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JEAN GAUTHEREAU'S CINEMATIC VISION IN 'IF'




In conversation with Steve Long Director of the Global Film Exhibition   

Steve: Can you give us a  Brief Overview? What motivated me to create the film for the Global Film Exhibition?


Jean: As the director of the film "IF," my main motivation for creating this short film was to address significant issues related to disarmament, armament, and power. I wanted to explore who should be armed, who can, and who cannot. Additionally, I wanted to touch on how we judge people based on small descriptions, which can save us from complicated situations but can also be a source of prejudice.


Steve: How do the film's themes resonate with audiences worldwide?

Jean: The themes of the film "IF" have a universal reach as they address crucial social and moral issues such as disarmament and power. Reflecting on who should have access to weapons and how we judge others is a global discussion. I hope the film's messages resonate with audiences worldwide, encouraging reflection on these topics and leading to meaningful discussions.


Steve: Were there obstacles in the creative process and how did I overcome them?


Jean: The production of "IF" involved a lengthy creative process, with six months of pre-production, including the conception of the script, location scouting, costume design, and weapons training for the actors, followed by two months of weekend-focused filming. We faced several challenges during production. One of the most challenging was the state of the filming location, which was infested with pigeon droppings and had leaks. Additionally, the location lacked access to electrical power, which limited the number of takes possible. Editing was also a challenge, taking three weeks to render the "comic book" effect. The comic book effect was achieved using an old German AI program that rendered frame by frame at a very slow speed. Furthermore, special effects had to be carefully planned to fit the desired color effect.

                                                                    

Steve: Which films, directors, or artists influenced this project?

Jean: My greatest influences in creating "IF" included renowned directors like Sam Raimi, Jacque Tati, Paul Verhoeven, and Jos Stelling. Their styles and narrative approaches had a significant impact on how I planned and directed the film.


Steve: Are there any interesting or heartwarming anecdotes from behind the scenes?


Jean: An interesting behind-the-scenes story is that the filming location was used for airsoft competitions. This meant that during breaks to recharge batteries or for meals, we had to dress as airsoft players to avoid being mistaken for participants and avoid airsoft shots, which can be dangerous to the eyes.

Steve: How did casting choices breathe life into the story?


Jean: Casting choices played a fundamental role in realizing the film's vision. The actors underwent weapons training to prepare for their roles. Each cast member brought the characters to life in a way that contributed to the narrative without the need for dialogue, making action the primary focus.


Steve: In a global landscape, how does my film distinguish itself?

Jean: The film "IF" stands out for its unique blend of action and humor while keeping its focus on important issues such as disarmament. The choice not to use dialogue but to convey the narrative through action adds a layer of uniqueness to the work, allowing viewers to draw their own conclusions about the characters and the story.


Steve: What impression do I hope to leave after the audience watches the film?

Jean: After watching "IF," I hope the audience reflects on the characters and who they identify with most, whether it's the clown or the gangster. I want the viewers to question the characters' identities and the issues of power and armament addressed in the film. The idea is that each viewer can draw their own conclusions and reflections after the screening.


Steve: How did the settings become silent storytellers?

Jean: The settings played a significant role in the film "IF." While the filming location presented challenges, such as pigeon droppings and a lack of electrical power, it contributed to the film's atmosphere. The absence of dialogue also made the settings and the characters' actions even more crucial in conveying the story.


Steve: What pride do I feel for being part of this global event?

Jean: Everyone involved in the production of "IF" takes great pride in contributing to the global event. Filmmaking in Brazil can be challenging due to the lack of access to equipment and funding, but the experience of creating this short film was rewarding. The film's outcome met our expectations, and the production process was a genuine exercise in cinema.


Steve:  What advice do I have for future global filmmakers?

Jean: For aspiring filmmakers, my advice is to persevere and follow your passion. Filmmaking can be challenging, especially in terms of resource access, but your commitment to your vision and creativity is what truly matters. Don't be afraid to explore new narrative and aesthetic approaches, as we did in "IF."

Steve: What is coming up in my cinematic universe?


Jean: Currently, I am in the process of developing a screenplay for my third feature film. I am looking forward to continuing to explore cinematic narratives and address social and moral issues through cinema.


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