Based on the critical success and renewed public interest generated by the Canal Plus series “The Bureau” and inspired by the various liaison offices of the United States Department of Defense in Hollywood, the French Ministry of the Armed Forces launched its own awareness station, opening Mission Cinéma in 2016 .
Intended to be a one-stop-shop for all production needs, the Mission Cinema presents itself as a single point of access to the Department of Defense, offering filmmakers free technical support, training and immersive residencies.
Concretely, this means coordinating requests for costumes, sets and highly guarded equipment (including the presidential plane, apparently a common request), while organizing creative scouting missions for writers and producers, dropping in movies on aircraft carriers and having them watch training exercises. to ignite the spark of imagination.
The Mission teamed up with director Jean-Jacques Annaud at the start of pre-production on his upcoming ‘Notre Dame on Fire’, connecting the filmmaker with the real firefighters who put out the blaze, providing access, advice and full technical support throughout the process.
“This office has only one objective, explains Eve-Lise Blanc Deleuze, director of Mission Cinéma. “Bringing authenticity and credibility to a project. We are not here to glorify the military and its activities. We don’t want hagiography. We just want to show things as they really are.
“We work very closely with the writers and directors,” she continues. “Our job is to help with resemblance, not to recreate reality. The creative side is their responsibility; we are simply happy to lend our technical skills, experience and materials to bring their visions to life.
For 2019’s “The Wolf’s Call,” the Mission consulted with writer/director Antonin Baudry on questions of authenticity and protocol, offered technical advice for sets, and planned actual nautical maneuvers to coincide with filming. “Even a big Hollywood production wouldn’t have the means to acquire a real submarine,” says Blanc Deleuze. “So we coordinated our own exercises with the filming, which made the production much less expensive!”
The Mission recently supported two series of events planned for 2022, helping the Amazon Prime-produced “Black Hearts” evoke the 2016 battle for Mosul, and the original SCO “Sentinels” recreating the Sahelian campaigns against Boko Haram. .
And on the cinema side, they worked in a more intimate register, consulting on “Les pieds sur terre” by André Techiné, which follows a young soldier recovering from a trauma, and on “École de l’air” by Robin Campillo , which follows a boy who grew up on a French military base in the 1970s. Both projects are aimed at Cannes.
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