When we are appreciating the world village on the internet, everyday or even every minute. I am surprised to be aware of that how limited we really know about each other. Hollywood is not the whole world. Talents of Cannes, Berlin and Venice film festivals are not exclusive. And Karwai Wong and An Lee are not the only brilliant directors in Chinese–speaking areas. So I interview good talent all over the world to help update your perception of Film Industry nowadays.
58 years ago, a 13-year-old young boy began to use his family’s movie camera to record camping trips and family events, and then he attempted to film narrative movies and set up shots with different angles and primitive special effects.
After high-school graduation, he was turned down in person by his dream school USC film school, and had to took Universal as his film school.
After years of hard-working and many world-wide achievements, he became one of the most popular and powerful directors in the universe. He is Steven Spielberg.
(Steven Spielberg, during his master class at “La Cinémathèque Française” on January 9th, 2012 in Paris by Romain Dubois)
20 years ago, a 10-year-old young boy tried his first self-directed and self-acted short film by his family camera. He invited his buddies and the adult neighbors to be his actors. And he won his 1st film prize at 14 years old at his hometown Tours, and the 1st international film prize about 1 year later.
Before his high-school graduation, he received a shooting opportunity over a phone call. Then he picked up the phone, gave his parents another phone call, headed for the shooting site.
After years and days of film production, direction, discussion, collaboration… as a leader, mentor, partner, executor, helper… He became one of the most important person in local film industry, helping shape the film culture and cultivate new talents naturally and devotedly. Meanwhile, he’s directed over 100 short films and 1 feature film with approximately 30 awards internationally.
He is Alex Guéry, whose favorite director is Steven Spielberg.
As what Mark Twain said, history does not repeat itself, but it does often rhyme.
(Steven Spielberg, Screenshot of Steven Spielberg HBO Documentary: Trailer; Alex Guéry, in Local Newspaper)
EXPERIENCE OF MAKING FILMS
Could you please introduce yourself?
A: I am 29 years old, enjoy making and watching films. I like animals and working and cleaning up in my own castle.
How did you become to make films?
A: I started to make films since 10. At that time, we only have one family camera and one memory card that allows me with only one hour of shooting time, so I always rewrite the card.
At 12, I started to learn writing scripts and drawing storyboard.
And at around 14 or 15 years old, my parents gave me my very 1st camera as a Christmas gift. That is a big day of my life and I cried when I opened the gift.
How did you know about 48 hour film festival?
A: I saw the film festival in LA on the internet when I was 14 years old, then the idea of participating the competition is round my head. I even imagine that it will be wonderful if I can win.
Then one day, when I saw the 48 hour film competition announcement from Dijon, I picked up my camera, packed the bag and drove to Dijon with the other 3 friends (2 actors and 1 fitting assistant).
And I went there and said hi to Olivier Dussausse (who is the organizer), expressing my concerns of uncertainty of meeting the deadline.
Then finally we won! 6 awards! It’s so cool!
This was in 2011.
How many times of participations of 48 hour film?
A: 4 times and 4 city winners. And we won 2nd place of best film, best directing, best cinema of photography, and best screenwriting in Hollywood in 2013.
What do you think is the reason that your film won in 2013?
A: I don’t know; I saw lots of great films.
When Mark Ruppert announced we are the winner of Best writing, people around me told me ”Hey, you won!”… And just 1 min later, Mark announced our film also wins the best cinema of photography… it’s just unbelievable.
And the judges later came to tell me that our film was his favorite, since it was very French, romantic…and the color, the movement, the overall feeling was perfect.
PASSION AND AMBITION
What makes you to start your own company Les Films du Loup Blanc?
A: Before the big success in 48hfp Hollywood. I also won 4 prizes in another film festival, which offers me a free trip to Hollywood in 2009.
I visited “Lucas Film” and meet incredible and great people there. That leads me to start to make film as what I like, not just typical French film. I want to make film that can really touches people’s heart.
Then I founded Les Films du Loup Blanc.
I realized there is a strong spirit/motto of your company, could you please share the story of how you formed it? And what is it?
A: We call it spirit of Loup Blanc, so as to say, the spirit of White Wolves.
The inspiration also comes from my visit to US, a great man showed me nothing is more important than sharing, accompanying and transmitting to the people around us. Never lose sight of the fact that a dream is not worth living if it is to live it alone.
So our spirit of White Wolves is “to Share, to Accompany and to Transmit”.
(Explanation Illustration of the logo of Les Films Du Loup Blanc)
What is your dream and your company’s vision?
A: I hope one day we can spread the White Wolves spirit all over the world.
And how are you going to realize that?
A: Stick with my belief and my passion, and continuously making films, collaborating with people all over the world.
Please introduce your Film Academy to us.
A: In 2017, we chose the city of Joué-lès-Tours to formalize the Academy. We would like to offer a unique but customized experience to 10 young filmmakers by providing individual coaching, helping them reveal their talent in front of or behind the camera with real profession, which they cannot obtain through school context.
What ongoing projects are you working at?
A: My 1st feature film is under editing and composing. My 2nd feature film’s scripts are under development, which I hope can be finished next year.
And I am also guiding a young filmmaker Cyriac Labergère with his 2nd short film. And he wants me to act in his film, which is very interesting.
I am quite looking forward to it; it’s a great experience for me. It’s been a long time I didn’t act in the firm, which helps with my role being a director knowing how the actor feels.
What is your favorite film?
A: The Goonies, written by Steven Spielberg.
The film tells about the story that children were fighting against the adults. It’s like a reflecting fight in my mind, I kept telling myself to keep the beginner’s mind everyday.
WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT CHINESE FILM
Who is your favorite Chinese director?
A: John Woo(Impossible Mission II) and Karwai Wang(2046).
From left to right: Alex, Olivia, Corentin, Cyriac, Olivier, Jérôme, Adrien
“How Alex Guéry works as a filmmaker or an entrepreneur reminds me of the working life in management consulting firm: all the people are working very efficiently with a very high performance under a crazy schedule. They think fast, write fast and move fast but the quality never goes down. People, who is around Alex, get affected by his passion for film, his desire for success. He is naturally a go-getter with determination, intelligence, and a big heart to share, accompany and transmit. He has become lots of people’s role model. And I think he is perfect for investors who can relievedly invest on him and wait for the fruits coming.”
Interview by: Olivia Yang