3 Things You Need to Make an Impossible Movie

By  · Published on July 1st, 2013

In a time where studios are throwing hundreds of millions of dollars at movies with flash in order to make them hits, Martin Villeneuve has pulled a rabbit out of his hat for less than three. In this situation, the hat is a DVD case and the rabbit is the effects-laden sci-fi marvel of Mars et Avril.

Naturally $2.3M still sounds like a lot of money for most indie filmmakers, and on the other side of the block, studios won’t be able to pay the true price that Villeneuve paid – seven years – in order to give birth to this kind of bunny. That all puts Villeneuve and his film in the middle. Not an easy place to be.

While it’s played to festivals and scored a March release on iTunes and the aforementioned plastic hat, Mars et Avril is the kind of movie that deserves a lot more attention than it’s gotten – if not for itself, then at the very least for its production methods.

Fortunately, Villeneuve recently gave a TED talk that provided a ton of insight into how the magic happened. Alongside some jaw-hinging visual aids, he explained the three things you need in order to pull off the impossible.

Before the talk, Villeneuve impressed the audience with a brief video on how the effects were done. Lucky for us, it’s online, and so is the film’s trailer:

It doesn’t have distribution yet in the US (or anywhere outside Canada for that matter), but Villeneuve has hinted publicly that he’s in talks to change that.

Hopefully he and his team can. Not that it would be an easy thing to sell – a Canadian sci-fi film in French that’s about philosophy and relationships as much as it features green screen stunners – but even if it still had a hard row to hoe, it looks like a gorgeous piece of work that will float into obscurity without a few theater doors open to it.

Plus, as a fan, it’s always nice to get a glimpse of the impossible made gloriously real.

Movie stuff at VanityFair, Thrillist, IndieWire, Film School Rejects, and The Broken Projector Podcast@brokenprojector | Writing short stories at Adventitious.