French news agency and production company Caméra Subjective, founded and managed by Alexandre Amiel, is prepping a major documentary series about possible futures for the year 2080, distributed by Balanga.
With a budget of €2.4 million ($2.7 million), the project has backing from French pay TV company Canal Plus, support from the CNC and regional aid programs, and is in advanced negotiations with Chinese and American streaming platforms.
It is coproduced with Jean Mach of Mad Films, and exec produced by Pierre Lergenmuller. It will be directed by Lergenmuller and Sarah Carpentier.
The documentary will interview eight experts per episode, who will talk about possible alternative futures – some bright, others dark – focusing on topics such as genetic engineering, robotics, cloning, artificial intelligence, nano technology, autonomous drones, colonization of Mars, and human-machine hybridization.
The four episodes of the first season will explore the questions of mobility, food, entertainment and health.
In addition to using CGI and motion capture, half of the effects will be based on virtual production technology, as used in Disney’s series “The Mandalorian.”
Amiel explains that it is a forward-looking documentary that will use sci-fi and fiction codes to make it more intriguing, but will have a strong journalistic foundation.
Since 2004, Caméra Subjective has produced hard-hitting political and cultural shows and over 100 documentaries that have secured top ratings in France, including series such as “My Life Made in France” about someone who tries to live for a year solely using French-made products, and four seasons of “Why Do They Hate Us?” about different social and ethnic groups in France that are subjected to discrimination.
Christophe Bochnacki, Balanga’s president, introduced Amiel to Mad Films, and they put together the project.
Amiel’s goal is to paint alternative futures, but he does not aim to provide a primarily dystopian vision, as found in fiction series such as “Black Mirror.”
“The advantage of using VFX is that we can not only hear scientists talk about possible futures, but actually see how they may look. That will make the project much more accessible to audiences,” says Amiel.
Lergenmuller explains that the goal is to use CGI to create an immersive world, that will show different possible futures. He says that one of the inspirations for the project is Alfonso Cuarón’s 2006 science fiction action-thriller “Children of Men.”
Virtual production technology will use 100% digital sets that enable the actors to interact directly with the CGI, rather than depending solely on green screens and their imagination.
“The advantage of virtual production is that although it requires more preparation, post-production is much easier and it is more intuitive for actors,” explains the helmer.
“The project isn’t just about forecasting the future it’s about what future we would like to have. The experts will paint different visions and different ways forward. Then it’s up to us to choose.”