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[interview] Yannick Dahan – The Horde

The Blog Of the Film has defied the impossible ! Indeed, we offer an interview with the great guru, as I say, the maître d’Operation Chill, our badass national, I appointed Yannick Dahan, journalist, critic and filmmaker in his spare time.

The toulouse speaks to us of him, of his past, his future, Pedro the cat, and especially his next film, The Horde, which will be released probably on our screens in early 2010.

Action !

Hi Yannick ! For people who don t know you (yet), forgive them and add to their memory some information more. Can you introduce yourself, as you feel it, as you want to.

Ouch ! I’m in no presentations !

Let’s just say that I am a former critic of film who has just done her first film and with absolutely no recoil on it ^^



Personally, I’ve seen you in Operation Chill, which aired for 5 years on Ciné Frisson. I had also read in Mad Movies and Positive. And I have seen there is little in The Circle on Canal+. The three worlds are rather different, no ?

Yes and no. Actually, these are media where enthusiasts talk about cinoche very differently, but in regards to myself, I’ve always defended in the same way the films that I love. I make all my weapons to be Positive where we respected totally my tastes, even in the less respectable ^^

I continued with Mad Movies, because at the time I saw myself totally in the speech of some friends who worked. But Operation Thrill is dear to my heart because I have carte blanche. I can express my tastes completely and without barriers, which is an absolute luxury. So this is the bracket that fits me the most.

As for the Circle, it was an interesting opportunity : the opportunity to discuss with other critics who did not necessarily have the same vision of cinema than me. But I had to stop because I came home in preparation of The Horde ^^



Moreover, Operation Chill has been produced by Fingerprint, where you work, yet it seems to me (do not hesitate to me baffer if this is not the case). Ca helped you to make more things happen ? I take example on the documentary “Suck My Geek” broadcasted on Canal+

Make things happen, it is a very big word. But it is sure that the work that we did with Benjamin and Raphael Rock on Operation Thrill and other programming has helped us to win the trust of Canal+. It has allowed us to deliver projects we had in mind, as Suck My Geek and others that are underway. It has established a working relationship rather fruitful. And it is true that, as a result, we can convey it in another way, some of our ideas on the cinema.

As for my workplace, I share my time between Fingerprint yes, and Capture The Flag, the company’s prod that I came up with the brothers Rock for The Horde, and that is currently developing other projects. It is very very busy ^^



Passing of film critic and video games to developer, is this an ascent logic or a simple desire on your part to see other horizons in the field of the 7th art ?

No, I believe that there is no sense of career, in all of this. It is a matter of luck, opportunity and encounters. Benjamin and I had a long-time fantasy to get behind the camera. But there is millions in this case. To my 18 years, I already feel like that, but I wasn’t ready, not quite suicidal for me to throw myself in there.

And 15 years after, it was much less obvious that I at length opened my mouth on the work of others. It was risky of me to throw myself in there, I had all the reasons in the world to step back and not do it. But I said to myself : “yes, you’ll hit the mouth, yes it will be necessarily less lenient with you than with others, but fuck, I have a little made the round of film criticism, so let me throw it in the water, it has a life of brothel of shit ^^ “. And then The Horde, which is the result of a combination of circumstances rather risky, fell at the right time. The fact that the brothers Rock also wanted to get into the water with enthusiasm has allowed me to not too to ask me questions, clear my doubts and misgivings, and immerse unconsciously in this project outside the norm ^^

Is your short, Rivoallan, co-directed with Benjamin Rocher, has helped to reassure you or anchor certain things in mind in order to perfect the result, and therefore this feature that is The Horde??? Like, “I wouldn’t, that I would do differently”.

The two in fact. Rivoallan we reassured Benjamin and me on our capacity to achieve as well as to work together. But above all, this short was an excuse to test different things planned on the horde : cameras HD, pyrotechnics, makeup, digital effects, etc…. It was a good lab.

But I’m not sure that it has completely avoided some mistakes in the long. As paradoxical as it may seem, to the extent that a court is often a volunteer, you attracted more of the world and means that on a long with a small budget. It has been a comfort in this short that we never had on The Horde ! The Horde has posed many more logistical problems. So I think that “doing differently” as you say, this will be the case on a second feature film.



“The” question boat, but I gets off in advance of you ask : why this theme of zombie ? To put a big bread to French cinema, to show them what a “real” horror movie ? It is true that it’s been a few years that we no longer pee over the cinema at the exit of a film says “horror”. And that, to my recollection, no French film zombie has been shot in our region.

So if, there were quite a few, but very Z, Jean Rollin has made us suffer the Lake Of the Living Dead, for example, a void copy but very funny when you watch it with friends very discerning audience.

However, it is a first film of zombie French with a budget (although smaller) and especially an idea of the staging is quite in-depth and a script that was written for pure fan boys in love with the genre and eager to upset the French cinema.

The reason why we have made a film of the zombie is sadly more prosaic. I’m going to disappoint you, but if we had wanted, like all the other reals of kind French, to shake up an industry that operates in a vacuum, the mounting of The Horde has done before because Canal+ was looking to financially assist small horror films that can enrich its programming. This was the famous project of French Fears. And as they desired a fantastic project, just wondered what had never been done in France. The other films of French Fears were talking about psychopaths, orphanages, bizarre killers series, etc….

And at a time when we thought about a project for Canal+, few films of zombies were out. So, as we were big fans of the original trilogy of George A. Romero and variants of Danny Boyle, it was just said that it would be fun to explore a genre new to France and trying not to treat it the same way that our famous predecessors.

And then I don’t allow myself not to speak ill of Jean Rollin ^^ No but !



In general terms, what is The Horde that another horror film and French does not (or no longer) ?

So here, I am very poorly placed to tell you and it would be quite presumptuous to say that there was something more.

No, in terms of intentions, I think The Horde is just different from the others in the sense that we didn’t want to make a pure horror film but first of all an action film, with some elements horrific. Most of the other French Fears are very gore, very black, very nihilistic. These are extreme experiences and we love them because they repel certain limits. We do not want to make a work extreme, which is the sine qua non of a horror film successful.

This is why we don’t consider The Horde as a horror film. This is not ultra-gore, nor nihilistic, and our goal was not to make you freak out. It is an action movie more gonzo, centered on its characters, with zombies in it, but above all a touch of the eighties that makes us laugh. Now, this will be to the public to tell us if we succeeded or not, if it is different or not, but at the start our intention was to perform mainly a pull uninhibited, delirious, and fendard.

Tell me a little bit about the casting of The Horde. Heads known as Jo Prestia or Alain Figlarz. Other which surprised us as Claude Perron, Jean-Pierre Martins. And, moreover, to return to the People, he is executive producer of the film.

Frankly, we are super happy with the casting. Our first desire was born out of a frustration personal. I have often said in Operation Thrill that I couldn’t take more than the majority of horror films depict tadpoles pre-pubertal out of a magazine of ancient times. Ca gave me. It is known that the yanks consider the teens as their target audience, hence these choices are a crowd pleasing, but such as in France, the genre has always struggled to establish itself, we felt more free over there. Suddenly, from the writing, we said that we wanted to be any supermodel in the film, and even less of the players who had not at least thirty.

Then, we went to see people whose physical and the game we were fantasizing. We wanted faces that have rolled their kicker, we wanted the public to read on their faces the pain of life. It was important for us, because The Horde is first and foremost a film of characters cracked. And then we wanted them to be real hard ^^ so Oj and his past as a fighter, Alain and his charisma animal or Jean-Pierre and his broken voice were obvious choices for us. As Claude, Eriq Ebouaney , or Doudou Masta, they have a physical presence, mind-blowing and a game of a natural that we find little in France.

As for the others, as we also love the against-the jobs and the characters inhabited, we went out of the actors in classical theatre, little accustomed to playing characters twisted, but the discipline, the intensity of the game and here, again, the presence gave a real dramatic dimension to the story. Aurélien Recoing, Yves Pignot are brilliant theatre directors, and Marie Vincent, Antoine Oppenheim or Maud Heywang are actors invested. They are involved in the film with an energy, a desire and a sense of sacrifice that we were really amazed. Our cast was so dedicated that he has saved the film at times. We cannot thank enough !

About Xavier Gens, it is ultimately not credited as a producer because other projects have prevented to participate in the making of the film. But his advice has been valuable and it has helped us a lot during the preparation. We thank him a lot.



It is a casting of a phew-level “mouths”. I mean, there’s a muscular, whatever !

Yes, it is a true casting of mouth. We wanted to find on a certain popular cinema French didn’t care of the canons of beauty. And then The Horde was a movie ultra physical for the actors. They were to meet for thirty days to howl, to suffer, to bathe in the blood, run, break, the hangover, get into a fight, shoot the gun etc

We needed tough guys who could cash it. After the fact, I awarded the prize to Jean-Pierre and Claude who have suffered severe, to the point of getting hurt on the shoot, and to Yves , who had to spend 10 days running around with a machine gun that weighed thirty pounds !



Private joke, is that there will be a cameo from Pedro the cat ?

Yes, of course ^^ But very light. We did not want too many private jokes parasitize the attention, even if Benjamin and I are still caméos in the film.

But in regard to this con Pedro, you will have to open the eye ^^



After you mate the teaser : very dark, very fast, very good photography, very creepy, very bloody. I’m next door to you ?

Again, I’m poorly placed to answer you. Frankly, Benjamin and I do not have any hindsight on the film. It was finished on the kneecaps, head on the handlebars ^^

The only thing you say that seems to us to be true, it is the photograph of our chef op Julien Meurice. We are really happy of what he has done. He gave one side a very graphic film that, at times, even look like a comic book. And if the movie will of course speed and bloody, I think it will not be a movie of flip or a work dark. On the contrary, one has the impression that The Horde is rather funny, bigger than life, gonzo and sometimes nonsensique. I don’t know if people expect it. Well, we’ll see their reactions.

A broadcast on France 2 about a comfortable budget of € 2 million for the film. The Ch’tis in comparison, this is 5 times more then that there was peanuts in special effects. What do you think if you had heard of these words ?

In addition to special effects, it is necessary well to specify that in the Ch’tis or any other French comedy, there is no artistic logistics advanced, and that the effects of staging must be dynamic as can be, an action movie where everything is a question of rhythm and spatial organisation.

You know, the story of France 2, as nice as it may be, addressed to the public at large with, unconsciously, this little condescending mockery that characterizes the look of the establishment on this kind of movie.

Therefore, when they speak of a big budget of two million, they have no sense of reality. Yes, it seems to be a lot said like that, but in reality it is shit. In France, we made films with this budget ! but when you have in addition to make-up galore, digital, green funds, explosions, shootings, stunts, choreographed fights that needed prep, hundreds of extras etc., This is a budget that is almost quickly to the ridiculous. That said, we really all get the image, so I hope that it will be a minimum of mouth.



Motion Sponsor, can we talk about that a little bit or it’s “business, not button” ?

Can we talk about that, but the reality has nothing to do with what I’ve been able to play as delusions on the net.

Motion Sponsor, it’s just a young box who goes up and who came to see us while we are in preparation to offer us their concept : to make the audience participate financially to a film project in exchange of exclusive news, that’s all. The people believed that it had appealed to them because of budget problems but this is false. It was dealt into from the start, even before you shot.



The release of the film was first scheduled for 30 September. Then she was shifted to an unspecified date due to the very large number of theatrical releases in the fall. News from this side ? It can be a floor for the current October ?

No, I think that our distributor prefers to wait until the beginning of 2010, although no precise date has yet been fixed. The distributor prefers to wait for the right moment to leave the film in the best way possible.

In the meantime, we will begin to circulate from festival in festival, with a first exclusive screening at the Venice film Festival.

The Club of 13 (including Pascale Ferran, Jacques Audiard and Claude Miller) speaks of an alarming report about the French cinema : the loss of influence of the producer, formatting scenarios, bipolarization dramatic production. Have you heard of this and if yes what do you think ?

Yes I’ve heard about it, and it’s nice to see that of the reals “installed” open their mouth for branding issues known to all since ages. Would have to be blind not to simply point out the total lack of alternatives and the conformity of the outputs to a theater. And genre cinema, about which little is said in France, suffered greatly.

Why do you think that galley all as slaves to beg for the tune and take years to set up projects in fragile which in the end have neither enough money, nor enough recognition, nor enough media coverage to actually exist ? Why do you think that many young brazilian reals break to work abroad ?

It’s been years that some are speaking out against a system in a vacuum, which in the majority of cases does not seek daring and creativity, but zero risk. With A few exceptions, it falls often on the mouth, but some did not seem to understand…



Don’t you think that all the nuts and bolts of the construction of the film up to its release are again in France ?

Frankly, it depends on the film that you do. In the case of a film like The Horde, the hard part is at the beginning, find the money, and in the end, succeed in convincing farmers of the potential of the film. But most of the works, apart from the blockbusters, are in this case.

I don’t know if a “review of the wheels” is the exact formula but at the level of public support, consideration, artistic, financial arrangements and ideological constraints related to the exploitation in cinemas, yes there’s a taff !

What are your masters in terms of horror and of cinema in general ?

Wow, I have a lot, but not that much in the cinoche horror. My list would be too long here, but let’s say that I consider the Brothers Coen as the greatest geniuses of the last thirty years.



Is that one of these made you disappointed recently ? If yes, why ?

Uh… on the bright, I do not see there. Those that I consider to be the greatest I have rarely disappointed. Otherwise, I’m just extremely sad that for court purposes John McTiernan is blacklisted and can no longer make film. We lost one of the greatest, then he is always there and that he could enquiller masterpieces.

Ah yes, it returns to me here : Michael Mann. This is an artist extraordinary, and what it does with the HD is sometimes mind-blowing, but I have a lot of trouble with the bias plot of his last two films.



If we except Benjamin Rocher… Yannick Dahan, Arnaud Bordas, Stéphane Moïssakis the scenario of the movie. Eh ! It is like income in the time of Mad Movies here !

Lol. Let’s say that Steph, Arnaud and Rafik, with whom I have long worked to Mad Movies, are friends of whom I respect enormously the critical spirit, ideas and enthusiasm.

We didn’t come on The Horde because they were Mad Movies, it’s another life that ^^ No, they came on the scenario of the film because I knew that they were among the only ones to understand what we were trying to do and to be able to bring us good ideas.

We had to ask hundreds of times, but hey, come on, no kidding, Operation Chill, it’s coming back when ?

Listen, I go back to school…again. Probably around the 25th September and once per month alternating with Chill Break, because I have to work on other projects, and I have more time to do 4 broadcasts per month. Well, I confess that I am well annoyed because I play l’arlésienne and I always come back after you have said that it was finished. Pardon, Pardon ^^

The idea is that I continue Operation Chill until The Horde way. After that, I will shut my mouth and I encaisserai the criticism of the other ^^



What are your future projects ? If you are intended to carry Conan, you’re jumping on the project ?

I have two or three other projects on the fire, with a pure action film, which is without doubt the most advanced, but it is too early to talk about it. Given the time that we met in France to find the money and in turn, don’t sell the skin of the bear…

As for Conan, what is it that you want me to say ? This is my fantasy absolute ! But the project is already in preparation in Hollywood so… In another life ^^



To finish the interview, we wish you all the best for The Horde, we will not fail to discover your film in theaters and do a review on our site. Thank you for the time you have obtained for us.

Thanks to you guys ^^

Interview by Yannick and Delphine.

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