Erick had seen NENETTE ET BONI which I had photographed and that's why he contacted me. We had very little time before starting to shoot but he had already filmed some locations on video and had a very strong sense of the settings he wanted. The places were so in tune with the script that I just let myself be carried along. Thanks to the existing videos and the locations we scouted together the work was very well prepared and no improvisation was needed.
The idea was that the image should be brutally simple to correspond with the tone of the story. I tested film stock to obtain the saturated colors and we started out on that basis. I was lucky in having a very inventive Head Gaffer who created systems that enabled us to modify the daylight.
The most demanding thing for me was the distance between the faces. I realized that this distance established an unacknowledged encounter with the characters and that's what pleased Erick.
We shot a lot. The equivalent of a three hour long film. To begin with I was intrigued by this and then I realized that it enabled Erick to have sufficient material to give his film the rhythm and energy that he wanted. I followed his choices and everything was easy despite the problems posed by the cramped interior settings. That's one of the reasons there's a lot of hand-held camera in the film. Not the only reason though, since we also used it in exteriors. It's incredible but we didn't watch the rushes but I had a video back up which was of great use in our work.
In the beginning we had to decide whether to shoot in 35mm or super 16. We made tests with 35mm and finally shot the film on super 16. It was easier than I'd expected. With super 16 it was possible to soften the picture and it suited the narrative better. It created a sort on intimacy which led to more simplicity.I took great pleasure in filming these two young women, their beauty and youth. I was very touched by them.