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Filming The Devil's Pass (Part 1)

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The team of The Devil's Pass
Raoul Coutard Film-maker
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The team plan was something very simple because since it was a documentary, there was- so theoretically three of us should have gone, Schoendoerffer, an assistant and myself. And because at the Cinema centre- I think the idea that a technical advisor was absolutely essential, still exists- So it was an absolutely grotesque idea because, when a guy decides to make a film, I mean either we consider that he's capable of making it and so we leave him alone, or if we consider that he isn't capable of making it we don't send him a technical advisor, we tell him- you're not making a film, period. Well. So we needed a technical advisor. Usually on a typical film- I mean where there are loads of people, in general there should be no need for it, because the first assistant, the director's assistant, the director of photography or the cameraman are all completely capable of giving indications if the guy needs them. So then it was, let's say, a little more- I won't say justified but it could have been understood. But I mean, given that it was a documentary. So either way there was a fourth guy called Jacques Dupont who was- Who had the distinctive feature of having graduated first of his class at Idhec, Institut des Hautes Etudes Cinematographiques, which had become I don't remember what afterwards and is now the Femis. That's it. So, well- Jacques Dupont who became a filmmaker? Jacques Dupont. No, but he already was, he had already done something, he had done something called, I wonder if it wasn't "Paysans Noirs" or something like that, that he had done- His graduation film, and other things that he had done, I don't remember what. I mean either way he had the aura of a filmmaker.
Le plan d'équipe c'était un truc ultra simple puisque comme c'était un documentaire, il y avait- Alors théoriquement on aurait dû partir à trois c'est-à-dire Schoendoerffer, moi et un assistant. Et comme au centre du cinéma je pense que ça existe toujours cette idée qu'il fallait absolument un conseiller technique- Bon c'était une idée complètement grotesque puisque, quand un gars décide de faire un film, je veux dire où on considère qu'il est apte à le faire et donc on lui fout la paix, ou si on considère qu'il n'est pas apte à le faire on ne lui met pas un conseiller technique, on lui dit- Vous ne faites pas de film, point. Bon. Alors là il fallait le conseiller technique. Normalement sur un film classique- Je veux dire où il y a plein de monde, généralement il ne devrait pas y en avoir besoin parce qu'aussi bien le premier assistant, la scripte que le chef op ou le cadreur sont tout à fait aptes pour donner des indications si le gars en a besoin. Bon là c'était disons un peu plus- Je ne vais pas dire justifié, mais ça aurait pu se comprendre. Mais, je veux dire étant donné que c'était un documentaire. Alors en tout cas donc il y avait un quatrième larron qui s'appelait Jacques Dupont qui était- Qui avait la particularité d'avoir été sorti major de la promotion de l'Idhec, Institut Des Hautes Etudes Cinématographiques, qui est devenue après je ne sais plus quoi et puis qui est maintenant à la Fémis. Voilà. Alors, donc- Jacques Dupont qui est devenu réalisateur ? Jacques Dupont. Non, mais il l'était déjà, il avait déjà fait un truc, il avait fait un truc qui s'appelait, je me demande si c'est pas "Paysan Noir" ou un truc comme ça qu'il avait fait- Son film de promotion, puis d'autres choses aussi qu'il avait faites, je ne me souviens plus quoi. En tout cas je veux dire il avait une aura de réalisateur.

French cinematographer, Raoul Coutard (1924-2016) was twice nominated for the César Award for best cinematography which he won in 1978 for 'Le Crabe-tambour'. He made over 75 films and documentaries, including 'À Bout de Souffle', Le Mépris' and 'Band à Part'. He was the most acclaimed French cinematographer of his generation and one of the key figures of the New Wave.

Listeners: Bernard Cohn

Bernard Cohn est un réalisateur et écrivain français, ayant réalisé cinq film ainsi que de nombreux reportages et séries télévisées. En tant qu'assistant réalisateur, il a travaillé avec plusieurs grands cinéastes, notamment Luis Buñuel, François Truffaut, Otto Preminger et Woody Allen. Il fut membre fondateur du ciné-club Ciné-Qua-Non et a participé à la rédaction et traduction en anglais, de plusieurs ouvrages sur le cinéma.

Benard Cohn is a French filmmaker and writer, who has directed five films as well as numerous documentaries and television series. As an assistant director, he worked with many important filmmakers, including Luis Buñuel, François Jacob, Otto Preminger and Woody Allen. He was a founding member of the Ciné-Qua-Non cinema club and has acted as editor and translator for various publications on the world of cinema.

Tags: Jacques Dupont

Duration: 1 minute, 50 seconds

Date story recorded: October 2004

Date story went live: 24 January 2008