Adrift – 2009

Adrift was my first full feature fiction in Viet-nam, and the first time I got to work with Bui Thac Chuyen. Problems were essentially of two kinds : humidity, for the recording gear, and the noise surrounding the filming locations.

To address the first problem, I experimented and used Neumann microphones, trying to use other microphones than  Sennheisers MKH, widely used in Asia : they can stand humidity very well, but their sound quality is not as good. I had asked Aka Rit, sound recordist for Apichatpong Weerasethakul, about his opinion on the possibilty to use Shoeps microphones. His reply had been « Forget the Shoeps. I’ve got a couple of those, and in Bangkok, I can onyl use them for two weeks in a year… » So I tried theNeumann, and it worked really well, I only had to use an airtight case and « decicagel »). but if the KMR81 worked perfectly in very humid conditions, KM150 was a bit more delicate to handle.

The other problem is the surrounding noise. In a country in full economic boom like Viet-nam, it’s impossible to close the streets when shooting a film, and construction sites can be everywhere. So you have to deal with hundreds of motorcycles, trafic,horns, construction works, etc. 24/7. Homes without windows. On top of this, Bui Thac Chuyen is a director who favours short focal lengths, long takes (« plans-séquences »), and whispering actors. So it’s a hard task… but we made it : in the end, 100 % of the direct sounds were kept, and the sound team won the best sound award  at Asia-Pacific International Festival in Kaoshiung, Taiwan, in 2009.

The camera for this film was a RED, I used a AAton Cantar X2 recorder, Neumann KM150 and 140 microphones,  KMR81, a stereo MS Sennheiser 418S,  Audio Limited DX2020 wireless with Sanken COS 11 microphones, and some PZM Sennheiser that sometimes saved us.

As a side note, this was the first film shot in Vietnamese for Linh-Dan Pham, and in my humble opinion her best rôle since she played Miao-Linh in « De battre mon coeur s’est arrêté » by Audiard.

 

Abstract
VERTIGES

Duyen and Cam, two young women, have a complex relationship. Unaware of the deep feelings Cam has for her, Duyen marries a taxi driver. Cam hides her love and her jealousy, and will ,subtly, push Duyen in the arms of another seductive and experienced man : Tho. With Tho, Duyen discovers her womanliness, buried until then under moral constraints.

 

Techincal Specs

Fiction film by Phan Dang Di (92′)
Vietnam – France 2010
With : Do Thi Hai Yen, Linh-Dan Pham, Duy Khoa Nguyen, Johnny Nguyen, NSND Nhu Quynh, NSUT Ngoc Thoa, Nguyen Linh Dung
Directed by : Bui Thac Chuyen
Scenario : Phan Dang Di
Camera : Ly Thai Dung
Location recordist : Arnaud Soulier
Sound assistants and boom operators : Jonathan Lemonier, Le Hoang Anh, Phan Trung Tien, Tran Ngoc Trung
Sound editing : Franck Desmoulins
Mixing : Roman Dymny
Music : Hoang Ngoc Dai
Editing : Julie Beziau

Produced by :

Dang Tat Binh – Feature Film Studio 1 (Vietnam)
Claire Agnès Lajoumard – Acrobates Films (France)

 

Trailer

 

Awards

Best sound at Asia-Pacific International Festival, Kaoshiung, Taiwan 2009
FIPRESCI award, 66th Mostra, Venice, 2009

 

Festivals

Toronto International Film Festival – 2009 – Bangkok International Film Festival – 2009 – Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival 2009 – London International Film Festival – 2009 – Busan International Film Festival -2009 – Fukuoka International Film Festival – 2009 – Cleveland International Film Festival – 2013

Photos

Poster for the french release in 2010Tran Ngoc Trung and Le Hoang Anh, sound assistants. ©Doan Anh PhuongWith Bui Thac Chuyen, the director, in Hanoi's streets.  ©Doan Anh PhuongCantar ! It's heavy !... ©Doan Anh PhuongShooting in Halong Bay. ©Doan Anh PhuongLe Hoang Anh, boom operator, in Halong Bay. ©Doan Anh PhuongHold on My Jojo ! Just 10 minutes  remaining of dialogue... ©Doan Anh Phuong.Do Thi Hai Yen and Duy Khoa Nguyen actors. ©Doan Anh PhuongPhan Trung Tien and Jonathan Lemonier, sound assistants. ©Doan Anh PhuongWith Ly Thai Dung, Bui Thac Chuyen and Jonathan Lemonier in Hanoi's streets. We are looking for a place to setup the camera for next shot. ©Doan Anh PhuongDo Thi Hai Yen actress. ©Doan Anh PhuongBui Thac Chuyen, director, Di Thi Hai Yen et Linh-Dan Pham, actors et Ly Thai Dung, DOP. ©Doan Anh PhuongJojo the rooster ! ©Doan Anh PhuongShooting in Halong Bay © Doan Anh PhuongI'm setting the boom pole in Halong Bay with Le Hoang Anh. ©Doan Anh PhuongPhan Trung Tien, boom operator, Pham Van Khué, follow focus operator, Ly Thai Dung, DOP, Do Thi Hai Yen, Vu Minh Tam, Nguyen Linh Dung, actors. ©Doan Anh PhuongMy two friends and boom operators Le Hoang Anh and  Phan Trung Tien in Halong Bay. In the foreground Johnny Nguyen and Do Thi Hai Yen ©Doan Anh PhuongThe raft of the Medusa... Lost in Halong Bay... ©Doan Anh PhuongDiscussion with my friend Bui Thac Chuyen (Director) regarding the sound ©Doan Anh PhuongMy great strange trolley build in perspex ! And his little Cantar... © Arnaud SoulierTry to reduce noise from street with strange stuff !  ©Arnaud SoulierWith my friend La Quy Tung, we try to reduce noise from street with strange stuff !  © Arnaud SoulierThe last clap ! @ Arnaud SoulierOn the motorbike with Tien, sound assistant, to record some ambiences of Hanoi ! © Le Hoang AnhPhotogramme du film - Linh-Dan PhamFranck Desmoulins (Sound editor) and Arnaud Soulier (Location recordist) work at sound editing in Hanoi's auditorium of Hoang Hoa Tham street - Hanoi -Vietnam ©Arnaud SoulierFranck Desmoulins (Sound editor) and Arnaud Soulier (Location recordist) work at sound editing in Hanoi's auditorium of Hoang Hoa Tham street - Hanoi -Vietnam ©Arnaud SoulierFranck Desmoulins (Sound editor), work at sound editing in Hanoi's auditorium of Hoang Hoa Tham street - Hanoi -Vietnam ©Arnaud SoulierRoman Dymny (Mixer), work at  premix in Hanoi's auditorium of Hoang Hoa Tham street - Hanoi -Vietnam ©Arnaud SoulierRoman Dymny (Mixer), Franck Desmoulins (Sound editor), Bui Thac Chuyen (Director) et Miss Ngha (Sound assistant) work at  premix in Hanoi's auditorium of Hoang Hoa Tham street - Hanoi -Vietnam ©Arnaud SoulierFinal mixing in Technicolor's studio with Roman Dymny - Bangkok - Thaïland ©Arnaud SoulierTechnicolor's studio in Bangkok - Thaïlande. ©Arnaud SoulierEverybody is working for the final mixing in Technicolor's studio in Bangkok - Thaïland. ©Arnaud SoulierBui Thac Chuyen and Arnaud Soulier during mixing in Technicolor's studio in Bangkok - Thaïlande. ©Roman DymnyThe reward, after many months of hard work , the movie gets award at La Mostra of Venice. Photo session with Bui Thac Chuyen, the director, Do Thi Hai Yen and Linh-Dan Pham the two main actors.Just before first screening at La Mostra of Venice, Do Thi Hai Yen, Bui Thac Chuyen, Linh-Dan Pham and Claire Agnès Lajoumard. ©Arnaud SoulierBui Thac Chuyen, director, with Do Thi Hai Yen and Linh-Dan Pham, main actors of the movie, with the director of Vietnam movie department. Photos session on the red carpet before the first screening at La Mostra of Venice - Venice Festival.Before the first screening, photos session for Do Thi Hai Yen and Linh-Dan Pham, the main actors of the movie, and Marco Muller, president of La Mostra of Venice - Venice Festival. ©Arnaud SoulierClaire Agnès Lajoumard, French Co-producer, on the red carpet before the first Screening at La Mostra of Venice - Venice Festival ©Arnaud SoulierThe Fucking Film ! Claire Agnès Lajoumard (French Producer) et Julie Béziau (Editor) in vaporetto - Venice Festival. ©Arnaud SoulierrThe Fucking Film ! Arnaud Soulier (Location recordist) in vaporetto - Venice Festival ©Jonathan LemonierThe Fucking Film ! Jonathan Lemonier (Sound assistant) in the vaporetto - Venice Festival. ©Arnaud SoulierThe Fucking Film ! Bui Thac Chuyen (Director) - Venice Festival. ©Arnaud SoulierThe Fucking Film ! Franck Desmoulins (Sound editor) and Roman Dymny (Mixer) in the vaporetto - Venice Festival. ©Arnaud SoulierThe crazy crew ! Also called The Familly, in a front of Venice railway Station. Since many months, we used to call this movie “ The fucking film !“ Julie Béziau (Editor), Roman Dymny (mixer), Claire Agnès Lajoumard (Producer), Arnaud Soulier (Location recordist), Franck Desmoulins (Sound editor) et Jonathan Lemonier (Sound assistant) ©Arnaud Soulier