M6 rebroadcast our happy days, second feature film by Eric Toledano and Olivier Nakache. A film that has become a classic, back behind the scenes of its development.
1 / From reality to fiction
The two directors Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano met in an organization responsible for sending children on vacation. They quickly got along because they shared the same passion: cinema. They tried it with a short film about summer camps. “What we have experienced through all the stays, whether as children or as animators, has marked us. These are moments that we remember all our lives. We did not imagine this scenario, we drew on our emotions, our memories, to restore the summer atmosphere, energy, the power of feelings and the considerable impact of those moments ” remembers Olivier Nakache.
A small film which already has the plot of the feature film and calls on well-known faces (Lorànt Deutsch, Omar Sy, Fred testot).
2 / The first film in mind, but the second made
While they had already made their short film and already had the idea for the film, Olivier Nakache and Éric Toledano nevertheless worked first on I prefer that we remain friends. They looked at the scenario of our happy days during the preparation of their first film shot with Jean-Paul Rouve and Gérard Depardieu.
3 / Inspired by real events
“With our experience, we had enough to write two scenarios! This movie is filled with real life anecdotes that fit into the story. Children and animators are all inspired by one or more people we have met. Many of the characters exist ” relates Éric Toledano.
4 / From the summer camp …. to the plateaus
The two directors used as a backdrop a place they knew well as former animators and camp directors: “We even went to a colony in the castle where we filmed! ” laughs Eric Toledano. Ten years before the shooting, they were there to supervise children. And the director continues: “The castle was bought by the English who are completely renovating it, but we were lucky to arrive just at the right time. It got too good to be a colony, but during filming, we were able to put back the floral wallpapers, lino and Formica tables! “
5 / Difficulty filming with children
Often directors and actors explain that it is not easy to shoot with children. For this film, the two directors put themselves in difficulty because it is not one or two children present on the set, but several dozen! This challenge did not scare them: “With the number of children we had to manage, our experience as animators was very useful to us. We knew how to talk to them, by motivating them, without going too far “ explains Olivier Nakache. Eric Toledano notes that “Paradoxically, it is the little ones (…) who are the easiest. They are also very professional. Those who are fourteen are already aware of making films. They seek to control their image, and sometimes it takes five or six takes to get what you get in one take with the magic and innocence of the younger ones ”.
6 / Two days by train
Eric Toledano remembers that the scene of the train, in the first part of the film, was difficult to shoot: “We even did Paris-Mulhouse in the Corail train for 48 hours with little actors and more than sixty extras! After such days, we sleep well… ”
7 / Play a “normal guy”
At the time of the film’s release, in 2006, Jean-Paul Rouve, who plays Vincent, was very happy to play this role for a rather surprising reason: “He’s the most normal guy I’ve ever had to play!” (…) It is fascinating to do, but it is not easy (…). He is like everyone else, except that he will have to face everything at the same time while he is responsible for a horde of unleashed little ones ”.
8 / A meeting in China
Marilou Berry, and the two directors had a rather exotic first meeting: “I met Eric and Olivier in China, where I presented Lorraine Levy’s film, The first time I was 20? They were there with Jean-Paul for I prefer that we remain friends. They gave me the script. I liked the tone, the colo atmosphere, the kids and the richness of the very well described characters ”.
our happy days : summary of the story
Summer 1992. Vincent runs his first “summer camp”, supported by more or less experienced animators. From the start, the children are unmanageable: Guillaume submits those around him to a continual stream of questions, Léa refuses to turn off her walkman, little Charlotte has lost her suitcase, Benoît wants to go home … For three weeks, Vincent will be surprised in surprise.
our happy days, Monday July 12 at 9:05 p.m. on M6.