Micmacs à tire-larigot

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[English] [français]

The shooting of Micmacs began in the summer of 2008 in and around Paris. That year, the weather in Paris was very unstable ; from day one enormous clouds paraded by, as if we were in Brittany. Many scenes were shot in exteriors and on several occasions the weather played, very nasty tricks...

The weather... The eternal enemy of all cinematographers... And if, in addition to the vagaries of the weather, you lack time to set up, or time runs short, it really becomes a race against time... In short, I quickly abandoned heavy equipment ; for day exteriors I tended to subdue the light with black cloth and compact sources... This was pretty effective for certain scenes, but then there are the wide shots ... You get the picture...

I chose Kodak EK 5219 since I had already used for the filming of Splice and I was happy with its rendering of latitude. During prep, Jean-Pierre Jeunet had mentioned the Red camera and after doing research and do not be completely satisfied, I did some research and wasn’t completely satisfied so I finally opted for a standard 35mm configuration. The post-production of the film, originally intended as 2K, was performed in 4K at Digimage and printed on 2383. Lately, I have sometimes thought of shooting digital, but so far I have not chosen this solution.

Why ? Because I think you need a precise reason to choose digital. The subject of the film should require a "digital" look, speaking both artistically and technically. To me, these are two very different looks, I do not use digital to try to obtain the same look as 35mm. But these days, this choice is sometimes requested for financial reasons and I understand that. As much as I can, I still prefer to use my "brushes".

Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s world and its requirements are very precise ; together we discussed the artistic vision for the film. From this point of view, for me, the task was fairly complex. Knowing Jean-Pierre’s taste for images on the warm side and wanting to give a more contemporary feel, I chose to incorporate a palette of colors like blue, purple, red to modernize and energize the rust-colored, old aspect of certain interiors.

For the dailies, Jean-Pierre Jeunet had required a mobile screening room on the set. So we had a truck converted into a screening room equipped with a digital projector.

Every day, the HD telecine transfer was done Digimage was delivered on hard drive ... All this is very convenient, but sometimes scary... I discovered the finished Micmacs film upon my return from the US, a few weeks ago...

Bravo to Digimage, Arane lab and Didier Lefouest (colorist) for all their work. For me with the Chanel commercials and Micmacs 2008 will always be remembered as the Jeunet year !"

Text by Tetsuo Nagata

Translated from French by Benjamin B