La Mano Fest interviews Olivier Beguin, director of Chimères
Hi there, from La Mano Film Festival organization, we want to congratulate you for your surprising treatment of the vampire genre. A very refreshing film indeed.
Can you tell our audience about your film and what they can expect out of it?
Well first, CHIMERES is a swiss genre film, so I am sure many people in the audience have never seen that! Because that’s not really what we do in our country usually. Which is why it’s a low-budget indie movie, as genre film is not really appreciated by the financiers in Switzerland. Then I won’t say too much about the film itself, let’s just say that on the set we liked to call it a “horror-drama” or as Fangoria called it: a romantic shocker.
-Was in any way films like The addiction of Abel Ferrara or Martin and The Dark Half of Geroge A. romero, an influence when working on the script?.
Not at all actually. I have seen THE ADDICTION when it was released and don’t have many memories to be honest, apart from the metaphorique aspect. As far as THE DARK HALF goes, I got even less memories, but I see your point and therefore it makes me curious to check it again. Will probably do that. In term of references, it was more depending the departments: maybe I would show a film or scene to an actor and different film or scene to the director of photography for example.
-One of the most interesting things, in the first part of the film, it’s the game of what´s real and what´s in Alex´s head. Why did you decide such approach?
It was necessary to keep the audience interested in the way the film develops. And it all started with us wanting to play with the mirror element – as it is an important one in the vampire mythology – but in a bit of a different way.
-The special effects are mostly non digital, what, by the way, we loved. Why did you decide to do it in this fashion, living the digital era as we are?
Oh, I just much prefer practical effects, as a director or as an audience. I mean it all depends what you do – obviously if you do GRAVITY, you’ll have a few problems not using digital – but if it is something “organic”, let’s say, I feel like you can see it’s fake. Human/animal transformation for example, they work so much better when practical. Or at least partly practical. Because I think you can mix both to great results, to have longer shots for example. In the film, there were some where CGI was used in combination with practical effects and I think it works great. And CGI is also good for some sets replacements – which we have also.
-What kind of materials were used to make the blood?.
It’s simple sirup and food coloring. But then it all comes down to our makeup effects wizard, David Scherer (http://oneshotsfx.wix.com/oneshotsfx) to get the mix right and also use layers of different colors on top of eachother to look good.
-At the beginning of the film, you mix past and present times, what we thought was great, because you get hocked by. Why did you decide to do it that way, instead a linear storytelling?
It was actually a choice made in editing and not at script stage. Very simply, the beginning of the story did not hook you enough when told in chronological order. So we did try quite a few things to make it the way it is. It was definitely the part that demanded most work in the edit suite.
-Since Alex it´s a photographer, we got to see a lot of great photos in the film (especially in the opening of the exhibition scene).Who did those?
They are done by a photographer from my home-town of Neuchâtel, called Guillaume Perret (http://www.guillaumeperret.com). I liked his work and asked him if he would like to double for Alex. He agreed and he was actually working on a serie of portraits that took place in bathroom – talk about a coincidence! Incidentally many of the crew members posed for him and can be seen in the exhibition scene.
-Livia it´s in our opinion, the character that grows and changes more in the film. It’s her motivation only love to do what she does in the last part of the film?
I think I will skip that question. Don’t want to spoil too much.
-We see fantasy and horror are present in all your films (even when it´s mixed with comedy).Why do you use this elements in most of your films?
I simply love genre films and horror and like that this type of films enables you to mix many things, have powerful imagery but still deal with real emotions or feelings. I like to use the fantastic or horror as a background, to tell a story.
La Mano Fest is a Spaish film festival from Alcobendas (Madrid). This year edition will take place October 25- 31.