We did it! In ten days, we worked for 15 hours a day, staging, set-dressing, dressing, making-up, and shooting like maniacs. We were a group of some 20 people, and it was not always easy to keep them all together, but they were all fantastic. Here is an image of one of the briefing meetings, in a bar where we had just shot a scene.
For the first time, Michelle and I did not have to do everything ourselves. We had a fantastic cinematographer, Christopher Wessels, here on the right, from South Africa, and ditto sound artist, Sara Pinheiro, from Portugal, on the left. Here you see them at work, consulting with Michelle, who is dressed up to be a wedding guest - we needed to fill the lovely old church with some of our own people to make the crowd look like one.
I’d love to post lots of pictures of our actors, but let me limit myself to the three stars, Marja Skaffari, Thomas Germaine, and Mathieu Montanier. Marja played a wonderful, complex Emma, who you see here when she is about to be seduced by the cynical nobleman Rodolphe. Rather than sad, she looks deeply troubled and worried, and rightly so.
Rodolphe, only interested in a fling, worries beforehand how to get rid of her afterwards. Emma will be devastated.
Emma’s mysterious illness after being dumped by Rodolphe is a great concern of her loving but dull husband Charles.
The boyish Léon, ten years younger, will only offer temporary relief.
In short, we kept especially Thomas Germaine, who played all three men, extremely busy.
The nasty pharmacist Homais was given greater complexity than even Flaubert has allowed him by actor Mathieu Montanier, here a suspicious witness to Emma and Charles’ wedding.
We continue shooting in Paris in the first week of January.