Luc Besson…6 degrees and me

Luc Besson…6 degrés et moi

I will give you a story personally, the errors do not…and Luc Besson

This is an article a little special that I propose to you today. I even think that this is one of the most intimate that I am sharing with you. I’m about to share with you some things that I never tell anyone. I can already hear you : ” Why do it now and on your blog ?” lol

This is a good question ! ;o) there are 2 reasons : the first is that it is an ancient story, I’m going to be 40 years…I do what I want in life…it helps ! The second reason this is the comment of one of you who has given me the desire to take action.Last week, I was talking about the 6 degrees of separation that exist between you and anyone in the world…and because of this, in the world of cinema. The article which, this time, you liked it very much, you explained how to consider your professional network otherwise and how to successfully reach the director or the actor for your projects. Thinking about it, it was missing an essential piece of information in this article : Have something to say or defend…

It is also necessary that the quality of the hand grips is good otherwise you might toast more than anything else or spend a lot of energy for nothing. But even if the quality of your handshake is very good, it is not necessary to do anything…be careful…sequence emotion :o)

It was a time…

If I speak to you of all this is that, even without knowing the rule of 6 degrees of separation, I applied it pretty quickly, finally, after a period of adaptation. For you to understand how I got to this point, it is necessary that I explain you a thing. There are 18/19 years old I wanted to throw myself in the cinema. My dream, since always, was to make movies. The problem is that I have not done any studies.

I stopped after the tray, and then I went to work. For my parents, it was out of the question to stay at home, nothing to do ! And I thank them for it today. I have done jobs that I have not really been dreaming. Knowing now what I didn’t want to do in life, I decided to undertake my dream : Making movies.

First step : write…or learn to write. At the time I was a fan of Luc Besson, its universe, but also of the man : He is all alone, has not done studies, etc…So that I write and that I try to mount my first short film, I decided to begin a correspondence with my ” idol “…During the course of writing and research funding for my first short it is going on 11 months. 11 months, during which I write and I post 11 letters to Luc Besson, recounting my journey, my progress, my doubts…in short, I take Besson for a psy…a classmate of road etc…

I do this because I am the only one. My parents wonder what I’m going to do in life…don’t really understand my approach. I don’t blame them. Today I am a parent and je can understand their concern, especially their son, wants to embrace a profession and evolve in an environment that they do not understand or do not know. So I need someone to talk to, to share my discoveries…my adventure.

Over the 11 months of correspondence I have received 0 (zero) response…11 haul parties in the intricacies of the tons of mail that the productions of Luc Besson must receive…and that must, for the most part, land in the trash. But the results are, after all this time, paying because I am able to write my film, to meet a lot of people and I am getting ready, moreover, to mount my technical team and guess what ? I don’t want anyone…

All that to say what ? To say that to be all alone, I know what it is. That want to be read, listened to, helped, cared for by pros, or by people we admire, I know what it is. Moreover, we think that the people we admire will be able to help us, as it is, because it’s awesome, this is often wrong…but there is hope, just think that it is not so great as that, lol :o)

One day, a castle…

As I am someone who I will move to be successful to make me a network, I meet, over weeks and months, filmmakers, directors, technicians, etc…all of these people see that I want and I will not stop…I do not hide that I am a fan of Luc Besson and his films…

One day, a girlfriend (friend now), that I will name ” Louison “, told me that one of her best friends knows Thierry Arbogast , who at the time was the chief operator of record of Luc Besson (still today because it is him who signs the light of : Lucy)…and you know what ? For my short film I am looking for, at this point in time a chief operator. It is a sign from the sky !!! My wildest dreams will finally come true. I decide, at this moment, that Thierry Arbogast will be the chief operator of my first short. Louison knows how much I love his work and the work of its dir. It didn’t take me long to accept a request to his friend, the number of Arbogast.

A few weeks later , here I am in possession of the number of the chief operator !…what to do ? I can at any time switch my life and the life of my film. If Thierry Arbogast agrees to work with me, I will not be touching the ground for a moment. In addition, I am a handshake guy that I admire the most at the time : Luc Besson. For the anecdote, I admire him so much that I even dyed strands of hair in blonde (though if I swear to you…I was young…). I assure you dear reader, I’m pretty calmed down since, finished the wicks lol

In short, I take my courage in both hands and I decide to call the number, which I considered, at the time, as the holy grail.

A few rings and Thierry Arbogast picks up, I introduce myself, I tell him that I had his number by Machine (a friend of Louison), that I am a young director, etc…Has Machine as reference, Thierry Arbogast is listening to me very kindly. I introduced him to my project quickly on the phone. I told him about me, in short, I try to sell myself better. After a few minutes where I have not given him the opportunity to put one, too anxious, too afraid he would say no, too young, too stressed, he told me very kindly that he could not help me because the next few months it will be on the next film Besson…But as I come from…it gives me two names of assistants with whom he works, and I intend to call his hand.

At this time, despite the two names that he comes to give me, it is the cold shower ! My project will not have Thierry Arbogast…that’s not a problem, I want the person who will be closest to Luc Besson the next few months, I’m not going to let them slip away like that ! I decided to go to phase 2, to beg the guy to give me the phone of Besson…error :

  • Never beg
  • Be too pushy
  • Do not mix everything (You need to ask for one thing at a time)

He refuses. This is normal. So I decided to get information on the film, such as :

the place where it turns, etc…

Thierry Arbogast replied that he cannot say anything to me, whichhe signed, with his contract, a confidentiality clause…except that in the conversation, without doing it on purpose, it tells me that it’s going to turn into a castle…and later in the conversation I understand that he will be in the Oise…I hang up, thanking him for the time and assistance he gave to me and I take leave.

The Internet not existing at the time, I was rushing to the record store determined to discover this cursed castle. I find more than 50 !!!! As I start to get a bit of experience, I eliminate those that do not allow to rotate, which seem to me to be difficult to access etc…I come out of there with a reduced list of castles, but important.

I get home (at my parents) and I decided to call the castles one by one. Not to know when a shooting will take place, this would be a big mistake, no, I call them to come visit.

All tell me that there is no pb…except one ! The castle of Pierrefonds. The switchboard operator tells me that it’s been closed for several days (weeks, I do not remember any more, Bingo ! I understand that Luc Besson will turn there, and I have the niche (no pun) of the time of filming.

But how to get in the castle ? I’m going to confront them with the commissioners and I would not manage not to go…whatever, I’m going to play it out. After pianoté on the minitel (yeah I’m old) to find the number of films of the dauphin, turned into Leeloo productions (after the 5th elements) and I call.

There, a nice young woman answers me. I tell him I’m very annoyed because I’m supposed to make up the numbers at Pierrefonds, the XX. It has confirmed to me the day of the casting that it was good and that we would remember and I still have no news! The young woman said to me : ” you have had a Gadget or Machine, they are the ones who deal with figuration ? Because this is not normal… “…

Here I am in possession of two first names ! Then the young woman gives me the phone number of the office of prod in Pierrefonds, telling me to call a such, it put me in relationship with Machin or Machine that is on site. Without waiting, I called the new number, I called well that I call the hand of the young woman that I just had, I saw Thing for the figuration, and he was not recalled. I added two layers by saying that I asked a day leave to come etc…

It gives me the number of the leader (figuration), Machin who told me once at the end of the thread: ” I do not find on my lists “ (LOL tell me about it !) “It is good, it is not serious, I add you, you are well past the hairdresser ? ”

There, I confess to you, dear reader, that I still want a little bit of the answer I gave… ” No “. There, the guys felt that I was in the boat, but remained very cool. He told me that it was too late to go to the hairdresser, I’d just too far away….it’s called collapsing just before the finish line ! lol

But I have learned a lot of things during conversations. I knew that the next day they were doing and the time at which the representation was convened.

Operation commando

In my mind it had to be 19H. I remember that I left a word to my mother on the kitchen table. I took a pillow and my comforter, I put everything in my car and I went to Pierrefonds. I arrived very late there…at the time no GPS. I spent the night in my car and in the morning I was about to introduce me in the castle. The question I always ask myself today is : “but why I am not a party very early in the morning from home rather than spend the night in my crate ?? “the mysteries of the great no matter what of the youth ;o)

Here I am in front of castle. My head is bursting with ideas to go incognito, which I will book here the passages are more ridiculous : Me plaque against the walls to not make me see jump over fences, ramp in the grass to move incognito (thanks dew)…and at the end I realize that there is no one, or almost, around the castle…it is early…far too early…

I pass the drawbridge, I go in the court and here I am in the middle ages. I see incredible scenery, the people working on towers, projos, extras and me that advance in there…it was not so early as it is. There was no security service or the authority had other stuff to do, in short, I don’t do more attention to the people who are around me so much I am amazed by what I see…and I’m toast ! A stage manager comes up to me, ask me who I am…I stutter…and he asks me to kindly leave because I have nothing to do there…

Once again I was wallowing just before the finish line…it starts to make a lot.

I cross the drawbridge in the opposite direction, frustrated bowed his head,…I wonder how am I going to enter… When I looked back I see Luc Besson and Thierry Arbogast, at the other end of the drawbridge, heading for the plateau. I can’t believe my eyes, I head towards them, I serve the hand, I exchange two words with Besson , but take leave quickly as he shoots his film, we are waiting on the shelf…all that I would have wanted him to say, while the course that I did, the 11 letters, the love I have for the cinema, the desire to tell stories, all that I have not been able to tell him. I would have liked to talk to him about my projects, his family…all this mixed up in my head and even my thoughts would have been structured, I wouldn’t have had the time because this was not the time ! And then he beat surely nuts ! …I know today that I would have nothing able to get or make more…maybe look less stupid ;o)

I continued to wander around the castle, trying to capture the maximum amount of info, watching the people come and go. Make Me into the dressing room, because they were the cars-the lodges, talking with people of the team and meet with Faye Dunaway at the exit of his dressing room, smiling and available. I left there with memories, I met Luc Besson and Thierry Arbogast, an autographed photo of Faye Duneway bonus (which I discarded some years later)…and all the same the impression of having missed something and spent a lot of energy.

I wanted to tell you this story today to prove to you that 6 degrees of separation work, but I also wanted to share with you what not to do !


Meet someone to just see him and shake the hand that is not used for anything, except if you’re a fan. But if you want to make a career, to make a film, or if you have a business purpose, the approach that I just described to you is nothing. Even if I had a scenario under the arm, this was not the right approach.

The points to remember are :

  • to have a purpose
  • prepare for the meeting (know your subject, its application, be concise)
  • choose the right time for that “the target” is available
  • have an ally or someone who can support your application (one recommendation, generally the person who gave you the contact)
  • Do not doubt your approach, but be open

The only positive thing and that my pushed up to today it is the energy of the passion. This side “I loose nothing, I’m going to the end” is super important. For the little time that we have a minimum of recoil on oneself and that one can learn from his mistakes.

I’ve never told this story, except to my friends very close. Today I speak to you because I have the necessary perspective. What I perceived as a failure turned into a beautiful memory, at times funny, (I really crawled in a way that commando lol), exhilarating, and naively ridiculous ;o)

Do not let go of anything, made mistakes or crazy things. Dare ! The adage says that “one learns from mistakes” and to make it it is necessary to pass to the action.

To finish, I would also like to respond to all those who send me messages to tell me : “I’m searching in my knowledge, or my family, I go beyond the 6 handshakes and I don’t have anyone who can make the link with the environment of the cinema.”

To those, I reply : ” The 6 degrees of separation, symbolizes a network. You read me, you send me emails, posts, we communicate together. Because of this, I am a part of your knowledge…and perhaps eventually, your network.

So you know someone who can surely make the link with ” your target “. It remains only to convince me to help you…here is the real difficulty of the 6 degrees of separation : enter the circle of each tier that leads to your target !

That’s it for this article on Luc Besson…the 6 degrees and I

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Thank you to those who will make it ;o) and that are already doing that ;o).

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Has next Sunday. In the meantime, live your passion to the fullest and don’t be too paranoid ;o)

Tom Weil

Copyright image : magicinfoto/ shutterstock

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