When he was working as TV Director for the French National TV France 2, France 3 and as a short film producer, Thibaud Tailland received many awards in various film festivals. Today he is living in Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam and France since 2006 and is the founder and Director-Producer of Wendigo Asia Vietnam a creative company at the service of the most demanding customers, in partnership with Wendigo Films Paris.
Bliss Saigon: Thibaud, how did you discover your talent for film and video? Have you always wanted to be a filmmaker and producer?
TT: Yes, from very young I loved cinema. For me being in a film theatre was like disappear and escape from the vagaries of this prosaic world. I felt there safe and living “in a world of essential things” as the sculptor Brancusi once said.
Bliss Saigon: Today you are the Founder of Wendigo Asia in Vietnam, and work as Director/producer. What exactly do you do? What are your key responsibilities for Wendigo?
TT: At Wendigo, we make communication films, whether it is mini-documentary, short fiction or classic advertising. But I try to keep this spirit coming from my love for cinema which is above all to tell stories. So apart from the communication films, I continue to make music videos, short fiction and I participate in competitions too. Regarding the nature of my work, I am present during the entire production process, from writing to filming and editing.
Khu Tao Song -Wowy+Karik (OFFICIAL VIDEO HD) ©SouthGanz 2010 – Co prodruction Antoine Vaillant
Bliss Saigon: As filmmaker, you made the smashing documentary film « Give to be given » about the CMI in Saigon recently. How did you come to make it? What drew you to tell this story?
TT: The theme of the film was very strong, so I was immediately excited to participate to this project talking about transmission of knowledge, fraternity, charity. It had to be shot in three different countries in a month; a good challenge and I love challenges!
GIVE TO BE GIVEN
Bliss Saigon: What was the film process? Can you talk a little bit about some of the specific production challenges you faced in this production? Is intuition also essential for you when you’re on set?
TT: The real challenge was to make a film keeping up with these doctors, what they do every day, their devotion. That was for me extremely intimidating and for that reason, I felt I had to make a film simple, limpid and bring enough emotions to express this common work that is the transmission of the knowledge. This film tells a beautiful thing, a story about solidarity between an emerging country Vietnam, which was once a developing country a few years ago and Senegal which is still today a developing country. What we had to express there was a chain of solidarity.
Bliss Saigon: A second big challenge?
TT: The other one was to coordinate the different film crews in 3 different countries in a minimum of time as we only have 4 weeks to produce the film.
Bliss Saigon: Some filmmaker says « One does not know the dedication it requires and how fucking time consuming it is to make a movie until you do it. » Do you agree with that?
TT: Yes indeed. The camera records the real and the real is by essence unpredictable, so the highest quality of a filmmaker, even if it has the best team or the best scenario is its ability to adapt. I like to think that he is like a boat captain in the middle of a rough sea.
Bliss Saigon: Directors often say that making a film is like raising a child. Would you agree? And are you stricter as a director/producer or as a father?
TT: I’ll start with the last question: I’m much more strict as a director! (laughs) Besides that, my son hates being under my orders when I make a movie. Otherwise, it’s true that when we produce a film, sometimes we have to live a long time with it, be with it, protect it as we would do it with a child, but a day comes when we have to let it be in the world, let it live its life and belong to others more than to yourself.
Bliss Saigon: Film has an unparalleled power to influence culture. Does it bother you to see that power sometimes abused?
TT: Napoleon once said: “We must speak to the eyes of the people!”, He thought that by nature people were more able to be corrupted by images than by any other medium. So yes, images can mislead people, when they carry a message that goes in that direction. I hate when it’s the situation. I am like Francois Truffaut the French filmmaker who said: “When you want to send a message, go to the post office”. It is necessary to prime the emotion, not the message.
Bliss Saigon: Today, what do you think you have learned as an artist from the process? About yourself, your work and the film industry?
TT: It’s a big question, but what I can say is that I keep learning for every movie I make. As far as the film industry is concerned, it’s going under powerful changes, as you can see it for the broadcasting for example, but I beleive that the strong classic way of making a film based on a solid scenario, still has good days ahead.