Despite its public and critical success, Mixte will not be renewed by Amazon for a season 2. Meeting with producer Laurent Ceccaldi, who retraces for us the journey of this quality series, which has perhaps not said its last word …
The meeting with Laurent Ceccaldi, producer of Mixte, took place a week before the announcement of the non-renewal of the series by Amazon. That day, it was a question of talking about his work and then the birth of the series, its long-term production and its success in esteem, crowned with the Audience Award for the French series of the year in Canneseries. On the announcement of its cancellation, a new interview naturally stalled. What happened, what can we hope for now? We took stock.
DashFUN: How do we find ourselves producer of the first original French series of Amazon Prime?
Laurent Ceccaldi : “A lawyer by training, I started working at SACD, then at Gaumont Television before moving on to literary development, then production, where I worked for three years in an audiovisual group called Zodiak In particular, I produced Le Septième Juré with Jean-Pierre Darroussin, awarded a double FIPA d’Or (best fiction and male performer).
It was in 2014 that I joined forces with Caroline Solanillas to create the production company By car Simone, with the ambition to produce exclusively TV fiction. Our natural tendency is towards prime-time fiction.
One of the series we are most proud of …
We worked a lot for France Télévisions. We did comedy series like Hôtel de la plage or more dramatic TV films like Death in the Soul by Xavier Durringer. We also worked for TF1, in particular on a fiction inspired by a true story, which worked very well: They exchanged my child with Julie de Bona.
Then, one thing leading to another, we also did a police mini-series on France Télé which also made us gain visibility: Kepler (s) with Marc Lavoine. This, until Mixte, co-produced with Autopilot Entertainment, one of the series of which we are most proud, the first French series entirely financed by Amazon, which tells the story of the arrival of girls in a boys’ high school in France, in the provinces. , in the early 1960s. “
How easy was it to launch Mixte, and when did Amazon enter the game?
“Mixte is a project by Marie Roussin, which she has been carrying for a very long time and which she proposed to us, ten years ago or so. It was called Mixed Voltaire at the time. We were crazy about it because we found the idea as simple as it was brilliant. The first episode was brilliant. We obviously tried to sell it to traditional linear chains.
But you have to remember that this was a time when Netflix had yet to launch its hit teen series. However, in Mixte, we still have a main point of view which is adolescent.
The traditional channels needed a more adult point of view for their premium dramas, so it was not easy for them to produce our series. Things have changed a lot today thanks to the arrival of platforms in France.
Added to this, the filming side of the 1960s, necessarily induces an additional budget for sets and costumes. So there was some hesitation on the part of the linear chains. The job we do is also a job of opportunity. A project is going to be in the air at one point, not the next year. You should neither be early nor late. “
Amazon immediately said yes! We felt the new world was coming.
“There we were ahead, we knew we had a great project. We were a little desperate not to find the niche until the platforms arrived and Netflix took hold in the landscape in record time. 4 years ago, Amazon was just starting its search for original content in French. When we pitched the series to them, they immediately said yes!
There we felt that the new world was coming, with less formatted series. Our little music went very well to Amazon which gave us artistic freedom and incredible resources, in full covid. Filming was due to start on March 18, 2020 when everything stopped.
We returned home, we waited four months, we started filming in early August 2020 under very complicated conditions with filming suspensions due to several cases of covid among the actors, the establishment of a large team entirely dedicated to filming safety, which Amazon does not mess around with. Without them, we would never have been able to do it under these conditions. “
Marie Roussin, the creator and screenwriter, …