List of Monumental sculpture projects 2015

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Friday, 18 February 2011

MicroTotalArt and TotalArt: L'usine de films amateurs of Michel Gondry***, Loco2 Kebab Cavale***

L'usine de films amateurs of Michel Gondry***

Swann went to the Centre Pompidou to see how to make a film in 3hrs. And yes, its possible, a 5mn film with 20 people team. 8 of them friends, and the rest joined freely.

The team: actor, director, camera man, sound person all roles mixed and shared
The group of friends was called by a charming enthusiastic young lady just the day before. These are people in their 17s. Lots of energy and very nice kids. The other members were: one mother who brought her adolescent son, one mother who brought her 8 year old girl, one adult man, and one un-registered participant who came to see whats going on and one adult participant-journalist. Altogether 4 females, and the rest 16? males.

The method:

The whole process was very well organised, all steps clearly written on the wall. Everyone participated in the ideas and creative process of setting up scenes and pushed the storyline to an understandable stage. All joined in sharing the reading of instructions, the making of comments, and writing of ideas on the white board; then transferred to a paper sheet. On the master paper "grid sheet" where all the scenes, actors, actions, locations, sets, inter titles, were distributed and written down. There was a table with giant red lights bulbs so, we could all see each step has been achieved - everyone sees the process so it pushes you on to keep to the schedule. (All this planning is very practical and esthetic at the same time, very good!!)

One team member chosen from the beginning acted as the time control person. No over time allowed - 45mn is 45mn, otherwise, we wouldnt have been able to finish in time. He's the time management guy (also in a real movie production situation, maybe the role of the budgets person too?). Then one guy was assigned as the camera man - he did all the filming, he turns the camera on/off, a small camera AVCHD was provided by the L'Usine. Light weight handheld, plug in to computer directly and you have the HD 1080 image, sharp and clear!

All the scenes were one off, in camera editing, no further retouch/editing; so all the errors, mishaps, improvisations are captured with original authentic fun. The more errors the more charm (to the makers).

Our film was entitled :
Loco2 Kebab Cavale***

After establishing what genre; we had many genres to start with, and after much voting, we picked the most voted and ended with "Road movie/comedie musicale/absurde/action". (Nobody wants a Drama, romantic movie - when you have a group of strangers, what genre is most lightly to be favored and succeed?)

The musicale idea was discussed to clarify that nobody had to sing and dance, just ordinary singing of dialogues improvised is what it means.
And Action is implied in Road movie, Absurde is naturally in the comedie - so everybody settled with this very long genre.

Then Kebab is a person or a food? Much discussion, a scene with poisoned kebab was deleted because too difficult and story line would be broken - as technical problems of how to show kebab or the food or the person (when Kebab was established out of the blue from the beginning but served as a guiding theme for the storyline), all kinds of improvisations, adaptation had to happen - so the story conforms to this motif and achieved a unity through repetition and coherance, the genre also reinforces a stylistic structure - so all the decisions are generated from "kebab" and "action", "comedie musicale", and "absurde".

So we had several scenes, a radio announcer tells of the news that "Kebabs are disappearing" so Loco goes a-looking for them. Improvised telephone, television screen, and voice-noise dring dring all adds to the charm of the film à la Sweded Film making in the "Be kind, Rewind" method.

This takes the film through: A cafe/tv studio, to a group of people camping, to subway, to Italians in the car, to a wedding in church, all suddenly hears of the missing kebab news ... and everyone gathers on a huge bed singing ready to help Loco find Kebab - (a scene where everybody gets included in the free singing and dancing) to groups of people running after "kebab" and finally they caught "kebab", inside his golden cape, is a large bulge. Loco sings to Kebab, where is Kebab? Out pops a little girl (she was the youngest of the team), she is the Kebab!! At that is the end of the film.

Then, credits, somebody reads the names of participants; and the camera was handed over to the helper who promptly does something w the technician. While the whole team is escorted to a screening room of a flat tv monitor and chairs set up like a cozy screening room. One of the very active member, Sacha jumped up and introduced the film to the audience (us - the team) and presented the princess of the group - the little girl who was shy. But Sacha, always ready to perform did a very gd job of comical and friendly nice presentation. I saw the little girl really enjoyed it, she played along as the "star". What play acting is all about, in front behind, on/off, in/out of scenes. Then the technical guy comes he plugs in the AVCHD and voila our film is screened... 5mn, very interesting and all the scenes are credible to our eyes. But that is largely because we are in our film.

Now, what about other viewers? Would they be so interested in watching this movie?

Most of all, its for good memories of the collaborative efforts of a creative ensemble, an energetic moment where everyones imaginations gets recorded and replayed!

It is a wonderful way to present film making - so one complete working process is carried out and we see success everytime!! Everybody brings their thing to the table.

Lastly, we were taken to the graphics production area - comprise of a table with some magazines to create our DVD jackets, where already there are 10+ dvd's on display - all really cool self made collages! Beautiful!!

Swann really loved the real sets, all the objects in the rooms - coffee bar, bed room, kitchen, are reminiscent of items from the 60s, a little Jacques Tati like, comical, bright, fun colors. With real paintings on the wall, the forest scenes, running city sceneries, car chase backgrounds are video projected onto a screen, or wall papered. Toilets, corridors, all this are photos but in a film, you dont really notice that the image is flat.

Then the camera man - Monsieur Nidaud - was appointed with taking charge of diffusion of our team copy DVD, the other copy will stay in the archive of the L'Usine de films amateur and he will be responsible for linking the whole team and diffusing the film afterwards to all of us.

While we were busy choosing props and disguise, outfits, Michel Gondry and Audrey Tautou in real life came by. Very exciting moment for all... wow, did you see that, Audrey Tautou!! The star in real life is glowingly beautiful and quite petite in fact! Somebody told me, stars and actrices look very better on film when they are petite! Something to do w camera...

A copy of the final "Loco2: Kebab cavale" will be posted when available.
Stay tuned!!


L'Usine de film amateur in New York
We see similar props, sets.
The L'Usine de film amateur has been experimented in various places around the world - It would be interesting to see some samples of films from each place!
If you kept the decor and tools more or less the same, what type of films comes out of the l'Usine?
Very creative tools to bring people together for good memories. Watching others fantastic movie is never as fantastic as watching your own movie.

Another film "Bowfinger, roi d'Hollywood"***
on the making of a film by amateurs, film maker wanna bees by Frank Oz with Steve Martin and Eddie Murphy - one of my favorite movies on movies making.

Other links:

Film reviews of Michel Gondry's work:
"The Eternal sunshine of a spotless mind"***half
On "Gather: an online review"

"The Green Hornet"**

Movies viewed:
"Be Kind, Rewind" ***half
MicroTotalArt and TotalArt

What is MicroTotalArt ? It is the make believe world created entirely from scratch using multidisciplinary media and taken from real life reproduced in a Micro scale, small framework, such as Virtual Worlds.

Movie making is a little bigger than the Virtual World, it is TotalArt because it uses means and items in full scale; involves a reproduction of the physical world through a selective process
Movie making is a miniature world of the real physical world : a subset chosen from the infinite physical real world.

Machinima is movie making using Micro sets in the Virtual Worlds from computer games, and online social network platforms such as Secondlife. The cost is much less than using full scale physical film making - however, for some, the learning curve is sharp to become proficient at using the micro environment.

The "Usine de film" has been set up for ease of access for everyone - thus eliminating any "learning curve" - there is no time for preparation, its designed to engage in an immediate action therefore, structured organisation is very important for outputs.

Machinima, on the otherhand, due to the possibilities of refining all the details as much as the creator desired. The creator could do everything himself, acting, directing, script writing, sound, shooting, editing, everything one man show is possible - above all, it is possible materially speaking, accessible to anyone. It only takes time.

Whatever you have at your disposition, time, friends, ready made sets (streets are ready made sets! Your friends homes, your own home, are all ready made sets) if you want to make a film! Its all possible.

Film making is rapidly becoming the paint brush of today.


phil said...

We did together the "Loco 2 Kebab cavale" (I'm the mother of the teenager, Hugo). I liked very much reading your article!!!. But I never received the movie. I contacted Francis Nicaud who did the filming but another guy took the film to post it . Do you any idea who took the film? I would have loved to watch it (and my son too!!!); If you could help me that would be great. The "Usine" is not allowed to give us a extra copy (I went to see them)
Hope hearing from you soon.

sl Swann bb said...

Oh, Phil, i realise who you are now, the person who has the film is the mother of the little girl, Francis said he gave her the film!!