‘Fire Of Love’ Team On Their Volcanic Love Story For The Ages – Contenders Film: The Nominees

Fire Of Love
National Geographic Documentary Films

When scientists Katia and Maurice Krafft married in 1970, they headed to a place where few couples would choose to honeymoon: an active volcano. But Mount Stromboli off the coast of Sicily could not have suited them better as the love they shared was equaled only by their passion for the study of volcanoes. 

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The Oscar-nominated National Geographic documentary Fire of Love, directed by Sara Dosa, explores the Kraffts’ obsession with Earth’s explosive displays, a pursuit that would ultimately cost them their lives. Instead of presenting the story in dry scientific terms, Dosa and her team explore it in a more expressive way — as an epic love story.

“It actually came quite early on in our process that we got the idea of telling Fire of Love as a love story,” Dosa explained as she and her cinematic collaborators appeared at Deadline’s Contenders Film: The Nominees virtual event. “We came across a sentence in a book that Maurice authored that said, ‘For me, Katia and volcanoes, it is a love story.’ And with that, we really felt like Maurice was kind of handling down a thesis statement on their lives, or perhaps a prism through which we could interpret their vast legacy.”

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Katia trained as a physicist and chemist, while Maurice studied geology. They thrived working out in the field where they could document volcanoes with scientific instruments, as well as photography and film.

“We knew of Maurice and Katia as scientists, of course, but we also saw them as artists, as filmmakers,” producer Shane Boris said. “That was a really important part for us to be able to bring up — both those elements of their personality and of their life’s work. You feel, in who they are, that as they want to approach greater understanding of the planet, they realize that it comes through science and it comes through art and storytelling, to be able to share what you learned.”

The Kraffts’ shot amazing material around the world, but it didn’t have sound, which created a major challenge for Fire of Love’s sound designers and editors.

“The footage is so spectacular on its own, but… you really want to feel that you’re there,” said editor-writer Erin Casper. “We had such a fun time like looking through and researching different sound libraries and going through and sort of designing whole soundscapes.”

Katia Krafft from ‘Fire of Love’ Neon/Courtesy Everett Collection

To evoke the era when the Kraffts came of age and later pursued their careers, Casper and fellow editor-writer Jocelyne Chaput accessed distinctive music like “Je Me Sens Vivre,” sung by Dalida.

“We had so much fun with the music… We were certainly doing deep dives into the ‘60s, the ‘70s, music out of France, especially,” Chaput said. “It was one layer of the love language that we were building in this film. Volcanoes also were a love language for the Kraffts and the music was just another way to sort of elevate the romanticism.”

Chaput added, “We used the term ‘retro futuristic.’ We didn’t want the film to feel like the past tense. We wanted it to be in the moment, but we also wanted to celebrate that period of time — the ‘60s, the ‘70s, the ‘80s — and just embrace the terrific music that was coming out of there.”

Check out the panel video above.

This article was printed from https://deadline.com/2023/02/fire-of-love-documentary-interview-sara-dosa-team-contenders-film-the-nominees-1235262807/