Babol TV, in Alsatian language online

Ronde M. Since the end of 2021, Babul TV presents videos on social networks: very personal discussions with well-known Alsatians, in dialect – with rare exceptions. Because the trio of volunteers, the initiator of the project, want to contribute to the preservation of the Alsatian language.

“Babol” is an untranslatable Alsatian word, close to the verb “bàbble” (“to talk”, “to chat”, to chat”), and its meaning can be associated with “parlotte”, “rhetoric” or “to chatter”.

But the nuances are more subtle, as evidenced by the expressions “Dü hesch àwer a Babul” (“You have one hell of a Babol”) or “Helt Denny Babol” (“Arrête ta Babul” – which expresses something like “tie it up”).

And this whole palette of meaning flourishes in Babol’s television broadcast. Talk shows (but we can also say discussions, secrets or casual conversations) with Alsatian personalities.

Programs where you take your time, from twenty minutes to about forty minutes. Each offers an intimate moment, during which the guest opens up, with complete confidence. Serious, deep, humorous, real. Where tears sometimes flow.

Behind the scenes, Babol TV has three friends, young retirees. We can call it Three Barbus TV. He proposes, funny, Marc Botonnet, the instigator of the project.

This former photographer provides all his equipment for image, sound and editing. During filming he manages operations and supervises two of the three cameras.

His partner Raymond Biella shoots with the third camera and takes care of the audio recording. Interviewed by Pierre Hinzelmann, the only face to appear in the videos.

The guest is contacted in advance. If possible, the full trio will meet him, in his place, “over a glass of wine” Says Pierre Hinzelmann.

The initial exchange can continue a full afternoon. From there, the interviewer chooses the topics and anecdotes that seem interesting to him for the interview, and prepares his questions accordingly. “Personally, I don’t like improvisation.” admits.

The end result, very elegant, gives the impression of great fluidity, in one shot, with questions and answers that follow one another logically. But the reality of photography is completely different.

“At Huguette Dreikaus, we filmed approximately 2 hours 30” Marc Botonnet says: “In other cases, it’s been longer. We take all our time, to give the person a chance to trust.” Knowing that then, during editing, drastic choices must be made.

The point is that the person being photographed no longer thinks at all about the presence of cameras. “Sometimes there are surprises, when people forget it’s recorded” Raymond Bella smiles. “They talk so freely that they say things that you then have to cut.”

From time to time, when talking is really free, moments of intense emotions also appear, which are characteristic of the depth of the small team.

In the figure, there is no limitation. Some of the guests interact from the photos they chose in advance. Others sing songs, or narrate their memories in symbolic places.

For a perfect view, at the end of the interview, Pierre Hinzelmann repeated his questions several times, so that they could still be photographed with different frame values.

“It’s really hard work,” he says. “Choose the right questions, find how to phrase them (…) and during the shots, we start over three, four or even ten times.”

As for editing, Marc Boutonnet is in charge of the small studio he set up in his house. “I’m pre-editing” Determines. “I spend three to five days there, three hours in the morning, then in the evening when I have insomnia.”

“Go slow until I’m satisfied”In form and substance: “To have a correct grouping of images, and a coherent subject, without giving the impression that we are jumping from one subject to another.”

“After that, I called Raymond, so we could watch together, throw out sequences or add pictures I didn’t keep.” Equally time consuming activity Until Raymond and I agree The final version will be published online.

But with a sparkling look, his friend who came to edit a new show with singer Renee Eagles denied: “In terms of editing, Mark is the boss, and I have nothing to say. I’m just an executor (Hàndlànger)”.

At the moment, there are only about a dozen videos on the Internet. In fact, Babul TV was created only last October, and the production rate is roughly one extra show every two weeks.

The first guests are mainly from the Bas-Rhin artistic community. “We started by asking people we know.” Raymond Bella admits: Roland EngelScholle, Isabelle Grussenmeyer … to see what was possible.”

Now they want to diversify the cast, they also want to call Haut-Rhinois. But they are reluctant to exaggerate, so as not to incur a lot of expenses, because all their work is voluntary, and they receive no support.

“We don’t get paid, but we have fun” Summarizes Raymond Bella, who nonetheless gives a deeper meaning to their commitment.

“I have invested my whole life in Alsatian culture” Determines. “And there, it is a form of continuity. Because there are a few mediums in which we practice the dialect.”

“However, the language is as alive as the apple tree that still bears the apple. As long as we can produce songs, theater and videos, it stays alive. And who knows, in a century’s time, people might come out with our old programming, and realize that in our time, we still speak Alsatian.

Away, aloof, alone Hand out a lot of business cards.The Babul TV team does not advertise its product. Shows are launched on the web like a bottle in the sea.

I hope that “positive word” You will do the rest. “And the people we’ve already met. It all depends on the posts” Marc Botonnet thought.

Small resolution: to find Babul TV on social networks, do not forget to add the term “Alsace”. Because there is another Babol TV on the Internet. But this one is produced…in India.

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