Wednesday, 4 September 2013

The days of our lives: The songs from my first French trip film


 In my first year of sixth-form college - I was seventeen - I went to the south of France for nine days.

 It was a trip arranged by the French department at my college and by Ecole Klesse, a French language school in Montpellier. During the week we stayed with French families in Montpellier and attended the Ecole, and during the weekend we explored Carcassonne, Arles and Saintes Maries de la Mer.

 For me it was a formative experience which I feel improved my French, made me fall in love with the south of France and - cliché coming - helped me grow as a person.

 I was a volunteer for my college's TV station and I really wanted to make a film of the trip. So I did, and it can be found below.

 I want to tell you about the five songs I used in this video, and why I used them.


 Firstly, Vélomoteur by Les Calamités, which is the first song playing and covers the Carcassonne part of the trip.

 Like many of my favourite French songs, I first heard Vélomoteur on the brilliant Platine 45 compilation album that my brother and I have. It was one of the last songs I discovered on it, having simply never got around to listening to it before. When I did hear it, it was shortly before the trip, and I just knew I had to use it.

 I decided to use it as my opening song as it is so upbeat and I feel it puts the viewer in a positive mood from the start.


 The second song is Joyride, by Roxette.

 I chose this song whilst on the trip, as I could see ways in which I could tie the footage I already had to the song. For example, the mention of "going downtown" while my friends descended an elevator, "following the stars" for a night-time shot, and "book of wisdom" as my friends read the Montpellier newspaper.


  The third song is Toi et Moi by Guillaume Grand, which I used for the segment about Arles and Saintes Maries de la Mer.

 If you can speak French then it's fairly self-explanatory: it's a song about going to the seaside and having a good time.

 It was one of the songs featured at our college's French Music Club not long before the trip, and if I remember correctly we also sang it on one of the coach journeys during the trip itself - so it was reasonably well known to the group, which is another reason why I used it.

 Finally, it's from 2010 - the film was made in 2011 - and I thought at least one song should be fairly current. So Toi et Moi it was.


 Fourthly, we have Can't Fight This Feeling by REO Speedwagon, which I used for the aquarium section.

 This had been a favourite song of mine for a couple of years before the trip; it featured in my first ever post on this blog and I wrote more about it in my special fiftieth blog post.

 Around the time of the trip the song had featured on a TV ad, and as a result was fresh in people's minds; I seem to remember at least one member of the trip singing it to themself in France.

 Another reason why I thought of this song for my soundtrack is the mention of the ship and the way I could tie that in nicely with the footage of the group in a ship simulator.

 The music went with the footage even better than I had imagined, and those few seconds make up one of my favourite moments in the whole film.


  The final song is These Are the Days of Our Lives by Queen, which covers the crêpe party, the zoo, salsa dancing, bowling, trams, LazerQuest, the crêpe parlour and then a general overview of the trip.

 I had heard this song a few times and quite liked it, but I only really sat down and listened to it just before making the film - maybe it was serendipity.

 I was looking idly through songs I had on my computer, shortlisting ones for the film, and saw this one and thought it might be suitable. I listened to it through and knew then it was perfect for the film - and that it was more beautiful a song than I had ever realised.

 Looking back at that final montage always makes me so happy that I had the opportunity to go on that amazing trip - and makes me want to go back to Montpellier!

 Go back I did, the next year - and of course, I made another film, which you can watch here:

 I'm working on a blog post about the songs in this second film, so watch this space!

 I hope you enjoyed this post,

 Thanks for reading,

 Liz x

Songs: Vélomoteur - Les Calamités - 1987
Joyride - Roxette - 1991
Toi et Moi - Guillaume Grand - 2010
Can't Fight This Feeling - REO Speedwagon - 1984/5
These Are the Days of Our Lives - Queen - 1991

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