Between first and second roles, the delicate art of choosing the characters of the reports

Between first and second roles, the delicate art of choosing the characters of the reports

A unit of action, the Paris Fair. A unity of place, the Parc des Expositions in Paris. A unit of time, a short week. The report of Restricted zone broadcast this Sunday on M6 ticks all the boxes to meet the rule of three units of a classic play. Only one thing is missing: the text, which the characters don’t know yet because everything will be improvised.

objects and people

The casting of this subject devoted to new trends and innovations on the house side of the Foire de Paris is prepared well in advance of the performance. The production teams have been working on it since the end of last year, starting with the selection of the products that will be highlighted on the air “according to the evolution of mores, behaviors, consumption”, testifies Eric Pierrot, producer of this issue. This Sunday, a zoom will therefore be made on the latest coffee machines or on the whole range of spas, which can cost between 500 and 20,000 euros.

It is only then that the show’s journalists select the “characters” who will exhibit these objects and try to convince visitors to buy them. “For the same product, we will necessarily go to those who talk about it best”, explains Eric Pierrot. The phone calls are then linked in order to identify the people most likely to have cameras pointed at them for hours. For this, nothing beats a physical meeting, especially during a fair in the provinces, in order to best judge the qualities of each.

“The leading roles are our stars”

Once the cast is in mind, it’s time to establish the distribution. “There are leading roles, supporting roles and extras, sums up the producer. The leading roles must be very good characters, they are our stars”. And how do you find a star? If Beyoncé is not available, it is necessary to focus on the passion of a person for his job, the way of talking about his product, his strength of conviction and the emotions that he can release. In summary, if the day at the Paris Fair was excellent, happiness must shine through. On the contrary, if sales have not been as good as hoped, a touch of sadness must emerge. In short, “we need people who express their emotions”.

Before setting up their cameras at the Parc des Expositions, the teams have already left to shoot a few sequences with the speakers or in their company to take an interest in the products they are going to sell. On the eve of the inauguration, all roles are assigned but nothing is set in stone. “We also don’t want to cut off the possibility of having a good surprise, of discovering someone at the fair and following them,” warns Eric Pierrot. Just before the event began, people wandered the aisles to check that a nugget had not escaped them.

Beware of bad publicity

But another scenario can occur. Despite all their precautions, a character can “fall”. “One year, we had worked with people who were supposed to sell sofas but since they weren’t selling them, we didn’t have much to film,” recalls the producer. For journalists, this would not have made a good subject. For exhibitors, this could have given them bad publicity. “It wasn’t interesting so we went to other people,” says Eric Pierrot.

In addition to sellers, the report will follow customers who sometimes come from afar to discover the latest in home equipment. A group of girlfriends, a family passionate about the fair, that’s the other part of the characters, just as important to get the best castings.