The summer arch of “Here everything begins”, centered on the pastry championship, takes place within the Beaumont hotel. The artistic producer of the series, Eglantine Sofianos, reveals all the secrets of filming this intrigue event.
After a plot devoted to Theo and Celiaand in the race for the Vatel prize, Here it all starts switches to summer mode with a brand new arch called “High competition” which, for several weeks, will take us far from the Auguste Armand institute.
Centered on several emblematic faces of the soap opera such as Teyssier (Benjamin Baroch), Greg (Mikael Mittelstadt), Elliott (Nicholas Anselmo), Anais (Julie Sassoust), or even Salome (Aurelie Pons), this summer intrigue takes place within the Beaumont hotel, which is none other than the restaurant of chef Benoît Delobel (Joseph Malerba), and follows the different stages of the final of the National Pastry Championship.
With, on the program, cooking, rivalries, secrets, and disturbing disappearances that promise to punctuate the next episodes and turn the lives of Greg and his friends upside down.
Eglantine Sofianos, the artistic producer of Here it all begins, reveals the secrets of filming this new event intrigue that promises not to be missed.
AlloCiné: What is the role of artistic producer on a soap opera like Here it all begins? How is your work different from that of Sarah Farahmand, the series’ producer?
Eglantine Sofianos : As an artistic producer, I am Sarah Farahmand’s assistant. We supervise a lot of things together, whether it’s the writing, the casting, the validation of the episodes in post-production. We share these tasks.
And, at the same time, I take care of the HMC validations (dressing, make-up, hairstyle) on the shoot on a daily basis. And I manage the casting of small roles. Because the customers of Double A, or the owner of the Gaissac house – I say that because I saw him recently in an episode – we cast them locally. We have a casting director in Paris for recurring roles and guests. And another casting director on site, which allows actors who live in the south of France to find work. It’s easier to do that on the spot and it is therefore I who oversee this casting.
Finally, I also manage the creation of new credits. For the moment, we remain on a rhythm of two different credits per year.
As you can see, this is quite a large job. Every day is different. Although I am present as much as possible on site, on the set, to answer all the questions of the teams in relation to the artistry.
The summer arch takes place in a new setting, the Beaumont hotel, which is managed by Benoît Delobel. From the arrival of Joseph Malerba in Here it all begins last year, did you have in mind to introduce, at some point, his restaurant in the series?
We didn’t necessarily think about it very far in advance. There, the idea was to leave the institute. The authors therefore thought about it, in connection with the characters that we wanted to highlight in this ark, like Greg.
And that’s how the idea came to bring Greg’s father’s restaurant to life in the series. So that we relate it to our characters and that it’s not a 4-star hotel that comes out of nowhere. By attaching it to our characters, it was easier to be interested in it. And since we also brought back the character of Noémie (Lucia Passaniti), it really made sense, in terms of writing, that this hotel belonged to Benoît Delobel.
This new decor is beautiful. Where did you shoot the scenes that take place at the Beaumont Hotel?
We had a hard time finding this place. Firstly because it was the summer period and many establishments were already booked. And also because we needed a long period of availability in relation to our scope of filming. So we shot this summer arch, and this unique location of the Beaumont Hotel, in three different locations.
A large part of what we see on screen, whether it is the facade of the hotel, the gardens, the vines, or the large glass roof where the championship takes place, all of this was shot at the Domaine du Puech- Haut, in Saint-Drézéry, in the Hérault. It’s a winery that sometimes hosts receptions, weddings, but it’s not a hotel at all. They have a few rooms, but us hotel rooms, we didn’t turn them there.
The scenes taking place in the corridors and rooms of the hotel were filmed where our technicians live, in a farmhouse not far from Saint-Laurent-d’Aigouze and the castle. We requisitioned a bedroom and a hallway to bring the decor of the Beaumont hotel to life. Again, for reasons of time, we could not do it at the Puech-Haut estate. The hallway has been completely redecorated, the bedroom too, to create unity and ensure that the magic takes hold and that we say to ourselves “It all takes place in the same place”.
And as for the kitchen, the swimming pool, and the sets around the swimming pool, the scenes were shot at the Domaine du Grand Malherbes, which is located in Aimargues, a few minutes from the castle.
And what about the scenes taking place on the beach? Did you also shoot these sequences in Saint-Drézéry?
No, we shot these sequences near the castle, at Grau du Roi, on Espiguette beach.
All of this must have been a real headache in terms of scouting…
Yes, it was complicated. Initially we had spotted a place that we liked, but it was much too far, more than 50 kilometers from the castle. We have big teams, we had to move everyone, relocate them elsewhere, it was too complex in terms of production for a daily soap opera like ours. So that’s why we chose to find sets a little closer, even if Puech-Haut wasn’t very close either.
It was a huge job for our decoration teams, our culinary teams, all the technicians, because we are not used to traveling so much. And we continued to shoot at the castle in parallel. We still had to shoot our 16 sequences a day.
For now, we are following the preparations for the baking championship. What can you tease about what awaits us? The cast talked about a plotline a la Remember last summer…
The idea of this summer arch is to get out of the castle and play the summer postcard, with a new rather grandiose decor. It’s the holidays, we’re still working, but there’s a wind of freedom blowing on our characters.
But that will quickly be tarnished because we are going to explore a genre that we have never tackled before in Here it all begins: the thriller, with a plot remember last summer. With disappearances, threats, always against the backdrop of the pastry championship.
The kitchen will still be very present. It’s an arch that will take place over four weeks, with a championship stage each week. This will be an opportunity to discover new characters, like Swan or Marius. And to find Noémie who is making a comeback during this intrigue.
We have four teams: the first headed by Teyssier, and second with Enzo and Salomé as a clerk. A second team led by Noémie, who is now pastry chef at the Delobel restaurant, who will be assisted by Greg and Marius.
Another team will be headed by chef Cardone, which promises a big rivalry with Teyssier. She will be assisted by Swan and, initially, her clerk is a certain Arnaud. But he will soon be replaced by another character. I leave you the surprise (laughs). And finally Chef Demir, whom we saw in January alongside Michel Sarran, will lead the last team. And he will be assisted by Anaïs and by Ruben, a new character.
It will be a fairly rich plot, with beautiful desserts, beautiful duels, rivalries, and above all a big mystery. Since threats will hang over all of our students. This will create a climate of psychosis which will darken the table of the championship and this summer arch.
We know that David Marchal joins the series as Chief Bury. Is he also a character who will have a role to play in the championship?
Yes, Chief Bury, embodied by David Marchal, is the president of the jury. He is there to oversee the championship alongside two other chefs.
We have the impression that it is the plot of Here everything begins that deploys the most new faces since the beginning of the series. Was it complicated in terms of casting?
Yes, there was a lot of casting work because each role is important and takes up space. It was very important, for TF1 as for us, to have high-level actors. We have Frank Libert, Cyril Durel, Damas Roy, which is less known but is excellent. We can really suspect each character in this plot, we don’t know who is hiding what, so the cast had to be up to it.
Can we hope to find some of these characters at the start of the school year, as part of the Master?
Listen, you will have the answer during the ark (laughs).
And Lucia Passaniti? Does the door remain open to other occasional returns from Noémie?
Of course, the door is always open with Lucia. This is what had been considered with her when she left. She was ready to come back. And we are delighted to find her because very special things will happen to Noémie during this ark.
The summer plot having been shot during the months of May and June, what can you say about the episodes you are currently working on and that we will discover at the start of the school year?
With Sarah Farahmand, we’ve been working a lot lately on the new characters for season 3. We brought in the costume designer, Stephanie Boissard, on looks. For us it is very important to work on the look of the characters.
The first image we will have of them is what imprints in the minds of viewers. We wanted to regain the energy we had in the first season and that we had perhaps lost a little in season 2, and again. But here we really wanted to print very strong looks this year. So we worked on the HMC of the characters with Sarah. These are characters that we will discover at the end of August on the screen.