CANNES, France – French action director Chris Nahon is a multi-talented filmmaker with a fantastic career, directing movies such as ‘Kiss of the Dragon’ starring Jet Li and French blockbuster Empire of the Wolves with Jean Reno in the lead.
Chris is well known for his commercials, and has also delved into photography; he is meticulous in his decisions to create suspense, atmosphere and intrigue in his direction. His first movie, Kiss of the Dragon , produced by Luc Besson is gritty and visceral, and shows a dark underworld of corruption in Paris. The film included an international cast with renowned French actor Tchéky Karyo, who played an iconic role in the 1990 hit Nikita , written and directed by Luc Besson. Chris’ most recent film Blood The Last Vampire came out in 2009.
Interview with Chris Nahon
Iain: How did you get to direct your first major movie Kiss of the Dragon ?
Chris: Luc Besson asked to see my demo reel with my short films and commercials. He had heard of me beforehand. I then had a long rendez-vous with him and he asked me to direct the movie.
Iain: Is it important for a film director to be a good editor?
Chris: A film director doesn’t need to be an editor but must understand perfectly the language of a montage with his or her own perspective. A film is made in three big stages; the writing, the shooting and editing. Each step has its own importance and you can t make a mistake.
Iain: Who did you most enjoy working with on your previous movies?
Chris: The technicians working closely on the direction, The Chef Op, 1st AD, 1st AC and of course, the steadycam operator, if not I would be framing the shot myself. All these people are highly valuable and I try to have them with me on all my films.
Iain: Would you be interested in directing different genre movies in genre, which you re not familiar with, and are you in the process of working on a specific project at the moment?
Chris: I work on a lot of projects and try to do many that are different to what I have done before. My biggest frustration is the lack of freedom a director has on big projects. The last one was the perfect example. The script was changed during the shoot, and I had finished the editing only to have the rushes taken by the production company and re-edited, including special effects and sound design without my consent. They never showed it to me and refused to take my name off the credits.
Iain: Have you come across problems in the production phase that made it difficult to work the way you wanted?
Yes, sometimes it is very difficult to do your job with the respect you believe is merited. On Empire of the Wolves , the film’s production was halted before shooting the end, with the script changed and the budget cut into three parts. Finally, I was never so free as with Besson who notably doesn’t have this reputation.
Iain: What would be your advice to young filmmakers looking to enter the industry?
There is no rule. What matters is your own vision and to be clear about it.
To find our more about Chris’ work : http://chrisnahon.com
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