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A short film about minimalism, relationships, spirituality

About the project

The crowdfunding is over

You can follow the project by leaving your email address on the website of the film :


Persona is a 20-minute short film that tackles the themes of minimalism and spirituality. It is the story of two characters realizing what matters to them, what has always been there.

Both the narrative and the visuals oscillate between full and empty. The film explores spaces, whether full or totally pared-down, and the perspectives these extremes can bring to the characters as they evolve.

The writing process has brought some deep changes to me. I started writing a story that I enjoyed exploring and, gradually, almost without me noticing, all the reflections that mattered to me at that time found their way to exist in the story.

This first film is a way for me to weave together all the explorations the various projects I have worked on brought me. Here are for example some images I made as a director of photography for the short film La Machine.

Getting these two characters to evolve is not the only ambition of the story. The film also constitutes a way for us to question our view of materiality, our behaviors, ... The idea is for the film to serve as a reflector of the viewer's own questioning.

Crowdfunding is to me an obvious choice to prevent intentions and the whole artistic endeavor getting watered-down. Since it is its personal character that will make it pertinent, I don't think that waiting to be picked would be serving the film in any way. This project asks for experimenting another relationship with the audience, a more direct access. When relying on the more traditional funding channels (institutional funds, pre-sales, ...), we send the project to a major organization, and few things depend on the creator from there. I chose to actively find the tools to make this film real.

I also decided to rely on private partnerships. That way, creation doesn't depend on charity : it becomes possible to find a situation where each stakeholder gets something out of it. By involving relevant companies and organizations in the project, everyone has a real motivation to see it succeed.

We are collaborating with several partners for this crowdfunding campaign alone. Among the available rewards, you can find t-shirts from The Black Bird, a clothing brand that offers minimalist and inspiring designs, and albums of the band Kaluna.

I am thrilled with these partnerships for the meaning they have, since each organization is connected to art and minimalism, but also glad to work alongside these creators that I admire. I am very happy to share the value I see in their work with you.

Bill, a solitary and materialist electrician, crushed by his relationship going downhill, is looking to protect himself from his own flaws. Caught off balance when his wife brutally puts him in front of his lack of realism, he drags her down with him in an absurd, yet necessary duel.

Nicolas Gruber will be the lead actor of the film. I have worked with him on a few other projects, and I know he is able to swiftly play with very different energies. He can be filled with a dramatic acting, deep and slow, and get a striking comedy to suddenly arise in the same motion, spontaneuous and wanton.

Bill's character is very nervous, mostly based on reacting to the situations in which he finds himself. That is why I see Nicolas' acting style and intentions organically relevant for this role.

"The story of Persona brings me back to situations I have personally experienced, where I could have extreme reactions, just like the character's. What resonates with me in this project is the way it tackles self-transcendence, and its spiritual aspect : getting to understand how we arrived where we are."

Christophe Leclaire is the producer and director of photography of the film. His production company EGGmotion recently produced Subimago and Le Portrait. His ability to get these films with strong identities to exist with an independent approach is fundamental for Persona to materialize.

His framing, just as the rest of his interventions on any project, is always driven by an empathy for the subject, the project, what is being told.

"This project is among the films I want to see. Today, we viewers aren't done questioning our lives through fiction work. With his mirror-like characters, this film confronts us to forms of alienation, selfishness, self-centeredness. It gets us to recognize the absurdity of these situations to finally hope going beyond ourselves."

Thomas Terrien is the music composer of the film. His personal creations on the project Tom Terrien are based on an enticing ambience and a balance being constantly defined between electronic music and more organic piano sounds or even raw noises.

The film follows the journey of a solitary character, often lost in his own thoughts, and I find an echo to my narrative intentions in the suspense of Thomas' compositions.

"Persona is a project that allows me to experiment with something I have been interested in for a long time : the use of noises, ambient sounds to create an atmosphere, music. It is a beautiful creative opportunity."

On the visual side, the film will be sliced in three general ambiences to reflect the main character's inner evolution. The first ambience will reflect the apparent normality he lives in : he refuses to look at his own flaws, and builds a world for himself in which he is protected. The image will be balanced, with a homogeneous color distribution and soft lights. The lighting on the faces will be a little artificial, as shown on the following examples : almost too clean to be real.

The second esthetics will begin right after the character's main realization. At that point, he takes some time alone to process and appreciate the new reality unfolding before him. This is just before he finally goes on to face his main problem. The power of this new reality will be conveyed by much more saturated colors, and more contrasts in the image. The character will be alone in that sequence, and the overly present colors will depict all the signals coming from his environment that he perceives in a more intense way after his realization.

The last part matches with the resolution of the film and will be very clean in the aim to focus the viewer on what is essential. It is the moment where the characters start to process their realization together, to see the reality they live in, and to incorporate it in their actions. The white tones will be omnipresent.

The music of the film will have two main components. A slow composition to establish a suspended atmosphere, livened up with the melodies of a piano, depending on the narrative needs. This first ambience will be accompanied by short sound design impacts that will convey the losses of balance of the characters. These impacts will be made of the sounds of objects present in the film, and as a result, in the characters' minds. They will be modified, filtered, distorted depending on the situation, but they will always bring the viewer back to the central problem of this couple.

Here are some musical inspirations :

What are the funds for?

About the project owner

The crew is still being formed ; here are those who have already joined the project.

Alexandre Claret
Production sound mixer

Jérémie Attard
Camera assistant

Christelle Aguilar
Assistant director

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