Kodak – Farm life is focus of Marécages

Marécages is a French word meaning wetlands or swamp. It’s also the title of a new feature film made in Quebec, Canada, by director Guy Édoin and cinematographer Serge Desrosiers, CSC.

Marécages was filmed in 35mm in the Cantons de l’Est region of southeastern Quebec. The main location was a dairy farm where Édoin grew up and where his parents still reside. “This film is a very personal story of a boy growing up and going through phases,” says Desrosiers. “It’s a family drama from the point of view of a 14-year-old boy. At the center of it are the farm and the rhythms of farm life.” Desrosiers is a former still photographer who had previously photographed three short films for Édoin, all in 4-perf anamorphic format using traditional photochemical processes in post-production. The first of these, titled Le Pont, won a CSC Award for best short film. When it came to doing the feature in the format, Édoin and Desrosiers had to convince the producers that it was the right decision. “We wanted Marécages to resemble older films without any digital color correction altering the skies, shadows and so on. We felt this decision was in tune with the organic nature of the story and setting. We wanted to maintain the excellent print quality we had achieved in the short films we had done. With 4-perf, we are using the entire negative area. The grain is perfect.”

Desrosiers photographed Marécages with an ARRICAM Lite, Hawk anamorphic lenses, and KODAK VISION3 500T Color Negative Film 5219 and 200T Color Negative Film 5213. He began the shoot with eight days of Steadicam on the schedule as well as a permanent Techno-Jib with remote video assist. But soon after the shoot began, he found that handheld was often the right aesthetic. “After the first couple of shots with Steadicam, the director and I said, ‘Are we doing the right movie?’” Desrosiers recalls. “I started to operate the camera handheld more and more, and eventually we realized that this was the right approach. The camera is a bit livelier and becomes almost another person in the scene, as opposed to merely being an observer. We used the crane shots for intros and outros.” Filmmaking with a traditional post path sharpened the focus of the crew, according to Desrosiers. “Early on, I asked for a meeting with the entire cast and crew,” he says. “I asked Products Support Education Publications Shot on Film About Us Tools Home About Kodak Privacy Site Terms News & Media Social Media RSS Feeds Contact Us them for a hand, and told them that we all needed to be vigilant because we wouldn’t be able to erase mistakes in the frame.” Holding his colleagues to a higher standard turned out to be a good thing. “When you shoot film, something happens on a set,” he says. “Everyone is conscious that we have to focus our efforts and make it work when the camera rolls. You don’t just roll anytime. You rehearse. You take the time to make it work right. When you roll the camera, everyone – actors and crew alike – goes into the ‘on’ position. The results are visible on the screen.” The post was handled at Technicolor in Montreal. Conrad Perrault, who was technical director of the lab at the National Film Board of Canada for 30 years, was asked to contribute his expertise.“Using a traditional photochemical post path may seem a bit unusual,” says Desrosiers. “But I’m certain it was the right choice for this project.”

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14 juilet 2011
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