the magic moments of a assistant director

les moments magiques d’un assistant réalisateur

The magic moments of a movie as it is an assistant director


At the time I write these lines I have just completed, as an assistant director, the first 12 days of shooting of a feature film that I’m shooting at the moment. And, frankly, the heart is not the great impulses or the unconditional love of the craft, a movie shooting it has its ups and downs and ! These last 3 days have been rather difficult both physically and psychologically due to the climatic conditions, the conditions of filming that is complicated and with the explosion of overtime…in short, I am chafouin !…

The 12 days that lie ahead will be even more complicated…BUT (there is always a but ;o) I can’t not tell you about the magical moments that sometimes occur. As you know the budget of the film on which I work is ridiculous, plus we look to be on an island where there are only 80 inhabitants !!!! But as with all movies (or almost) I need representation for scenes of church, the bar, or procession…how do you do when you need 35 people in these sequences, although this represents a little less than half of the people of the island ? island made up of fishermen, tradesmen and people very very very busy ?

And small…what am I saying ?! Mini budget requires, it is necessary that this figuration is free.

The assistant director and the time

…The first thing to do is take the time to…yes, but how to take the time while we already miss him sorely for the film ?! Well it is simple, everything is done during the prep and the marking…the Problem : it is strictly impossible to do all of this at a distance, the only solution, therefore, is to find someone directly on the island, and that he go spread the good word, talk about the project and start to make a list of people interested in the figurative…free…yes, it is that for our beautiful eyes.

Then I see you coming with your big clogs ;o) You say ” it’s going to 3 days of resor on 24 days…there are worse non ?! “Only I don’t speak to you that of the large sequences on the rest of the day the number of extras varies between 5 and 15…and the risk is also spending all day with the same people…and then 15 people out of 80 that represents 1/5 th of the population.

I know that for the moment you ask yourself, where is the magical moment lol But it’s coming, do not get impatient.

When our technical locations at the beginning of September we set out in search of this person miracle, which could have a little bit of time we devote to talk about the project and gather the mobs lol Frankly it was not won, but our line producer of shock, Marianne, has managed to find the rare pearl…Ludovic, a manager of the port, has agreed to help us…Ludovic is not islander, it comes from the continent (Here we say : France !) but know all the fishermen and maintains a very good relationship with the people of the island. But even for him, to convince people to come and be, moreover , free of charge, this is not as simple.

Why ? Because an island works as a home, is that if one is invited and if we show white leg, in short, he must be respectful and polite…as you say for a film crew this is not necessarily won!!!!! Some of the productions and teams are not in the lace and believe in them, just the foot on the ground. It was obvious that we couldn’t do that and that we were not like that !

The first day of our arrival , Ludovic we strongly advise you to have a meeting around a drink that the director and I explained the project and what we expected of them. This gathering was…a fiasco, 12 people have had to travel some out of simple curiosity…suffice to say that at this moment I thought we were screwed !!

I had however anticipated the move and in the work plan I started with the short days of figuration, so that people can take the temperature, or the atmosphere of the filming and that we learn to know us.

The assistant director and her moments of solitude

The advantage I had is that I love the figuration and I have the contact rather easy, add a small touch of humor (and modest lol) and the game was played except that…we are not on the continent ! Ludovic has been a real substantive work, and managed to dig me a dozen extras. I welcome them, thank them, and I’ll put them in the décor and there, just sitting, two extras challenge me and ask me if this is going to be a long one…just arrived !!!! And I need them 1H30…suffice to say that this was not won at that time. In the end everyone stayed and had a good time.

To explain everything, a appearing ” normal “ is convened at the beginning of the day and stays with us until the end of the shoot. We call them when we need them, and in function of the axes. There, I had to rework the work plan for extras 1h30 or 2 hours…to respect the time of fishing, nap and so on ! Suffice to say everything that should not be done on a film where one has no time, nor money. But without it…not listed…so it fits !!!

From this moment the links were woven between the team and the islanders (thanks Ludo !) and little by little the stress to come for several hours is transformed into a “pause” in the “trigger” for these people.

We live in isolation on the island, we live with the people. We see each other every day, even if we are there to work and that we have a steady pace, we also take the time to meet people, go to them. During my pre-med supers were a number of people have per day with a purpose, today it is : Jane, Eric, Christian, Helen, Pifou, Azad, Loïc (in which we use the boat), Masha (the wife of Loïc, a volunteer firefighter) Hadrian, Fifine, Flaf, Renaud, Alain and Laurence (in which we use the bar), Blandine and all the others…

The assistant director and magic

And this is where the magic happens, this is when the trust is there and that people come to because it’s their pleasure to make us happy ! We have reconstituted a procession for the purposes of the film, we took more time than expected and everyone was there and everyone was…in the rain and the wind ! We put in a box of amazing shots thanks to them ! Yesterday, I had planned a joint, that is to say mid – day/ mid – night, we had to film a concert scene, we took the delay…lots of delay, by the hour, I had to decline the representation…it grew out of a convening at 18 hour, 22 hour…and you know what ? The bar was full…the islanders we have given everything, this is a magical moment ;o)

But this is not all. What are the probabilities that the boat of the English party for a voyage of a year fails on the day where we reproduce the famous procession…as the father of the family is a musician, a lover of cinema and willing to spend a day with us, accompanied by his family and under the rain ? Almost no and yet !

It is also a magical time !

I fight against the weather, but what a joy when the nature gives us what we need…a clear moon, reflections on the sea, raging waves at the right time, the fish for the moments of fishing, etc…A boat that breaks its anchor during a storm and washes up on the beach or we are in the process of turning….

These magic moments are good. I really believe that we make a beautiful film, and it is these moments that allow us to enjoy the magic of cinema well beyond the issues of respect, trust, and fatigue.

Hope that the magic still operates the next 12 days…nothing is less sure…

Little aside. It is 23H06, we are Wednesday, I just finished the 15 th day of filming. I’m cooked and I’m going to go to bed ;o) For the next two days they announce a storm is huge, I had to redesign a new plan of work to put the team and the actors to the shelter to continue to shoot the film. I hope that all will go well and we’ll have all the sequences provided.

The assistant director…with a little bit of pulling back on what he lived

I just re-read this article…it is funny as the phrases : ” conditions deteriorate “ and ” the explosion of overtime hours “ seem to be far…I know that sometimes I get carried away, that fatigue and frustrations may sometimes impair my judgment…I’m glad I re-read these lines ;o) I do not erase completely what I said, but I’ll qualify ;o) This is not a simple movie, the director wants to have a movie and best of all, it is normal…we are also here to give him, this is the only reason for our presence. I have not forgotten that I live here an experience that I will stay maybe more ever, here we are almost cut off from the outside world, we all live together and share a love for the cinema. It is true that my wife, my children and my mother are missing, the conditions are difficult and the days are long, but what a trip ! What is the experience of human and professional incredible. I’m not going to do all day LOL But I’m happy to be here with these colleagues who have become friends and friends, the islanders with whom we live in such an amazing thing…in short, this 12 th day of which I spoke to you in the beginning of the article seems pretty far away now…

…In fact, I think it is also a magical time :o)

That’s it for this article on the assistant director in the filming.

If you want to see the movie “blow stronger than the sea” directed by Marine place, there is a premiere in Cape town help on the 24th of June for the festival of the Hérault :

  • 21 : 00: Before-first Blow stronger than the sea (2016) Navy SPOT, with Olivia ROSS, Aurélien RECOING, Corinne MASIERO, … (1h26)

Click here if you want to learn more .

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