A year after the release of “Teddy” and his werewolf, Ludovic and Zoran Boukherman change creatures with “The Year of the Shark”. And reveal to us behind the scenes of its production.
In 2021, they landed a werewolf in their native South West with Teddy. Today, Ludovic and Zoran Boukherma take off with The Year of the Shark. As the title suggests, this is the first French feature film centered on a man-eating shark, tracked here Marina Fois, Jean-Pascal Zadi and Christine Gautier.
Case is also in the cast, in the role of the husband of Maja, a policeman determined to postpone his retirement for a few days to overcome the beast. But the other star is obviously the shark, used sparingly, as Steven Spielberg had done it in Jaws. Which is no reason not to give it a lot of care.
“Our initial motivation was to have a shelf shark”replies Ludovic Boukherma during his appearance on AlloCiné l’Emission. “We didn’t want any CGI [images de synthèse, ndlr]. The question that inevitably arises, from the prep stage, is ‘How do you want to do the shark?’ and we directly replied that we wanted an animatronic, a real fake shelf shark.”
“If only because there is Jaws that exists. We are huge fans, and we like this idea of a shark that can even be a little fake sometimes. Because it’s super charming at the same time, it’s something we love. Our genre film references are films from the 70s and 80s where there’s always this somewhat false thing. But we think it’s getting old these effects are always better than digital ones.”
“Here we asked Pascal Molina, a specialist in animatronics, to make us a shark. But the prep times for films are so tight these days that he had to do that for us in seven or eight weeks. And we even had to shoot, during the first four weeks, with actors, everyone on the set talking about the shark but no one had ever seen it before. We didn’t even know if it was going to work or not.”
“For once, [Pascal Molina] worked really well. He made a shark plugged into a jet engine, on a flyboard: we had a boat with a motor, forty meters of pipes and the shark plugged into one of them. Then on another boat, three guys who could activate the mouth or the fins. Our first desire (…) was to have fun with an animatronic because it’s very funny.”
“Afterwards, we may have had some disappointments on set because, of course, since they had little time to train with it, we tried it a bit while filming with it. And the first day of filming, it He had to come out of the water by opening his mouth. Except that, to make this figure, he had to dive and then come back up. But then he dived and he stayed planted in the mud. So we lost two hours of filming because we had to go find him.”
Our first desire was to have fun with an animatronic because it’s very funny
“We weren’t even sure it would go up one day”continues Zoran Boukherma. “We had shot it once. We had just seen the fin in the shot we had shot before, and we thought that might be the only one we would have of him.” And how big is the creature? “4.50 meters. Half Spielberg’s shark.”
“What was funny is that [Pascal Molina] had us printed on A4 sheets and glued to each other to show the life-size shark”continues Ludovic. “It seemed huge in the preparation offices, but once in the water, with no reference nearby, you don’t realize that it’s big. One of the challenges, in the image, was to show that “He was big, which wasn’t so obvious. You always had to put him in touch with a set piece or an actor.”
And you’ll never guess where he is since filming wrapped. “This is one of the first questions we asked Pascal Molina: ‘What do we do with it afterwards?'”replies Ludovic. “Officially, I believe it belongs to the production. But the sad thing is that traditionally they always end up destroying this stuff, because you leave it in a box first, but it ends up costing too expensive to produce so we destroy it, it’s a shame.”
“There, as it happens, it’s stored in the garage of one of our growers’ grandmothers.” Who is apparently aware that such a beast is in her home.
Our entire show with Zoran and Ludovic Boukherma: