Maïlis directs ‘Can’t Let Go’ for Laroie.
A woman dances through an empty room, freeing herself through movement.
Words from Maïlis below.
Maïlis, so how many takes?
We did around 20 takes to achieve the whole sequence shot as well as we could. Beforehand, I worked with Catherine, our choreographer, and Laroie, who’s dancing, to develop a series of movements not too far from what her body was doing naturally. We developed all the choreography based on the meaning of the song for her and I focused on linking emotions with movements. Obviously, we adapted it to the room we shot in to occupy the whole space and make it dynamic.
We only did two short rehearsals a few days before the shoot and we created the rest on set.
Any advice for filmmakers planning to shoot a one-take wonder?
Don’t underestimate rehearsal time. Take a lot of time to rehearse. And then, rehearse again. And again.
Don’t forget that sometimes simple ideas can be as powerful as a complex concept.
Otherwise, choose well the people you surround yourself with and trust them. We are nothing without a solid team that believes in our vision. Be open-minded but always trust your gut too. Don’t forget that sometimes simple ideas can be as powerful as a complex concept.
What did the treatment/pitch look like for this video, what kind of language did you use to describe what you wanted to make?
I always describe my ideas and projects in terms of emotions. I talk a lot about what I want it to feel like almost more than what I want it to look like. This is why I feel grateful to do this, being able to make people feel something. I think it’s the biggest difference between a video you see and forget and a video you see and remember: it made you feel something.
In what ways did the current context of the COVID-19 pandemic shape the film?
Since the very first time I listened to the song, I imagined a woman dancing alone in a large and empty room and so all the Covid restrictions didn’t influence the concept for this particular project too much. Perhaps it unconsciously shaped it, I don’t know.
I always describe my ideas and projects in terms of emotions. I talk a lot about what I want it to feel like almost more than what I want it to look like.
What are you reading at the moment?
I’m reading ‘I Will Never Be Beautiful Enough To Make Us Beautiful Together’ by Mira Gonzalez. I really f*** with her poetry. You have to read it.