He is one of the rare French people to have made a name for himself thanks to the production of series.

David Hourrègue, president of the short format competition jury, is a regular at the Series Mania festival.

In 2019, he caused a sensation with the

Skam France

team , of which he directed the first six seasons for France.tv Slash.

In 2021, the

Germinal series,

which he directed for France Télévisions, aroused great emotion during its world premiere in the former mining town of Wallers Arenberg.

The standing ovation from the public, at the end of the first two episodes of 52 minutes each, was commensurate with the generosity and sincerity of the director, who walked away with the audience prize at the Lille-Hauts de France festival.

At 43, he speaks to

20 Minutes

of his trade, with the ardor of a twenty-something.

Faced with a plethora of series, what makes a series stand out?

Today, we cannot consider the analysis of the world of series without taking into account the plethoric side of the offer.

A good series, today more than ever, is a series that does not deny its nature and that goes to the bottom of its note of intent from a stylistic point of view.

Half measures are no longer the key word.

There's the assumed cynicism in

Succession

, the chivalrous peaks in

Game of Thrones

, the romance in

The Bridgerton Chronicle

.

People want real proposals.

So, the half-fig, half-grape period of trying to please as many people as possible has passed.

Why distinguish between short and long format series, do you find this distinction relevant?

No, it is absolutely irrelevant.

And I lived it, I made

Germinal

and

Skam.

When

Skam

exploded in its season 3, very objectively, it was difficult to miss the series.

We asked ourselves this question with the short formats jury.

We are supposed to judge with great benevolence works done to provoke a vibration in us.

We understand the concern for readability specific to the festival to categorize, but we see that there are different formats within the short format.

And we realize that we will judge these works on the same criteria as for a long series.

Did I vibrate?

Did it speak to me?

Was I blown away by the performance?

Did I understand the process?

Was I carried away?

Simply.

I agree with you, but I understand why and how.

There's a series you made that we know less about, it's "Cut", was this experience a good lesson for you?

After making my short film, where I had given everything I had, my money, my time, my energy and my faith, I was waiting for it to catch the eye of certain producers, who today speak to me.

And Terence Films are the only ones that came, except for a few pubs.

When Terence Films arrived with this project, at first, I was a little destabilized.

I can't find myself there, there isn't a sequence that I would have wanted to bring to the screen on my own.

But I found such sincerity in the approach and such joy in doing what they were doing, that I completely took my side.

It was also a call to humility.

I said to myself: “If that's all we're offering you for the moment, it's because you can't claim anything else”.

I took this as an incredible opportunity.

I had 7 to 8 sequences a day to shoot.

When I arrived on the set, I said to myself: "This sequence does not speak to you at the moment "T", but, what are you going to be able to find so that it speaks to the actor, to the editor, so that it speaks to you as a director and carries the viewer away?

When you shoot seven sequences a day, you have to be very fast and make the best decisions in the shortest time possible.

In the end, I still have an incredible tenderness for what is sometimes singled out as a series of flows.

so that it speaks to you as a director and carries the viewer away?

When you shoot seven sequences a day, you have to be very fast and make the best decisions in the shortest time possible.

In the end, I still have an incredible tenderness for what is sometimes singled out as a series of flows.

so that it speaks to you as a director and carries the viewer away?

When you shoot seven sequences a day, you have to be very fast and make the best decisions in the shortest time possible.

In the end, I still have an incredible tenderness for what is sometimes singled out as a series of flows.

Cut

taught me 80% of what I do today.

Do you feel freer when you're self-taught and haven't gone to film school?

On set, when the pressure is enormous like on

Germinal

, I tell the teams: “We are doing something magical.

“Obviously, when you have a budget of 12 million euros on your shoulders, the pressure reminds you, but I think I arrive on set every day knowing how far you have come to get there, how lucky it is. East.

I left on the starting line, surrounded by people whom I considered much more talented than me, and today, I am doing the job I dreamed of.

It took a lot of perseverance.

And yes, it is a freedom, even creative.

I always say to myself: “If you're here, it's because we trust you, so express yourself!

".

The worst thing would be to have taken this path and finally just be satisfied to fall into line.

Is the opposition between cinema and series still relevant?

Five years ago, my agent advised me to make a feature film after

Skam

.

I had offers.

But the horizon line has changed.

Making a series is just as valid and important as making a first film today.

We are talking about creativity and the freedom to seek.

In terms of means, the borders are thinner than ever.

When you make a first feature film, if you do well, you will have between 1.5 million and 2 million euros to do it.

It is strange to say that 1.5 million euros is the normal budget for a 52-minute episode.

I want to believe in some kind of wheel of time.

There, people are addicted to series… I admit to being very sensitive and currently very much in demand for a shorter experience.

Finding the intensity of cinema in the series, that's all we're looking for.

We have the impression that the screenwriters have taken over the world of series, how do you live with that?

I believe in collective strength.

Not so long ago, in cinema, it was "a production by", with the screenwriter's name and the director's name in smaller letters.

It's consistent, the producer is the one who creates the equation that leads to this.

Producers often identify themselves as talent scouts, people who give resources to talent, but it takes talent to create this equation.

Every day I see series saved on the editing bench and that we pay more attention to the authors, and that's normal.

But what would prevent the editors, when everyone agrees that this is the project's third writing, from claiming the same exposure soon?

I always find it hard not to see something quite egotistical in it.

I understand that someone who has been invisible wants to appear.

But the reality of creating a series, a film or any artistic work is always much more complex.

Yes, it is a sensitive subject.

The reality is that we all work together and the teams that work best together usually end up with the best project.

Would you see yourself directing only one episode of a series?

It's funny, because I'm being offered it right now.

It's complicated, it would have to be a very special series for me to go there.

I never had that relationship… Otherwise, I wouldn't have stayed on

Skam

for three years , I wouldn't have gone to

Germinal,

when I was offered

Mixte

.

What made the difference was that they told me: “You come and you take over the series”.

I need this freedom rather than wondering if I'm going to shake up the codes too much.

Intervening as a special guest on episodes is not my priority for the moment.

What makes your style?

It is constantly evolving.

The reality is that I approach all my sequences with total sincerity.

I show the events, the looks, as I see them on a daily basis.

In Skam, the sequences of kisses or love impulses that have remained in the collective imagination, there is nothing to tamper with there, I only brought to the screen the vision that I had , teenager, of those larger than life moments.

I try to listen to myself.

I am not fixed on a particular grammar.

Jean-Pierre Jeunet said recently that having too marked a style was the best way to become a has-been.

I want to believe that history imposes itself on me, we come back to the importance of the authors.

I love being challenged by a story, feeling in danger, that's what makes me most creative.

Victor Hugo said: "Form is from the bottom that rises to the surface"...

It's one of my hobbies!

What series have blown you away lately in terms of production?

I was very impressed with the pilot, exclusively the pilot, of

Yellowjackets

, a leading director and writer.

The object is quite impressive, there is nothing that exceeds, the American know-how pushed to its climax.

I am in love with the performances of the actors of

Succession

.

Even if I find that season 3 is a sin of pride, it was necessary to stop on the finale of season 2 absolutely insane.

But, we must continue, it is capitalism.

Maybe that's the problem with series, knowing when to stop.

I recently discovered the first three seasons of 

Game of Thrones

, wondering why people had become so addicted, and more importantly, why such a large audience had become addicted.

Even if the series is quite macho in its first seasons, I was still quite blown away by this work which exudes craftsmanship.

I like to feel that a lot of people sat around the table wondering how to make the best series possible.

And I can feel it from miles away.

What are your future projects?

I have been developing for months a project that is very close to my heart which takes place at the beginning of the 14th century, on the Middle Ages seen through a female gaze.

And I can assure you that we are not far from the project of my life!

Series

"Germinal": How to dust off this old classic by Emile Zola?

Series

EXCLUSIVE.

"Skam France": David Hourrègue leaves the series with "the feeling of accomplishment"

  • Hauts-de-France

  • Series

  • Lille

  • Mania Series

  • Skam

  • Festival

  • Germinal, new chapter

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