Guillaume Gevart directed the fiction film Yearning Rose in 2019 whose main actors are Jean Poulet-Chays, Chris Biandonga and Delphine Allard. It tells the story of Max, a marketing trainee who meets Rose, a young law student, he will try to seduce her through many lies. The film has the distinction of having been shot in 7 days and with a very low budget of €12,000. Today at JustFocus.fr, we found its director for an unpublished interview, he tells us about the rise of a film resembling a school project and which ended up distributed on Amazon prime video.
Hello Mr. Gevart, can you present your film to us in your own words and tell us about the genesis of the project ?
Hello sir, well Yearning Rose is a romantic film, which, beyond the product as such, remains a human adventure that I was able to share with my friends (Antoine Godet and Dylan Besseau) with whom I I founded the Artwooks Media agency in 2020, it was our debut and at the time I was working at Okamedia, thanks to the money earned I was able to finance this first film.
Once the 12,000 euros were in your pocket, you started producing it, but why did you choose only 7 days to shoot ?
I’m a great admirer of director Jean-Pierre Mocky and he used to make his films in a very short time, that’s what I call “fast-movie”. Today, everything is bombarded with fireworks, everything is very smooth, days of filming can cost hundreds of thousands of euros. In 2019, I was going through a rather complicated period in my life, I had just finished my studies and I had had a teacher who belittled me all the time, I saw in the lens of his Afflelou glasses juxtaposed on his bald head, the reflection of my lost esteem. Then with some friends, I made a bet following a very alcoholic game of Monopoly, that I could be able to make a feature film in 7 days regardless of the outcome, and that’s what I did, it was a kind of therapy to regain my confidence.
Given the quality of the final project, we still feel that there must have been some constraints, which ones ?
Indeed, I do not yet have the talent of Robert Rodriguez with his famous “El Mariachi”, but I wanted to please myself and to please people who love artisanal works, as Jean-Luc Godard said “we make films that will be seen only by those around us”. Far from there the idea to compare me with this size of the French cinema, but in the intention one approaches that. I didn’t want to compete with big productions, just make a film with the means and the passion I had.
You talk about Jean-Luc Godard precisely on the idea that the film will only be seen in small groups, but recently your film was distributed on Prime Video in the United States and England, what was your reaction?
I was terribly disappointed! No kidding, I was stunned and pleasantly surprised, I didn’t think Prime Video would accept my film. As a director, we always focus on the flaws in our work, but if they liked it, so much the better! Now I know I can do better, the whole team has improved a lot since then and this movie was kind of an experimentation project for everyone to practice.
As you said before, this project was kind of an experiment, surely you made a lot of mistakes, can you tell us more ?
Well, for the sake of budget, we didn’t do a storyboard, for example, which results in a lot of false connections that I find quite funny now. It has a lot of faults I understand, many could qualify it as abject, bad, but I laugh about it, I know that it was my first film and that the next one will have nothing to do in terms of technique . The biggest part of the budget was allocated to the actors, because the work and the time invested must be rewarded.
Speaking of technique, what were your inspirations in making this film ?
I was inspired by Thomas Vinterberg’s dogme95 in the handheld camera side, the somewhat vintage image and also in the improvisation. I really like the real style, I hate configurations that take too long to set up, which is why you can feel it in my film. Beautiful images are not for me, I want naturalness.
We find the presence of certain actors such as Jean-Poulet Chays but also Delphine Allard whom you have undoubtedly met in the web-series “Wesh la school” produced by Yacetom. There is also a small intervention by Fry3000 (Youtubeur specialized in nano films) who plays Max’s boss.
What did you think of the performance of your actors ?
So to tell you the truth, given my career, I don’t have to be demanding on this point, I try to have decent actors and I don’t pretend to judge them, like me they do their better. I know that Jean-Poulet had told me that he hadn’t been at the top on the first part of the film, but it doesn’t matter. He’s an actor taking his first steps, and if my film has helped him improve, then my job is done. For Chris Biandonga he is great! Very professional, he offers a lot and it’s very pleasant. Delphine is also incredible for another reason that I will tell you later if I have the opportunity.
We can see that it was easy for you to find your actors, was it the same for the locations ?
For the locations, it was rather simple, we shot everything in Nantes. Some scenes were filmed at the parents of our assistant director Henri Dando, he’s a childhood friend, he’s lucky to have a very big house which fit perfectly with the idea I had formed. We also shot in the Haussmann apartment of Mr. and Mrs. Avot, which they have since sold to move into a castle in the countryside, they are friends of my family. We also shot some scenes in front of my in-laws’ mansion.
Do you have any stories to share with us ?
Of course, do you know that the actress who plays Rose was not the one we had chosen at the beginning. Finally let me explain, our initial actress had a setback, the first day of filming she had to return home to Paris, suddenly our actor Chris Biandonga was able to find us Delphine Allard in the space of an hour . Delphine came the same afternoon and learned her lines within hours! We were then able to start filming a morning late, but Delphine did an incredible job, in one night she memorized all the script for the week. It’s a performance that will always impress me.
And in all of this, what do your loved ones think ?
A lot of people don’t really understand what I do, and I understand them, making a film is always very complicated, people don’t realize the work and the psychological burden that it entails, even for a very small work of 5 minutes there’s always a lot to do beforehand, so I don’t have time to worry too much about what people think, I know Yearning Rose isn’t the movie of the year, but he brought me a lot of things on certain levels like friends who always supported me, he also taught me to become more humble and aware of my own abilities. You tend to get fired up quickly when it comes to movies, but experience makes you realize that it’s a long way to go with lots of lows, but highs that are worth it.
What are your upcoming projects ?
I don’t want to talk about it now, because as a friend said “talking about your plans doesn’t make them go any faster, and if they don’t happen you look like a dick”.
Aha well said, any last words ?
I particularly wanted to thank my friends Antoine Godet and Dylan Besseau, without whom all this would not be possible, as well as all the technical team and all the people who contributed directly or indirectly to the development of this film. And above all, make movies! Whatever the cost, do it if that’s what drives you, no matter if you’re taken for an idiot, go your own way!
It is with these last words that we hang up the phone and let the young director go about his business, if the release in France is not for now, the film is already available on Amazon Prime Video in England and in the US, in the meantime you can watch its trailer below :