My plans to write about the film “Québec, My Country, Mon Pays” today became heightened after the past weekend’s tragedy at a Québec City mosque. My heart goes out to the people who were practicing a peaceful prayer, their families, and the community, that includes us.
I lived in Québec City. J’ai vecu a Québec. I know that when we say “a Québec” (in Québec) as opposed to “au Québec” (also, in Québec) that the former means the city, and not the province, the latter. I spent 4 years there. First, studying French. Secondly, studying acting at Le Conservatoire d’Art Dramatique de Québec.
Hope. Commitment. Change. Health. Care. Movement. Not waiting for someone else to solve the problem.
That’s what we need. What the whole world needs. Especially, right now when there seems to be small groups of people making decisions that put millions at jeopardy, world wide.
The film “Demain” (Tomorrow) is an elixir, a well needed boost of encouragement to an overwhelmed feeling I’ve been experiencing lately. “Demain“, which is mostly in English with French subtitles as there are many international interviews, is a documentary that takes us around the world to witness how different communities are taking social, healthy movements back into their own hands, through gardening.
Parlez-vous le Francais? Speak French? No? Doesn’t matter!!
Here in our own Vancouver, we are lucky to have French films being brought in by Visions Ouest Productions, Régis Painchaud and Lorraine Fortin, for the 23rd Rendez-Vous French Film Festival. Around 50 films (including shorts) from Québec and around the world will be presented, most with English subtitles, between February 1-12th.
I have some favourites, and some events that I would like to share on my blog, so stay tuned, if you’d like!
The last few posts have been distinctly more political and heated. I had felt a strong need to write about something that impassioned me. The state of a group of seniors’ situation in a place in which I’m deeply familiar. That story hasn’t ended. And, I will keep a strong eye on it until it does. And, other stories related to seniors. (I have many up my sleeve)
In fact, it is Visions Ouest’s 20th anniversary of producing Les Rendez-vous du Cinéma Québécois et Francophone de Vancouver (RendezVous French Film Festival). It has been a pioneering journey to arrive at this point. Founder Régis Painchaud started by showing two French films in the beginning.
Over 50 productions from Quebec and other Francophone countries are being passionately shown, right now, in Vancouver: fifty films from shorts to medium length to full features and documentaries. And, many have English subtitles giving the Anglophone world a chance to see some alternative culture.
If you missed “La Maison du Pecheur” seek it out in other ways. Last Friday night, I had the pleasure of watching director Alain Chartrand’s film and subsequently stood beside him on the stage to translate, interpret answers to the many questions from the almost sold out audience.
You still have time to see many more films with English subtitles as the Festival goes until February 16th.
“L’enfant d’en Haut” takes place in the Swiss Mountains and features Gillian Anderson performing in her second language, French. She is best known for her role on the TV series X-Files. “L’Enfant d’en Haut” plays Friday, Feb. 14th at 8pm at Goldcorp Centre for the Arts – SFU Woodward’s, 149 W Hastings.
“Gare du Nord” is an intriguing mix of genres, taking place in the deep layers of the subways of Paris complete with the layers of many characters’ stories. Also subtitled, Gare du Nord plays on Saturday evening, February 15th at 8pm at Goldcorp Centre for the Arts – SFU Woodward’s, 149 W Hastings.
“Triptyque” by Robert LePage, Rendezvous’ grand finale, will certainly attract a large audience of both English and French. LePage is well known for his international work, and his unique creative ways. Don’t miss this one and book early! Playing February 16th at Goldcorp Centre for the Arts – SFU Woodward’s, 149 W Hastings.
A few weeks ago I asked a question on twitter regarding challenges you encounter surrounding your work and what a good situation would be. I had some interesting answers but one in particular was impassioned.
Pamela Vanderway is a dialect coach and obviously has great avidity for her chosen work. I asked her if I could post her valuable response on my blog, and she agreed.
“Trilby, you had asked me what the ideal scenario is for film projects when it comes to requiring actors to work in a dialect other than their own. Each project will have special requirements, but in general here’s what really works well:
The ideal scenario re: employing a dialect coach (aka dialect consultant) for film is to hire a supervising dialect consultant at the same time all of the department heads are hired — well ahead of actual production.
This consultant analyzes the script, alerting the director of dialect and language challenges (which can occur even when the script is written so as to require a General American dialect for each character since many box office sweethearts don’t naturally sport a General American dialect.)
The supervising coach (working with the director and sometimes the film’s star and/or even that star’s personal dialect coach) assembles custom recorded dialect materials that actors can emulate in order to enhance the story being told.
During this process special attention is paid to the many factors that influence the dialects of every character that will be seen on screen (such as place of birth, education, religion, affluence, family groupings, physical impediments etc.).
The supervising coach then assists the casting director during the casting process by attending auditions and helping the CD and producers determine which actors will most likely be able to deliver an accurate, consistent and integrated dialect in time for the shoot. The idea here is to cast actors who don’t need much or any coaching on set, as usually by the time the production gets around to casting the secondary and tertiary characters the shooting schedule is looming large!
The high profile actors who have been attached from the beginning of the project tend to succeed best when given 6 to 8 weeks to master and integrate a dialect. Because they are typically cast early on, they usually have that time available if everyone is ‘on it’ and gets them the materials and daily coaching they need. (The actors you tend to see winning awards prepare this early even when the production companies don’t follow an ideal course of action.)
Depending on the size of the cast, the number of locations and the preference of the director and the high profile actors involved, the supervising coach either coaches all the actors themselves (being present basically wherever/whenever the director is present for dialogue shots and in actor trailers/make-up trailers etc. working with actors in between). Or instead this supervising coach may coordinate a crew of coaches, keeping everyone on the same page in order to best serve the director’s vision and the story.
The supervising coach (and any coaches they supervise) also may provide detailed notes of dialect mismatches for editors to keep in mind as they edit, or the coach may be asked to watch a rough cut and indicate where ADR (looping) may be required due to dialect mismatches. The goal of course is zero dialect-generated ADR.”
Thank you, Pamela for discussing the importance of dialect coaching within the context of film production. As we have witnessed, as actors, and filmmakers, the better prepared we are prior to shooting the better quality the final project. If we are rushed on set, and ill-prepared, the important details, such as a dialect, will suffer and therefore decrease the credibility of the performance. As a result, the audience will not believe or empathize with the characters. Not a good situation!
Enjoy browsing through Pamela’s website for more tips and information regarding dialect coaching.
And… a little tidbit of my favourite actress (Meryl Streep) with all her dialects!