‘Wildlife Handbook’: A startup ready to make you chat with the dead

Author Jean-Philippe Baril Guérard has “pushed further” his novel “Manuel de la vie sauvage” by not hesitating to butcher entire chapters for the needs of the television adaptation he is signing with director Christian Laurence for Plus Series.

In a virtual round table on Wednesday, he explained that his work dating from 2018 is evolving due to technological advances, the main playground of “Wild Life Handbook”. We cut here and there, we gave more scope to secondary characters and we even made a single sentence from the book a complete episode, the third.

Like the novel, the series casts a wide net, also focusing on grief, entrepreneurship, business ethics and the place of women in technology.

“Yes, it’s about technology, yes we mention an environment we don’t know, but the interest of the series is that we place it all in a very human relationship,” said Jean-Philippe Baril Guérard. .

The six episodes tell the story of Kevin Bédard (Antoine Pilon), who founded the startup Huldu with his friends Ève (Virginie Ranger-Beauregard) and Laurent (Rodley Pitt). The trio is developing an application – a conversational robot – allowing dialogue with a deceased loved one thanks to their digital traces, whether they are their Messenger conversations, their text messages or their emails.

'Wildlife Handbook': A startup ready to make you chat with the dead

It may sound crazy and far-fetched, but geeks are working hard to develop grief-related apps, said Jean-Philippe Baril Guérard, who is also defending a role in the series.

Kevin has a disagreement with his father Denis (Gildor Roy), a wealthy businessman from Thetford Mines who would like his son to start “doing something that is really useful”. Kevin evolves in another field, hundreds of kilometers from his father, and he has just received $ 2 million by selling software allowing games to be programmed without mastering this art.

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Kevin looks pretty healthy in the first two episodes shown to the media on Wednesday, but he’ll be a shark afterward ready to do anything to succeed. Just like the investor Damien (Louis Morissette) and the lawyer Arnaud (Gabriel Lemire), who are at the heart of the adventure of the young shoot.

'Wildlife Handbook': A startup ready to make you chat with the dead

Efficient and modern, the direction of Christian Laurence (“La Dérape”, “Le journal d’Aurélie Laflamme”) plays with forms – we see video games, in particular – and Kevin often addresses the camera or throws complicit glances, as in “House of Cards” or in “The Eye of the Cyclone”.

“I needed to feel that, in the story we’re telling, our character is also somewhat building the story as we go along and telling us what we should remember from what we see on the screen. ‘screen”, underlined Jean-Philippe Baril Guérard, who in addition to signing the television adaptation of his novel, transposed it on stage at Duceppe and soon in comics.

Return of KOTV to Séries Plus

For KOTV – which has international ambitions for “Wild Life Manual” – it’s a big return to Series Plus.

The chain had presented the first season of “Plan B” before giving up making Quebec fictions when its owner, Corus, wanted to sell it to Bell. As the transaction was refused by the Competition Bureau, Corus made a 180 degrees and has since produced the series “The Phoenix” and “Bête noire”, which won the Gémeaux for best drama series.

The “Wildlife Handbook” series is presented every Wednesday, starting March 16, at 8 p.m., on Series Plus.

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