Today we are welcoming back photographer Julie de Waroquier to talk to us about her new film done in collaboration with film-maker Damien Steck, entitled “Dreamalities”. Damien approached Julie after reading her book “Dreamalities”. He was inspired and moved by the book, and wanted to create something more from it. So after getting together a crowd-funding campaign on Ulule, getting the film funded, and filming and editing for over a year, the film is here.
In this interview with Julie she talks to us about her experience of working on a film, of what it’s like to see your images take on a second life in the form of a moving image, and she shows us many side-by-side images of film stills from “Dreamalities” compared to her original photographs. Below is a quick synopsis of the project, and a short biography of everyone involved. You can press “play” and watch Dreamalities at the end and at the beginning of the post. Enjoy!
“Revalites” (“Dreamalities”) is a collaborative short film created by a director and film-maker, Damien Steck, and a photographer, Julie de Waroquier. Imagined by Damien, the film is a video adaptation of Julie’s photography book. The film, which was shot with a digital reflex, thus reproduces in movement several pictures taken by Julie, inserting them at the same time in a new scenario. The project consequently results from a fecund interaction between film and photography: the photographs inspired the film in the first place while the short film gives them a second life and extends their fantasy. All the more so as Julie was able to bring her color processing techniques during the post-production, to reinforce the aesthetic bounds between the photographs and their film animation.
About 15 photographs are thus recreated, and enriched by Damien’s vision. In the end, the short film invites us to explore a world oscillating between dream and reality, offers a path between two worlds and depicts a dream under reality’s surface.
Back in her childhood house, a young woman lets herself be overwhelmed by memories that she thought she had forgotten. Little by little, the dreamy world of a lonely though poetic childhood crumbles. Even if she tries to control it, reality gets the upper hand, the house in which she grew appears to be abandoned and ruined. Her family, the roots that she escaped and that she hoped to find again no longer exist.
A Year of Film Making and Collaboration
A whole year was necessary to create the film. Shooting, special effects, voice over, soundtrack… many steps called on various talented people. The model and actress Ana Falvius notably, who agreed to hold the main role, has been involved during several months to lend her face to the Dreamalities.
The short film, which is non-profit-making, is produced by Ouka Studio, an independent studio created by Damien Steck. The film saw the day thanks to the involvement of many professionals who collaborated, but also thanks to crowd funding. Indeed, the project was presented on the crowd funding website Ulule, and thus collected more than 7000 euros given by the 192 contributors who supported the film.
The result: almost 20 minutes of passionate creation, which implied the rallying of hundreds of people, thanks to whom dreams come to life…
About Damien Steck
Damien Steck is an award-winning director with a particular sensitivity, a personal touch. His films are filled with poetry. Passionate by motion graphics and design, he developed a refined aesthetic, through his choices of cinematography and use of graphics in post-production. His curiosity for new trends led him to be Director of Photograhy on a feature film and to shoot in more than thirty countries worldwide.
Pictures from Damien’s Works
About Julie de Waroquier
Julie de Waroquier is a self-taught French photographer, also philosophy teacher, who started photography in 2008. Since 2010, she has distinguished herself by winning several national and international awards, notably the International Emerging Artist Award. Her photographs are worldwide exhibited, and were notably showcased at the Rencontres d’Arles. In the end of 2012, she has published her first book <>, which is edited by KnowWare editions. This very book inspired Damien to create the film.
About Ana Falvius
Ana Falvius is a confirmed model who has been practicing theatre for several years. She knows both photographic and cinematographic work.
In parallel, she studies archeology, art history and communication, and she is interested in artistic, science and fashion fields. Ana has the gentleness and natural beauty that the main character of our story needs.
Phlearn Interviews Julie de Waroquier – Dreamalities
Dreamalities wouldn’t have been possible if it wasn’t for the crowd funding website Ulule, where the project was presented, and backed by 192 contributors.
How was the process of actually getting this thing up and running? And how exciting was it for the crew when the goal of your project funding was reached?
At first, I did not really want to raise a Ulule project. I don’t like the idea of asking for money, even for a thrilling project. But Damien convinced me as we imagined exclusive rewards for the contributors, like the dvds and blu-rays of the film. The project thus made sense and helped build a real community around the project, who followed the news and waited for the film!
Overall, we raised 7000 euros (minus the money which was used for the rewards), and the whole film cost us 15000 euros. It was a big help, and I’m so grateful toward everyone who supported the project. The most exciting part is that we reached 100% of our goal in one day… I still can’t believe it. I really feel that the “Dreamalities” community grew during the year!
Your book was the inspiration for this film. How did it feel when award-winning director Damien Steck approached you about creating this short film, based and inspired by your book?
When someone offers me an exciting project, I always spend several weeks not really believing that it’s true. It happened when I received Damien’s e-mail. But when I met it, when I saw that our inspirations were very close, and when he immediately started to work on the scenario, I felt that it was actually going to happen, and that it was going to be a thrilling experience.
I waited several months before telling my friends and family about it though, it was like a magical secret. And I loved announcing “by the way, I’m making a film!”
How important do you feel collaboration to be for photographers, and/or artists in general?
Usually I’m not very comfortable in collaborations. I work on my own in a very solitary way; I even do self-portraits so that I can be my own model and control everything. But with Damien, it was perfect. I’ve always wanted to try film-making but had never made a film before, and Damien is an incredibly talented film-maker. Also, our inspirations were strongly connected.
During the year of creation, we could finish each other’s sentences all the time, everything felt easy and obvious. In this collaboration, everyone, including the actress and all the technicians, brought what they could to make this film better. It really was a perfect collaboration.
It took a year of film making and collaboration to create Dreamalities. Tell us about some of your favourite moments of working on the film?
I enjoyed the filming, because I could watch Damien (and Julien Petit, who was also filming for Dreamalities) work, it was really inspiring to see how they find their ideas and compositions. During the filming moments, I also really enjoyed the “Do it yourself” way of working: Damien always manages to find how to achieve an impossible idea.
For example, he invented a real floating door for a scene, with a little table supporting it and capable of being underwater. We didn’t have a huge team, and we thus had to imagine tricks all the time
After watching, “Revalites” (“Dreamalities”), all I have to say is that the film was beautiful. So interesting to watch, and the film really does bring a second meaning to your photography. How was the experience of helping and/or watching your photography being recreated in the form of a moving image?
As Damien and I felt artistically connected, it all seemed obvious. Damien truly understood the meaning that links all of my pictures, that is why we agreed all the time about everything. The film really expresses the emotions that I try to put into my pictures. But Damien added his own vision, and I encouraged him to do so, while he always wanted to be true to my pictures. It was a fecund interaction between two visions. Little by little, though I had no experience in film-making, I felt more and more comfortable in giving my opinions and ideas, and I tried to be as helpful as I could.
In the project details, it goes on to say that you were a big part of the color processing techniques used during post-production. Can you tell us about this experience?
What were the major differences of color correcting and post-production in still images vs video?
Damien had a huge work to do in post-production, it was the longest part. I couldn’t imagine the amount of work, and all I could do to help was give my opinion. It was frustrating for both of us, but Damien had the idea to ask me to edit screenshots, exactly like I would have edited my own pictures. I thus worked on specific screenshots and added my color editing techniques and processing. Then, Damien was able to take the editing layers and place them in his software. But he had to bring his own techniques, as of course the pictures are moving in the film. When I cut out one subject, he had to redo it several times, as this subject was not still.
Basically, the editing process are quite similar between film and photography, you can do the same. But it is much more complicated in film because the pictures are moving, and also because what looks ok in photography can quickly look weird in film. Blue grass is fine in a surreal photography, but disturbing in a film. Fortunately we created a non-realistic film, so the colors, clouds and light rays I added don’t seem so strange in the end!
In total, about 15 photographs were recreated and enriched by Damien’s vision. Do you have a particular favourite re-creation? Or a favourite moment in the film?
Some re-creations were more magical than the others. The part with the grass covering the room was one of my favorite moments: I could literally see my picture being reproduced in front of me. For my picture, I resorted to photomontage, whereas Damien had ordered real grass to put it in my childhood room. It was very moving. I felt also very moved with the “door floating on the lake” scene. The light was so dreamy, we were in the middle of nowhere, and there was this girl and this impossible door… I loved it!
Would it be possible to see a before and after of Damien Steck’s processing on the film stills?
Now that the film is released, what is the plan? Festivals perhaps? It’s so gorgeous, I want everyone to see it 🙂
We entered a few festival contests; we hope of course that the film will be selected! I will be able to showcase it in France in some photography festivals, but film festivals would be the dream.
And finally, do you have any plans now that the film is completed? Anything new and exciting coming up? (shows, photography, etc)
I have a few group shows coming this summer, mostly in France. I keep on creating personal photography series, of course. But I don’t have a big project as I’d like to make “Dreamalities” live before I start something new!
Interviewed by: Angela Butler
To keep up with Julie de Waroquier and her work you can do so on her Website, Facebook page, 500PX, and Vimeo. Thanks for reading!