm for France 3, ” tomorrow without fail “.
Tom : It’s huge ! It was a tv movie produced by the BFC and directed by Jean-Louis Lorenzi with Anne decided, Xavier gallais , and Samuel Labarthe (commissioner laurence in the little murders of Agatha christie editor’s NOTE). I wrote a few weeks ago, articles on the figuration in which I say that we must, as awizard or a director, to be benevolent towards the people who agree to make up the numbers etc…I hope that this was the case with you ?
Loïc : Yes, don’t worry.
Tom : let’s get Back to our sheep, where you fall “in love” with an actor.
Loïc : 6 months later, a guy I know who works in the theatre speaks to me of a comedian that I should absolutely meet because it would be perfect for the role of the father…and I give you a thousand : This is Dominique Thomas. Once again, I tell him that he will never accept to play in my film. What I don’t know is that the guy sends my script to Dominique.
Tom : and ?
Loïc : 3 days later, I re-crossed the path at a meeting and he said to me : “I have someone to introduce to you. “
Tom : Dominique Thomas was there !
Loïc : Exactly and he loved my screenplay and wants to play in it !
Tom : Like what, we must dare to trust themselves. Ok, ok, but we’re going a little fast there, because you don’t have money and still not technical team.
Loïc : Yes, except that I continue to move forward on other aspects of the film. I go up a folder. Just now I said that I had set up an association but I didn’t go out of my hat. In my area there is a device of the General Council , which is called : Exchange youth Initiatives. To be able to file an application for funds/ support, there must be an association.
Tom : You have really good reflexes, it’s a pleasure to hear.
Loïc : I pass in front of a commission and Iget an aid of 5000 euros.
Tom : And do you think the crowdfunding ?
Loïc : Yes, but I understand what a campaign it is preparing, it is time consuming.
Tom : And that there must be a network or a project that brings together…to make it through the first circle, what is called the “love money”, i.e. money that relatives give to please…a “real” campaign must go beyond this circle. For this it is necessary to extend the network and it is this that requires a lot of energy because it takes give want internet users to give.
Loïc : Yes, it is clear.
Tom : what do You do then to look for money ?
Loïc : I had already a first folder with the help of the General Council of the Pas-de-Calais…so I decide to try my luck at the commission’s regional support to cinema. Not having a producer I turn to the commission of production associative in my area.
Tom : You know that for a lot of apprentices filmmakers, authors, what you are going to do is to waste 2 years of your life ! They all think that the commissions are rigged, that it takes 2 years to get an answer, if you are not known or if you don’t know the jury , or that you are not the son of machin, you are sure to get you to send it to swell without any explanation ! You are going to do the obstacle course !
Loïc : As you say ! But I really wanted to this step, because getting the fund to support the creation of associative of Pictanovo it is already a recognition professional, it gives credit to the project and therefore the developer. On the other hand, I refused to put money staff, or to run with only 5000 euros.
Tom : so that everything is clear, it must be said that the commission which you speak meets 3 times per year and the aid it brings is more than amazing when you want to start in the cinema. But there are conditions. As, for example, to be a member of this structure and the association to be established in the region in question.
Loïc : Yes, and to be a member of this represents a 35 euro/year ! So, I decided to make an appointment with the person in charge of the aid fund non-profit and I place in a folder.
Tom : It is clear that I prefer to break my piggy bank and put 35 euros (I have a small piggy bank) and to have the chance to make me finance that spending 15 000 euros in my pocket. Especially with these 35 euros you can apply for 12 000 euros in cash and 75% reduction on the hardware (because the structure in question has a fleet of equipment).
Loïc : Yes. Must also say that these are the maximum amounts! It is rare to have the 12 000 euros. And then it depends of your budget.
Tom : The financial assistance may not exceed 49% of your budget and using materials (in industry) may not exceed 7200 euros rental…which is a maximum of 5400 euros discount. So you deposit your folder and…
Loïc : I’m throwing, or rather readjust it because it wasa postponement and not a final refusal.
Tom : Ahahahah, here, if one stops there, the players or the skeptics, in which I talked about earlier are going to gargle happiness by saying : ” here I had said ! All rotten ! “
Loïc : The decision was apparently played at a voice close!!!
Tom : How do you know…commissions are opaque…you never know nothing… (Read this sentence in a way HYPER-ironic !)
Loïc : Not at all. I simply asked the person in charge of the fund and then there is the association of the writers/directors who attends the board and I was able to know, in this way, it was more or less passed.
Tom : You got it badly lived ?
Loïc : I’m not going to lie, I was hurt and I have not lived well.
Tom : you said what ?
Loïc : They have put the finger on a weakness of the scenario and especially on what was interesting in my story : reports father/son. They advocated for further developing this axis and this bias starting to detach more from the addiction to cannabis.
Tom : They were wrong ?
Loïc : But no, quite the contrary. I stepped back and I played the game.
Tom : You did what the commission wanted ?
Loïc : No, I have done the film that I wanted , taking into account their remarks. Frankly my film was taken of the thickness and a dimension that is much more interesting. From my point of view, it became a film about adolescence more than on cannabis and has therefore taken on a dimension more universal.
Tom : You have understood that I did it purposely to ask you the question like this ;o) basically, if you were not confronted with this commission, to the jury, you would not have had such a result ?
Loïc : No. So I ironed the commission a little bit later.
Tom : And ?
Loïc : I was helped, I got 5000 euros in cash and 3152 euros by industry (using equipment).
Tom : Ok, so if I count well…you have spent 35 euros since the beginning of your story, I do not count the time spent on your first record to the General counsel and the stamp that you had to buy to send it…so you’ve spent 35 euros and there, thanks to the course “classic” financing, you already have a budget : 13 300 € , including 10 000 in cash ! But you have put 2 years ! (Ironic, always).
Loïc : A little less. Between the help they received from the General Council and that of the region, it is still only a little over a year. But yes I have it as part of the budget.
Tom : I guess you don’t stop there ?
Loïc : No, because I know that I’ll have to mix and climb in good conditions. For the mix I know that I need a studio. I’ve done all the steps to apply the Fresnoy-studio national des arts contemporains in my area. I filed them in a folder and I obtained an assistance in the industry of 2400 euros approximately if I don’t say anything stupid. I was able to mix out there.
Tom : You go over, therefore, the € 15,000 budget, bravo.
Loïc : In everything I have shot with 17 000 euros.
Tom : once you have all that, it is necessary to look for the technicians, the actors.
Loïc : Yes, right there I dropped my phone and there it is the path of the fighter.
Tom : They are nice technicians…
Loïc : (laughs) yes, but the filming lasted 8 days ! And it is complicated to be able to “booker ” intermittent”, and even more on 8 days.
Tom : It is clear. But to force them to call, to meet them, to talk about your film, you’re doing ?
Loïc : Yes, and I rely on the database of the technicians in my area, the reception desk of the filming for contact information.
Tom : Yes, and as thou hast Dominique Thomas, who is of the voyage, it is easier to convince the other actors. Result ?
Loïc : In fact, I had the actors fairly early, well before some of the technicians. There was Sophie Bourdon to interpret the role of the mother, she is also professional and recognized. Only Wim, who embodies the character of the son is not an actor, but it is a choice. Concerning the technical team I manage to gather 20 technicians.
Tom : it All alone ?
Loïc : I have fast enough reflex to tell me that d’assume the filming and prod this is a hell of a job and at one point I had to move the hand. So I decide to look and find a different structure for me to unload on the production side and being able to concentrate solely on the achievement. So I had a production manager with me.
Tom : And the locations ?
Loïc : I performed when it is possible with the heads of department. As I worked my characters, I defined the class to which they belong, and I am looking for a house, which is my main prop, which sticks to them. Despite the different houses that I see, I’m not convinced…and then I remember the house of a friend who would be perfect…after discussion with his parents, they accept me the loan.
Tom : a decor for free !
Loïc : You know, like me, a shoot is…complicated.
Tom : Yes, when I was doing location scouting, I explained to the people willing to rent their house to a movie that ” it is a gift of self,” that is to say that you’re no more at all in you during the time of the shooting…there are 20 people that go, that come, you can’t be there, you have to do the silence if you are there…in short…this is more for you !
Loïc : Exactly. So I ” paid “ the parents of my friend. I thought it was normal.
Tom : Congratulations, this is super. Arrives the day of the shooting…
Loïc : Uh yes, well almost ! First I need to go back on one thing which seems to me to be important : a Few days before the shooting, my cinematographer had a health problem. He could no longer ensure his place ! Either I was expecting it to be restored by shifting the shoot, I took another head op. Looking forward to touring, I first considered the second solution , but I soon realized that it was too risky. He knew it too my project, we had already worked a lot together and we understood each other perfectly, it had to be him and not another. So I shifted the shooting of approximately 3 months.
Tom : When we speak of the obstacle course… I often say that the technicians that we choose and who choose us are employees and not just doers. You had reason to shift to wait for your chief operator…so He ended up getting this set ?
Loïc : Yes ! The day before…totally crazy…I have not slept well. And the D-day, I arrive on the plateau, there is already a team that is case…I have to go, I see the scenery, the camera, the machinery…the actors in the process of getting makeup…pfff, experience crazy. But I feel rather well, the trafc drops suddenly and I get to work.
Tom : So 8 extraordinary days of shooting with what it represents, of contingency, of the galleys, blasts, fatigue, etc…but it’s still amazing all the same.
Loïc : Yes. But if I enter in the details you’ll need 12 articles to explain everything…and then not sure it helps your readers.
Tom : And the music ?
Never again as before (Never like before again) • [Short film teaser] from Loïc Van Russel on Vimeo.
Loïc : At the start I didn’t want it, I wanted something very realistic.
Tom : You can have a film very realistic with music…it doesn’t change anything in your story ?!
Loïc : Yes, but the real side haunts me. I mean in real life, when you’re sad and you start crying, you don’t have a music that accentuates the fact that you’re crying… Yet, if someone catches him crying, he may feel a certain emotion and a certain empathy.
Tom : Ok, but you don’t do an episode of strip-tease (emission hyper realistic years 85-92 broadcast on the rtbf and France 3)… And the viewer knows he is watching a movie so why this choice ? Even though I understand your point of view.
Loïc : let’s Say that I wanted to evoke emotion in the viewer without having to automatically resort to the music. I wanted the game of the actors, the setting, the ambient sounds are enough in themselves to strive towards the emotion. In addition, the moments of silence are important in my film because they symbolize the breakdown of dialogue between the parents and the teen. But on the other hand, I was obviously aware that the music makes the movies a lot and that it can “take” the viewer, then I have found a compromise : At the beginning of the film, my main character is listening to music with headphones…so I decided to allow the viewer to hear what my “hero” look, and as soon as he removes his helmet, the music is muted. Basically, I played with the sound diégétique (its part of the action, that can be heard by the characters in the movie ; that falls under the narration) in order to keep the realistic which I wanted.
Tom : I understand. You made a call to someone for the music ?
Loïc : Yes, to a composer that I found on the net. I sold the two rights of his music.
Tom : 20 on 20, you me épates ! If we summarize a little about your film in terms of days ?
Loïc : 8 days filming 7 days editing images, 3 sound editing, 2 mixing and 2 calibration. 22 days in all.
Tom : Costs for technicians ?
Loïc : Yes, of course. On the other hand if I can give one piece of advice to your readers ?
Tom : Yes, you’re there for that ;o)
Loïc : In your budget plan a budget for ” the bijoute “.
Tom : To explain what it is, it’s all the “little” material, consumables , if any, that have the heads electro and machino : pliers, flags, borgnioles etc…All this has a cost, the cost of this bijoute is at dealer with the chef machino and/or electro.
Loïc : Yes…for my part I had budgeted , but not consistent enough…and it can sting. It is always better if the owner of the bijoute is a friend to you (laughter).
Tom : Yes I remember of my shoots short and you’re right. The first time we turn it can do all weird. Listen to Loïc, I think it did the trick. Thank you for sharing your experience with the readers of the blog. Moreover, I think about it, you shot it with what ?
Loïc : The sony FS7
Tom : and the distribution ?
Loïc : I’ve sent it to Cannes. I was selected at the short Film Corner, it allowed me to meet people…toextend my network.
Tom : And the result ?
Loïc : Festivals etc…another facet of the production of a film : streaming. ” Never like before “ is clearly a business card, a stepping stone to make a second one. It must be seen.
Tom : With a producer this time ?
Loïc : Yes, I just finished writing the second short. I expect the returns of the producers, one of whom has already expressed a particular interest.
Tom : The other projects this next short ?
Loïc : Yes, I develop also a documentary film with a producer in my area.
Tom : I wish long life to : ” never like before “ and I wish you the best for the future.
Loïc : thank you, Thank you, it was fun.
Here is the article about : the sharing of a young director on course for his first film produced without releasing a euro. I put you another extract from the film of Loïc :
Never again as before (Never like before again) • [Movie clip] from Loïc Van Russel on Vimeo.
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