1. France is a decor made of 100000 natural decors.
2. No country has the Alps, the Med Sea and Paris in its recce booklet.
3. And by the way, Paris is the most beautiful city in the world.
4. Travel distances are no more than 1000 kilometers from East to West North to South.
5. France gets lavender fields, huge forests, beautiful architectures, magnificent sea shores, snowy mountains, and thousand of historic remains. Wine is not a decor!
6. We also have the best food stylists ever. Because we are food lovers, as you may know.
7. French people may be grumpies but at least they invented cinema in 1894.
8. France pride is the TGV train, connecting Paris to all majors cities of the South of France, Burgundy and the Alps, within 3hours.
9. France got talents, great crews and DOP’s, and producers who now write and speak English as this note proves it.
10. Seriously, have you ever consider NOT to shoot in France ?

Nicolas Betrancourt, head of Nicocorp, has a long history about producing worldwide but France remains his very territory, he accepted to give us some keys to enter the French production world.

Q: Nicolas, what could be the best reasons to shoot in France ?
A: Well, there are too many to be listed here but… Seriously, French sceneries are renowned worldwide. Of course, one may think about our historical monuments, Paris the romantic city, etc. But think about the Alps, the wild shores of Britany, the wide beaches of Normandy and the contemporary buildings, at least I know something like 20 cities we could easily shoot cinematic sequences !

Q: But in France the problem is still the language isn’t it?
A: Ahah ! it was true 10 years ago, but nowadays, our crew are almost fluent. Young guys, new generation call it as you want but the truth is that they travel a lot. Many DOP’s, steadycamers and post-production guys are well known abroad and had to speak English.

Q: Could you tell us about art departments in France ?
A: Of course! Just to evoke hairdressers and make-up artists for example… Hundred of stars come to France for Cannes Festival every year and walk along the Palais des Festivals stairs with style ! They know that our staff is creative, dedicated and supportive. Plus the best brands in make-up are French… Not to mention our CGI culture. France has the most advanced CGI artists in the world. If you have a look on every end titles of Hollywood blockbusters or animation films you will find French troops credited. Then you have the food culture… An asset of our country, French food stylists are top guns for sure !

Q: Ok, as we talk about specialists here, what about DOP’s ?
A: Once again, sorry to say, but French DOP’s from the new generation are maybe the best worldwide. Why? Because schooling is very demanding and they have art notions from paintings, photograpy, sculpture, colors study and so on. And because France develops lot of new tech in lenses, cameras bodies, lights, etc. And talking about DOP’s I have to say that our steadycamers are really good. At least 5 of them are ranked on the World top 20.

Q: Does France have large studio space? How about back lots?
A: Our history from the Frères Lumière is made of cinema. We had the famous Boulogne studios and now thanks to Luc Besson we have the Cité du Cinéma in Paris, an entire city dedicated to our art. Of course, if you prefer to shoot more South, you may find in Nice the Studio Riviera planted over 70 000m2 ! Les Studios de Marseille are also vasts and very professionnal. Do not be afraid of distances between cities, our fast train TGV links all majors cities in 3h time maximum !

Q: What are the strong and weak points of casting in France? Do you have a wide array of ethnic diversity?
A: France is an ethnic mosaïc made of people from Caribbean to South East Asia, French young people, as you may notice in our streets are really beautiful and strong. Plus, the street culture we have developped these 20 past years gives us dancers, sportsguys, skaters, bikers, etc… You may find many specialists in new sports for example. Not to mention our women casting offer.. Elegant, « So French >> in a way!

Q: Seasons in France, could you tell us more about it?
A: Well, yes we have seasons, 4 to be precise (laughs) but furthemore we have regions with separate climates. South of France got sun from March to October, lavender fields, sunflowers, poppies, Med sea and Camargue wildlife sanctuary where you can find pink flamingos, white horses, dark bulls and rice swamps. Then if you need snow and mountain I can drive you to Mont-Blanc, or Pyrenées on the Spanish boarders, all year long. If autumn and red orange woods are required, in Sologne or Marais Poitevin you may find endless nature. Wild ocean in winter and dark skies and big waves are set in Biarritz and more over in Britanny… France got four seasons and an hundred of different nature……………etc

Q: Are there any tricky production requisites we need to know about?
A: Tapping into the full potential of incentives requires a bit of study. If there is a coproduction between an French company and a foreign company, the first can get tax credits up to the amount of the 15% of the final costs. This is possible only for movie production (not advertising). Furthermore, it is also possible to get state and regional funding, but there are many bureaucratic rules to follow so it is best to plan properly time wise for this procedure. Tax credits and funding are usually released upon presentation of all papers at the end of the production. Actual receipt of payments can take time. As a general consideration, producers need to keep in mind that there’s no better solution to cost savings than working together. I’ve had cases where dialogue and dealing have trimmed local costs up to 30%! Apart from talent, this can also apply to crew for particular projects. My crew know I am fair with them and that I ask for adjustments to fit a project.

Q: What France has to offer to a very demanding producer from all over the world ?
A: Wine ! no doubt ! Come on! White, Red, Rosé, Champagne, Cognac… Exquisite tasting for every palate. Really. Plus, wine has this incredible power of binding people in a warm and friendly atmosphere.