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28th October 2016
Guns and bloody noses
Title of film: Talisco, Stay (before the picture fades)
Director: Cloé Bailly
Production Company: Black Dog Films, UK
Cloé Bailly's films are styley – frame-to-frame gorgeousness – and really funny. We talk with the Black Dog and Caviar director about failed goodbyes, branding bread as a Parisian asshole and why making films is a family process

Do you write most of your scripts and if so what is your creative process for coming up with your narratives (for instance are you writing ideas down all the time, or do you sit down in a particular place and brainstorm)?
I do write all my scripts, both in English and French. Even for my commercials, I always take part in the writing – it’s my favorite part, and I don’t really see myself directing something written by someone else.
I’m thinking about ideas and writing them down all the time, especially for music videos. I have a list of concepts somewhere in my phone. When I get offered a specific project, I’m quite militant; I sit down in my living room and think. Watch hundreds of references (films, videos, photography…) and think. And of course, if it fits, I develop one of the ideas I’ve put on a shelf!
Do you sketch out treatments and storyboards – do you think about the framing as you go or are you more verbal and think in words?
First comes the general idea, the concept. Then comes the location, which sets the mood. It’s only after that words, situations and dialogues come. My frames naturally follow. Sometimes, I have exact frames in mind, like paintings.
I write all my treatments and join the artistic director (who does layout) for image research. I need to document myself and get my ideas as precise as possible. Same for the storyboard: I draw it myself (it does look like as if a 9 year old did it though) to have a shot-by-shot as precise as possible; for the crew, of course, but for myself as well. I need this rigorous preparation to be able to make last minute changes or even to improvise. Also to be able to relax on set!
 For instance, please tell us how the crazy wonderful script idea came about for Talisco’s Stay (before the picture fades). Were you always confident that the central idea would hold together even though it wasn’t a linear storyline?  What was the original brief for Stay and how did you develop it?
There was no other brief than “light and quirky”. Both the label, Roy Music, and the artist, Jérôme Amandi, were very trustworthy and I’m super grateful for that… it’s great and rare to feel supported and artistically believed in rather than crushed by the music industry.
The title gave me the idea of failed goodbyes, of a character capable of anything to make his loved one ‘stay’. I connected it to the romantic farewell clichés in movies as I’ve always found them hilariously cheesy… And I found it super fun to twist the codes of cinema, to see what could happen after ‘The End’.
For me, it was necessary to cover different types of clichés and different kind of goodbyes for the concept to work. I even had to cut several scenes… A linear storyline felt boring: I wanted a choir of craziness, a crescendo of absurdity!

And then Semaine has the oh-so-French dialogue of Mr Poilâne. What came first – the script or the visuals or were they simultaneous?
Concept and text came first. The pitch I got was completely open… it just had to be about this famous French bread brand Poilâne. I thought it would be super fun to turn an animated object – this bread – into the main character, and to make him a nympho, womanizer, narcissistic, Parisian asshole.
Once I found the concept, the script came fluidly, it was just giving a voice to this absurd character…
Then I thought of this beautiful place called Pavillon Puebla which is located in the Buttes Chaumont in Paris. I immediately imagined a scene (the final one) there. Once we got the place, I manipulated the script for the other scenes to all fit there.
Your work can’t be pigeon-holed –  you’re very good at getting inside the stream of consciousness of the good-looking tribe – and then you create a visually clever and complicated film such as Les Marches which opened the Cannes Film Festival closing ceremony. How complex was it to make this? What were the main challenges and lessons learnt from this production?
This shoot was very complicated for me. Obviously because of budget and time restrictions – classic – but mostly because making a visually-tricky-film was not in my vocabulary. I really wanted to try directing a transition, technically ‘geek’ film. So, I discovered a lot of new technical stuff on that shoot, whilst directing a celebrity (the actor is a famous French actor)… with a big personality.
I learnt a lot though. Mostly that shooting post-production based films in a green screen studio was not my thing. I feel very, very frustrated by the limits of this kind of set.
Your work seems to be a mix of Californian and Parisian locations. Do you live and work out of both places?  Where do you call home?
Home is Paris. Eventually, I’d love to live between here and L.A! Well, that’s my plan. I go to L.A whenever I can. It inspires me constantly – the locations, the people, the look, the light, everything… Balancing between Paris and L.A is the best inspiration possible as they are complete opposites.
Do you collaborate with a core familiar team – especially DP and art direction?
I believe film making is a family process. I want to keep on making films with the same people, grow together, create a common language. Crew AND actors.

I’ve worked recently on two projects (Talisco’s music video and a bank commercial) with Spanish DoP Marc Miro and it’s been an amazing match, both humanly and creatively. In L.A I always work with my good friend and great DP Cristina Dunlap. I’m still looking for my true love in France…
 Please tell us about your background that led you to directing? And then how did your knowledge of film-making evolve?  
I’ve always been a huge fan of cinema and drama. I always had an old DV camera in my hands as a kid, and loved telling stories. I guess it came naturally. All I knew was that my favorite thing in the world was to be on set (which is quite random as none of my family are in the arts).
After studying literature & cinema at La Sorbonne, I became an assistant director briefly. Then I moved to L.A where I got the chance to work with genius self-made director Dimitri Basil and his crew. After having been familiar to a very academic French method, I discovered a guerrilla style process which taught me so much, from pitching to shooting to art direction to editing. Everything became possible. But I was frustrated: I wanted to do my own films. So one day, with the help of a few great friends, I shot my first ‘experimental’ video in Joshua Tree. It worked pretty well. I went back to Paris and things followed; I got represented by Caviar and Black Dog and quickly directed my first short, These People.
My knowledge keeps evolving every day, and it probably will forever. It’s endless, and that’s what I love about being a director. I started with a very academic, theoretical knowledge – of which I’m super grateful though as it gave me a film culture and curiosity. But I believe you learn the best when you’re on set, when you get your hands dirty.

Making films is the only way to make the next one better, to learn from your mistakes, to get to know yourself and your craft more and more, better and better. For me, it’s like being a painter… Reading books isn’t enough, you need to paint everyday.
You’ve recently developed a couple of short films which are currently on the festival circuit – is longer format something you’d like to explore?
Definitely! It’s my main focus. I have two shorts waiting for subvention (one in English and one in French) and I’m currently writing my first feature film. It’s a dark, offbeat comedy… which I’m really, really excited about it!!
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Thank you for your kind compliments and great questions! I’m glad my work can’t be pigeon-holed, although the common point in all my work is comedy… An offbeat, (hopefully) smart comedy.


Represented by:
Caviar (France):
Black Dog Films (UK):

Talisco - Stay (before the picture fades) Director: Cloé Bailly Cinematographer: Marc Miró Producer: Davo McConville Executive Producer – Katie Dolan Production Company – Black Dog Films UK Production Assistant – Holly Wolfers Service Company – Smile, Spain Executive Producer: Jonas Hendrix Head of Production: Ana Alonso Production Manager: Mar Llompart Martínez Production Coordinator: Xell Molla 1st Assistant Director: Ainara Trigueros 2nd Assistant Director: Ruben Blackman Runner: Sergi Suarez Runner: Ana Ros Runner: Emilio Garcia Location Manager: Jordi Calvet Unit Manager: Javi Puente 1st AC: Dani Gallardo 2nd AC: Ana Albiach VTS: Claudia Rodriguez DIT: Nico Di Masso Steadicam: Pau Reich Gaffer: Paco Roman Casting Department: Lane Casting Cast director: Alejandro Gil Stylist: Jo Ryan Stylist Assistant: Paula Lopez Hair & Make-up: Pati Abril Art Department: Fer Arias Edit House - Speade Editing, London Editor: Sacha Szwarc Colorist: Emiliano Serantoni Graphic design: Jesse Reede Les Marches, Cannes Festival 2016 Director Cloé Bailly DOP Neus Ollé Producer Céline Roubaud Florence Jacob Production Manager Carla Georges Production Assistant Mayli Grouchka Art Department Didier Billet Sandy Moreau Benjamin Gatti Igor Barbey Chloé Malfroy Stylist Bénédicte Poupon Hair & Make Up Angloma SFX Make Up Stéphane Robert Assistant Director Vincent Champagnac Focus Puller Grégoire Darasse 2nd Assistant Camera Giacomo Gillino Gaffer Olivier Rodriguez Lighting crew Nicolas Juge Pierre-Antoine Mouvilliat Tristan Deboise Cécile Royer Key Grip Brendan Durand Damien Bouvet Guillaume Pitel Charlie Cointre Sound Rafaël Ridao Location Manager Isabelle Ogel Logistics crew David Chouchana Post House ADD'FICTION Post Supervisor Antoine Dezelli Editor Saïd Hajjioui Colorist Gilles Garnier Sound Designer Charles Vetter Production Caviar Paris Caviar Paris Executives Celine Roubaud & Florence Jacob SEMAINE, Introducing Mr Poilâne Director & Writer Cloé Bailly DOP Martial Schmeltz Producer Katie Dolan Line Producer Justine Valletoux Production Manager Delphine Bellonnet Production Assistant Selma Bouguerra Production Designer Lucas Morice Art Assistant Pierre-Yves Thieffine Prop Master Romain Studer Stylist Ylias Nacer Hair & Make Up Sandra Toussaint @Blushmytv Hair & Make Up Assistant Adélaïde Baylac Domengetroy @Blushmytv Assistant Director Margot Gallimard Focus Puller Just-Aurèle Meissonnier 2nd Assistant Camera Lucas Henriette Gaffer Quentin Ameziane Lighting crew Pierre-Antoine Mouvilliat Johan Bors Key Grip Tristan Morin Sound Nassim El Mounabbih Location Manager Clément Trontin Logistics crew Sébastien Dubreucq Louis Antonino Post House UNIT MEDIA Post Supervisor Sally Heath Millie Easton Edit House The Quarry Editor Flaura Atkinson Edit Producer Charlie Morris Colorist Scott Harris Online Editor Alec Eves Sound Mixer Tom Guest Production Black Dog Films Black Dog Executive Katie Dolan Caviar Paris Caviar Paris Executive Celine Roubaud Music 'Funky Time' by Abraham Day for Pop-Up Music Vogue US, Camille Rowe’s Take on French vs. American Girl Style Starring: Camille Rowe Video by Cloé Bailly Edited by Nick Blatt Sonia by Sonia Rykiel, California Dream Written and directed by Cloé Bailly Produced by Eliana Gil Rodriguez Director of Photography: Cristina Dunlap Assistant Camera: Eli Kliejunas Production Assistants: Marthe Guérin Caufman Frankie Wallach Hair/Makeup: McKenzie Gregg Sound Mixer: Douglas Beatty Sound Designer: Jeff Malen Editor: Niles Howard Colorist: Taylor Black Color Producer: Caitlin Forrest Whatever, Haunt Director: Cloé Bailly Director of Photography: Cristina Dunlap Producer: Eliana Gil Rodriguez Production Assistant: Marthe Guérin Kaufman These People, short film trailer Written & Directed by Cloé Bailly Director of Photography: Tanguy Masson Assistant Camera: Raphaël Aprikian Produced by Céline André, Cloé Bailly Production Assistant: Angelina Guiboud First Assistant Director: Margot Gallimard Second Assistant Director: Nicolas Crichton Hair/Makeup: Camille Lameynardie Sound Designer: Damien Petitjean Editor: Jeanne Signé Colorist: Vincent Heine Post production services provided by Home Digital Pictures Post-produced by Laurence Nguyen