[VIDEO] “2080 no(s) futur(s)”: Canal+ canned its futuristic odyssey in Fabrègues

In recent weeks, a hangar at the Helios site in Fabrègues (formerly Schneider Electric) has hosted the filming of a fictional documentary “2080 future future(s)” for Canal+Docs, which should be released in the fall of 2023. Mad Films production in co-production with Camera Subjective.

We are in 2080, in a huge megalopolis. An XXL city full of technology and robots at the service of humans for a promising future or almost destroyed by wars, the climate, depending on the choices made in the very short term by humanity. This is what the Montpellier production company Mad Films is offering in co-production with Camera Subjective, for Canal+Docs, a documentary series in four episodes “2080 (No)s Futur(s)” which should be released on the encrypted channel at fall 2023.

The Hélios site in Fabrègues (formerly Schneider Electric and now occupied by the metropolis) was chosen to shoot the “real” sequences of the documentary. In one of the huge hangars, 60 meters of futuristic decorations of a street have been installed. Other scenes were filmed in the region, such as the locker room of the MHR for the sequence of a customized American football player.

Scenarios to imagine 2080

The street features a high-tech hospital entrance, a showcase of a mannequin clad in prostheses, a bicycle vending machine, a sushi bar and its articulated arms, the entrance to a hyperloop (a very high-speed train circulating in a tube, Ed). “The actors perform in front of these sets. The street will then be integrated into a virtual megalopolis which will be created using computer-generated images. One could imagine the Pic-Saint-Loup as an integral part of this megalopolis”, smiles Aïda Minet, production manager. Visual effects post-production is handled by Mad Films.

The story was written and directed by Pierre Lergenmüller and Sarah Carpentier. “We have established scenarios to imagine the possible or even probable world in 2080. We have consulted specialists from all over the world on our chosen themes, scientists. Even if it is complicated to anticipate, it remains a journalistic approach, emphasizes Alexandre Amiel, the eminent journalist reporter, founder of Camera Subjective. In storytelling, we imagine things that are desirable and things that are less so. In the scientific world, opinions are divided”. “We want the citizen who will watch to say to himself that he has the choice to suffer or to influence the future”, supports Jean Mach, the boss of the Montpellier production company Mad Films. In other words, a peaceful or apocalyptic future.

We can actually describe the future up to 50-60 years

The documentary series offers a mixture of interviews with scientists, futurists, fictionalized sequences “this will allow you to project yourself into what is being narrated”. The project has a budget of €2.2 million. Olivier Agogué, director of Canal+Docs programs explains: “It may seem expensive for a documentary but with 104 minutes of visual effects, we manage well”. While specifying that the series is also intended for export.

In the hangar, the stage is misted with smoke, a strange feeling emerges, à la “Blade Runner”. It’s the last day of shooting. Jean Yann plays Sake, a customized human, Marine is Jenna. They repeat again and again the scene of the moment, the technical team polishes the angles. “We can actually describe the world up to 50 to 60 years old. Beyond that it would become science fiction,” justify the producers. The latter mingle with the decor as extras. Perhaps to better understand the world of tomorrow. “Quiet set, please!” It’s on to the future.

Four episodes of 52 minutes each “2080 future future(s)” to discover

How will we eat in 2080? How will we be cured? How will we move? How will we have fun? Four episodes with, each time, the possibilities of the best… or the worst. To do so, the production summoned, among others, “scholars from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Hong Kong inventor of the artificial eye, Google pundits, star dancers, starred chefs, energy thinkers and engineers of the impossible, philosophers of the augmented man, limitless dreamers”. To be discovered in autumn 2023 on Canal+Docs and myCANAL.

From the Fabrègues Helios site to the year 2080

In 2018, the last Schneider Electric employees left the Fabrègues plant. The French firm manufactured electrical transformers here. In 2019, the place is left as is. It is in 2021 that the metropolis of Montpellier preempts the area to accommodate part of the technical services, the territorial pole grouping the maintenance of the roads, the green spaces.

The area is huge, with car parks as far as the eye can see and the Gardiole massif as a backdrop. Two giant sheds and a few administrative buildings with, planted in front, several charging stations for the community’s electric vehicles complete the panorama. But the metropolis has also dedicated the place to the Cultural and Creative Industries (CCI). For the future, the site should not change its destination, according to the local authority: “It will continue to accommodate technical services and it will benefit the cinema and audiovisual sector whose needs for filming locations are constantly growing for economic development. of this industry,” she said.

An offer that has not gone unnoticed by the Montpellier production company MAD Films, founded in 2010, whose studios are located near Agropolis. MAD Films has just finalized the production of “Déclics”, a popular science documentary series, preparing 2080 and the aquatic thriller Haute Pressure (feature film). Season 4 of “Points de Repères” and season 2 of “Déclics” are in development.

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