Manaki Brothers


Today, the French cinematographer, Jean-Marie Dreujou, had his workshop in the cinema ‘Manaki’ in Bitola. He talked about the filming of Notre Dame on
Fire. Dreujou, who has just completed the 60 th film in his career is a cinematographer nominated and awarded for best cinematography many
times and he is the former President of the French Society of Cinmatographers.
“This is a film experience like no other. The true story about the men and women who saved Notre Dame,” says the trailer for the film screened for the
audience in the cinema ‘Manaki’.

On 15 April 2019, the cathedral Notre Dame in Paris caught fire and this was the greatest catastrophe in its history. Both men and women risked their lives
to save this exceptionally important historical landmark.
“The script for the film was written during the pandemics. It was then that we started with preproduction process as well. A plastic model of the cathedral
was made for the purposes of the film. We had to explain very clearly what the goal was and how the story of the film was to develop. We filmed in the
cathedrals in Bourges and Sens, because of their similarity with Notre Dame,” said Dreujou.
When the director Jean-Jacques Annaud gave him the script, Dreujou said that every scene in it was numbered.
“Many of the scenes with the fire were filmed in a studio. When Notre Dane starts burning, it is very dark. I filmed at night because I had a complete
control of the light I used. All other scenes were filmed during the day, and only the fire scenes were filmed at night,” said the cinematographer.
While showing some videos of the filming process, Dreujou said that they had been testing for two months before the filming to see what the fire was going
to look like.
“We spent many a day in the studio testing the fire. We did so many fire tests. And we spent a lot of time with firemen too in order to explain the entire
process. This was a fairly challenging job,” said the cinematographer.
It took nine months to build the sets and shoot the film. The filming locations included the cathedrals of Bourges and Sense and a film studio. In April 2020, the director Jean-Jacques Annaud announced that he would like to make a film about the cathedral fire. The filming began in March 2021. The Bourges cathedral was chosen because of its similarity to Notre Dame. The crew then continued filming in a studio in Cité du Cinéma. There are scenes in the film that were shot in Versailles, as well as in Amiens cathedral, whose spire and other segments of the building are similar to those of Notre Dame.

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