Interview with Filmmaker Fabien Legeron (O)

O, 10min., France, Music
Directed by Fabien Legeron
Locked in since ever, exiled forever – In the in-between of anywhere, a form wanders aimlessly, cut from any companionship or hope.
What will be the meaning of finally being freed ?

Get to know the filmmaker:

1. What motivated you to make this film?

When Daniel contacted me, I had been in what one would call a creative rut for some time – life, its events and necessities, the struggles with jobs and loved ones that we all encounter, well, it takes its toll.

Amazingly, what felt like a creative emptiness vanished when this old aquaintance reached out saying “Hi, I’ve got this musical piece I’d like to make a short movie of, the only guiding idea is the word “Archangel””.

In maybe 15 minutes, I had an almost complete pitch, along with the location and an idea for the cast of the lonely angel (Jennifer Gothuey is a tremendous actress and working with her is a bliss). So much for being dried up, eh. We got to it rightaway, it’s been very refreshing and liberating. Along the lines, the feminist subtext emerged very quickly, along with the general symbolism : Daniel, Jennifer and I have walked together very smoothly, it was quite an organic process : so, maybe, I’d say that the joy of creating something just for the sake of it, and the joy of seeing it not only being put together, but having its own distinctive voice, has always been the main motivation.

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

The first conversation we had about the project took place at the end of april, and the finished film was first shown to the cast and crew in october. Some of us have had some drawbacks during the summer, that postpowned some of the reshoots.

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

Well, “sad determination” maybe ?

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

Aside from the usual mishaps with props, it would be the location. As with everything urbex, the abandonned mansion we shot in has been as much of a curse as it was a blessing. The premisces are in a fairly frequented park, secluded behind heavy fences but accessible… thus fairly frequented themselves. We almost got caught on the first day of shooting, had to flee. Then it got us into more reshoots than we had expected, wich took much time and tries, with the whole crew… Yet it’s for the best, as it allowed us to paint over many of the grafitti in the meantime, and to polish the visual narration around the mansion. It’s a wonderful location, but pretty empty – the initial error was to think it did all by just being there. It needed much more planning and manipulation through continuity, framing and editing, all things the initial drawback led to.

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

Talking for all the cast and crew : pretty much awe. We don’t have that many occasions to experience actual audiences’ reactions, and these were overwhelmingly heartwarming… Because they’re very nice to all of us and our work of course, but especially because the film is very well understood – we’ve been worried about it not being too cryptic, being silent and heavy on the symbolism. Turns out it’s sufficiently clear. Anyway we’re all thrilled by the reactions and the kindness of it all.

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

Well, maybe as an young teenager, when I saw the short Gisèle Kérosène by Jan Kounen – it’s been a moment of wondering what were those images and especially how one manufactures them. Later on, I learned about photography (analog at the time, with the countless joyful days in the lab), and having a knack for writing along with a love for movies, the general direction was very obvious.

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

Wow, it’s a trick question as it is for books most re-read I guess… the list would be at least 50 movies after a long soul searching to narrow it down. Maybe, if we go only for “most times seen” : Aliens, Lord of Illusions, Mad Max Road Warrior, The Thing and In the Mouth of Madness, Natural Born Killers, Vanishing Point, Lost Highway… And a bunch I can’t come up with just now. Movies are like comfort food.

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

Well, it’s tough – everything concerning feedback is important I’d say, what you’re doing with it is very interesting and it would be great to see it generalized.

9. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway. How has your experiences been working on the festival platform site?

It’s very convenient : one hub for a vast number of festivals greatly smooths the whole process. Can be intoxicating though, drive one to overconsumption, with a bit of a gambling addiction to it… But all in all, it’s a great way to get the movies out there in the wild.

10. What is your favorite meal?

Definitely pizza. Healthy living is overrated.

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

There are ideas in the air, scripts around. We’ll see.


By matthewtoffolo

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

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