French film bodies have outlined how they plan to keep disruption caused by the 2024 summer Olympics in Paris to a minimum.
“Filming activity will be disrupted, but not completely stopped,” said CNC president Dominique Boutonnat, who was joined by other executives from the body, as well as Paris’ various film commissions, at an event attended by representatives for crew, producers and other industry.
The Olympic Games (July 26 – August 11) and Paralympics (August 28 – September 8) are expected to attract upwards of 10 million people, including athletes, spectators, media and volunteers.
“Not surprisingly, July and August will be a complicated couple of months,” admits Michel Gomez, executive director of the city of Paris’ Mission Cinema department. “It will be impossible to imagine shooting a major period film or movie with action sequences during that time.”
The Olympics are arriving amid what Gomez calls parallel “phenomenons”, an increase in both “period films” that he defines as any projects that involve removing all traces of modern cars, trucks and inhabitants, and “stunt films” with action sequences like car chases that have already made filming in such a dense urban location like Paris complicated. This summer, between June, July and August, Paris hosted upwards of 2,000 hours of shooting alone on film and TV series, including The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon and John Woo’s The Killer remake.
Filming will be limited within the central Olympic site zones from June 16 – September 15, 2024, but during the preparation and dismantling periods of the games, from mid-March through nid-June and mid-September through end of October, selected filming can take place. Projects during the period will be classified as either “standard” or “exceptional,” with exceptional shoots comprising such “period or action films”.
“We can still shoot modern films with normal-sized crews this summer in Paris and we are.” He added: “Until the end of June, if we prepare well, if we anticipate, we will be able to film most projects in Paris.”
As part of the Olympic preparations, Film France has also launched the hashtag #parislookalike to inspire producers with replacement locations for iconic Parisian locations, for example the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Reims as a stand-in for Paris’ famed Notre-Dame church or the Pont de l’Université bridge in Lyon instead of a bridge along the Seine river.
Hausmann-style buildings in other French cities like Marseille, Bordeaux, Rennes, Lyon, Strasbourg and Reims and towns on the outskirts of Paris like Vincennes, Saint-Mandé and Courbevoie also provide “Postcard Paris” shots for feature films and audiovisual productions.
The CNC also highlighted how by 2024, France will be home to more than 20 studios offering 50,000 m2 of set space including 12 studios with at least one 800 m2 set. Among the 2,200 locations referenced by the Film Paris region in a vast database, 1,683 of them are outside of the Olympic zones.
In the neighbouring Ile-de-France region, studios including the Studios de Bry, Studios de Monjoie, Dark Matters, TSF Epinay, Studios SETS and Transpastudio La Courneuve-Eye Lite Studio will be accessible. As will several other studios across France such as the ever-expanding Provence Studios and La Victorine in the South and other vast spaces in Occitanie, the Grand Est, Nouvelle-Acquitaine and Auvergne-Rhône Alpes.
In addition to Paris’ film organisations, France also boasts 35 film commissions that have been working to accommodate shoots during the period and throughout the year.
However, time is of the essence as the city gears up for the colossal event and productions that had been delayed due to strikes in Hollywood start to kick back up in the weeks ahead.
“For your shoots next year, now is the time to act before the curtain closes,” Gomez said.