Released in 2001, “Le Pacte des loups” was one of the biggest French films of the time. Shot in the Hautes-Pyrénées department, the feature film had unsuspected economic benefits!
The Pact of the Wolves : big French success
In 2001, Christophe Gans (Crying Freeman, silent Hill, The beauty and the Beast) is embarking on the production of an ambitious French film: The Pact of the Wolves. At the time, it was one of the biggest budgets that French cinema had known with more than 32 million euros of investment. Today he still figures in the 50 most expensive French films of all time. It also ranked sixth at the French box office of 2001 with more than 5 million admissions.
The work also owes a lot to its imposing cast, notably composed of Samuel Le Bihan, Jérémie Renier, Vincent Cassel, Jacques Perrin, Emilie Dequenne and Monica Bellucci. The Pact of the Wolves was even nominated four times at the Caesar Ceremony and walked away with the prize for the Best Costumes.
An impressive economic impact
The story of Pact of wolves, you probably know her. The story is inspired by the legend of the beast of Gévaudan, at the end of the 18th century. For more realism, Christophe Gans has decided to put his cameras in the Hautes-Pyrénées, more precisely in the Neste valley and the Baronnies. What is perhaps less known is that the feature film had an unprecedented economic impact on the department.
At the time, one of the production managers recorded between 12 and 15 million francs spent in the department. The bill includes work carried out on site by the various local companies, the purchase of equipment, figuration, catering and accommodation costs, etc.
What’s more, 300 local extras were recruited to play the peasants of Gévaudan. They are dressed in the costumes of the time and men must wear a three-day beard. Thus, like Jean-Paul Verdier, breeder in Esparros in the Hautes-Pyrénées, many farmers like him found themselves on the plateau of The Pact of the Wolves. The latter recalls his experience:
I was asked to bring my cow and wait. She had to walk past the camera and enter the barn. It’s 600 francs a day and in addition we rub shoulders with Samuel Le Bihan, Emilie Dequenne, Jean Yanne …
A beneficial experience for Jean-Paul Verdier therefore, but also for the entire Hautes-Pyrénées department, which is will long remember this golden shoot! Also note that this year, The Pact of the Wolves celebrated its 20th anniversary: