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48ers In The News: Escaffre And Muller Nominated For A French César!Tuesday, February 11, 2020

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© Quentin Ducros for the Académie des César

48HFP filmmakers Lauriane Escaffre and Yvonnick Muller have been nominated for a César (the French equivalent of the Oscars) for their short film "Pile Poil" ("By A Hair"). The filmmaking and acting duo got their start with the 48 Hour Film Project in Paris in 2012. We sat down to talk with them about their work, their film and the 48HFP.

48HFP: Hi Lauriane and Yvonnick. You are filmmakers based in Paris. Tell us about yourselves.

We've been making a living as actors for many years, full time. But that involves stage work too! And we're now also working as screenwriters and directors.

48HFP: What have you been working on since your participation in the 48HFP?

The 48HFP is what got us started in the writing and making of films... and we haven't stopped since! We used to do it with a collective made out of actors, screenwriters, and directors. After a few years of that, we all wanted to experiment with more personal stuff, which is what we did with Lauriane. A producer saw our previous work, and suggested we work with him on our next scenario. Which is what we did!

What is the name of your award winning film?

"Pile Poil" (or "By a Hair" in English!) is the title of the short film that came out of this collaboration. We really did the film we wanted to do, without thinking any further, and we were totally blown away by what happened next... Honestly, we didn't even know a short film could get us that far!! Right now "Pile Poil" is nominated for the César, which is the equivalent of the Oscars in French cinema. And it's sort of crazy to us!

How did you come up with the idea for this film?

During a writing weekend at a friend's place, her sister was looking for a model for her beautician studies. So we learned that the students had to bring their own model to the final exam - and that the model had to be hairy, of course!

What were your roles on this film? 

We were the screenwriters and directors. And Lauriane is also acting in it.

What do you think about your 48HFP Experience?

Our experience has always been wonderful... it's a lot of work, but also a lot of fun! And definitively a great learning experience. After our first 48HFP in Paris, we liked it so much that with our collective, we did another short film right after. And it was ready one month later.

Did it help prepare you for other film work?

Oooh yes!!! On our first 48HFP, we were really green! We had our acting experience, but we didn't know much about where to put the camera, and how to film and edit a scene... Fortunately, we had other team members that were more experienced in those fields! Eventually, it's all about sharing, you learn a whole lot from each other during a 48HFP, and you learn by doing... You think you'll never manage - until you do it!

And since you're getting involved in everything during a 48HFP, it also made us aware of how important the surroundings of the shooting are: the logistics, the food, the way you treat people that are coming to work for free... If handled properly, all that can result in a very positive and encouraging atmosphere that will really fuel your work. And if not, well... You also learn from your mistakes, and that's very precious too!

I know you served on the jury for the France 48HFP. What was that experience like?

First of all, it was a great honor to be part of the jury. We saw wonderful films, and sometimes had to remind ourselves that they were made in 48 hours!!! We had a lovely jury, and had a really great time discussing about the different films made. It really made me question what I'm looking for in films! I really enjoyed the disagreement points. They were very interesting, mostly when someone else's arguments made me change my mind!! And of course, during the ceremony, it was great to see the happy reactions of the various teams... It reminded me of us a few years back, and got me thinking that all this started with a 48HFP . . . and without the 48HFP, we probably wouldn't be at the César today!!

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