December 2022: the most valuable session

  • 17.02.2023

For its last session of the year 2022, Wallimage was confronted with difficult choices, because if the number of submitted projects is rather in the low range of the fund (11), most of the submitted files proposed very important expenses in the Walloon Region, inducing proportional requests.

Largo Winch, champion of regional investments.

While the title is usually given to animated series, the leader of the session is undoubtedly Largo Winch, the Price of Danger, initiated by Versus which also ensures the delegated production. This third installment of the franchise on the big screen will be directed by Belgian Olivier Masset-Depasse (Duelles) and is based on an adrenaline-filled script he co-wrote with Domenico La Porta and Giordano Gederlini by modernizing two comics by Jean Van Hamme. With 60 days of shooting in Belgium, Bulgaria and (especially) Thailand, the budget, although imposing for a Belgian film, remains very controlled by international standards. Nearly 3 million will be spent in Wallonia for a team of 65 regional staff including 14 station managers. The storyboard (Pascal Degrune), the shooting equipment, the rental of the dressing rooms, the canteen and the SFX will also be done in Wallonia while the postproduction will be done at Bardaf with Thomas Gauder at the mixing. The icing on the cake, Benuts will benefit from an envelope of 800,000 euros for 1,000 days of work to manage the digital special effects and the credits. A dream file!

While Largo will have to fight hard to get by against formidable enemies, it is against the elements that Emilie Dequenne is forced to fight in Surviving, an anticipation thriller shot in Morocco by French director Frédéric Jardin (Nuit blanche and many episodes of the series Engrenages). Umedia co-produces this genre film that takes 26 Walloons, including four postmasters, into the desert. The sound postproduction (sound effects, editing, mastering) will be done in Wallonia while Benuts will do part of the digital special effects.

Tarantula presented us with Death will come, a dark thriller inspired by Melville, to be directed (in French) by the German Christoph Hochhäusler. Sophie Verbeeck, Louis-Do de Lencquesaing and Vincent Romeo will shoot 15 days in Belgium and 22 in Luxembourg and Germany with 14 Walloon technicians at their side. In addition to the camera and machinery rental at TSF, the sound editing and sound effects will be located at the Pôle Image de Liège (Bardaf and Cob Studio).

Four animation projects to feed Walloon studios

While the latter two films proposed smaller expenditures, the four animation projects that were selected will make very significant investments in the Walloon Region.

Tenor of the session in this discipline, season 2 of Mick The Mini Chef was presented to us by Double agent. This hybrid comedy (52 episodes of 7 minutes) features the adventures of two young enthusiasts, who will plunge the viewer into a gastronomic universe where they will discover balanced, playful, varied and simple recipes imagined by the starred chef Nicolas Gautier. 50% of the animation of the series and the live shooting will be done in Wallonia. The whole post-production will be done at Genval-les-Dames including the French version and the sound design, the music will be signed by Pierre Gillet. All in one for a total control of the subject.

With a little less than 2 million of Walloon expenditure for Les Gardes-Chimères, Belvision is, as usual, at the top of the hierarchy of audiovisual activity providers for the Walloon Region. For this 2D series of 52 times 11 minutes, Dreamwall will take care of ¾ of the animation, that is 39 episodes. 21 people will be working there for a little over a year (19.45 full-time equivalents), including 4 management positions. In total, 4,787 man-days will be worked in Marcinelle. We will note with satisfaction that, for the first time, Dreamwall will reach parity between men and women in the production team.

The Decentralized Co-Production Council also decided to co-finance two animated feature films.

Dinogames was presented to us by Beside Productions (ex-Belga Productions). This 75 minutes 3D feature film was initiated in Spain. Two Walloon companies are involved in its production: Waooh! and Zest Studio. The image postproduction will be done at Genval-les-Dames.

For the first time in its 28-year history, the Dardenne brothers’ Films du Fleuve will co-produce an animated film. A prestigious feature film, it should be noted, since it will be directed by the Oscar winner Michel Hazanavicius on a sublime script by Jean-Claude Grumberg. Bernard Devillers ex-Mikros Liège) will supervise the animation process of The Most Valuable Commodity while a global team of 24 Walloons will participate in this 2D cartoon (the terms are claimed by the production). 21 people will work at Waooh! while color grading and mastering will be done at Sondr Wallonia and sound effects at Genval-les-Dames.

In addition to these seven new projects, Wallimage confirmed its participation in Io Capitano(Tarantula) and Un coup de Maître(Scope) which were represented to us after reconfiguration of the co-productions initially presented.

First review 2022

In all, it is 1.8 million euros that has been invested in this last session of 2022 for Walloon expenditure estimated at a minimum of 11.6 million.

This session concludes a year 2022 which will have seen Wallimage invest 6,878,500 euros in 43 works for regional expenses cumulating at least 42,033,694 euros, that is to say a record reinvestment ratio of 611.08%. The detailed report 2022 of Wallimage, all sections included, will be presented to the press and to the profession on March 15th in Mons and published on our website.