An Interview with Emilie Flory by Dean Sills
Bonjour Emilie, thank you for your time and welcome to UK Horror Scene.
UKHS – When did you first discover your passion for filmmaking, writing and acting and which job do you enjoy doing the most?
EF – As a child I wrote and drew a lot, I was fascinated by genre films and enrolled in a theatre to overcome my timidity. My father was a weapons engineer who helped make movies about submarines and that had a great
effect on me. I have a fairly active imagination; I like dreams… That was back when ‘ Star Wars’ came out. I saw it at an outdoor theater in Saint-Tropez when I was seven. It made such an impact on me that the only dream I’ve had since then was to direct. Writing has always been a major focal point, the centre of everything. To me, directing is an extension of writing. I can not dissociate them. Directing is also writing. Filmmaking includes writing and all forms of art to give us a specific work we call a movie. It’s magic.
As for acting… I practiced it for a long time since I was lousy at maths and because of that I hadn’t been able to get into a film school. I loved dramatic art so I opted for that. Until, suddenly, I had the occasion to do what I had always wanted to do. Writing and directing are two passions that fill my life. Acting is not what I’m looking for.
UKHS – Before we talk about ‘Trauma Dolls’ can you please tell us a little about your 10 min short, ‘Processus 5’ ? I know you directed and wrote this Sci-Fi short, well done! When do story ideas usually hit you and what was the inspiration behind this one?
EF – ‘Processus 5’ was initially a project I was supposed to co-direct. I had already started writing it when my co-director was called elsewhere. Since the movie was my idea, I was able to see it through to the end of what I wanted to try out.
I think my ideas always find their source in what haunts me and in what I’m unable to express. My dreams and nightmares are my best allies. Of course, there’s also my wanting to know certain worlds, to learn and understand our reactions and emotions as human beings.
For ‘Processus 5’ , I started with this familiar and desperate situation that a lot of young people experience. I thought of what these kids might do to get out of a rut, shock the planet, speed up awareness and a change in the way world affairs were going. And since computer science has taken a major role in our lives, I went looking for well-informed people who knew all about cyber warfare. Things gradually fell into place in my mind, then onto paper.
UKHS – I believe you shot ‘Processus 5’ in 35mm? I know film is more expensive and after watching your short I have to say you did a superb job, it’s got a great cinematic look to it. In the age of digital technology why did you decide to shoot this in 35mm?
EF – Thanks for asking me this question, Dean, also thanks for the compliments, I’m touched.
I’m especially sensitive to the aesthetics of things. I have a huge feeling of emptiness when I see all these awful images that pollute our screens and heads. But the beautiful will make a comeback. Maybe through genre films which have always been visually powerful. We should to be able to hand down this art, continue to make it grow emotionally and spiritually and avoid betraying the beauty of what the great filmmakers we admire have passed on to us. We all have images of movies imprinted in us that will never leave us.
I really prefer 35mm to digital and I love scope. In the end, it’s what comes closest to what our eye sees. I was quite lucky to be able to shoot ‘Processus 5’ in 35mm. It was really what I wanted. I don’t know if I’ll have that chance with ‘Trauma Dolls’. For ‘Processus 5’, a producer friend gave us scraps of unused film he had sitting around. Sometimes we didn’t even have enough to finish certain scenes.
You have to know that film has an immediate cost, but that compared to digital, shooting your movie on film can turn out to be less expensive in terms of total costs. These are things you have to evaluate.
I’m not so sure that 35mm will disappear because film makes for the best medium of preservation. In labs like Digimage, digital movies are transferred onto film to be stored. We’re even required in France to copyright the movie we shot on film!
UKHS – OK, let’s talk about ‘Trauma Dolls’. The film is an horrifico glamour slasher that takes place in the worlds of fashion and neuroscience in Paris. What was the inspiration behind the story and can you tell us a little about this awesome project?
EF – ‘Trauma Dolls’ tells the story of Bijou, a brilliant, sweet and beautiful young lady who dreams of joining a prestigious dance company. Unfortunately, nothing goes according to plan. Bijou goes from setback to setback and rejection to rejection, until she dies… Bijou refuses this death on the operating table while the surgeon tries to bring her back to life. She “resuscitates” but doesn’t come back the way people knew her from before. She comes back as a dark part… Yet, this “Being”, who has become cold, dangerously attractive and morbid is going to be fantastically successful in the fashion world.
My inspiration for this story goes back to 2009 after the post-production of ‘Processus 5’…
Like this story’s main character, I constructed myself through an endless series of all kinds of setbacks and rejections… Up until 2005 when I got run over. I came close to death and had to say goodbye to myself. What happens is that you become another person after an experience like that. There’s a huge amount of reconstruction, both physically as well as psychologically.
When the company in charge of promoting French movies turned down ‘Processus 5’ with the excuse that I hadn’t directed it, I totally lost it. I got so angry that for the first time in my life I seriously wondered if I wasn’t going to start hurting people and become someone evil. The idea of crossing over to the other side (even though I work every day trying to become a better person) and thinking of myself as a monster horrified me so much that I had terrible nightmares. And that’s when the idea for ‘Trauma Dolls’ came to me.
UKHS – Can you tell us a little about International Supermodel Patricia Schmid who stars as Bijou in the film and is she a fan of horror movies?
EF – Patricia Schmid is shooting a commercial in Spain right now. She’s getting ready to work in an arthouse film that’s supposed to start filming the beginning of next year. She has a number of projects in the fashion world. Now that Paris is the showcase for the art world once more, Patricia spends a lot of time going back and forth between France and Switzerland and the other European countries. I think she’s just discovering the world of horror but she likes it.
UKHS – I know you have done some acting in the past and your movie is all about fashion and you are a beautiful French lady, so will we see you in front of the camera or just behind it?
EF – Thanks for the compliment, Dean, I’m flattered although that’s not necessarily how I see myself. There’s no way I’m going to step in front of a camera. I want to stay behind it. Besides, it’s really hard to control directing when you’re acting at the same time and I hate that. I admire people who can handle both. But I don’t choose to do so.
UKHS – Will the film be French speaking with English subtitles and can you tell us when it will be released?
EF – The movie will surely be shot in English with English and American actors. Besides I have a distributor who’s very interested in distributing it for the North American market. When you think about it, the movie’s DNA really isn’t very French. I don’t have a French mentality. We haven’t set a release date yet.
This is a timely question because the movie is busy looking for its producer. Along with the movie’s screenplay, which reached the semi-final at Shriekfest and the final at the Fright Night Film Fest (Fandom Fest 2014), we have a solid artistic package, a presentation trailer officially selected at HollyShorts and we’re ready to shoot right away but we don’t have a production company and casting still has to be done.
UKHS – Finally, are you working on any other projects that you can tell us about?
EF – Absolutely. I just shot a few scenes of some zombie attacks for a supernatural web series that will be in editing soon.
Plus, I just created a series concept called ‘Off Screen Terror’ in response to a request for projects by a producer. And I’m in the middle of writing a science fiction screenplay whose theme, which I won’t divulge, is a real challenge for me.
UKHS – Good luck with all those projects especially ‘Trauma Dolls’ and thanks again for you time, Emilie.
English translation by Cameron Watson
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