During Spectacle we teamed up with rage and triple j for our Cut to the Beat competition. Two weeks ago we announced filmmakers and animators Karleen Groupierre and Maxime Causeret’s video for Jinja Safari’s ‘Mombassa on the Line’ as the winner in a field of stunning entries.
We caught up with the pair to find out how they started out in filmmaking, where they got their inspiration and what winning means to them.
How did you get involved in filmmaking?
Karleen: When I discovered computer graphics, it seems (for me) to be an incredible way to express and share feelings (like music does). Since then I’ve tried to use all these different mediums (film, interactive installations) to share stories.
Maxime: I studied 3D animation and I’ve been passionate about this media since high school.
Were you inspired solely by the sound of the song or did you draw your inspiration for the video elsewhere?
We tried to follow the feelings we had listening to the song. We also have our own inspirations like nature and land-art that we mixed with the song. All those influences lead us to make this video, growing vegetation and African animals in Melbourne, the wild meeting a huge city.
What was the biggest challenge in making the film?
It was quite hard to shoot all these animals (from the zoo) like we wanted and trying to capture interesting actions. We had to track all these moving shots to integrate the animals. (Also we don’t have any specific equipment here in Australia, just a simple canon 550D with the default lens.) The growing vegetation was also a challenge, it was quite heavy and hard to animate. We didn’t use any plugins, we built our personal system in Houdini but there was a few bugs at the beginning.
What was the best part of the process?
I think it was in shooting the city. We didn’t know Melbourne well and it was a good way for us to discover (and fall in love) with the place.
What’s the most important thing you learned while making the film?
Both: With this film we have to manage everything from the shooting to the editing with the compositing, some 3D effects, tracking. It’s a good experience to manage the whole process and to see how to improve the film without spending to much time on a particular shot.
Karleen: I also learned that making music video is awesome!
What were you doing when you heard that you’d won?
Karleen: I was listening to triple J on the radio, doing some gardening!
Maxime: I was working on some personal projects.
How will this prize affect your filmmaking career?
We hope that this prize will help us to direct some projects.
Maxime: I’m more used to work in special effects but I would like to create my own films.
Karleen: This was my first video clip and I really enjoyed creating visuals for existing music, it’s like a dialogue. You have to merge your own creativity with the musician’s originality and performance. This project gave me the want to make other video clip.
Are you currently working on any other projects or films?
We will finish soon another video clip. It’s a small animation on music we did for fun on an old Django Reinhart song.
Karleen: I have also a project for a live visual and musical show with an Australian pianist.
Who is another artist you’d like to make a music video for?
There’s a lot – Bjork, The Avalanches, Coldplay, Les doigts de l’homme – it’s nice to confront different universes and draw inspiration from them.
What’s the first thing that you’ll do when you get to LA?
Good question! Maybe go to see the great Hollywood letters for real!
Congratulations to all the entrants in the Cut to the Beat competition! Don’t forget to check out the amazing films from the other ten finalists.