5 Questions With Léo Berne & Raphaël Rodriguez

With awards season quickly approaching, now felt like a good time to have a conversation with one of the short films that ahs been put on the shortlist for the upcoming 94th Oscars! Directors of the incredible Censor Of Dreams, a film we covered recently in our spotlight of films from the Salaud Morrisset distribution company.

Focused on molding memories into dreams, the Censor (played by Damien Bonnard) delves into the memories of a woman named Yoko (Yoko Higashi) in order to address trauma and strife. It’s a surreal, psychedelic film that is certainly one of the more unique in the medium. We spoke with Léo Berne & Raphaël Rodriguez about the film, as well as a few other topics. Enjoy!

Q: Tell us more about your film.  How did it come to be? 

LB/RR: Coming from music videos and advertising world we wanted to make a step into fiction, so we looked for a good short story to adapt. When we discovered The Censor of Dreams by Yasutaka Tsutsui (author of the books that inspired Paprika and The girl who leap through time), we first thought that it was unadaptable. But the idea of our denials interfering even in our dreams kept on running in our head. So we went back to it and finally it was worth trying!

Q: What was your budget?

LB/RR: 90k€ and some sweat.

Q: What was the biggest takeaway from making the film?

LB/RR: The good feedbacks we have so far comforted us in the conviction that the audience is smart. If you don’t spoonfeed them, they’re more involved and thus more connected to the film.

Q: What was the biggest challenge in making this film?

LB/RR: One of the biggest technical challenge was to put a swimming pool in a conference room. To do so, we concentrated the money on one wide shot showing the swimming pool (in CGI) in the room so the audience buys its existence. That being done, we could have go on with simpler tricks, like shooting inside a real swimming pool with pieces of the same carpet from the conference room patched around it. 

Q:  What is next for you?

LB/RR: We’re both developing our own feature films with Iconoclast and we keep sharing ideas on each other’s project.

Thanks to both directors for taking the time to speak with us, and congratulations to them for making the Oscar shortlist for Censor Of Dreams! Be sure to check out our coverage of the film, as well as many more in this exciting medium, only on BitPix.

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