After a bachelor’s degree in biology I completed a certificate in screenwriting followed by a bachelor’s in cinema at Université du Québec à Montréal. My first documentary, Kitakinan – The Land of Everybody, won several prizes in Canada and abroad (including the Best New Talent from Quebec/Canada Award at RIDM 2009 and best student film at RVCQ 2010). Since returning to Abitibi I have co-founded a small film festival (Festival de cinema des gens d’ici) and an independent film centre, 08 cinéma independent. I teach filmmaking for Wapikoni mobile, an organization that helps aboriginal youth make films. One of these, Déboires, was screened at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival.
I see fiction, animation, and documentary as different ways of telling a story. Each allows me to express unknown and marvelous aspects of human nature, real-life situations, and the collective imagination. I like having the freedom to choose the right tool to enhance the visual, audio, or narrative power of a script, which remains the soul of the film. For documentaries I like to take the time to immerse myself in a social and cultural environment to get to know the subjects and give them the chance to express themselves naturally in front of the camera. In fiction I tend to retain a realistic approach to sets, scenes, and characters to give larger than life stories an authentic feel. In animation, on the other hand, the infinite possibilities of the form provide an opportunity to go way beyond the usual constraints of physics, and life.
Above all, I wish to share my passion for creation and the importance of imagination when making a film. But it’s also important to make young filmmakers aware of the tremendous amount of work that goes into a film—work that also happens to be a lot of fun! We start by analyzing the credits of a short film to get a sense of the key people involved in making a film. Students can then decide on the role they want to take on in the upcoming creation. After learning about production constraints—working with limited budget, characters, sets, and equipment—students learn to make the most of and structure their imaginative vision. Concretely, they learn to shape the narrative structure while writing their film script. We then break into subgroups with the film crew to demonstrate some of the technical knowledge students will need to operate the camera, record sound, and shoot their movies. Then, everyone—directors, cinematographers, editors, sound engineers, actors—hits the stage. Action! When the supervised shoot is complete, it is time for editing, the third and final “writing” process involved in filmmaking, leading up to the fun and satisfying final result! It is possible to abridge the full filmmaking process if necessary by making shorter exercises or scenes with a narrower focus on specific aspects of the art. We can also choose to focus on documentary or animated filmmaking before starting.
Other examples of activities
To maximize student participation, schools should have their own cameras and editing system, as well as microphones. Other types of activities are possible if this equipment is not available. (I can rent one set of equipment).
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Primary 5, Primary 6, Secondary 1, Secondary 2, Secondary 3, Secondary 4, Secondary 5
In every regions