Can you tell us about how Pile Poil, this extremely fair and formidably funny film, came into being?
Yvonnick: Lauriane had spent a few days at a friend’s house, where her friend’s sister was preparing for her beautician certification… She was panicked, searching for a model for her practical exam. That’s when we learned that these beautician students each had to find for their final exam, in the middle of June, a model who had not shaved in over a month.
Laurianne: There was a funny side to it all that we liked, and that we thought had comedic potential. We quickly imagined a father/daughter relationship, a theme that we hold very dear, and we began writing the script from there with our producers Emmanuel Wahl and Adrien Bretet.
The father’s presence in the beautician’s universe gives rise to a particularly effective comedic situation. How did you approach that scene with Grégory Gadebois?
Laurianne: We always try to be as realistic as possible, and especially in moments like that when the situation is already powerful.
Yvonnick: The character is a bit uncomfortable: so, it was logical for us that he acts as sober as possible. We didn’t want to push the comedic side further than was necessary.
Laurianne: We spoke to Grégory as the film progressed. He really liked the scene and we were on the same wavelength. He kept saying, “Ahhh, this is going to be great, there’s nothing to do, all those girls lined up like that, it’s going to be very, very funny!”
This is your second collaboration after your preceding short film Chèvre ou vache. What makes a collaboration between two actors work once you get to the stage of making the film?
Yvonnick: As with all collaboration, you first have to make sure that you have the same tastes and desires in terms of writing and directing. On that, we get along very well, usually the same things make us laugh, the same things move us.
Laurianne: On the set, to provide more clarity to our team, Yvo works with the technicians and I work with the actors. But obviously we speak a lot before and during the shoot.
Yvonnick: The fact that we are actors is also an advantage during many moments in the creative process: writing dialogues for example, playing out a scene between the two of us, we know right away if it is going to work or not.
Laurianne: For us, it is both a strength and an ease to work together. There is always one who has the answer when the other doesn’t. For us, it’s much less stressful, it allows us to be a bit more relaxed on the set, available for everyone. It’s a bit like having twice as much time. The shoot was very zen, despite the challenges involved in changing sets and the limited time.
Pile Poil is quite successful with several festival selections. What kind of audience would you like to reach through this film? Are there any particular freedoms that the short film format allows you?
Laurianne: Yes, we have been enthusiastically welcomed to festivals. Our objective was to make a film that would touch a wide audience. During our first festival at Meudon, we won the Public Award and the Jury Award: we were very happy to see that the film touched the the public as well as the professionals.
Yvonnick: And for the freedoms of the short format, we were really able to tell the story we wanted to tell, and shoot with the actors we wanted to shoot with. We were thrilled that Grégory Gadebois, whom we didn’t know, accepted the role after reading the script. In comparison, we are actually in the process of writing for two feature-length films, and it is not the same system, nor are there the same constraints!