Gédéon had been an ordeal, I was not happy with it. One of the many criticisms I received, when shooting Gédéon, was that I was using paper cut outs, a technique only for amateurs. I took the opposite view in my first film. I intended to show the world how good I was - and get orders. I made the whole film with paper cut outs, white paper from start to finish; making this film, all by myself, was a great joy. The shooting took place in the home of an animated film director I admired, and still admire today, Jean-François Laguionie. It wasn't my choice, I was not in a position to choose, it just happened because my producer had found the cheapest camera system in France. The camera had no viewfinder; a large celluloid sheet was placed on the table, showing the field according to the camera's height. A crank, very hard to turn, was used to move the camera up and down. There was no automatic focus and every time I moved the camera up or down, I forgot to adjust the focus. Since there was no viewing, I only discovered the problem after the job was done and the film spool had been transmitted to the lab, and then returned to the shooting place where we had no equipment to screen it. I had to go to a nearby city, in the cinema, where the projectionist screened my film with old noisy equipment. I had to identify and record all the problems in only two viewings.
Robert Cohen-Solal, the musician in charge of the sound effects, only used paper as well, except for the sound of the bell!
Christian Maire, the music composer, with whom I worked in many other films, also played with simple mechanics. He used instruments such as the harpsichord and the celesta. Instead of hiding all the mechanical noises of the wooden instruments, he positioned a microphone inside them in order to amplify these unusual sounds.
Doing all the cut outs took me 5 months, in my apartment, in silence and alone. Then shooting the film as such took three months. It was also done in absolute silence, the house was lost in the Cevennes mountains, and it was snowing. I was working from sunrise to sunset, I was doing something important and I was happy.
The film got a few awards….but no orders.