Seven Sisters on M6: the technical challenge to create 7 Noomi Rapace

Seven Sisters on M6: the technical challenge to create 7 Noomi Rapace
Seven Sisters on M6: the technical challenge to create 7 Noomi Rapace

The science fiction film “Seven Sisters” airs tonight on M6. Find out how the team recreated 7 Noomi Rapace for the needs of the feature film.

In August 2017, Tommy Wirkola delivered the science fiction film Seven Sisters, with not one, but seven Noomi Rapace. The anticipatory feature film takes place in 2073. The Earth is overcrowded. The government decides to institute a one-child policy, enforced with an iron fist by the Birth Allowance Office, under the aegis of Nicolette Cayman (Glenn Close).

Confronted with the birth of septuplets, Terrence Settman (Willem Dafoe) decides to keep the existence of his 7 granddaughters secret. Confined in their apartment, named a day of the week, they will each in turn share a unique identity outside, simulating the existence of a single person. If the secret remains intact for years, everything collapses the day Monday mysteriously disappears …
This film, which totaled 1,863,822 admissions in France when it was released, was a real technical challenge for both the team and the actress. Noomi Rapace had in turn to play 7 characters with very different characters.

To do so, the actress has created personalities for each of her avatars. For example, she put on different scents depending on the sister she played, isolated herself and listened to a different style of music.

During the promotion of the film, Noomi Rapace confided to us that the most difficult had been the loneliness during the shooting since she often had no other partners on the screen than herself.

To be able to have the 7 characters on the screen at the same time, the team had to show inventiveness and creativity. Director of photography José David Montero explains: “Dn a traditional film, you can afford to cheat all the time with the light and the background. But here, it’s impossible because once you stabilize the camera and increase the brightness, you can’t touch anything until the end of the sequence.

With the duplication effect and the different layers that overlap, if we change anything, it no longer works, and we have to start all over again, which makes us fall behind schedule. The other difficulty is to shoot in a closed and restricted space.

We want to give the impression that the ceilings have hidden depths, so that the space becomes narrower. We needed three cameras, sometimes four, a green screen, a blue screen, and lighting. Suffice to say that it was very complicated to manage all of this at the same time.

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“A unique filming system”

Director Tommy Wirkola adds: “There were changes in makeup, hairstyle, but also the purely technical aspect. You had to make sure everything was working, and working with a motion control device requires a lot of care and is particularly time consuming.

We developed a unique filming system because we combined several methods: we grafted one face onto another, we had recourse to the ‘split-screen’, we used fixed cameras and liners, and as Noomi has characteristic features, masks have been molded from her face for scenes where the sisters are in the background, busy at their computers, cooking or playing sports.”

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Nothing was therefore left to chance. The actress had to scrupulously follow the markers on the ground and was equipped with an earpiece in order to be well placed so that the fittings during the assembly could work. As the director explains above, the team also used liners to facilitate the process.

But for Noomi Rapace, having liners required more work, the latter specifies: “If we shoot a scene with doublers, I have to show them first what I plan to do.

I have to give them instructions, show them how to move, how to sit and when to get up. I have an overview of the scene. I have to look at it from different angles and that’s a lot of responsibility.

A successful bet which required 94 days of filming in Romania.

Our meeting with Noomi Rapace

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