Friendship and cinema: the rise of Philippe and Hugo! In the cinema


The shared love of cinema unites the filmmakers around their own project

New student film product from a long-term artistic partnership. Photo Cedar Obeid

Philippe Champagne and Hugo Remy are two members of the Concordia Film Society who share a common goal: to show the world how relevant cinema is for those looking for an outlet of comfort.

Their last collaboration as co-directors To the top ! takes place in a therapy session and features a superhero as the main character. A heavy subject with a tinge of dark humor, Pete – the protagonist – works through a past traumatic experience with his therapist while trying to control his supernatural abilities.

Champagne, writer, lead actor and co-director of the film said that “most of my work comes from personal experiences, and being a comic book/superhero fan, I imagine most of my characters playing a role as such.”

Remy, co-director and cinematographer, said that in addition to liking Champagne’s screenplay, he wanted to make sure the film didn’t focus too much on the dialogue and instead made it burst with emotion and of visual storytelling. He prefers to let the audience feel whatever the hero is feeling while watching.

“I already did theater in CEGEP, and now that I’m in college, I want to try it on a larger, more complicated scale through film,” he said.

At 15, Champagne knew he wanted to write and direct films. He said he first fell in love with the movies watching Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man in the cinema, then fell in love with it watching Michel Gondry’s Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

Remy said he spent most of his childhood locked in his bedroom watching movies and playing video games. According to him, “12 was the revolutionary age when I knew I wanted to be a DP to control the image, much like controlling characters in video games and guiding them through a level or an obstacle.

When I was 16, he continues, I was offered a camera on my birthday, and I have been directing ever since. My biggest influences are Tom Tykwer’s Cloud Atlas and M. Night Shyamalan’s Unbreakable.

To the top ! follows a superhero who must come to terms with the traumas of his past Photo Cèdre Obeid

In 2019, Remy arrived in Montreal from Paris as a transfer student, and through a mutual friend he met Champagne. At first they tried to form a band but the project did not materialize. They then found themselves bonding through movies and filmmaking, and since the summer of 2020, they have collaborated frequently.

KhaiYi Kan, president of CFS, played a big role in managing the crew and actors working on To the top !

“I was either an assistant director or a producer during the shoot,” she says. “I also handled finance, human resources, resource equipment, venue management, contract signing, catering management, scheduling, shot list feedback ,.. essentially a lot of time. management.”

Kan said she usually works with five or six people on a standard shoot. During filming, she had 16 cast and crew members to watch. Kan added that the production was facing scheduling conflicts for some of its filming locations.

“Filmmaking is 70% problem solving, especially student films, because you have very limited resources and almost no connection to support you, so you just have to figure it out yourself “Kan added. “And even when everything is working, you can never be too prepared; problems will arise either with production, pre-production or post-production”

“Despite all of this, I am very grateful to our amazing team. They sacrificed so much to make this movie a success by their willingness to learn and follow instructions,” she concluded.

Today, Rémy is still working on a soon-to-be-released short film titled Missing string. It is written, directed and DP’d by him.

Champagne recently released a short film on Youtube titled Fly. It is written, performed and directed by him. Not too long ago he also performed in a play with the Concordian theater team titled Flight of the bird.

Anyone interested in following or joining the CFS Community Club can follow their social media updates here.


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