How France Télévisions puts everything in its studios and not just for “Un si grand soleil”

In spring 2018, while the studios ofSuch a great sun, in Vendargues (Hérault), Delphine Ernotte was already seeing things in a big way, when cutting the ribbon. This huge hangar, hidden in the depths of an industrial zone, was to accommodate “a large-scale national industrial project. […] which will make the glory of the French public audio-visual one, confided the president of France Televisions. A “little Hollywood of the series”, she enthused.

She had hardly exaggerated: a little more than three years later, the studios of Vendargues became a true flagship, for the productions of the public service. And not just for Such a great sun. The site also hosted the filming of Pennac (s), a detective series whose pilot will soon be broadcast on France 3. And other homemade fictions should be made here. But also external projects, such as the feature film You won’t kill anymore, directed by Cécilia Rouaud.

A new virtual studio

So obviously, in Vendargues, you have to push the walls. From 16,000 m2, the studios will gradually “double their surface”, indicates France Televisions. They will host new spaces, including a new virtual studio of 600 m2, equipped with green backgrounds and LED walls, which “will complement the current equipment”, in order to project, during filming, sets and 3D backgrounds in time. real. A new tool at the cutting edge of technology developed with the care of the Montpellier start-up Les tontons truqueurs, queen of visual effects, in which France Télévisions has invested.

A place for post-production of 600 m2 will also see the light of day. “Post-production will reach Vendargues by June,” says Olivier Roelens, executive producer at France Télévisions. Until now, this tool, which mobilizes around twenty people, was in Saint-Cloud. This concerns editing, mixing or grading. It will be much more practical, much more efficient for the teams. “

A stock of sets for the whole group

In November, already, France Télévisions, which relies on Vendargues, had opened an XXL carpentry there to manufacture the sets ofSuch a great sun, of course, but alsoAlex Hugo, of Candice Renoir, of More beautiful life, and some broadcasts. “The place also hosts a pooled stock of accessories, sets, furniture and costumes for the entire group,” explains Olivier Roelens. So if Candice Renoir needs a new police armband, she’ll find it in Vendargues.

In the XXL carpentry of France Télévisions, in Vendargues – N. Bonzom / Maxele Presse

But to keep this huge hive running, you need people. France Télévisions, which already employs a good number of actors and technicians from Occitanie, has joined forces with local schools to find talent, in particular the University of Montpellier, Art FX, ESMA and Traveling. In these establishments, training has been adapted to meet the needs of series filming. “We respond to specific requests from France Télévisions,” confides Laurent Mesguich, director of the Traveling film and television school in Mauguio. We have created training for machinist, electrician and lighting technician and props. “

Thirty-six people have been trained by the establishment in these three streams. All were hired, in part by France TV Studio, the production subsidiary of the public group. In addition, a new training course assistant has been opened to Traveling. “For a school like ours, it’s a great springboard,” continues Laurent Mesguich. We get out of school, we have a job. “It is thus” a sector of excellence in the field of production “that France Télévisions wishes to see born in Occitanie.

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