Eliott, 30 years old, is sent to Alaska to evaluate the damages of an accidented part of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. Faced with the vast and wild nature of Alaska, he will slowly lose ground. The professional journey will slowly change into an initiatory trip. The reason will be perhaps closest to madness than he could have imagined.
The birth of the project
This project took form from deep desires of being in the moment and the visceral need to tell the story that inhabits us today, actors and director, without intellectualizing it, without writing it down on paper, by trusting our instincts. And there was this need to return to Alaska, where I got lost in the journey, without any reason, in plain nature, frightening as it was, taking along two actors of my generation, who had never met each other. Leaving the three of us, in full trust, without knowing fully why or if at the end a film would come to light. This trust, this intimacy have become our new ways of creation; they have defined the rules of the writing of the “Pipeline”.
For one month, the two actors were fully dedicated to the project. Alaska and its large areas became for us a wonderful playground. We crossed it at the wheel of a van (which is that of the character in the film) which very quickly became our place of filming and living, a setting that moves into another setting more vast, immense, Alaska. Our own adventure, our life was eventually mingled with that of Eliott, the boundaries between reality and filming became sometimes blurred, giving a truth to the scenes which have conforted us in the idea that we were on the right track. These two trips then melted to give room to the story of Eliott, which was naturally written.
The process of creation
In this approach, the actors were inevitably at the centre of the writing. The rules of the game took place little by little. The first days were a kind of intermediate entrance, we learned to know each other, the actors got tamed with their characters, discovered them. We were barely shooting. We let us be, simply. Then, we have dedicated a portion of the days spent on the road, to the discovery of the daily lives of the characters. To mean that they were ready to shoot, the actors went simply from French to English. It became our code to switch from reality to fiction. Then I knew I had their authorisation to capture them. Once the camera was switched, the absence of traditional ‘claps’, ‘actions’ and other ‘cuts’, as well as the freedom that were inherent to the context and our small team, allowed us to film indefinitely. Other limits were then defined according to the needs of each individual.
Why producing without institutions?
This project had to be done immediately, in the energy, the need to tell this story now, as long as it was within us. I didn’t want to go a traditional production house for this reason, but also because I wanted that the team to be totally free. Free as its way of doing, free to tell the story as we wanted it all three, free to experiment. But free also to have no film and come back just with a new life experience. I often said it to the actors so that they would also release any pressure of needing to have a result at any price. Wanted the approach to be for us as important as the result. This is exactly what has happened.
Back from filming, I began a big job of sorting the images, then editing and we quickly realized the tremendous potential of “Pipeline”. Today the alternative of the crowdfunding naturally seems to be necessary to find the means needed to finish the film. There is still a lot of post-production works to be done (sound editing, mixing, color correction, original soundtrack, subtitles, promoting). This is why we need you to participate, you too, in our project and that you help us make it happen in the best possible conditions. You would in this way give us the means to keep the freedom that our project requires. We thank you in advance for your support. If you do not have the means to participate financially in this project but you wish to support us, please forward the link wherever you can. You can follow the project and interact with the team on the Facebook film page.
- Eliott // Antonin Schopfer
- Agnes // Pauline Schneider
- director, picture, editing // Gabriel Bonnefoy
- additional pictures // Thomas Szczepanski
- writers // Gabriel Bonnefoy, Antonin Schopfer, Pauline Schneider, Frédéric Landenberg
- writers consultants // Vincent Pluss, Valentin Rotelli, Sylvie Chaintrier
- original soundtrack // Fabio Poujouly & L’ironie du son
- voice over // Yann Schmidhalter, Jakob Stryhn Schieber
- translation // Matt Leighton