October has given way to November, Halloween has come and gone, and we once more find ourselves in the business end of autumn. As always, one more month gone means that TMFF has just offered its monthly awards to the best of the best entrants. And this time, we’re having a chat with Loran Perrin, the director of our Film of the Month for October 2017, The Red Case (L’Etui Rouge).
JL: Loran, our congratulations for winning TMFF’s latest Film of the Month prize! The Red Case has already won quite a few awards, how does it feel to add one more accolade to the already existing list?
Loran: Well, it’s really rewarding for me and for the whole film crew because one award can always be considered a stroke of luck, but when you win several awards in different festivals, it confirms that everyone has done a good job and that you are able to touch different types of audiences as a storyteller.
JL: You have written and directed ‘The Red Case’, and for the latter job you’ve also won our Director of the Month award for October. Do you have any experience directing other projects, or is this your first film?
Loran: In France I earn my living as a TV show director. I also have directed some music videos and commercials. As far as fiction is concerned, I did three other short films, but two of them were commissioned films, and the very first one, well… Let’s just say that I was still young and maybe not mature enough. The Red Case is the first film I wanted to screen in festivals in order to get confirmation that I could make a feature film someday.
JL: Elisabeth Ventura has also won our Actress of the Month award, while Bernard Metraux was among the nominees for the Actor of the Month award for November. Clearly, you have assembled an excellent cast – was this a difficult task to achieve?
Loran: Not at all, for the simple reason that I wrote the script especially for Elisabeth and Bernard. They both are great actors who come from classical theater and with whom I wanted to work for a long time. Same thing for most other actors of The Red Case…
JL: What inspired you to write this film?
Loran: I became a dad! It sounds trivial but your perception of human relationships changes completely when you become a parent. I wanted to explore something close to a father-to-daughter relationship that I could now relate to, and project my fears and my sensitivity to it at the same time, in a touching yet mysterious story. I need emotions when I go to the movies, so as a director, I need to prove to myself that I’m able to make people feel those emotions in my own films. A short is the best to do that because you only have a few minutes to introduce your characters and create empathy.
JL: ‘The Red Case’ excels in portraying really humane emotions and exchanges in a world where these become more and more artificial each day. What was the secret behind this perfect combination of elements?
Loran: I don’t know if this is the secret of a perfect combination, I just know that I wanted to move my characters away from the technology and clichés of our daily lives. In my film there are no cell phones, no social networks, no TVs … we live in a time where friends are counted in “likes” or “followers”, where we flirt on dating sites, where we share every minute of our life on the internet. I wanted my characters to be the opposite of that, regardless of their generation, to make their conversations more legitimate and authentic. Hence the choice of music as a factor of reconciliation, a mean of communication between individuals and cultures since the beginning of time.
JL: Jazz plays an important role in your film. Is this purely a stylistic choice, or does the genre selection hold a deeper metaphorical meaning?
Loran: It was necessary that the music genre could bring together two people from two different generations. Jazz proved to be the perfect choice because it matches the personality traits of both characters. The passion and insolence of Dom, the sweetness and marginality of Sarah… it’s a style of music both old and incredibly modern.
JL: What has been the most difficult moment in the making of ‘The Red Case’?
Loran: To find the bus! Do not ask me why but I wanted this bus scene since the first day. The idea of the whole story started from there. And in Paris, shooting on a bus is a nightmare, you have to ask the organization that manages all the transport of the city and it’s very expensive, even for a short. But we found an association that collects old buses from all time, and they had just bought a bus from the late 90s. The deal has been made three days before we started shooting! The final scene would probably have happened in a taxi otherwise. But again, I wanted this picture of Sarah alone in an empty bus to close the scene.
JL: What has been the most important learning point that you’ve identified from directing this film, and how will you consider it in future projects?
Loran: I realized how important rehearsals were before shooting. Some directors like to improvise on the set, let the actors propose things. But on a short film, we have so little time that each scene well prepared in advance saves precious minutes, even precious hours. I did it with my two main actors, but next time I intend to do it for all the scenes.
JL: What have you got planned for the near future? Any new projects that you’ve started or have in the planning phase?
Loran: I have been working on writing a feature film for over a year now. But now I have to find a producer, and for that I would like to shoot a new short, you know, “beat the iron while it’s still hot”. I’m currently working on a TV show until December and I plan to start the production of this new movie in January.
JL: Our readers might be interested in staying up to date with further developments in ‘The Red Case’, or any other potential projects from you. How can they do that?
As for my future project, just follow the Eyeway Films page: https://www.facebook.com/EyewayFilms
JL – We appreciate your responses, Loran, and congratulate you once again on your excellent film. Don’t hesitate to submit any of your future work to TMFF!