[interview] Jan Kounen, Michaël Nakache, Alexandre Trink (Your Major Studio)

The founders of Your Major Studio, Michaël Nakache and Alexander Trink, and their sponsor, Jan Kounen, have received the Blog of the Film, Monday, June 12, 2010. Your Major Studio is a new platform that allows internet users to participate in the production of a film.

Your Major Studio has other competitors similar : We are producers (with Luc Besson) and TousCoProd . What differences do you bring ?

Alexander Trink : Our positioning. It is not about the cash-back. We do not come to us for the purpose of investing money. I think that there are much more effective to invest in real estate for example. We offer the possibility to pass on the other side of the screen and participate in an adventure, to become a producer and eventually achieve her dream. One key to a more emotional, that’s why we try to develop to the maximum our brand image.

What I liked in this project is to see new projects create so here [showing the logo, editor’s note] this is like a spark that comes to life and ignites to become a star who takes off. This is an analogy that we wanted to do with projects that it brings to us.

Jan Kounen : there is also a different thing compared to others : there are also steps. You can participate in the development of a project. As a director it is interesting, that is to say that one follows a project from its inception. As he said, this is not to wager at the casino, that is to say “of Such a director or such a project, because it is alternative or experimental, or because suddenly it’s something that we want to see, we say” we will help “. “Maybe just ten euros, but we are going to follow something from this step. This is what will allow the small projects alternative directors, if there is a craze, put it in the system and validating it.

The user will have a direct link to the world of cinema, it can go to simple things such as previews, tours of the plateau, etc

There is also a stage where in the system we want to test the movie, but it is still very difficult. Here, it allows you to have the looks, I’m not saying that these are the people who are going to determine the shows, but if you invite virtually 10 000 people around the table to discuss about the project, they will give indications, it is like a test. They will see that there are choices, the discussions, they will see how to make this stuff, so it is in this sense that the adventure is not simply to put up the money. It allows you to follow, participate… there is a lot of distance between the creators, the funding systems and the public. The Internet reduces the distances. Why does he not in the making of a film ?

AT : What is important is that one is young, one is accessible. The success of the platform depends on the users, the public, and I think it is nice that you live the adventure all together. This is what we are trying to pass as a message. The interest is that it is participatory, this is not just a fad. We have the chance to have a direct link with the public. We give the possibility to the filmmakers to build up an audience before the release. We are not an alternative source of funding.

Michaël Nakache : The opacity of the other sites is very annoying. Me of the movie, I would not recognize myself at all in these sites. Through the manner of presenting their projects, one has the impression that there is a nearby supermarket. You don’t try to bluff the user. We are playing the card of transparency : we say ” yes you won’t always win money, yes there are films that are picked, but you can make sure to optimize the chances of a film, because the more people who are betting on a project, the more it has a visibility. “And the user has communicated, spoken upstream on community sites such as Facebook, Twitter., etc . It’s going to take friends, feel concerned, involved so, yes, the system can work.

Do you accept all projects that you are proposing ?

MN : We select it. This is not like in music where an album costs 100 000 euros. A film that is so variable, there are so many settings, it is so complex. We are obliged to go through a selection, negotiation, after there is a signed contract. It does not have an online systematic. It is too heavy from an administrative point of view.

Have you ever refused a project ?

MN : Yes, of course, not bad. But this is not a refusal where it says ” return never more “. It’s just that we say that it does not get too in the spirit of Your Major Studio, or that we’re not going to put 6 projects completely identical.

AT : indeed, the Major Company, initially, began with a few artists before to diversify and accept anyone. And finally, I think they put forward some of the projects.

Why have you chosen Jan Kounen as a sponsor of your project ?

MK : Jan has a commercial side, he makes films that earn money, which work, but always with an identity of its own, with a guiding idea as follows. In addition he revived the genre in France. Voila, it has this side unusual, but in the system. While being produced by large producers, it leaves a lot of freedom, more than with a lot of filmmakers.

AT : We’re lucky to have a super sponsor who well represents our spirit.

Do you think that illegal downloading can decrease through this type of platform?

AT : Actually, we think that it contributes clearly to limit the download. Indeed, users may feel cheated because they put their money in the project.

MN : and Then they can tell their buddies ” Hey ! But you are trying to download my movie, are you kidding my mouth. “We feel concerned, there is an educational side to make understand the user that the culture is not free, that there are hundreds of people working on a film. At the same time, I don’t want to defend the pirates, but the film has always kept his distance with the public because of the side a little creating stars who, at one point, you say ” ah, but I have nothing to fuck download the film Brad Pitt because he is in his barrack to $ 25 million, and then machin will travel by private jet, that is what it’s going to change in his life ? “then yes, obviously for him it’s not going to change anything. This is for all the others working on the films.

There was a time when if one allows the internet user to become a winner with an audio-visual project, he will say, ” yeah, you know, finally, why I piraterai ? “I paid for this movie.

AT : And to the extent possible, we offer the dvd of the film. It will also give them access to behind-the-scenes, before-first, their offer caps Your Major Studio, the opportunity to dine with the film crew and actors for example.

The director, therefore, has more freedom, what would be its new relations with the producers ?

MN : there will always be the producer, it is necessary that there is the pairing of producer/director because it is an opponent, but an opponent of discussion. It is however necessary to differentiate the financial and the producer. The director is going to rid itself of some funding or do not get gobbled up by a big staff when you reach the end of the race, that we have a shortage of 100 000 euros, and that there is a large staff who says ” you’re going to make me the mount as this and that I don’t like “, whereas here the developer remains in control of his project. It leaves a lot of freedom, after that it is the user who chooses, not us.

AT : I think it makes the movie to the public. We reverse the relationship : until today, we needed the content to the public and there, it is the public that chooses. I think it’s very fair as a system. Any way that the success of a film ? It is the public.

Among the films present on Your Major Studio which is your favorite ?

MN : Frankly, I love them all, because there was none like himself, so I don’t have a preference.

AT : Me yes, but I say nothing.

MN : there is In memory of Lola who has a side very very dark, the scenario is very hard and it is difficult to compare with series as I was never able to say no , which is rather funny, or with Cell 211 is a film to mainstream Spanish, which has 4 million entries.


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