Creating ‘Beauty’

A few months ago we received a teaser trailer from Colin L. Racicot that completely stunned us. It must have been a combination of music and flawless imagery, but this simple psychedelic trailer with only an empty room, a crystal vase and a tipped over chair with no people had us begging for more!

The trailer was for an un-produced film called ‘Beauty’ – where soon after Colin started a Kickstarter campaign, which was one of the first short film campaigns for Kickstarter Canada. Colin successfully achieved his goal, making us thrilled to see unique and ambiguous film by a Québec filmmaker come to life.

We have since then caught up with Colin, where he has just finished a full 4-day shoot for ‘Beauty’. We know post-production are busy times for filmmakers, but we are happy that Colin has taken time to talk to us about shooting ‘Beauty’.

Watch the brand new Beauty Trailer

Tell us about your shoot. How long did it take? How many people did you have on set?

Colin: It took four days to shoot ‘Beauty’. It was a real roller coaster ride but everyone enjoyed it. With all the support we had since the beginning of the campaign, we couldn’t wish for better conditions and a better team for the shoot. Cineground and Walter Lighting & Grip were very kind and helpful throughout the production of the film, and it made everything easier. We were around 18 on the set at all times, but we were almost 30 with the actors and extras one day. No need to say it was quite a challenge for us, but we pulled it off.

Creating Beauty | Making Of

Where did you film and how did you choose your locations?

Colin: Actually, we had a lot of locations for this short film for the amount of time we had (4 days). Half of the shoot was in a bourgeois house in Ville Saint-Laurent (Montréal), but the other half took place in more then 10 locations, half of them being in exterior. The location scouting process took basically two months and since it was during the Christmas holiday period, it was way harder to reach people and make arrangements. (Funny tip to filmmakers: never prepare a big-scale shoot in the weeks preceding Christmas, no one is reachable).

Backstreets were easy to book with the city’s office, but we’ve been searching for a prestigious and vast office building hall for a long time. After knocking to a few doors (actually all the doors in Montreal Old Port), we finally found the hall of an old bank on St-Jacques, which was nearly 80 years old. They were really kind and it made everything easier afterwards, as most of the biggest scenes were shot there (15 actors/extras, 18 crew members, big lighting setups since it’s a big hall).
See Hall Location Scouting Album

We also found the jackpot in the basement of that building, the bank’s vault! No need to say I changed a few details in the script to take advantage of that…
See Vault Location Scouting Album

We shot a night scene under the A40 in Montreal. I’ll simply say that it was cold as hell but it was our final scene to shoot on the last day, we were prepared!
See A40 Location Scouting Album

Creating Beauty | On Set

Your Kickstarter promotion leaned heavily on the stylistic approach, but your ‘making of’ photos are all in black and white, what should we be expecting stylistically?

Colin: BEAUTY will obviously feature millions of colours, and no black and white. It was an artistic choice by our set photographer and making-of artist Christian Gendron. The film’s subject relies a lot of the sensorial aspects of film to deliver its message, which is centered around the beauty that can be found in reflections. We haven’t said a lot about the story during the Kickstarter campaign as we wanted to surprise everyone at the release of the film. The film will be centered around the main character’s obsession and the consequences of this obsession on his life, and that will be reflected in the film aesthetics.

Your teaser trailer for Beauty was quite melodramatic, is this a real feel of what the film will be like, or should we expect something different?

Colin: Our first teaser trailer didn’t show much indeed, except for a melodramatic mise en scene and mysterious ambiance, which was the main goal. As the project took shape from July 2013 to February 2014, things have changed in a good way. I never worked so hard on a script in my life, and it was a real pleasure to work with the crew and the actors in creating this really dark and mysterious film. Is the film melodramatic? I’d be more inclined to say it has become a pulp-thriller, fully embracing it’s genre and influences. It has this strong Hitchcockian aspect to it which I love, and I’m sure people will embrace it.

Creating Beauty | What's Next

What’s next for Beauty?

Colin:We’re expecting to have BEAUTY ready for distribution at the beginning of April and we’re looking for an international premiere on the festival circuit during the spring/summer of 2014. We believe the film has a great potential for a successful festival run, and we’re looking at all the options in terms of online and television premiere. Obviously, we can’t control or predict the film’s success, but we do have control over the efforts we can put in the marketing process. The world of distribution has been changing drastically in the last few years, and the transition from a very unidimensional distribution system to a very hybrid one is still ongoing. Hence, all options are on the table and we’ll make sure the film is accessible to everyone after our festival run.

Thank you Colin, we will eagerly await your Film Shortage feature, until then we will wish you the best of luck in the completion of the film as well as with your festival run! Beauty is brimming with potential!

Please see the full making of gallery on Beauty’s Facebook page, and follow Colin and Beauty to stay up to date!

facebook.com/beautyshortfilm
twitter.com/beautyshortfilm
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