Compagnie des phares & Balises

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Directed by

Richard Vargas


Directed by

Cie des phares et balises & Arte France


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Society & Economy

The Story of an Invention


A simple idea is one that should be patented… anyone can have a good idea! Often, it is thanks simply to intuition that life-changing inventions are born. But getting there is a task in itself!
Nadine´s idea grew from her desire to clip the garden hedges. Christian, her partner, funded the first prototype, and their friend Claude made the object in question: a revolutionary digital level.
At the Paris Fair, the place to be for all things made and bought, our inventors took part in the famous Lépine competition.
At the fair, the trio take their first steps in the jungle that is business. Their address books quickly filled, and it is soon time to decide whether to sell the patent of their invention in order to access the royalty payments, or else to keep control of their invention and find a distributor.
In the euphoria of their Lépine competition glory, our heroes place an order for 40,000 articles with the industrial manufacturer who was responsible for their prototypes.
Life is sweet & there are millions of miles of hedging to clip in France, let alone the rest of the world, and our friends find a company specializing in large-scale distribution, which believes in their product. But the road is long from prototype to industrial production, and from Lépine´s stand to the shelves of shopping centers. And the road is strewn with dangers for our apprentice entrepreneurs..