Home Case Studies Case Study: The making of Guillaume Enard & Jonathan Delerue’s ‘By Blood’

Case Study: The making of Guillaume Enard & Jonathan Delerue’s ‘By Blood’

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The Mysterious Knight in Par Le Sang / By Blood (2018) (Dir. by Guillaume Enard & Jonathan Delerue)

Date: 31 August. 2018
Case Study: The Making of By Blood
Filmmakers: Guillaume Enard & Jonathan Delerue

indieactivity: What is your film about?
Guillaume Enard & Jonathan Delerue: By Blood‘ is an epic medieval western about a dysfunctional family and a father and son conflict. Once a ruthless warlord who won his land by his sword, Mort-Lieu is now a sick old man. When a mysterious knight appears, Mort-Lieu believes the stranger is Death himself coming to get him. Facing his own end, Mort-Lieu has to confront his legacy. “By Blood” is loosely based on the famous French knight DuGuesclin’s story.

indieactivity: Tell us about the festival run, marketing and sales?
Guillaume Enard & Jonathan Delerue: When the film was completed in January 2018, we enrolled in five festivals platforms. We first submitted it to a specific category of worldwide festival recommended by the French CNC (National Cinematographic Center). We then widened our submissions to the Oscar and Bafta qualifying festivals, providing a kind of a press kit of our own. Then we diversified with others, according to reputation, fame and location. We also tried a few online festivals to get more and quick feedback … And it was much better than expected! These last 6 months we were selected in more than 30 festivals and won nearly 40 awards. We shared the good news via our Facebook page and used our contacts and network to promote it. After we used all our own and extended resources and giving the amazing feedbacks BY BLOOD received, we thought working with London Flair PR would be the best next step.

By Blood_indieactivity

The Mysterious Knight in Par Le Sang / By Blood (2018) (Dir. by Guillaume Enard & Jonathan Delerue)

indieactivity: Dramatic Feature
– Director: Guillaume Enard & Jonathan Delerue
– Producers: Guillaume Enard & Jonathan Delerue
– Budget: The movie budget is around 55 000 €
– Financing: Jonathan Delerue created Claymore Film, He and Guillaume Enard fully self financed the movie, with the help of Fright House Pictures and Taozia.
– Shooting Format:The film was shot in 2K with an Arri Camera, the screening format is 2.35:1.
– World Premieré: The world premiere took place at the iconic Max Linder Panorama Theatre in Paris.
– Awards: BY BLOOD won nearly 40 awards around the world, such as Best Film, Best director, Best Cinematography, Best Production Design, Best Costume Design, Best Editing, Best Actress (Anne Charrier) and Best Actor (Pascal Greggory). We still hope to get the Best Music Award.
– Website: We haven’t created a website yet but BY BLOOD news are related on the film Facebook page.

indieactivity: Give the full official synopsis for your film?
Guillaume Enard & Jonathan Delerue: Mort-Lieu was once a ruthless warrior, an illegitimate child who won his land and the right to bear his father’s name by his sword. He is now a sick old man. A mysterious knight appears at his castle front gate and remains there motionless and silent. Mort-Lieu believes the stranger is Death himself coming to get him. Notorious for having taken lives and lands without mercy and despising his son because he’s well born and weak, Mort-Lieu experiences fear for the first time. The old man must fight one last battle but this time his foe is none other than himself.

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Pascal Greggory, Eric Savin, and Jonas Bloquet in Par le Sang / By Blood (2018) (Dir. by Guillaume Enard & Jonathan Delerue)

indieactivity: Development & Financing?
Guillaume Enard & Jonathan Delerue: We first thought of the movie back in 2014, when we learned of the French knight DuGuesclin, an illegitimate child who defeated all his father’s men in a tournament to gain the right to bear his name. When he ended up confronting his father, DuGuesclin knelt down before him. This was a great story and a much better one told from the father’s point of view, especially if he is sick and facing the fading twilight of his life. The first complete draft took us 4 months. We always agreed Mort-Lieu should be played by a famous French actor: Pascal Greggory. Pascal loved the story right away telling us later that he has never played such a complex character.

Making a historical short film in France is extremely challenging because the industry believes producing this kind of feature is too complicated but Pascal’s fame helped give credit to the project. We quickly put together a very experienced and talented crew but financing the project was much more harder. The first two years we applied to the funding institutions in France with no results because of the scope of our film. If the French movie industry assumes making a historical movie is very expensive, we knew we could do it within a decent budget.

Several production companies quit on us, including one the month before filming. That same week, when we learned the only opportunity to shoot the movie – before the renovation of the castle – was five weeks later, we decided to jump and fully self-finance the movie. Jonathan created Claymore Film and we searched for a co-producer to take over the shooting… That’s when Taozia and Fright House Pictures joined us in the adventure.

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Anne Charrier and Pascal Greggory in Par le Sang / By Blood (2018) (Dir. by Guillaume Enard & Jonathan Delerue)

indieactivity: Production?
Guillaume Enard & Jonathan Delerue: In September 2016, when one of our early producers let us down, we both decided to shoot the movie by the end of the year whatever happens. After one year scouting castles we found that the Fortress of Mornas near Avignon in the South of France was the perfect set for our movie from an artistic and logistical point. We could use it as a studio backlot. The problem was Mornas is also a tourist magnet.

The Fortress is a popular monument open to the public all year long except for winter but was due to renovation at that time. We just had a ten days window to shoot the movie beginning of November. We met with Emmanuel Hamon from Fright House Pictures, a small production company, who told us right away that he couldn’t to take over the shooting. But because he really liked the project and the scope of it, he offered to officially kick-start it. We still had to find a co-producer able to manage the production. Emmanuel on his part officially contacted the Fortress of Mornas and the village of Mornas.

We spent most of September searching for a co-producer. Many were interested but the magnitude of the challenge held them back. In the meantime, Pascal Greggory advised he could only work the first ten days of November: It was now or never. Nevertheless, we began preparatory work with Jean-Sébastien Viguié, a very experienced first assistant director who served as a line producer as well. Six weeks before the shooting we had our lead actor and our set but we were still missing a full cast, a full crew, a secured budget and a co-producer. We eventually found strong arguments to convince the head of Taozia, Matthieu Berenguer, to join us along with his long time collaborator and extremely competent line producer Cristobal Matheron. It was like the green light for us and then we got into 4 weeks of intense pre-production! Respected casting director Pascale Béraud advised us and helped getting Jonas Bloquet, Anne Charrier and Eric Savin on board.

In a few days we put together an amazing crew: multi nominated costume designer Olivier Bériot, production designer Sebastien Inizan, talented DOP Malik Brahimi, famous French chief armorer Christophe Maratier agreed to lend us some armors, shields and weapons. We knew we couldn’t look cheap and the main challenge as directors was to turn every euro of our low budget into a gold mine. Working closely with the 1st AD and the DOP, we drew a very accurate storyboard based on a rigorous scouting of all our sets in and around the fortress, always keeping in mind that the story and characters were the guiding thread of our artistic choices.

We had a seven days shooting schedule divided in two parts: the first was on location on the hills surrounding the castle to shoot the big final of the movie including the horses battle, the word fight and the climax scene with all the characters. We had no choice but to work with the daylight so it was a race against time all day long! The second part of the shooting included all the scenes inside the castle.

Our 1st AD decided to start filming the easiest parts of the movie so we could get comfortable on the director’s chair. The first two days we worked with the chief stunt man and horse wrangler Damien Escribe shooting some establishment technical shots without actors such as the opening scene with the mysterious knight and the horses riding duel. We got really scared when we learned a storm was coming but it luckily broke during the night, turned into a beautiful mist the morning after that ended up being the first shot of the movie.
Since we shot this epic final sequence following the narrative of the script, the next two days were focused on the sword fight and the Redemption scene with actors Pascal Greggory, Jonas Bloquet and François-David Cardonnel who also was the fight choregrapher with his brother Jonathan. We spent the last days working inside the castle.

By Blood_indieactivity

Pascal Greggory in Par le Sang (2018) (Dir. by Guillaume Enard & Jonathan Delerue)

Bottom line, it was seven days of intense work but we had so much fun all along thanks to our amazing cast, crew and producers: Everybody enjoyed this great adventure. We were also very proud that our risky choices and hard work paid off. It took a whole year to achieve the post-production of the movie cause the entire budget paid for the shooting and we were relying on the availability and free work of our partners. Talented musician and sound designer Jean-François Viguié composed the original score; he also handled the entire sound editing and mixing except for the foley that has been created by Foleywalkers in Ukraine. Our only regret was to not afford a full orchestra for the soundtrack. Saint-Louis Post Production Studio agreed to do all the color mixing and visual effects. Digital Factory let us record the final mix in one of its top notch auditorium. Finally our movie was ready to premiere at the best theater in Paris!

indieactivity: Festival Preparation & Strategy?
Guillaume Enard & Jonathan Delerue: When the film was completed in January 2018, we enrolled in five festivals platforms. We first submitted it to a specific category of worldwide festival recommended by the French CNC (National Cinematographic Center). We then widened our submissions to the Oscar and Bafta qualifying festivals, providing a kind of a press kit of our own. Then we diversified with others, according to reputation, fame and location. We also tried a few online festivals to get more and quick feedback … And it was much better than expected! These last 6 months we were selected in more than 30 festivals and won nearly 40 awards. We shared the good news via our Facebook page and used our contacts and network to promote it. After we used all our own and extended resources and giving the amazing feedbacks BY BLOOD received, we thought working with London Flair PR would be the best next step.

indieactivity: The Release?
Guillaume Enard & Jonathan Delerue: BY BLOOD premiered on March 17th 2018 at the iconic Max Linder Theater in Paris. We could not have dreamt of a better venue to showcase our work and we were delighted to see so many people attending a short-movie premiere: It was a great success from the beginning!

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Pascal Greggory in Par le Sang (2018) (Dir. by Guillaume Enard & Jonathan Delerue)

indieactivity: Advice from the Filmmaker?
 Jonathan Delerue: MJonathan Delerue : The whole idea of the project was to go off the beaten paths, we wanted to show that making this kind of epic movie was possible in France where 90% of the productions are comedies or independent movies about societal issues. “By Blood” is a modern psychological drama narrated through a metaphoric medieval scenography… That’s the kind of cinema we love!

Guillaume Enard : Our advices for young cinematographers: never give up, never surrender and believe in your film because no one is going to do it for you.

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The post Case Study: The making of Guillaume Enard & Jonathan Delerue’s ‘By Blood’ appeared first on indieactivity.

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