Sunday, February 01, 2009

Fontevraud, Angouleme and then Paris Whew

Its one of the "blurry" trips again, kind of like the L.A. trip where everyday is so packed its hard to know when I am never mind where I am.
Anyway the Abbey at Fontevraud was fascinating , we had some time in the morning to take it in and its really beautiful. The history of the place is amazing but its so peaceful and quiet.

I could'nt have imagined a better place for a screening, really appropriate . The projection was actually  in an old dormitory where the monks would have slept as it turned out. 
 It was totally packed with kids from all around the area and we had some great feedback. 
It was lovely to get questions that showed that the kids and their parents really engaged in the subject matter. They noticed lots of details in the design and were very curious about everything. Big thanks to Zoe (who used to live in Athlone but is now back in Fontevraud ) for helping me with the translation!
The projection was really good , it was kind of romantic to hear the whirring the film thru' the gate during the movie as the projector was just set up at the back of the room.

It was a pity to leave but Jean Paul and I had to go to Angouleme for the screening there.
Lots of the crew from Spirit were there as well as the guys from Piste Rouge and Lily from our Kilkenny team. 
I think a lot of them were seeing the completed movie with sound effects, music, final editing    and compositing for the first time. 
And of course in French too as the animatic was with the original Irish voices all thru' production. 
It was a cool to have it playing in Salle Nemo in the Comic Book museum with some pages from the comic on display as well. During the screening Gilles Ciment, an old friend of the production who is now the boss of the comic book museum there in Angouleme showed me around the exhibition. I don't think I have fully digested everything yet!
The comic book festival was in full swing and I have never seen Angouleme so busy!
Amazing stuff on display. And I am reaffirmed yet again in my determination to get my French up to a level where I can really read the BD easily!

Mireille Ciment who was Head of Development in Les Armateurs during most of the development and production of Kells invited me to stay with her and Gilles at their place.
The first time I met them they were living in Paris and I was bowled over by Gilles' comic book collection which covered all the walls of a small room and was carefully catalogued.
This time they have a beautiful house and I was sleeping in the library which is now even more full of comic books. But I was too knackered to really get a good look thru many of them ;(
It was a very short but lovely stay as I had to get the train to Paris at 8.00am this morning. 

When I arrived with Didier Brunner the French producer and Jean Paul , the first screening which was mainly for the French crew had already begun. 
I just had time to introduce the second one which was mainly families but included a special guest - Michel Ocelot!

I ran back up stairs then to meet the crew at the end of the first screening. It was so cool to sneak in and see them all watching the film they had put so much work into almost two years ago. It was great to see everyone again and I think all of them were quite pleased with the result overall.

Then I went back to end of the screening for families and had about an hour of questions! 
Again it was great to get questions from the younger kids , mainly about Aisling and the Vikings of course. Many of the parents had questions too and I was lucky to have had Pascale , the interpreter who has been working with me a lot recently on hand to help me answer all of the questions.
Its great how many people appreciate the themes and ideas behind the movie.

Fabrice was in Brittany at a screening  yesterday too and he had a very similar reaction from the audience there, so its great that its being discovered. 

Anyway we had lunch with Didier and his family and some of the team from Les Armateurs and now I am just checking up on how things are going with Song before I collapse! 

I am determined to document this whole process and I took loads of photos too.
 Its a mad old time . 

Tommorow its a couple of interviews for France 2 and a radio station at the Irish Cultural Centre here in Paris and then on Tuesday there will be three screenings before a Festival opening in the evening. Whew.
On Wednesday I am back in KK just for a couple of days before we go to Berlin.

Anyway I know I am meeting Manu the music producer and Delphine from Les Armateurs in the very yummy veggie restaurant "Les Potager du Marais" tommorow at lunchtime! 


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