Presentation of the project
Set in a Soviet style 1950's industrial dystopia, Trauma Industries is a film about ritual, initiation, advertising and our throw-away culture. It’s a look at today, through the eyes of the past.
The project is not only a film, but also an exploration of the way we work on film behind the scenes. Shooting on 35mm and editing on a 1960's Steenbeck editing table, we’ll look at how film-making has changed over the years and the important techniques that we have cast aside in the name of “efficiency”.
When we work on any film, I think the immense work put in by the team is under-appreciated. This project gives us the opportunity to cast a light on the work of the crew and cast of more than 100 people – the thousands of hours of work from a huge group of talented artists and technicians with numerous skills, just to produce a film that is only a few minutes long.
With the support of the Mairie d'Aubervilliers we're hoping to shoot the exteriors at the Ancienne Manufacture des Allumettes. With its perfectly symmetrical courtyard, dominated by a huge chimney, it offers us an incredible geometry, perfect for the Soviet aesthetic of the film. Marc Pacon, the set designer, will build a stage beneath the chimney, framed by gigantic banners, and advertising screens. This is where workers will congregate for the dictator-manager’s speech, and the film's brutal finale.
The interiors of the film will be shot in a disused psychiatric hospital called Maison Blanche. The Mairie of Neuilly-sur-Marne are very kindly allowing us to transform the interior of one of their buildings for the purpose of the film. The location offers us some fantastic industrial elements in an early 20th century building, but with the work of set designer Marc Pacon and his team, the space will undergo a huge metamorphosis. Along with the film’s omnipresent vertical advertising screens, the set will be completed with all sorts of contraptions, conveyor belts and machines needed to create the perfect dystopic 1950s factory. This is the sort of set-build that is normally un-heard of in a short fiction. You can view some of the magnificent set builds & transformations Marc has performed in the last twenty years on his website.
For the last 6 months we’ve been hunting down 1950's workers costumes. A search that has had us speaking to people across the world: China, Russia, Ukraine, Croatia, Belgium, France, the Netherlands, and the US. It was important to us that the clothes we use are genuine clothes of the era, that have their own history. It would have been simple and cheap to have the costumes made for us in China or India, but how could we do that for a film that critiques our throw away culture? These old work clothes are much sought after items, and not easy to find. The last few months, we have been going through bags in flea markets, old stocks and the internet for these beautiful outfits. We’ve already bought over 100 sets of workers blues in order to dress the cast and the crew. All the clothes need to be washed, some need to be dyed, and some will need to be aged. There’s a tremendous amount of work still to do, preparing the clothes, finding hats, headscarves, shoes and so on...
The writing of this film started with the search for the perfect piece of music to set the atmosphere for the world of Trauma Industries. Henry Bennett’s track, Mute Pollute, does just that. The film was written with the rhythms and mood of the track in mind. Now the track will be further developed by Henry with the story in mind, building in military style chants and more machine inspired sound for the factory scenes. A quick listen of the original track (here) will take you instantly into the atmosphere of Trauma.
I am really drawing on my whole life experience in this project; my time cutting up super 8 film as a child; my time spent studying in Russia; my work in documentaries and filming for NGOs which has led me to question the way we live in this modern world, and my music video work that has immersed me in so many different “retro” universes in recent years…
More about my work here.
The cinematography will be overseen by Isarr Eiriksson and his team. Born in Iceland, based in Paris, Isarr has worked on everything from documentaries to feature length fiction. He is one of Jethro's most regular collaborators. Check out his work here.
A project of this scale requires a huge amount of work behind the scenes. Our crew of volunteer artists and technicians is already hard at work, organizing a team of more than a hundred people, researching, translating, storyboarding, creating props and costumes, designing the different sets, as well as countless other thankless tasks.
All this work will be undertaken by production manager Darrell Lee Hall and his assistant Soraya Mounir, assistant director Anne Fassin and her team, script supervisor Aurélie Vallée, researcher and casting director Rabha Belkadi, set designer Marc Pacon, costume designers Lenaïg Periot and Morgane Tack, prop designer Eva Connaughton, editor Julien Chardon, VFX supervisor Damien Dellanoy, photographer and making-of director Réda Aït, and numerous other people who have lent their hands and minds to the project: Justin Pentecost, Rose Romain, Julie Rambaud, Sara Verhagen, Magdalena Petrovic, Perle Tharinger, Sacha Madar and no doubt many others still to join us…
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What will the money be used for?
For €3,000 or more+
We are on the right track, this will pay for the developing of the film and the transfers...
For €4,500 or more+
That's it ! We can make the film ! We've reached our minimum budget !
For €6,000 or more+
Fantastic ! Not only can we make the film, our sets are going to be even more impressive !
For €10,000 or more+
Wow ! Not only can we make the film exactly as we want to, this will pay for all the festival entries and prints we need to make sure the film is seen around the world...