Silence, action! : The Home Movie Factory

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If you do not know it yet (haven’t you read this blog post? What about this one? ), I’ve been pretty passionate about something for a while now. It comes before traveling, photography and video games: Cinema! I had this revelation when I was about 5 years old. I stumbled upon “Amadeus” by Milos Forman, a movie about the life of the prodigious Mozart and it was love at first sight. It’s a real window into other times and other worlds and even other galaxies, I knew then that Cinema would never leave me again … So it is with undisguised pleasure that I present to you today the mad Michel Gondry project (“Eternal Sunshine of the spotless mind”, “Be Kind rewind!”, “the Science of Sleep” etc.): The Home Movie Factory in Roubaix.

La Condition Publique entrance - Roubaix, France The Home Movie factory - Roubaix, France The Home Movie Factory - Roubaix, France

What is the Home Movie Factory?

Remember those sweet afternoons of our childhood, when we borrowed the camera from Dad. With two or three friends, we had fun creating our own films – most of which were just reinterpretations of already existing films, let’s be honest. Half a coconut as an adventurer hat, a stick used as a gun and the family dog acting as all of the heroes’ horses as well as the T-Rex chasing them. It was a beautiful and incomprehesible mess for one you had lost their child’s eyes.
Well the Home Movie Factory is all of that and even more. Because here, they don’t only suggest to have you eat a delicious Proust madeleine but to relive it! And the best part of it all is that it doesn’t cost a penny, what more can you ask for?

Haberdashery set at The Home Movie Factory - Roubaix, France The walk to the beach at The Home Movie Factory - Roubaix, France The 1000 portraits gallery - Roubaix, France Train trip set at The Home Movie Factory - Roubaix, France Beach scenery at The Home Movie Factory - Roubaix, France

After New York, Sao Paulo, Paris, Rotterdam, Johannesburg, Moscow, Casablanca, Tokyo and Cannes, The Home Movie Factory was set up in the North of our beautiful country, France. It was set up at the Condition Public in Roubaix to be more specific. It’s pretty simple: you sign up for a session and you find yourself matched with a dozen strangers to make a short film in a matter of hours. Three to be exact. To help you, Michel Gondry has developed a set of instructions to guide you. So first, you’ll have to define each person’s role : the actors, the cameraman, the director etc … Then you’ll have to write the script of the movie, choose the costumes and move up to shooting it. The artisanal value, or “suede” for Gondry fans, being at the center of the experience, no editing or post-production will be possible. Every scene must be shot properly and in chronological order! As for the various special effects you might need? Well you’ll have to be inventive and run them in real time. Even better, at the end of it all a single DVD will be published for the whole group. Thus forcing the ten participants who didn’t know each other at the beginning of the adventure to stay in touch in order to lend the film to one another.

Roadtrip set at The Home Movie Factory - Roubaix, France Brainstorming room at The Home Movie Factory - Roubaix, France Urban set at The Home Movie Factory - Roubaix, France Space optimization at The Home Movie Factory - Roubaix, France

What about behind the scenes?

It’s difficult to imagine all the hard work required for the rehabilitation of the place in a lifelike movie set! Overall, it’s a little over fifteen sets that coexist under the same roof! And yet, you don’t know everything. Indeed the Home Movie Factory makes a clean sweep of the past for each destination and provides new costumes and sets, inspired by the city where it’s set up. And this is how the students of the Roubaix School of Applied Arts and Textile were put to work, imagining the scenery while confronting the technical challenges in their achievements. A wonderful opportunity for them to show the extent of their talent and work with a professional like Gondry. But also quite a challenge! Congratulations to them for all their hard work that allowed me to literally fall back into childhood during this visit. I am now offering you a visit of the place with the video below:

Since you should always care about your Alimentation…

Finally, between two shoots I highly recommend you to go on and eat at L’Alimentation. It’s a restaurant inside La Condition Publique, which, in addition to providing delicious food and beautiful surroundings quite in tune with the times, is the origin of an initiative to be warmly considered. Indeed, almost all of the staff employed for the service and in the kitchens is people with disabilities that provided a perfect service. Let’s hope that this will give some ideas to others!

L'Alimentation restaurant - Roubaix, France Raw and cooked salmon duo squid ink crumble and mashed carrot L'Alimentation - Roubaix, France

This article was written as part of a partnership with the Lille Tourist Office and the Roubaix Tourist Office. Nevertheless, any opinion expressed here is our own and has not been subjected to any influence. A huge thank you to the Condition Publique staff and to Audrey and Florence for your joyful and kind welcome!

Posted by Nath et Séb

We're passionate travel bloggers, always pacing the world looking for its most beautiful jewels. Culture, gastronomy, landscapes and encounters, you'll find all of this on our blog and much more!

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