The last few years are proof of this: Belgium is a real breeding ground for quality series. AT The Truce, Unit 42 or Public Enemy is now added Invisible, the first of its fantastic genre stamped “made in Belgium”. This tells how, in ten days, the inhabitants of Creux are confronted with a mysterious phenomenon, a kind of epidemic which is gradually making people invisible.
Fantastic but realistic
Created by Marie Enthoven, the series is not meant to be the Marvel genre. “Before writing the history ofInvisible, I looked at what had already been done around on the subject. There was a lot of talk about superheroes and magical powers. I felt like invisibility had never been treated with real human sincerity”, Explains the designer. “Personally, I’ve always needed people to look me in the eye when they talk to me. So I imagined what it was like to be invisible and to be deprived of this moment when the people we love can no longer look us in the eyes and just see us.”
Behind this question hides another, the starting point of the narrative line ofInvisible. “A couple of doctors will be confronted with this phenomenon. The woman, who is also the heroine, continues to see the being as he is despite the invisibility. The man himself sees an opportunity for glory ”, she explains. “We therefore wonder if it is not we who have finally lost our ability to see and especially to see the other as he is.”
Without intention to predict it, Invisible evokes, in a way, a pandemic situation that has been familiar to us for months, that of Covid-19. “We realize that the series is getting closer, as the episodes go, to what we are experiencing in reality. It’s a bit like the role of the series to find what concerns us before it is really experienced”, Explains Sylvie Coquart-Morel, Head of Fiction at RTBF.
Singularity and belgitude
With Invisible, the public service saw a good way to reach the large audience of La Une. “The basic question is very interesting. The series touches humans and awakens universal feelings”, She explains. “Invisible also made the difference by its singularity and its Belgianness. Everything in this series is Belgian, from the technical team to the actors and the music.”
When we believe in a project, we put the resources into it. Special effects require, Invisible cost much more than the previous Belgian series. “We are in a range of 380,000 to 400,000 euros per episode”, Explains Sylvie Coquart-Morel. That is much more than the 275,000 euros and 330,000 euros granted, respectively, to the first seasons of La Trêve, in 2015, and ofUnit 42, in 2017.
The actors have turned… naked!
The real challenge of this series was to show invisibility on the screen with the allotted budget. A work carried out in collaboration with the Belgian special effects studio Benuts. “In the series, when you see an invisible person, that person is always naked. So for each scene, we always had to do the same shots three times because the invisible character is sometimes visible but only in the eyes of the viewer. So we shot without a character but with a voiceover, with green combinations and, finally, with the character visible and naked.. When we were filming in the city, we had to put some kind of false walls around the actors to shoot so that passers-by would not see them naked ”, explains Annabella Nezri, producer ofInvisible, who adds that filming without clothes in the middle of winter was not an easy task for the actors. “Those who were supposed to go naked underwent a training course in which they entered basins of frozen water and did some breathing work so that their body adapts to the temperature. During the filming, a nurse constantly took their temperature to make sure they did not fall ills !”