“Omertà, the law of silence”: Luc Dionne’s school


Long before District 31, Luc Dionne had riveted viewers to their small screen with Omertà, the law of silence, a high-caliber series that already portrayed with aplomb the dealings of the police and organized crime circles.

On its own, the first season ofOmertà, broadcast in the winter of 1996 on Radio-Canada – and which ICI ARTV condenses in bursts on its antenna the next three Sundays – had collected 10 Gemini trophies.

Two other chapters, relayed in the fall of 1997 and the winter of 1999, a novel and a film with René Angélil, in 2012, completed the adventure Omertà which, we remember, took root in the race of investigators Pierre Gauthier (Michel Côté) and François Pelletier (Luc Picard) to pin down the godfather of the Montreal mafia, Giuseppe Scarfo (Dino Tavarone).

“Omertà” already revealed in all its splendor the creative talent of Luc Dionne, who subsequently stood out with other daring works such as Bunker, the circus, The last chapter, Blue moon and, of course, the beloved District 31.

“I didn’t know anything about it. I didn’t even know the difference between a producer and a director. I wrote a series that I featured on SDA Productions, and the rest is history, as they say! ” confides the prolific author in an interview, recalling his beginnings.

Photo Courtesy, Radio-Canada


The former political attaché had never written anything, “except postcards to [sa] mother “, when he set out to build the story of’Omertà.

In all his naivety, he himself specifies, he had done his scriptwriting school by consulting a book entitled The Element of Screenwriting and had given free rein to his imagination by knitting his suspense, inspired by his knowledge of the organized crime world and his discussions with people around him, friends and family members, who gravitated near the police forces.

From then on, he learned everything about the workings of television, sometimes producing more than twenty versions of his texts fromOmertà.

Instantly, the public fell in love with the already raw and ruthless style of Dionne, who never shied away from eliminating a strong protagonist à la Scarfo, if the jolt could serve its plot, even if it meant displeasing the audience. . Talk to the eternal mourners of the unforgettable Nadine Legrand (Magalie Lépine-Blondeau) …

Humble, Luc Dionne greets Pierre Houle (director), Francine Forest (producer), Claude Bonin (producer) and other masters who, behind the scenes ofOmertà, taught him the basics of his trade.

“I learned everything from them. They are the ones who ensured that I am able to write at the speed I write today. Omertà has been a great learning school for me. “

Photo Courtesy, Radio-Canada

Funny memories

Funny memories abound in what Luc Dionne said when he recalls the genesis ofOmertà.

When he recounts, for example, how his producers and Radio-Canada had “confined” him to a hotel room for a weekend to find out if he was able to write under pressure.

Or when he relates that he had his first lines read to the author Jean-Pierre Plante who, seduced, immediately spread the rumor that an incredible young talent was about to submit an unequaled detective series to Radio -Canada. Intrigued, the entire television community then set out to design similar series, believing that the crown corporation was eagerly looking for this type of product. Were born in the wake of proposals like Jasmine and 10-07, finally broadcast on TVA and TQS.

Luc Dionne considers himself ill-placed to analyze whether Omertà marked a milestone on Quebec television. He nevertheless agrees that the opus has possibly left its mark on its industry by bringing about a change of tone in the fiction of here, until then much carried by the historical sagas to the Time of peace or Caleb’s daughters and still shy in the field of heavy series, except for Throw and count.

“After Scoop, [aussi conçue par Pierre Houle et Francine Forest], I came up with a series that had the same kind of treatment, with a kind of veracity of tone, non-acting on the part of the actors, very important music … “

And, even though the project is almost 25 years old, Omertà Luc Dionne’s heart and mind are never far away.

“In District 31, I have a character called Nick Romano [Mathieu Baron]. And every other time I write Nick Balsamo[RomanoOrzariin[RomanoOrzaridans[RomanoOrzariin[RomanoOrzaridansOmertà III]! “

Omertà, the law of silence, Sundays November 15, 22 and 29, from noon to 4 p.m., at ICI ARTV.


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