Shot in France countryside in summer 2012, this is not a trailer, not a short movie but an experimental piece named “La Deuche from hell”. It can be considered as a Pilot, a video synopsis, an idea we translated into images to get an overall idea of the mood and the character we were willing to implement in this story.
We made it the 4 of us: myself, Sarah Wang (assistant and producer), Kenny (actor and AD) and Kevin (actor). We are willing to shoot the complete story if we succeed to find enough help to finalize this project.
“La Deuche” is actually the nickname of the blue car in the movie. It comes from its real name “Deux chevaux” (2 administrative horse power), a famous car in French history designed by Citroen just after the Second World War and produced in 1950s. Concept dates back to 1936 (high ground clearance, light weight, front wheel drive, flat twin, air cooled engine). This car was sold until the 1980s. It was the cheapest and most versatile car at that time. People are still using it daily, especially in countryside.
This is a crazy story of a car possessing people, related to it, to change them into serial killers. A Death spreader.
The first dialog is an introduction to the whole story. Actually, in French we have an expression: “Ca sent le sapin” which means “It smells pine tree”, but in fact, the real meaning is: “It smell death” as cheap coffins are made with pine tree wood. This is emphasized by the fact that there is no pine tree in this forest.
The yellow pine tree shaped deodorant hanging on the back mirror of the car is there to remind this sentence all the way, kind of devil sign.
The idea comes from the region where I am living when I am going back to France, every summer. This area is well known for several real French serial killers stories starting from there in the last 20 years: Louis, Fourniret and Trebert.
There is a beautiful forest nearby, named “foret d’Othe” and, even nowadays, people are still finding dead body in it. When we were shooting the ax and chainsaw scene, a forest ranger stopped nearby to check what we were doing and told us. “Funny you are shooting this film here, we found a hanged women few meters away last week.”
The 2 actors are two friends, my neighbors who are eager to gain experience in film making and who are serious about it. Every year, we are actually working on a film project with Kenny.
We had great time, shooting the raw lines of the story I had in mind. We shot everything in 3 days with an amazing camera, a Panasonic Lumix GH1 and some great lenses. We got wild inspiration on the go. Key point was to achieve a certain look, an overall tense atmosphere and a fast pace in the different scene. I wanted it minimalist, to work more on the raising unease and fear of the viewer than projecting liters of blood on the screen. I carefully chose my lenses and camera angle to achieve the image and the emotion I was looking for.
For example the opening shot was done with an AF-S 300mm f2.8D Nikon lens to isolate the hitchhiker and the car. Nobody can help. The ax scene was shot with a 25mm f0.95 Angenieux lens, a 40 years old movie lens without modern coating, delivering less contrast and a spooky swirling out of focus area.
Why did we shoot that film? Because I had the camera, the lenses, 2 actors, a location and the desire to give a try to the “horror” film style I had never try before. If people like it, I might invest in it and shoot an overall story from that pilot.
Shooting film and video is my job. If you like the result, you can hire me as a script-writer, a cinematographer (DP), a cameraman or an editor. I am doing everything, but achieving image from ideas and text is my major.
Former ELC Photography teacher, Franc Peret is teaching Essential Photography Classes, Advanced Photography Workshop and Film Making Classes in Shanghai, for the last 11 years.
If you wish to contact Franc, just drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org