First Look At Jean-Pierre Jeunet's Young and Prodigious Spivet

I actually forgot to post these a few weeks ago but they never ‘went wide’ and they just came to mind again, so I’m happy to have relocated them easily enough.

Here we have are three images from the set of Jean-Pierre Jeunet‘s upcoming road movie, The Young and Prodigious Spivet. One of them features the Alexa M camera, which Jeunet is using to shoot the film in 3D and which was the focus of the piece at Creative Cow; the other two show scenes from the film during the shoot.

While you don’t see any of the adult stars, such as Helena Bonham Carter, Judy Davis and – of course! – Dominique Pinon in those images, you did get to see Kyle Catlett, in what appears to be Toy Story cosplay, as Spivet and Niamh Wilson as his older sister Gracie. The kid with the wires on his head – if that is indeed what we’re saying – may be Jakob Davies as Layton, but that’s just a guess.

To provide a little context, here’s a blurb for the original novel by Reif Larsen:

When twelve-year-old genius cartographer T. S. Spivet receives an unexpected phone call from the Smithsonian announcing he has won the prestigious Baird Award, life as normal—if you consider mapping dinner table conversations normal—is interrupted and a wild cross-country adventure begins, taking T. S. from his family home just north of Divide, Montana, to the museum’s hallowed halls.

Seems like a natural fit for Jeunet, who has regularly been drawn to the whimsical, exaggerated  and romantic. He co-wrote the film with Guillaume Laurant, his collaborator on Amelie, Micmacs and Very Long Engagement.

The film’s stereographer, Demetri Portelli, thinks that Jeunet has been working the 3D brilliantly:

This is an important film for the 3D industry, Jean-Pierre is a master filmmaker who is shooting very ambitious material on a modest budget. The film stands to prove that extraordinary 3D images can be created of the highest quality with a director who visualizes the story from its inception to be shot in ‘native 3D capture…  The director will seize many 3D opportunities ‘in the moment’ as he blocks the scenes and composes his shots. I am amazed at Jeunet’s storyboards and how he conceived the film originally in 3D from the script stage. He is playing with the depth space and the timing for his 3D moments.

If Jeunet actually, truthfully planned for 3D all the way along, could he be about to break down the confines of old, flat framing? We’re still waiting for a mainstream film where the stereo isn’t another facet of the cinematography tacked onto the 2D components but something that talks in a completely different language, eschewing flat plane geometries and arrangements for something deeper, rounder and more sculptural.

My eyes are watering. They can’t wait to gobble this one up.

The Young and Prodigious Spivet is set for a US release next autumn. A premiere at Cannes isn’t out of the question.

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