'A Fond' Filming: 280 Macedonian Drivers Hired for Movie Shoot

More than 280 vehicles from Macedonia, as well as 280 drivers have been included in the filming of the French movie 'A Fond' at Skopje's ring road, Telegraf.mk reports. 

The drivers passed a strict selection where their experience was appreciated, as was their readiness for risky maneuvers. After the selection, a quick driving training needed for the scenes followed. The drivers have been rehearsing chase scenes that need to be captured on film on different parts of the ring road daily.  

The film is directed by Nicolas Benamou, and it is produced by the French production company Chic Films and the Macedonian production company Manufaktura. During the filming of this movie, contemporary filming technology will be used for the first time in Macedonia. This technological equipment was used in the filming of Mad Max and Mission Impossible.

The crew from France and Macedonia already had their equipment set up on part of the ring road on Wednesday. A team from Telegraf.mk witnessed how a movie set is prepared. A camera crane was attached to a van, which had a driver's seat on its roof that is meant to be used by the stunt driver who will drive the vehicle while the actors are filmed in the van.

The van was equipped in such a way, that  the director described it as an actual mini film studio with lights, microphones and cameras, which capture every movement of the actors during moments of action. All of the recorded material can be transferred wirelessly into another van where the director views what was recorded.

The same way of filming was used for shooting Mad Max, cast and crew are in constant motion, and the action is recorded in real time, without additional editing.

"The new era of creating films is going back to shooting live action. Realistic scenes will be shot for this film, not studio scenes. We have been thinking about this way of work, i.e. filming live action, and we are happy that our dream is coming true. For both the French and Macedonian crew this is an exciting adventure", said Benamou.

The Minister of Culture Elizabeta Kanceska-Milevska also visited the set of the movie. The director personally explained to her the way the movie will be shot.

"I am excited by all of this technological equipment. This is the first time that this type of filming technique is used in Macedonia. The filming of this movie and this investment are of great importance.  It is particularly important that our experts are involved in this movie, and this will be a learning experience for them . At the same time Macedonia will find itself on the map of the world film industry", said Kanceska Milevska.

The owner and producer of Chic Films, Lauranne Bourrachot, thanked Macedonian citizens for their patience during filming at Skopje's ring road.

"We are thankful to the whole team and to Manufaktura production company. We know that it is a lot to ask from the citizens of Skopje, closing the ring road is not an easy situation. Still we believe that we will give to Macedonia as much as it has given us for realizing this project", said Bourrachot.

Sasho Pavlovski from the Manufaktura production company, stated that the French team has gained confidence in the Macedonian team and that he expects for project to finish successfully.

"This is a huge project. If we manage to finish it favorably, a lot of new projects will happen in Macedonia. This is necessary, so big movie houses will stop treating small countries with distrust.  They were suprised because in two and a half weeks we managed to get them 400 vehicles for the shoot. They quickly gained confidence in us and the whole film crew. I believe that this will help us a lot in the future, in the attracting new foreign film crews", Pavlovski said.

The film will include another 180 extras from Macedonia, hair, makeup, costume and scenography crews have already been hired. The film's story will unfold on the road mostly, and it will abound with a lot of stunt scenes. Stuntmen that have participated in Luc Besson films have been hired for this project.

Part of the vehicles which will be used in the film will be crashed. In one scene, a golden BMW car will slide off the road and ram into a trailer in a Gypsy neighborhood. Still, for the filming of these scenes all precautionary measures for protecting the actors and crew have been undertaken.  

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