You directed as well as wrote your short film, Lovebirds. How did you create such a fabulous bitch character? Was there anyone in particular who you referenced?
Thanks! I’m so happy the jury loved our film.
If we zoom out a bit, I guess we are living in a time where everything is getting more and more mistrustful. We meet each other more and more with distrust. Things are getting more dirty. In politics. On social media. Hate crimes in schools. Everywhere. There is a sort of trigger happiness going on right now. People shoot before they think. It is in some way easier to blame the surroundings, rather than to look yourself in the mirror and face where the real problem is.
So the character is not inspired by one person – but more by the way I see a fundamental challenge in the world around me right now.
What initial thoughts triggered the narrative – and did these change much in the process of writing the script and production?
I read a lot of newspapers. And we talk a lot about politics in my family. So the triggering part was already there.
The journey has more been about how to tell the story as interesting as possible. And to also find a way to add a bit of humour. When I first got the inspiration of the overall story, theme and premise I actually stuck to that through the entire process. From script to production, without any major changes.
We were wondering if there was camera trickery but the end credits revealed the two women are twins. What was your casting process and where did you find the characters?
The team and I were actually joking about creating a long fake credit list with visual effects post-production crew who had done an amazing job turning one actor into two. We would have won any VFX award there is! But no. We are talking about real identical twins here. Everything is shot in camera.
Mady and Monette are real. They are living together. And they have done that for their entire life. They always wear the same clothing. They are always together. They talk in sync. They are each others shadow. Or should we say better half?
I first saw them in Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s masterpiece “Amélie” and got extremely fascinated about them. Being an Only Child myself I have always dreamed of having siblings, but having a true copy of yourself definitely elevates that wish. After writing the script my producer Rikke Katborg contacted the twins, I flew to Paris and had lunch with them, pitched my idea for the film and they really loved it.
The flat feels tiny – how easy was the shoot? And was the production straight forward? Any major challenges?
The film is shot in a classic Paris apartment in Haussmannian style. The DP and his crew did a really good job in regards to pre-lighting everything before the shoot, with lights hanging down from the ceiling, giving us as much space on the floors as possible.
I guess the biggest challenge was the birds. I have worked with animals many times before, and of course know it can be demanding, but I have never worked with animals who were as arrogant and ice cold as these two birds. No matter what we did, and wanted them to do, they did the opposite. And I could feel how they were just sitting there laughing at me.
They are a breed called “lovebirds”, which is one of the only animals in the world who have the same partner for their entire life. They hook up. And they stay together. For ever. And if another bird tries to get involved with one of them, they simply kill it. Chop the competitor to death with their beak. Tear the suitor apart with their claws. All other animals give a warning first. But not lovebirds. They just go for the kill. I guess they are one of the most violent animals on the planet. And no, I never dared asking Mady and Monette if there have been any suitors in their life and what they possible could have done to him. I just know the fact that they have been together since they where born. And it will stay like that.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I can tell that I’m in post production with my debut feature film right now. It’s called LET’S GET KILLED and will be out next year. Like Lovebirds it is produced by Les Producers. Looking forward to sharing it with all of you.
Besides that I’m back in commercials, which I love to do to!
Lovebirds, short film
Martin Garde Abildgaard
Producer: Rikke Katborg
Production company: Les Producers
Executive Producers: Francois Chilot / Jerome Blesson, La Belle Affairs Production
Director Of Photography: Guillaume Le Grontec
Editor: Marco Perez
Editing: Union Editorial NY
Music & Sound Design: Dennis Lee
Production Designer: Nastazia Celestine
Costume Design: Noemie River
Hair / Make-Up: Marie Koleda
Casting Directo:r Philippe El Koubi
Line Producer: Virginie Lancetti
1st Assistant Director: Alexandra Breznay
1st Camera Assistant: Maxime Gerigny
2nd Camera Assistant: Clarence Malaper
Key Grip: Manu Assenat
Gaffer: Lucas Schwartz
Electrician: Pauline Raimbault
Sound Man: Gael Eleon
Translator: Rebecca Graversen
Location Scout: Christian Diaz
Title Art Work: Simone Fabricius
Post Production: Bacon X CPH
Colourist: Hannibal Lang
Twins: Mady & Monette Malroux
Concierge: Philippe Rigot