Short film, archaeological thriller.
Necropolis is the first fiction short film by Jean-Gabriel Loquet.
Jessie is a dynamic and impulsive young woman, easily carried away. Introverted but not shy, she’s rather messy and can sometimes be stubborn. A lonely, childish character, she’s looking for opportunities to put her talent to action.
As a new, unexperienced archaeologist , she starts to work on a middle ages necropolis sitewith older, very experienced colleagues. When a new tomb is found, deemed uninteresting by the older archaeologists, it’s entrusted to the beginner. Jessie will put all her energy into this task, but what she will find in there will rush her into a series of unexpected and dangerous events …
THE DIRECTOR’S INTENTIONS
The movie’s main theme is death, or rather the living’s fascination and repulsion thereof since the dawn of time. Like most people, Jessie tries to avoid thinking about death, and the existential vertigo that comes with the thought. When she starts working on the archaeological site, she’s inevitably confronted with death, in a rather intimate way, being in close contact with the relics she digs out from their antic graves, and which put her face to face with her own mortality. She will deal with that tension by turning it into an urgency to know more about the people lying in these graves, as if she could save them by understanding the exact circumstances of their deaths. Her approach will lead her to take seriously the new grave on the edge of the necropolis, which nobody but her cares about, to spare no effort, and not to neglect any detail. This energy comined with her inexperience will lead to a series of events that will eventually let her solve the mystery.
The stakes of the film was also to illustrate the conflict between Jessie, a young woman, enthousiastic, rather frail looking, and the environment into which she’s immersed : a man’s world where everything is old, inert and big. Contrary to what appearances may lead one to think, it’s her who will prevail in the end, and who will resit to this hell of a night. For the film’s action takes place over 24 hours, my intention being to explore the tension of the thriller in a rather homely environment, the surge of adventure into the every day life of an ordinary person, and how she will react, turning out to be up to her cinematic role models.
Finally, I wanted to paint that protrait of a sensitive, young woman, a bit in her bubble, and how her energy associated to a form of ingenuity will shed light onto a real life drama.
My longing to create the images of this film goes back to my childhood, and the 80/90 american superproductions that rocked it (sometimes roughly). Baptiste Charlier (director of photography) and I thus decided for a 1:2.35 35mm anamorphic cinemascope format, and our goal in post will be to emulate as closely as possible the look of the film stock and grading used for these productions, even if the film, because of time and budget constraints, will be shot on digital.
The DSRL with the 2:1 anamorphic lens
Three main moods will give depth to the movie. “Cult” movies (cult for me anyway 😉 will provide visual reference to the lighting team (Guilhem Clery and Maéva Albaret) and to the set and accessories artists (Maëlle Morel and Margot Clavel).
1. EXT. DAY/DUSK
Jessie sees her environment on the necropolis site like a 80/90 superproduction. Obviously our reference for the look of these scenes will be the Indiana Jones series, particularly “Raiders of the Lost Ark” by Steven Spielberg.
2. EXT. NIGHT
Night will be the time of action, of almost epic and surreal events succeeding to each other. We’ll try and go towards the very stylized look of Tarantino’s films, mainly “Kill Bill Vol. 2“.
3. INT. NIGHT
Everything needs to be menacing, dangerous, potentially hurtful in the interiors of Jessie’s journey. We’ll turn to the sick moods of David Fincher’s films like “Fight Club“,
but stay with Tarantino’s “Kill Bill Vol. 2” for the hospital scenes.
THE SOUND and THE MUSIC
Guilhem Clery, much engaged in the film, will be in carge of the sound design and the composition of an original score. The sound engineer on set will be Baptise Juricic.
The preprod stage is now completed. The script is final, and the storyboard is done. The 3D animation software Blender turns out to be a fantastic storyboarding tool, not only allowing to try frame compositions but also lighting intentions, perspective, lens effects, … The 3D storyboard of the movie is part of the goodies offered to contributors.
THE POST-PRODUCTION and THE VFX
Images, particularly computer generated images (CGI) thanks to the open source 3D software Blender, lead me to discover cinematography and visual storytelling. In my first fiction film I couldn’t go without including some 3D VFX shots, in the credits but also for some surprises in the movie …Obviously Blender will be used to create these visual effects, a tutorial and the Blender production files will be part of the goodies offered to contributors to the project.
A special attention will be paid to other post-production stages, like color grading (the movie will be shot in 14bit RAW and graded with DaVinci Resolve), editing and mixing (also performed by myself with Resolve) that make the final writing touch to the story.
NOW WHAT ?
The biggest task is still ahead of me : I now have to fund the movie, finish the casting, plan and perform the shooting, with the help of my assistant director Mathilde Foriel-Destezet and the rest of the team, and of course – we really hope – your help !
The shooting is planned for August 2017, the film duration will be around 20 minutes.
What are the funds for?
80 € : of fee for Ulule
50 € : for preparing and sending the counterparts
170 € : to buy skeletons and miscellaneous accessories
400 € : to buy food to sustain the team and actors
200 € : for the team to camp near the site during shooting
100 € : to cover transportation costs (team, actors and gear)
for a total of 1000 €
About the project owner
Jean-Gabriel Loquet :
I came to cinema through images, specially computer generated images. After a scientific education and a few years in scientific engineering, I started as a freelance director nearly 10 years ago, creating corporate films, CGI or live, some of which for internationnal institutions. More info on http://www.onirixel.com …
This film is for me the chance to start directing fiction : I am fascinated by stories and the ways of telling them visually. I pay great respect and attention to frame composition, lighting, color, rythm, all with the purpose of serving the actors and the story they uphold.
The team :
Creation rises from confluence. This is particularly true for cinema : you can’t make a film by yourself. To make this film, I constituted a team made of people of whom I like the personality and the works. Their sensitivity and culture will create, that is my goal, a result that will exceed the sum of what each member could have created individually.
Necropolis is first a team of very dedicated and very live people : the members of the technical staff are all unpaid volunteers, as are the actors. All the gear : camera, lights, sound gear, is being lent to us free of charge. But live people do need to eat and rest every once in a while, and that is why we need to call to your generosity : the total amount from this crowdfunding campaign will be used to pay for the food, shelter and transportation of the team, actors and gear, and to buy a few accessories that we weren’t able to find (like fake skeletons for instance, which turn out quite hard to come by).