A very original television concept, Epitaph, imagined by the artist agent and Quebec musician Stéphane Papillon, made his way to France. The filming of a European version of the documentary web series, where famous personalities converse with death, has just been completed in Paris and Belgium.
Filmed in black and white, the series Epitaph confronts personalities in their last moments, in the form of a conversation with death, which gives rise to confidences that are sometimes overwhelming.
In Quebec, video clips featuring Ariane Moffatt, Hubert Lenoir, Sarahmée, Émile Bilodeau and Mario Pelchat, among others, are still available on TV5 and Unis TV platforms.
Thanks to a contact from the creator, the project reached the ears of the Franco-German European channel ARTE, which could be compared to ICI ARTV, and which will broadcast in 2021 a European version which will become Epitath.
For this, Stéphane Papillon surrounded himself with the renowned photographer and director Richard Aujard, who helped him recruit twelve personalities such as actress Béatrice Dalle, Marseille footballer and actor Éric Cantona, as well as boxer and actor Jo Prestia.
Filming takes place in Paris, except for actor Matthias Schoenaerts, who gave the interview at his father’s grave in Belgium. “It was very touching,” says Stéphane Papillon, joined in Paris last week.
The person before the work
Artist and tour agent, and himself a musician, Stéphane Papillon had this idea for a series when he found that “most of the interviews that we see on TV are when the artists have something for sale. There is often an “infomercial” side, and few interviews where we talk more about the person than the work, ”he says.
In the current context, isn’t this a special time to talk about death? “There are artists who believe that this is the best time to talk about it, because we are more sensitive to the subject. People are reflecting on human fragility more than ever. But others told us that death was so present in their daily lives that they didn’t want to do it, ”he says.
Despite the context, because of his small film crew and since the artists are alone in front of the camera, the filming turned out to be quite simple, he says.