“Babyphone”, the scary audio thriller by Ana Girardot and shot 360 degrees

After having been Marc’s best enemy in the “La Flamme” and “Le Flambeau” series for Canal+, actress Ana Girardot embarked on the production of innovative podcasts. Called “Babyphone”, this breathtaking and naturally immersive fiction was produced in a 360-degree universe, thanks to binaural sound recordings.

With a microphone resembling a real human head, dialogues and noises faithful to reality, resonate in space. Microphones placed on the forehead of Ana Girardot or Félix Moati plunge the listener into the skin of each character. And increases the spatialization of each noise. All around us, the house creaks, the doors slam, the forest creaks, the baby cries, a strange voice growls. To form a sound piece in the form of a disturbing thriller.

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Ana Girardot captures the sounds of the forest. (JARED ZAGHA / HAT FILMS / CANAL+)

The story is that of any good self-respecting horror film. A young couple of boho Parisians, Agathe (Ana Girardot) and Noah (Félix Moati), have just bought an isolated house near a forest. He decides to open his restaurant in the nearest village. She, after her maternity leave, will resume her freelance work. In this old house typical of horror movies, a scary child’s room is discovered behind a partition. Despite the heavy atmosphere, Agathe decides to install her young son there. But to spy on the slightest noises with a baby monitor found on site. The strange decor of this sound thriller, imagined by Ana Girardot, is planted. And nothing will go as planned. But, through this three-dimensional din, the listener is now an integral part of the story.

Listen as if you were there

This sound spatialization process is probably one of the most successful in a podcast project in France. It almost gives the feeling of plunging back, without the image but for the psychological tension created, in a kind of “Blair Witch Project”.

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This independent horror film from Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sánchez, released in 1999, followed three film students making a documentary about the legendary witch of a Maryland village. Revolutionary at the time, and shot with a small shaky camera, the film plunged the viewer into the depths of the narrative arc. While increasing his stress with each scene. A little of what allows, through listening, the production on “Babyphone” by Ana Girardot, the mixing by Alexandre Widmer or even the editing by Thomas Bunio.

It is moreover in the latter’s house, at La Crèche in Deux-Sèvres, that this project was carried out. This editor and sound engineer recently launched his recording studio there. Paraphernalia which serves as a real setting for this astonishing fiction, as he details for “l’Obs”:

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“I have known Ana for fifteen years. As soon as we talked about this project, she wanted something immersive. She’s a very radical woman: she didn’t want us to cheat during the sound recordings during filming. The challenge was to shoot in this reduced space. In the end, 90% of what we hear was actually shot during the takes. The rest was added to the edit afterwards. The idea was not to disturb this binaural sound. »

This realism rings true. For about fifty minutes, the listener plunges ears and souls into this worrying world produced by Sarah Khafif. Letting themselves be overwhelmed by the nightmares and fears of these two high-ranking actors, who gradually sink into depression. In particular the heroine embodied by Ana Girardot, a young mother who has become superprotective because of the mental load that falls on her. And panic at the slightest suspicious noise. Like this podcast, the game of Félix Moati and Ana Girardot is part of reality. And sounds larger than life.

« Babyphone »audio thriller directed by Ana Girardot, with Ana Girardot, Félix Moati, Niseema Theillaud and Hippolyte Girardot, on MyCanal from January 13.

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