About Project

Set in a surface mine, two boys sink into a seemingly innocent power game with Mother Nature as the sole observer. Combing various instruments and sounds, we reinforced the deep pain and trauma that the main character (Tyler) was experiencing.

Live Project
Film and TV
Achromatic Media Inc.
January 2018

The Project

FAUVE tells the story of two boys playing around a surface mine when one of them gets caught in the quicksand with mother nature as sole observer. This seemingly harmless game turns to be a disaster.

The film evokes a deep intensity from start to finish where anxiety is overwhelming. Moreover, the actors' performance accentuates emotions with little to no words. Therefore, the challenge was to combine instruments and sounds that could reinforce the deep pain and trauma the main character (Tyler) was experiencing.

The Nuts and Bolts

Initially, the film director, Jeremy Comte, was not supposed to be in Montreal during the process of music creation. However, an unpredictable event brought him back in town. We were therefore able to work on this together live in our studio.

Jeremy was so committed to his film that he came for the full duration of the creation and recording process. The intense energy involved in the collaboration has enhanced our creativity.

The particularity of this short film is to have no dialogue for almost all of the second half. Thus,
the main character’s emotions and feelings are expressed without a single word which raises the importance of music and sounds in evoking anxiety, stress and fear to the audience.

At first, we thought that a full orchestral score would have been the ultimate solution to highlight all the deep emotions contained in the film. However, after several attempts, we quickly realized that we truly needed a single and unified “wave of sound”.

Therefore, we opted to reduce the number of instruments and instead relying on only three clarinets of different sizes – Contra Alto, Bass, and Treble models respectively.

Afterwards, we discussed about all the possibilities we might use in order to support the idea of creating this “wave of sound”.

The Results

“Brian D’Oliveira did an amazing composition on Fauve. I had the pleasure to assist on the recording, in his wonderful studio full of instruments.
The music is a portal into the protagonist’s state of mind, representing his distress and anxiety. Tyler’s thoughts are racing in all directions as they fluctuate in intensity. It’s as if he’s trapped in this infinite pattern of being completely overwhelmed, then being able to calm himself for a second before his thoughts spin out of control again. We started by creating a repetitive loop on the computer, gradually moving the tempo up and down to accentuate that shifting intensity. Because the film is very minimalist, I wanted to use as few instruments as possible. I was very inspired by Colin Stetson’s work. We only used three different types of clarinets to bring depth and texture, and Brian played them all live with us. It was a very organic approach to creating the soundtrack.” – Jeremy Comte. The Criterion Collection Interview.

Since its premiere FAUVE has been played over 145 festivals internationally and won over 76 awards in 41 countries. Namely, the film was broadcasted during the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), Telluride Film Festival (TFF) and the Sundance Film Festival.

To name a couple of awards:.

Winner – Special Jury Award – Sundance Film Festival 2018
Winner – Best Canadian Short Film Award – Vancouver International Film Festival, 2018
Winner – Jury Award – Miami Short Film Festival, 2018
Winner – Grand National Jury Prize & Best Youth Short Film – Regard Int. Short Film Festival

In addition, the film had an Academy Award nomination (Oscars) under the “Short Film (Live Action)” category.

We are very proud about those amazing outcomes that prove that we did better than just meet our challenges. It confirms that collaborating with our partners directly in studio can bring magical results.

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