30 min

Feature on tightrope artist Ramon Kelvink Jr.’s visit to Quebec City

Full description

La Traversée légendaire (En)

In the summer of 2009, the Festival d’été de Québec invited Ramon Kelvink Jr., a fourth generation tightrope artist, to cross a steel wire spanning the 217 metres between the Price Building and the Château Frontenac in Quebec City.

Working closely with the installation crew, we knew that this would not be an easy task. Of European Gypsy origins, the artist’s temperament was instinctive and explosive. The Québec-based team of technicians and engineers, on the other hand, were low-key and Cartesian.

A fissure began to spread between the emotive and the rational factions working on the project, between respecting the inherent constraints imposed by the two historic buildings, and between the impending performance date and the painstaking precision needed for the installation. Pressure rose along with the cable itself, reaching a peak, the peak we all aspired to, the day of the legendary crossing suspended between the earth and the sky.

Production : Nicolas
Réalisation : Jocelyn
Direction photo et cadrage : Richard
Prise de son et conception sonore : Jean Robert Deroo
Prise de son supplémentaire : Daniel Basque
Cameras : Catherine Allard, Jean Larochelle, Mario Rouleau, André Bédard,
Fournier, Marilyn Laflamme, Jocelyn Langlois
Monteur image : Jocelyn Langlois
Mixeur sonore : Jean-Francois « Frisco » Roy, Jean-Robert DeRoo
Musique originale : Philippe Venne

Ramon Kelvink jr, Catherine Léger, Jade Kindar Martin, Jean Massé, Michel Barrette

Special thanks to:
Festival d’été de Québec,
Daniel Gélinas, Michel Barrette, Luci Tremblay

Location Michel Trudel, MTL vidéo, Michel Trudel,
DeRoo et filles
Jérôme Bourgault
Edifice Price et tout leur personnel
Château Frontenac et tout leur personnel
Ministère des Finances et tout leur personnel
Hilton Québec et tout leur personnel
Observatoire de la Capitale et tout leur personnel

Demonstrate the complete transparency and flexibility of our approach with Ramon
and his family in order to be able to shadow him during every phase of the installation
process, from morning to night and even during his most private moments, for the entire
10-day period. Captation with eight HD cameras presented huge challenges in terms of
their installation on rooftops, at sites that we had to adjust to our needs. The event was
postponed twice because of weather conditions, a huge headache for the production
crew, which was kept on call to respond to all these schedule changes.

Our Approach

With a star performer such as Ramon, anything was possible and having him relate real-
life situations posed the problem of how to show both sides of the story while producing
a documentary that was neither shocking nor complacent. Because our broadcaster
accorded us a thirty-minute time slot, our mandate also consisted of giving a quick
overview of the event. The strong, upbeat rhythm of the soundtrack helped us here by
eliciting a powerful emotional charge.


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