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Interview with director Adélaïde Nicvert

  • Was there a particular event or time that you recognized that filmmaking is your way of telling stories ?

I’ve heard many times that I’ve got a big imagination. But at the time, I didn’t know I wanted to tell stories, or direct movies. I think it began when I first took theater lessons, I wanted to be an actress, but after four years of theater lessons, I wanted to know more about script and filmmaking.

  • Do you think it is essential to go to a film institute in order to become a successful filmmaker ?

Definitely not ! I didn’t go to any institute or schools, because they’re too expansive (at least here in France) and from the feedbacks I’ve got, I didn’t match to what I wanted to do. I think many schools, or institute or not great to know how to write short movies. And this is the core of storytelling. I’ve always heard this : If you don’t have a good story, it doesn’t matter if made with great images, sound, light, or whatever. You still won’t have what’s necessary : A story a spectator would be interested until the end.

  • Is it harder to get started or to keep going ? What was the particular thing that you had to conquer to do either ?

Both haha. Yes it’s maybe harder to get started, especially when you don’t know many things. But keep going requires patience, perseverance and to accept the fact that you have to keep on learning. And for the second question, I would say patience and perseverance.

  • What was the most important lesson you had to learn that has had a positive effect on your film ? How did that lesson happen ?

I don’t know… When I made this short movie I just knew I wanted to tell this monologue. Because the original text was made for lessons theater I took for three days and he’s longer, there’s a situation before and after the monologue. Anyway, I think I’ve got the lesson after. Because it’s when the short movie was finished and I received the good reviews, and then it started to kick off well in festival. At the beginning, on the set, I had no idea that It will be so well received. This is crazy, I still got messages from people who says : “This is my story, thank for telling it.”, or how it moves them.

  • What were the production realities from casting through editing that you had to accommodate ? How did you navigate those compromises or surprises and still end up with a cohesive film ?

Well we did one rehearsal with the camera rolling, because the actor, Fabian Godineau-Le Roy had never play in a short movie, or in front of a camera, only in theaters, but like a hobby. So when it was the day of shooting, the all team knew each other and Fabian knew where the camera would be, etc. So this part was easier. But since we were shooting on the outside, we had to deal with the weather. But finally, it turns to be not so bad after all. With the post-production, the tricky part was that I had to change the colorist, because it wasn’t good the first time. And then the sound design was bad also. So I had to find a new colorist and a new sound mixer. But I found it and the results is even better !

  • What was the hardest artistic choice you made in the making of a film, at any stage in production ?

When I choose to shoot the short movie with only the monologue for the script and when I decided to make it with less plans as possible.

  • You are a collaborator. How have you discovered members of your team and how do you keep the relationship with them strong ?

If you mean on the set, I work with people I know and with people I previously worked with when it’s possible. So some of them, already knew each other. For the new, I think doing the rehearsal allowed them to know each other better, know who would do what and it went well.

  • What do audiences want ? And is it the filmmaker’s role to worry about that ?

Good question ! I don’t know, i think good stories. Well, I as a spectator, I like to see good stories, no matter the budget, or the way it’s filmed. Of course, I like some things in a movie, like certain lights, or movements of camera, but I think it’s as unique as every human being. No I don’t think a filmmaker should worry. I think the audience knows when they are respected. What I mean by that is, if you make movies with your heart, no matter the genre, or the story you tell, the audience can feel that. I got the proof of that with this short movie.

  • What role have film festivals played in your life so far ? Why are they necessary ? How do you get the most out of them ?

It’s my first short movie who’s going so well in festival, because previously I had been selected in only one. I think they’re necessary for us, filmmaker, to be seen and heard. And not say to yourself : I’ve been working for months (or years) on this project and it’s just on YouTube and Vimeo, but no one cares, or I don’t have enough contacts to be known a little better. I think you get the most of them by being smart. It means, choosing carefully, not wasting your money on festivals that will not matched the genre, or the story you tell.

  • Do you believe that a filmmaker should be original and fresh or he/she should stick to classic but safe cinema style ?

I don’t know. I think the most important is to do what you want. Tell stories that are important to you. Filming the way you want, with the help of your team, because at the end it’s a work effort. Maybe for some filmmakers, they will need to stay classic and safe, and maybe for others, they will want to be original (or at least trying) at each movies.