Inspiring Filmmaker Micaela Wittman Created An Indie Film ‘Clairevoyant’ For $3K & Sold It To Cannes

Crafting a story is always a one-of-a-kind dream for a filmmaker. Filmmaking has been one of the toughest struggles known to mankind. No one actually trusts your guts when you take a story and make a film out of it. Giving chances to a new face always has its own risks, but believing in its abilities can create history itself. Today we are going to talk about a woman who dreamt of becoming an actor, but as it turned out, she became a wonderful filmmaker. We are talking about Micaela Wittman. She, along with Arthur De Larroche, made a film, “Clairevoyant,” for $3000 and sold it to Cannes. Sounds impossible, no? Well, that’s the fact rattling through the creators of such things. She had no intention of making her own movie as she was busy booking acting jobs around the world. She believed creating her own film would make it look like she was submitting to her failure as an actor. On the other hand, De Larroche had already directed and featured, but none of them made him satisfied.

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In 2019, a restaurant-set comedy brought Wittman and De Larroche together. As said by De Larroche, the then production house was not a nice place he wanted to be. It was because of Wittman that he decided to complete the movie. Both of them were not happy with the outcome of the production. They were trying to reach their projected dreams. In 2021, together, they created “Clairevoyant” with a budget of 3,000 dollars, and it was sold at Cannes. Finally, a leap of faith made their struggle heard.

“Clairevoyant” is a mockumentary where Wittman played the character of Claire, who wishes to achieve Nirvana, leaving behind her white privilege. Her objective was clear, although the fact that she had no idea of the outside world made it pretty obvious that there were going to be tough turns in her journey. The process is so subtle, and the drama never eclipses the comedy in any subplot. This is a pretty well-written piece with a hardcore comical notion that is no doubt critically admired by a lot of people.

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So, how did ‘Clairevoyant’ happen?

Wittman has always been a fan of comedy. She especially mentioned her love of Michael Scott in “The Office” and also in “I Love Lucy.” For this film, Wittman and De Larroche wanted to bring as many actors as possible. They emailed almost everyone known to them from the acting classes. They put together a team and practiced improv sessions for eight long hours over the course of a day.

Neither Wittman nor De Larroche ever visited any film schools, but again, the way they put together “Clairevoyant” is exemplary of film students around the globe. They created a wonderful story with a budget of merely 3,000 dollars over seven long weekends. They rented their cameras on weekends so that they could get a discounted price. It was only a Friday evening to Monday morning opportunity for them.

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The positive thing about making an indie film is that there are opportunities for making mistakes and not being ashamed of them. De Larroche has always been fond of this prophecy. Due to weekend shoots, De Larroche and Wittman had enough time in the course to correct the narrative and create a new format. They did their reshoots and made some wrong choices, but at the end of the day, it was always about correcting the courses that fit fine and ensemble.


The rejection

“Clairevoyant” was actually rejected from the film festivals at the very beginning. After a couple of rejections, De Larroche and Wittman came to realize that the festival programmers were turning off the film right after three minutes, as they might not have realized that they were watching a satire. So, the makers then specified in the synopsis of the film that the film is a mockumentary after all. This worked like magic. “Clairevoyant” started getting acceptance from the film festivals.

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Wittman always dreamed of having “Clairevoyant” available for the Prime Video. Last June, the platform made the film streamable in the U.S. Again, a leap of faith and an astounding achievement nonetheless. On Rotten Tomatoes, “Clairevoyant” carries an 88% audience score and an 80% Tomatometer. The film, with a budget of only 3,000 dollars, is now available in 20 countries. Having it placed under the radar of Cannes itself is a huge achievement.


Inspirations

Since filmmaking is something that requires planning of all sorts, according to Wittman, it requires only a story and an iPhone. If you have faith in your content, you can also be a filmmaker. It is not about how religiously you are planning to create something; it is always about the passion that brings wonders to this platform. Wittman and De Larroche have proven that there is nothing that can stop a filmmaker from achieving their dreams; there’s actually no limit to it.

Micaela Wittman has said in an interview that nobody is responsible for someone else’s future. Everyone should take care of their future. Sometimes we all feel the struggle, but it is the only real feeling in this highly moderated world of technology. Whenever we feel that there is no story, we should focus on the truth. Sometimes, what is happening around you can be a really good story to start with. She continued that the challenges that come with filmmaking are more substantial than the ones with acting.

On the other hand, De Larroche, in an interview, said something similar and pretty inspiring. He said that whatever they have created should inspire a lot of people to go out and make a film. They had a story that could have technical absurdities, or they might get arrested too, but that would also add value to their film. They literally had no connections in Hollywood, yet when you give people something they like, they will meet you halfway.

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People will provide you with opportunities as they love art no matter what. Wittman also said, “If you want to have connections, there are ways to achieve it through Instagram and other platforms.” There are artists just like you who are waiting for collaboration, who want their work to be acknowledged. Let’s not dwell on your dilemma. Take this duo as your inspiration today. Make a movie today!


Shovan Roy
Shovan Roy
Shovan Roy is a creative content writer. Formerly he used to write film reviews on an international film festival website named Beyond the Curve International Film Festival. He also interviewed global directors. He also interviewed one of the characters from the show 'Trailer Park Boys', Mr. Bernard Robichaud, platformed in Netflix. Shovan tends to write through the third person narrative and he loves to do psychoanalysis. He can't say that he has mastered it but that is some sort of hobby of his. Film is a platform where he loves to spend most of his time learning.

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