Interview with Filmmaker Fabrice Mathieu (IN THE SHADOW)

IN THE SHADOW, 8min., France, Drama
Directed by Fabrice Mathieu
A fantasy film noir with shadows.
A shadow is telling its life story with his “Wearer”, a flesh and bone double, who one day it decides to get rid of…

Get to know the filmmaker:

1. What motivated you to make this film?

First, I wrote a feature script called, ‘’In the Shadow’’ (“Dans L’ombre”). I can’t explain exactly how the idea came, but I was suddenly inspired by some shadows. It was a particular moment in my life… it was a perfect time for me to write a story with silhouettes for heroes, and about their point of view about us and the world. I found the idea very interesting and I think…unique in the cinema. I immediately envisioned a black and white fantasy movie with a Film Noir style, because this period was the golden age for shadows in the cinema. I finished the script and based on the advice of a few who read it as well as my own thoughts on the subject, I decided to make a kind of trailer with found footages and movies extracts.

So I began this process, and little by little I came to the conclusion that I would make a short film instead of a trailer to introduce the idea of the feature.

2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film?

I wrote the feature script in two years. This short film is just a little part of the all story, but a very important part, because for me, it was the best way to introduce the concept.

It took a long time to do because I needed to find footages with shadows in movies, to tell my story!

I researched and watched a lot of films, from ‘’Nosferatu’’ to ‘’Sin City’’, almost one century of cinema!

I had a big puzzle to edit, with a selection of 60 different movies!

3. How would you describe your film in two words!?

– Shadows know.

4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?

For me the biggest challenge was to try to interest the audience with my story! I didn’t want that people saw a simple collage of movies… I tried to privilege the plot the most I could. For that, I created a new soundtrack and worked a lot to adapt the different sources in the same style and format. I didn’t want that people saw the difference between old and recent films. I tried to make this short film very fluid but it was complicated! The deep voice of the narrator Roger Candy helped me a lot!

5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?

It was amazing and very cool to listen all those beautiful comments! It’s a real gift! Thanks to you and I would like to thank you all of the participants in the feedback video! I was very honored and It gives to me a lot of energy for the next step: ‘’In the shadow’’ the feature!

Watch the Audience Feedback Video:

6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?

I have been interested in filmmaking since I was sixteen years old. I watched a lot of movies before, and suddenly, I saw a light in my head, I realized that I wanted to make films! Cinema became a passion! So, I began to study in a French Film School!

7. What film have you seen the most in your life?

This is not easy to answer to this question! There are so many films I saw a several times… ’’The Modern Times ‘’, ’’North by Northwest’’, ‘’Jaws’’, ’’Star Wars IV’’, ‘’Raiders of the lost Ark’’, ‘’The Evil Dead’’, ‘’Back to the Future’’, ‘’Edward Scissorhands’’, ‘’The Nightmare before Christmas’’, ’’Finding Nemo’’… are I think the top ten of films that I saw the most in my life!

But I choose ‘’Jaws’’ because I analyzed shot by shot all the attacks of ‘’Bruce’’ the shark for my cinema school degree!

8. What other elements of the festival experience can we and other festivals implement to satisfy you and help you further your filmmaking career?

You helped me already a lot with the selection, the prize, the video feedback, the interview now…

And if I understood, it’s not finished… you propose also a screening date on your flagship streaming service and a podcast for your radio show! You really want to help filmmakers! Thanks again!

But to answer to your question, if you know people who work in the cinema industry and if you think that they can be interested by my project , it will be great to talk about the feature script with them… and with their shadows too!

9. What is your favorite meal?

CHOCOLATE! I know it isn’t really a meal… but it’s so good!

10. What is next for you? A new film?

I’m looking for producers for the feature film ‘’In the Shadow’’!

I work also on another fantasy short film called ‘’Invisible’’…

And I began to write my second feature script, a fantasy ecological story!


By matthewtoffolo

Filmmaker and sports fan. CEO of the WILDsound Film and Writing Festival

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