French-Uruguayan filmmaker Maximilien Franco spent three nights in the woods with photographer Alexis Pichot to make the hauntingly beautiful short video Marche Celeste. It follows Pichot as he sets up glowing light installations for his photography series of the same name. The cinematic experience adds incredible insight into Pichot’s experience of “a solitary and initiatory journey through the nighttime forest.”
Franco put a LED light onto a drone to create strange moving shadows that mimic time lapse footage. As the blue light brushes thick ferns in the Forest of Fontainebleau, located just southeast of Paris, the mystical nature of Pichot’s work comes alive. Each set-up looks like evidence of alien life.
“It’s really a unique experience to spend nights walking in the forest trying to find the perfect spot. Each sound, each tree, each texture take a different meaning,” says Franco.
Pichot writes, “Letting myself be enveloped by the nocturnal atmosphere, the presence of animals, the infinite rustling of the vegetation, the soft music of the wind making the branches dance. All my senses were more and more awakened. Hearing is the most acute sense. Sight comes slowly as one becomes accustomed to the darkness. Finally smell. I found myself capturing various odors, sometimes obviously animals. To smell whithout seeing: I found the original meaning of an ancient man.”