Puy du Fou invests 20 million euros for its new show on the beginnings of cinema
The Puy du Fou continues to make a movie… After producing his own feature film, ” Win or die “exhausted by critics but seen by more than 300,000 spectators, the park with 2.34 million visitors presented this Wednesday, March 8 a new show entirely dedicated to the first steps of the 7th art: “le Mime et l’Étoile” , visible from the reopening on April 8.
This 28-minute show is intended to be “a tribute to the pioneers, the Lumière brothers, Méliès, Keaton, Chaplin” but also a “dive into the heart of the Belle Époque, a period of our history known throughout the world”, summarized, during a press conference, the president of Puy du Fou, Nicolas de Villiers. Entirely designed in-house, right down to the original music, it joins the seven live shows already on offer in Vendée, such as “Le Dernier Panache” or “Le Bal des Oiseaux Ghosts”.
The pitch? In 1914, a director is about to start filming. On the bill, a star, Garance, but also a mime, a dreamy young Gypsy who will quickly fall under the spell of “the star”. “It’s a love story, very poetic. It carries a universal message: the magic of love can do anything. Because, the director is convinced, if this passion is sincere, it will bring color and sound into his film”, says Nicolas de Villiers.
The “largest investment in France for a live show”
To trace this idyll, the Puy du Fou teams had to meet some challenges. “The desire was to invite the spectator on the film set and to be able to watch the film unfold without moving from his seat and live, without special effects or glasses”, explains the park manager. The sets and costumes were therefore designed in shades of gray giving the impression of the black and white of the time. Thanks to specially created machinery, the whole thing is in perpetual motion, a sort of permanent tracking shot, and the 120 or so characters evolve on treadmills…
Designed over three years, “le Mime et l’Étoile” required a very large investment, “the largest in France for a live performance”, says Nicolas de Villiers: 20 million euros. Half was intended for the construction of a new theater of 3,800 m2, capable of accommodating 140 tons of decor and 2,000 spectators at each of the eight daily sessions. It also resulted in the hiring of about twenty people.
Dedicated to the 7th art, is the new show a new example of Puy du Fou’s growing interest in cinema? “There is no coincidence, smiles the president of the park. We continue to work on other film projects, learning lessons, trying to progress. Always on characters who have been little treated in the cinema or on moments in history about which we have things to say, whether old or more recent. »