Editorial of La Lettre 222

The gentleman who looked too often at himself in the reflection of his own shoes

By Matthieu Poirot-Delpech, AFC

by Matthieu Poirot-Delpech AFC newsletter n°222

[English] [français]

The setting seems unchanging. A long hallway in a Parisian building at one end of which stands a photocopier. This hallway leads to a few offices on either side. This is generally where we come into contact with the team preparing the film.

This hallway was similar to other hallways. Except that the walls were lined with mirrors. Probably to make it seem bigger. The offices seemed empty. I had to work with the director on editing the film. When it was time to leave, I ran into a tall gentleman. We introduced ourselves. He was the producer… and I was to be his employee. “We’ll have to talk!” he said. As I was about to close the door, I saw him one last time. He was looking at himself in one of the mirrors. Actually, I had the impression that he was admiring his shoes. I must admit that they were beautiful shoes. They were almost new and not far away from being broken in. They were shining. I think that he must have taken really good care of them and shined them often. I never saw him again.

The film was a real treat. A charming and intelligent director, a dream team. The film was a great success and I thought the image was spot on. I worked eleven weeks on it…and wasn’t paid. Time went by. No news from the gentleman who was admiring himself in the reflection of his own shoes. The foreign co-producers got rid of him. The film went to Cannes. It was well-received.

The employment tribunal ruled in my favour and ordered the gentleman who looked at himself in his own shoes to pay me. Now, I’ve started receiving cheques. What I am I going to do with all that money? Buy shoes? Yes, I think that mine are about to give up the ghost…

Our association has always tried to defend the quality that we desire to bring to the image of our films. Our profession is rarely exercised in complete tranquillity. Nonetheless, we are alarmed by the rapid deterioration of employment conditions, which will further weaken us.

Have a great summer!