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Veteran producer Nicolas Bétrancourt brings the world to France.  Decades of experience shooting award-winning commercial films and music videos in his home country have served him well during recent years dedicated to providing great crews, amazing natural sets, and the guilty pleasure of a glass of wine or two or three with filmmakers and photographers from all over the planet. Because what’s the point of shooting in France if you don’t enjoy wine at the end of the day, honestly?

Nico, as he is widely known, was born in Le Havre, France, in the 60’s. Facing Southampton, not so far from Liverpool, he could be considered the 6th or 7th Beatle. Really!  His choice of images over music may have cost recording studios a rising star, but the film industry got a hell of a producer instead.

As a young producer, Nico surfed the late 80’s wave of advertising and music videos working at Premiere Heure, the hippest production company in town.  This fiery chap got involved in no less than a thousand of ad films and music videos and even won the very first award for a music video in France.

Later established with a bunch of mavericks under the famous flag « C’est La Vie Productions » in Paris and London, Nico enlivened the 90’s with the most popular music videos and advertising films of the decade.

But as most all great rock’n’roll bands, C’est La Vie Prod’s skyrocketing success sputtered out, and Nico took his life back as he embarked on a new millennium.

Nicolas Bétrancourt serves up production services in France with the knowledge and experience gained producing his own projects worldwide.   As the PSN France Partner, he offers a few keys to successful production in France in this recent discussion.

Q:  Nicolas, what could be the best reasons to shoot in France?

A:  Well, there are too many to list here but…seriously, French locations are renowned worldwide.  Of course, one may think about our historical monuments, Paris the romantic city, etc. But think about the Alps, the wild shores of Brittany, the wide beaches of Normandy, and the contemporary buildings.  I know of at least 20 cities where we could easily shoot cinematic sequences!

Q:  But in France the problem is still the language, isn’t it?

A: Ah! While that was true 10 years ago, our crew nowadays are almost all fluent in English. The young guns, new generation travels quite a lot. Many DOP’s, steadycams, and post-production folks are well-known abroad, and that’s thanks, in part, to being able to work in English. 

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“Look forward to working together next year!”  Those parting words from Generator UK Executive Producer Matt Brown bring smiles to our crew in France. 

A creative eye for location solutions went a long way to earning such praise during our shoot for Microsoft Xbox with agency Crispin Porter + Boguski. 

Zlatan Ibrahimovic was chosen to play “The One” in this TVC requiring a no less singular setting where the international football star, and video game fan, enjoys a laugh at his own persona.  Click here to see film.

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But the mold is broken when horse trades stable for castle in this latest spot featuring the Citroen DS 5LS.  Click here for a look.

PPI China looked to France because it wanted to shoot in the Palace of Versailles.   But the two-day permit they wanted is tough to come by.  And the doors were too narrow to get the Citroen sedan inside.

A next natural step was to consider Vaux le Vicomte, also known as le petit Versailles, but a film-friendly owner still couldn’t overcome the size of the doors. 

The same look and spirit was found in the Chapelle of the Beaux Arts in Paris.  With the setting decided on, we now turned our attention to horsepower. 

Mario Luraschi and his team are amongst the top horse-training specialists in Europe.  Our horse Baruto captivated all the crew as he strode through aristocratic settings for visions out of a dreamscape. 

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