Rebuilding your life: five questions to the co-author and director of Plan B

Rebuilding Your Life: Five Questions for the Co-Writer and Director of Plan B< /p> UPDATE DAY

Jean-François Asselin's projects often have an original structure. Director of a hundred commercials and the first seasons of Pêcheurs, we owe him François en series and the film We are the others. With Jacques Drolet, a long-time accomplice in scriptwriting, he is developing Plan Bwhose first season garnered several Gemini. If the series almost did not have a sequel, it is proving to be a great success with an adaptation in English, international adaptations and a 4th season which proves that the franchise is not running out of steam. Plan B allows its protagonists to go back in time to change the course of their lives. 

Jessy comes from a dysfunctional environment, from the DPJ, he is released from prison. Has the news of recent years inspired you?

We always have a desire to renew ourselves. We wanted to focus on a character who comes from a more disadvantaged background. I must say that I have been a Big Brother for 18 years. It is an environment that I have encountered. We also wanted Plan Bfalls on him. Quickly, the subject imposed itself. He is a character who got off to a bad start, poorly educated, unloved. We wondered if we could rehabilitate it. Jessy is misogynistic, racist, he bullies his friend, gets bullied. It's a tough environment [about which] we didn't want to cheat to make it believable. 

Jean-François Asselin

The actors take on roles that we don't know much about. You transformed them.

Pier-Luc [Funk], we quickly love him on screen even if we might not have liked him at first. For me, what was very important is that we don't make up anyone. I wanted it to be raw. Patrice [Robitaille] liked going elsewhere. It's a slack. When he saw his costumes, he thought it was rough. Pier-Luc and Patrice were happy to meet again. They had previously played a father-son duo. They have a resemblance. Évelyne [Rompré – who plays an incapacitated and drug-addicted mother] has done an incredible job. His look, his way of speaking. For Dave [Étienne Galloy], we dyed his hair blonde. 

Jessy goes back in time at different times, multiple times. Was it sometimes confusing to shoot?

The great chance I had was to have written the series. But it is true that it was difficult for the actors. For Pier-Luc in particular. On block shootby plan to maximize the places. The scene in front of the bank, for example, we shot the A-B-C-D versions. This is the only season where we had to return the same case four times. We had a script girl who could tell if the Dupuis brothers are there or not, does Jessy have a cap, his glasses. Often there was only one line to make the difference. If for Jessy it's different, the other characters, they live the same case. And so that it doesn't get confusing for the public, we made sure that there was always a sentence like “you never told me that”. It’s very different from the English version that we shoot chronologically. One of the great strengths of Plan Bis that the viewer knows more than the characters. He knows exactly the same as the character who returns in time. At least until the bubble bursts.

There are a lot of racing scenes. Was it a challenge to shoot them?

We took the leap. Jessy is constantly on the run. It gave shape to the writing. But on set, it was very complex. We built a three-wheeled electric bike to cover long distances. When Jessy gets out of jail, he takes a shot, but each time, he is not quite in the same frame of mind. The team had to follow him when he jumps a fence, when he goes through a window. It's effective, you feel short of breath, it gives aesthetics. 

It was important for you to tackle strong social themes each season (suicide of a ado, feminicide, youth from an inadequate background)?

We write all the time without really knowing the end. What I like is that each season, we change. This series allowed me to be in the police world (season 3) then to find myself in Hochelaga, to deal with subjects that I would never have dealt with otherwise, because it would be too dramatic if we did not go back into the pass. It allows me to address questions that are realistic. It is very humanistic to try to understand things. But no matter how much you change events, the series shows that it doesn't work if you don't change yourself.

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