The Carhaisian Frédéric Hamelin came close to meeting in Malaga on March 6 to attend the famous Goya ceremony chaired by a certain Antonio Banderas. The fiction for which he edited his sound, ” The witches of Akelarre “, By Pablo Agüero, co-produced by Tita Prod, of Douarnenez, was there, in fact, nominated for” the best sound “. The film obtained five Goya’s, and even if it did not finally get the sound one, Frédéric Hamelin is delighted: “It was a great joy for us to have this nomination! We were finally invited to follow the ceremony live, but in video, ”he says.
A father hunter of sounds
You don’t become a sound engineer by chance. Frédéric first tried to imitate his father: “One of his hobbies was to hunt for sounds. I have always been surrounded by tape recorders at home, ”he says. At the same time as his studies of history and ethnology in Rennes, he developed a passion for free radios from 1981 onwards. There he was, for a time, a radio technician, where he learned editing. It was then that he began to ogle at the cinema, an “ideal medium for the expression of sound”.
The foot in the stirrup
In the “blessed period” of the regional cinematographic workshops (Arc) created by Jack Lang, he was led to do an internship at that of Quimper, coordinated by Nicole and Félix Le Garrec. It was there that he met two famous sound engineers, Jean-Pierre Ruh, named nine times to the Caesar, and Georges Prat. “They put my foot in the stirrup on feature films, initially films without great means, authors’ films little distributed or assistant director, and it all started like that”.
Face to face with Mitchum
Frédéric remembers his first “opulent shoot” alongside Jean-Pierre Ruh, “ Have a nice night “, From Jeannot Szwarc, with Guy Marchand and Michael Brandon. One thing leading to another, the Carhaisien will have to work on six films by Jeannot Szwarc and six by Georges Lautner, including “Présumé Dangerous”, with Robert Mitchum. “I was only 26 years old, I was self-taught, and because I spoke English, they made me eat every evening in front of Robert Mitchum to keep him company”. In 1993, he was also selected to lead the second sound team for the first part of the ” Visitors », By Jean-Marie Poiré, cult film with 13 million admissions. “I remember we laughed while reading the script, which is unusual,” he recalls.
Want to documentary
It is on a shoot that he will meet his future, Laure Boussard
Sound engineer Frédéric Hamelin says he has mixed and edited 102 films, most of them documentaries by another Carhaisian, director Philippe Guilloux. (The Telegram / Jean-Noël Potin) Frédéric then sets up a first editing room in Carhaix, which he will then ramp up. “I created the Chutt Sound Workshops in the 1980s, I kept this identity,” he explains. Since being upgraded in 2014, the sound engineer says he has mixed and edited 102 films, including most of the documentaries by another Carhaisian, director Philippe Guilloux. His filmography totals, moreover, 250 films
since he started.
“Hard to hear just!” “
In his den, the sound editor carries out, day after day, a meticulous work which is sometimes compared to “conjuring”. “The mixer is the first spectator of films,” he insists. “Our work is the last step before the public discovers the work. The moment when directors have to accept the film as it is and more as they dreamed it. Often, they cry at the end of the mix, ”he says. “It’s hard to hear exactly, and it’s our job!” “.
* Laure Boussard has been elected in Carhaix since March 2020.