Filmmaker Interview

POV: What are the current projects you are working on?

Eric Paul Fournier (EPF): I just returned from filming and researching an idea for a new film in the Mid-East.

Also, I am still involved in retooling our documentary on bull fighting The Corrida and the Cross with my long-time friend and filmmaking partner, the film's director Peter McCandless (who was cinematographer on my other documentaries — Of Civil Wrongs and Rights and Celebration).

Corrida is a very different film in style and approach to Of Civil Wrongs and Rights. It is not a "talking head" historical or anthropological study nor is it a "verité" film. We would like the film to be more an artistic journey where at the end the viewer has experienced something of the beauty and brutality of the Corrida, along with its cultural underpinnings. It should be a kaleidoscope of spectacle, passion, pain, courage, fear, brutality and redemption, all colliding together into a visceral knowledge, if not understanding, of this intriguing and controversial art form.

POV: Why did you decide to make a film about this specific subject?

EPF: There are many films I would like to make. As I mentioned earlier, I've just returned from three weeks in the Mid-East researching an idea for an upcoming film. Every day that I open the newspaper there is something that catches my eye I think would make a great film.

But, as John Lennon said, "life [in my case, work] is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans." Like Of Civil Wrongs and Rights, the Corrida just came along... this time via my friend and colleague Peter McCandless. It just caught my interest at the right time.

POV: What are your long-term plans as a filmmaker?

EPF: What I am currently most excited about is working on my first feature length fictional narrative film. Unfortunately, I am not at liberty to discuss it at length so let's leave it at that for now.

What interests me creatively about working in non-fiction film is how different the process of shooting and constructing the film is from a fictional narrative.In the latter, your challenges are to take what is on the page (the script) and translate it or realize your vision of it (hopefully, already fully formed) on film. You shoot only what is on the page. In the documentary it seems to me there can be no true script (unless you are making propaganda), just an outline, a set of goals, interest and questions. Then you must follow the camera, follow the research, follow the leads and then find your story, find your "script" out of this mass of material in the editorial process. This, for me, is ultimately a much harder, much more intellectually rigorous process then working in fiction films. That said... I am off to work on a "fictional narrative" before starting my next doc.