Shoot your short film in Paris

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Next to New York, Paris is perhaps the most filmed city in the world. Its beautifully preserved buildings from bygone eras often serve as backdrops for many high-profile international film productions.

One such building is the Casino Barrière Enghien-les-Bains, the oldest casino in Paris. It was originally built in 1901 until it was converted into a hospital during the First World War. In 1988, the Barriere Casino Group brought the property and transformed it into a modern casino where people from all over come to play roulette and poker, among other games.

Like filmmaking, poker is also a French invention. It evolved from a card game brought to Louisiana in America by the French settlers. This foreign game, called poque, had only 20 cards and played by only four players. It would be adapted by patrons of saloons and eventually become the national pastime of the fledgling nation. Today, poker is played across countries, including its birthplace, France. Poker players both professional and recreational continue to increase in number through online poker sites like Partypoker.fr.

Poker and Paris are two things with which many people have strong attachment. The affection filmmakers feel for Paris is best shown in the 2006 film Paris, Je T’aime. The two-hour anthology is a collection of 18 short films contributed by leading contemporary directors like Ethan and Joel Coen and Gus Van Sant. Each short film takes place in a specific neighborhood in Paris.

If you’re an aspiring filmmaker in Paris, you will never run out of resources to produce a short film with. Finding an audience for your film won’t be a problem, too, what with all the film festivals happening in the city all throughout the year.

The web site of the non-profit organization Maison du Film Court is a one-stop-shop for filmmakers on a budget. Its database includes names of post-production houses, screening rooms, as well as schedules of short-term film classes.

The Maison website is also a place where you can post your casting call. Otherwise, there are a variety of French casting sites like castprod.com and castingdujour.com. Audition announcements can also be placed in general interest ad-posting sites like craiglist.fr and angloInfo Paris.

Access to locations such as parks, monuments and belle époque buildings would require you to secure a permit from the local government. Film France published a guide on how can you go about securing such permits.The guide also includes an illustrated list of locations all over France; so, should you not find the right location in Paris for that confrontation scene, you can always refer to the guide for alternatives.

A low-cost, independent cinema house would be the perfect venue to screen your film.These cinemas often have small yet loyal clientele.You can also join free-entry (no entry fee) film festivals like the Silhouette Film Festival, the only film festival in France where the screenings are done outdoors.

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