5 questions for Stephane Lapointe director of Before the crash

5 questions for Stéphane Lapointe, director of Before the crash

Filmmaker, screenwriter and director Stéphane Lapointe has made a name for himself on screens big and small. On TV we owe him the series all on me, Let go and Various facts. He is currently signing the production of Patrick Senecal presents (Club illico), fromA criminal case (Noovo) andBefore the crash (Radio Canada). At the same time he is working on his first animated film, freak town, and is collaborating on the next album by his wife Mimoza H, who is passionate about music. It’s on the set of Various facts that he met Eric Bruneau while writing Before the crash with Kim Levesque-Lizotte. As he says, they had one shred professional. Result: A particularly topical existential thriller, humanly confronting and optically licked.

You are a screenwriter for your own projects. How do you manage to immerse yourself in the world of other authors and at the same time leave your mark as a director?

First I fell in love with the lyrics. I would have liked to have written it. We are neither in the police nor in a hospital. It’s a rare show. Even though we are in an intense environment (that of finance), it is about the people of planet earth, how we push ourselves to the limit to surpass ourselves, and how it is in our personal relationships in friendship or love changes. . My job is to maximize the script’s full potential. Camera moves, lens choices, location choices, actors, there are a thousand and one choices to feed the series. I always like it when the author is surprised.

Stephane Lapointe

Photo courtesy of Karine Dufour

Stephane Lapointe

The series has a very cinematic feel to it. Close-ups, blurry shots, overhead shots, how did you work on the visual aspect?

The idea was to place the camera frame so that it talks about what the character is going through inside. In each scene we take the point of view of the main character. The camera movements, the actor’s direction, the music, it all boils down to the feel of the character. It’s also my job to do scenes that wouldn’t necessarily be sexy on paper. The financial world is the backdrop, but the stock market and the numbers, who cares. It is primarily the human being that counts. It’s not a cold or cerebral show.

There is an idea of ​​suspense. At the beginning of each episode, we see Marc-André’s (Éric Bruneau) scarred face and wonder what brought him there.

I like suspense a lot. In any kind of series you need a little excitement. I like to create this. It’s the glue that holds the viewer in place, as Hitchcock used to say. Before the Crash is an existential thriller. We find out what they want.

How do you direct the actors? Especially since one of them is the creator of the series.

In the beginning I just make a mise en place. I tell them almost nothing. From her suggestion we polish. The actors are so prepared. These are their characters’ encyclopedias. We work on the unsaid. Sometimes we’re looking for a way to punch a scene. Directing someone who wrote the lyrics could have been tricky, but not with Eric. He is an excellent accomplice and a generous creature. He likes to take notes, lets himself be guided, he lets himself go. He is also the first to suggest something when there is something to change. Since it was his first series, he saw immediately when a dialogue was too long. All actors are Stradivarius. You are perfect. Émile (Proulx-Cloutier who plays François), there is a dramatic change in his eye. He’s such a nice guy who turns into a financial shark. It is impressive.

The pandemic has, in some cases, changed the way we look at life. Conversely, in the current context, we talk a lot about the economy, which is not encouraging. In which direction do you think the series will go?

There are social choices that we humans have to make. The series shows us, to a certain extent, the absurdity we find ourselves in. We’re all out of breath. We don’t offer an answer, but we certainly raise questions to perhaps make the necessary decisions.

Before the crash Mondays at 9 p.m. on ICI TV