Shot last year in Montreal, the film “Clouds” is directed and produced by Justin Baldoni. In an interview, the filmmaker explains how this true story of a teenager with cancer is still relevant today.
“Clouds” follows 17-year-old Zach Sobiech (Fin Argus) as he learns that his cancer has worsened and has only a few months left to live. With the support of his parents (Neve Campbell and Tom Everett Scott) and his girlfriend Amy (Madison Iseman), he will undertake to make the most of the time that remains to him and will decide to live his dream by becoming a musician.
For the love of Montreal
The first turn of the crank was given a year ago, almost to the day, a reminder that Justin Baldoni uses to remember his experience in Montreal. “You are great in Montreal!” He says straight out at the start of the interview via video.
“Several reasons explain my choice to shoot with you,” he says. The first is that I had never been there before and I really wanted to shoot this film in a fun place since the script is very emotional. […] Since I am invested in the films that I make, I didn’t want to be in one of those states in the United States that are in the middle of nowhere. So I decided to shoot in a place where we could be surrounded by culture. ”
“Then, Montreal looks like Minnesota with its river, the greenery, and even the style of the houses. “Clouds” also takes place in France and Old Montreal is perfect. We also chose Montreal because of the tax advantages. Ah yes, and let’s be honest … the food too. I really wanted to eat well! Because it must be said that Montreal has some of the best restaurants in the world! […] And yes, I must admit that I gained weight during my stay. “
“The people in Montreal are an integral part of what made this filming experience so wonderful,” he adds. The energy of the city is extremely special, the people are nicer and warmer than here in Los Angeles. It’s a very welcoming city. ”
For the filmmaker and producer, the fact that “Clouds” was filmed before the pandemic does not change the power of his message. “I wanted to make this feature film because I am convinced that the story is universal since it speaks of human experience. It’s a story of hope, of not letting what happens to us define us. Yes, unfortunately, this film is all the more relevant today, in the midst of a pandemic. ”
Rarely, Justin Baldoni is a producer and was able to choose between waiting for the end of the pandemic and selling the film to another distributor, or changing the mode of distribution. “It was my studio that had the final say on how the film was going to be broadcast. We bought back the half that belonged to Warner Bros. Studios. and sold it to Disney +. ”
“I am confident that once the situation is safe for everyone again, the cinemas will come back. It’s a culture (going to see a movie in theaters) that has existed for a hundred years. It’s entertainment, it’s the place we come together as a community to have a common experience. This is where we go to forget our difficulties and live with someone else’s. ”
“I believe that, for now, a movie like ‘Clouds’ is best served by streaming. As a director, do I want my film to hit theaters and make US $ 100 million because that way I’m going to make lots of money? Of course. But first and foremost I’m in an industry that changes hearts, that’s why I’m a director. I’m not here to make hundreds of millions, have 75 cars and 15 homes. Would that be nice? Yes. But that’s not what I would do with my money. I would probably give it away if I was in a position to do so. I’m here to touch people’s hearts, to try to change the world and leave this place better than I found it. ”
- “Clouds” is available on Disney +.