French “Harry Potter” fans made their own Voldemort movie

It is an ambitious project that fans of the saga Harry potter have been waiting for four years. Announced in 2017, the French “fanfilm” The House of Gaunt: Lord Voldemort Origins, on the genesis of the supreme enemy of the sorcerer, was put online for free on Wednesday September 15.

The film crew and the cast, made up of film professionals entirely volunteers – whether they came out of passion for the fantastic saga or to take up a technical challenge – previously presented their short film of around thirty minutes in five theaters in France to a guest audience. Most were contributors to the three crowdfunding campaigns which raised around 62,000 euros, the film’s budget.

From the broadcast of the trailer on YouTube, in February 2021, the film has aroused some enthusiasm. The video, which has since exceeded one million views, hinted at the participation in the lead role of French actor Maxence Danet-Fauvel, revealed in the series Skam and chosen from 300 candidates, as well as many special effects. It must be said that the director, Joris Faucon Grimaud, 27, is above all in life an editor of cinema trailers and knows as much the codes of Hollywood blockbusters as those of the universe. Harry potter, which he has loved since his discovery, in elementary school. “I always wanted to be a director”, he explains to World.

“When I embarked on my first production, I wondered whether it was better to make an original screenplay at the risk of not convincing enough or to try to reach a lot of people via a fanfilm in a world that I adore. This film is therefore a way to please the fans as well as to build a CV, to prove myself, especially in fantastic cinema, a genre that is still underdeveloped in France. “

Joris Faucon Grimaud, the director, on the set at the Château de Fontainebleau.

He then chooses to recount the genesis of Voldemort, formerly called Tom Riddle, whom the novelist who created Harry potter, J. K. Rowling, had sketched in volumes 2 (Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets) and 6 (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince) of his saga. “These are passages that marked me when I read them at 12 years old and that I would have liked to see more exploited in the films [officiels], details Joris Faucon Grimaud. This is not the first time that a fan’s work has looked at his biography: released on YouTube in 2018, the Italian short film Voldemort: the origins of the heir has garnered over 17 million views.

Eighty volunteers for twelve days of filming

The plot of this new short film begins in the mid-1920s, in England, in the cottage of the Gaunts, the maternal family of Voldemort, little flamboyant heirs of the dark mage Salazar Slytherin and defenders of extremist theories about pureblood magicians. . The synopsis addresses the meeting between Merope Gaunt and Muggle (without magical powers) Tom Riddle senior, Lord Voldemort’s parents, but also, thirty years later, the beginning of his bloody quest for immortality.

Eighteen months of postproduction were necessary, in particular to showcase the costumes and sets created by the team.

Without giving oneself too much freedom of interpretation in relation to the universe of the saga, contrary to what tens of thousands of amateur fanfictions sometimes do online – and most often in writing. “Of course, we happened to shoot sequences of several minutes which were based on only two lines of the book, like the arrival of the aurors [brigade spéciale du ministère de la magie] to stop Voldemort’s grandfather and uncle, and it was interesting to be able to flesh it out, to do it on a lot of little details. Corn The House of Gaunt respect what JK Rowling wanted to tell above all. We also didn’t want to stray too far from the artistic direction of the films. [officiels], assures Joris Faucon Grimaud, while defending ” a fantastic paw slightly bordering on horror, sometimes a more adult tone. As in the books, finally. ” The young director also made sure of the advice of fans and great connoisseurs of the series to avoid any error or anachronism.

Read also “Harry Potter”, “Star Wars”, “Zelda” … in the imaginary (and relaxing) worlds of YouTube

In order to give substance to this dark story, Joris Faucon Grimaud and the Franco-British team of eighty volunteers filmed in the language of Shakespeare for twelve days spread over five sessions. The forest of Rambouillet, the castle of Fontainebleau and the streets of Senlis hosted several nocturnal sequences. A filming completed in September 2020 and which took place over three years due to the schedules in charge of the volunteers, but also the Covid-19 pandemic. Eighteen months of postproduction were necessary, in particular to showcase the costumes and sets created by the team, the some 250 shots made with special effects as well as the music recorded especially for the film.

“It was a hell of a race and we didn’t have all the time we wanted. We sometimes had to give up plans but there is no regrets! “, estimates Joris Faucon Grimaud, who intends to keep the same team for his next project: a feature film in the fantastic register, always, but this time with an entirely original script.

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