Panavision France meets Victor Seguin, AFC, for his work on "Spirit of Ecstasy", by Héléna Klotz

par Panavision Alga Contre-Champ AFC n°348

[ English ] [ français ]

Victor Seguin, AFC, lensed Spirit of Ecstasy (La Vénus d’argent), by Héléna Klotz, with two different Panavision lenses series, on purpose. He speaks about the project and explains his choices.

How did you get involved in the project ?

Victor Seguin : I met Héléna Klotz in 2011 when she was making her medium-length film The Atomic Age. I was leaving school and came to lend a hand as an electrician to see how her cinematographer Hélène Louvart, AFC, worked. I found her again in 2021 when she was looking for a cinematographer for her short film Amour Océan. It was a sort of preamble to Spirit of Ecstasy (La Vénus d’argent), we shared the summer of two sisters who live in a gendarmerie barracks. Héléna was looking for a team who could follow her on her feature film project, had heard of me and appreciated my work. This first collaboration turned out to be very pleasant and creative and I was very happy to be able to continue with it.

How would you describe the look of the project ?

VS : Spirit of Ecstasy (La Vénus d’argent) juxtaposes two worlds, that of Jeanne’s family, a young woman who lives in a police barracks, and that of high finance in which she tries to find her place as a quant trader. In this last universe Jeanne appears cold and determined, ambitious, hidden behind a mask of mathematical logic. In the barracks, nature catches up with her, between the attentive tenderness of her family and the emotion caused by the return of an upsetting first love.

Claire Pommet sur l'affiche de "La Vénus d'argent".
Claire Pommet sur l’affiche de "La Vénus d’argent".

What are the particular visual references of the project ?

VS : Daughter of filmmakers, Héléna told me she grew up with Bresson rather than with Spielberg productions. But today she also willingly embraces her taste for the very visual worlds of major American film or series productions. And these two types of references coexisted throughout the preparation, seeking the rigor or freedom of a frame, the generous use of colors or shooting techniques, here or there.

Claire Pommet. - Photo : Les Film du Bélier
Claire Pommet.
Photo : Les Film du Bélier

What attracted you to the specific lenses you chose ?

VS : We wanted to visually characterize these two lives of Jeanne by freer frames in the barracks and stricter and more composed in the finance, warmer or colder lights and the use of two series of lenses from Panavision. On the one hand, the Super35 PVintage series, its softness, its very beautiful bokeh and its interesting aberrations (which we increased by using a sensor larger than Super35 on the Sony Venice) gives an organic aspect to this living space that is the barracks. On the other hand, the large Panavision70 sensor series, more modern, defined and without aberrations, accompanies Jeanne’s mask of rigor, her "banker’s shell". She passes from one universe to another as in a waking dream, lulled by the wonderful music of Ulysse Klotz, Héléna’s brother.

Claire Pommet. - Photo : Les Film du Bélier
Claire Pommet.
Photo : Les Film du Bélier

What brought you to Panavision for this project ?

VS : I have been working with Panavision for a long time. I love the unique visual universe that their optics offer. I know that I can find this consistency in Panavision’s choice of optics and at the same time a variety of tools that is enough to support all projects.

Photo : Nicolas Sanchez

What inspired you to become a cinematographer and what inspires you today ?

VS : My desire to become a cinematographer comes from a practice in the visual arts and a taste for manufacturing as much as for design. The variety of tools available today for filming and post-production and their simplicity allows cinematographers a more artisanal approach which I like. I find the visual richness of films and series today exciting.

Photo : Carole Bethuel