It is in the greatest secrets as Yan England, began last winter with the shooting of his second feature film, Sam, a psychological thriller sport featuring Stéphane Rousseau, Antoine Olivier Pilon, Mylène Mackay. But like many of his peers, the filmmaker has been stopped in his tracks and has had to suspend production of his movie because of the pandemic of the COVID-19.
“We have been able to do 14 days of shooting before having to stop everything,” said Yan England, in an interview with the Journal earlier this week.
“We still have nine days of shooting that have been pushed back. Just like people all over the world, it is not known when it will resume. It is a shame that we had found our rhythm of shooting. The machine worked well. But I’m not the only one to have experienced this, so not that I would complain not. “
This is Stéphane Rousseau who sold the drill bit about the film Sunday night in an interview that he has given to the issue everyone is talking about. Yan England would have preferred not divulging the filming of the second feature film.
“Nobody knew except the members of the film team, is launching the director who has been nominated for an academy award in 2013 with his short film Henry. It is a little bit of this way that I had turned 1:54 (his first feature) a few years ago. The film was passed under the radar up to its release. ”
Remember that 1:54 was a resounding popular success and critical in 2016, in addition to having picked up several awards at international festivals.
According to Yan England, everything went very quickly during the few days that preceded the disruption of the shooting of Sam.
“We saw that the crisis was spreading in China and then in Europe, but it is said : for the moment, here it goes. But it got here very quickly from the first measures imposed by the government. At the beginning, there were just groups of 250 people who were banned, so it worked for us because we were a small film crew. But we had scenes in places that have been closed and we had to find other places. We had the solution mode for a few days until it is forced to stop the shooting. We paused as the rest of Quebec. “
Yan England, has co-written Sam with the writer André Gulluni (Rock paper scissors, Origami). The plot of this “psychological thriller athlete” will revolve around a high-level athlete (played by Antoine Olivier Pilon) and a professor of journalism at a college (Stéphane Rousseau). “It will happen an event that will change everything and that will impact on their lives and on those of many other people. These two characters will meet and help each other, ” says Yan England, taking care not to reveal too many details.
Sam marks the reunion between Yan England, and the actor Antoine Olivier Pilon, that he had already directed in his film 1:54. “I had wanted to work with Antoine, says the filmmaker. His character is older than the one he played in 1:54 , and as Anthony also has aged, it allowed me to explore other areas with him, the emotions that are totally different than those of his character in 1:54.
“As for Stéphane (Rousseau), it was a nice meeting. It is a very different role from those he has played at the cinema in the past. And in the 14 days that we shot together, I found he had brought a nice sensitivity, and a lot of emotion to the character. “
Mylène Mackay, Milya Corbeil-Gauvreau, Pierre-Yves Cardinal, Catherine Sénart, will also play in the film. “It really brought together a great group of actors. I consider myself super lucky, ” says the director.
Yan England, is not known at what time and under what conditions it will resume the shooting of Sam. If some areas could resume their activities in the coming months, the filming of movies and tv series could pose a problem, particularly due to the proximity between the people who work there.
“Social distancing, on a film set, this is not clear,” observes Yan England. If two actors need to be yelled at or get a hug for a scene, it’s not working anymore. But we’ll see. The most important thing for the moment, it is the health of the people. I trust our leaders for the future. The people respect so much the rules that I have good hope that we will manage to get out of this crisis all together. “