Wolf Totem

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Wolf Totem is my fourth project with Jean-Jacques Annaud, and, as always with Jean-Jacques, it was an extraordinary adventure.

Wolf Totem is a Sino-French coproduction spearheaded by producer Xavier Castano. We filmed in Inner Mongolia for a whole year, and were therefore able to take advantage of all four seasons. Our shooting schedule had to account for those seasons and the growth of the little wolf that Chen Zen adopts at birth. Matthieu de la Mortière successfully managed this complicated schedule.
Charming and highly professional Chinese actors, wolves trained by Andrew Simpson and his team for two years before shooting began.
Always the same professionalism and great working relationship with our script supervisor, Laurence Annaud !
The film was shot in 3D (25% native, 75% postproduction). I used two Screen Plane rigs outfitted with Red Epics and Angénieux zooms. David Bush was in charge of stereoscopy settings. For the 2D shots, I used Arri Alexas with Angénieux zooms. 25-295, 28-340, 15-40, 28-76 mm and a complete series of Cooke S4 lenses. A lot of equipment and machinery, all managed by Denis Scozzesi, who began learning and speaking Chinese during shooting !
Many nighttime scenes required us to light large areas, and so I used Soft Sun 100 kW and 50 kW that my gaffer, Wang Hao, set up on construction cranes.

Olivier Garcia set up the lab and editing studio on the ground floor of our government-run hotel, and so I was able to colour time the dailies with him and see the progression of the editing being performed on a daily basis by Reynald Bertrand.

China Film Group provided all of the shooting equipment and took charge of the final touches (3D conversion and colour timing). The special effects were contracted out to a number of different Chinese companies, whose work was coordinated by Christian Rajaud. Cyril Holtz was in charge of mixing at Digimage, and Aline Conan carried out the colour timing touch-ups. Tina Lin, our postproduction director, supervised all of the finishing touches until final delivery.

A huge “thank you” to Jean-Jacques and to all the members of my Chinese and French teams.



Stereographer : David Bush
Gaffer : Wang Hao
Key Grip : Denis Scozzesi


Equipment rented from Chinese suppliers (Red Epic, Cooke series and Angénieux zoom lenses)
On-location laboratory and colour timing of the dailies : Olivier Garcia