As meticulously pre-planned as your Low Life film was, were there any setbacks during the production?
Everything was prepared 100% but we also changed everything 100%.
The starting idea, the number of covers and their blocking with the music had to be fixed pretty quickly for the computer animation, so we could brief our tiger team on the art direction for each cover.
We only had one day’s shooting to work on more than 15 magazine covers. This meant the same number for the lighting, wardrobe and make up, set ups, etc. and shooting with playback when it was all in place.
We had to deal with quite a few limitations and make concessions often to allow for new ideas to work or for the sake of simplicity, but Passion Paris believed in the project and supported us in many ways, like with our technical team who, as well as being incredibly talented, loved the single and the clip concept. They all did fantastic work.
This is the first project you’ve worked on together under the moniker Jakarno. Do you both have different skill sets and how do you complement each other?
We had gotten very close to working together, but it had never happened for reasons of budgets, schedules, and so on.
I think it was the group’s music and outlook that made us want to do this project, as well as a real sense of competition – where everyone made their contribution and suddenly it all came together like a good mayonnaise!
That’s the advantage of working together – one gets the AD ideas while the other works on the history. Then we swap roles, you push on a bit further, you take a step back, you chuck stuff out, you shape it and fix it. It can be rather less instinctive than working alone, but everything is a bit sharper.
How do you resolve any differences of opinion – creatively speaking?
With a video clip project like this, we mainly had to support the piece, with the history and the character we had created. There really was no room for ego fights. At the same time we were as much journalists and historians as art directors. There wasn’t enough time for problems, because the schedule and budget were pushing us to make quick decisions on the best solutions.
With reference to 02:11 into the video, do you ever have any uncanny experiences that you develop into creative ideas?!
I think it’s more “floating” moments, or even boredom, that these ideas come from. This first base gives the clip its backbone. Then we think more constructively, decorating and developing the skeleton to give it body and life.
We came up with our hero, a mix between David Bowie, Iggy Pop and a touch of Jim Morrison. But our main reference was definitely Bowie because of his androgynous side, which is mirrored in the work of Alex Wetter, our main actor. Also Alex inspired us a lot with his manner, which is almost always quite uncanny.
If you were rock stars, how crazy would your lives get?
JACK: For a start we would play music! Well, I would make the most of it because I’m really bad in this area. I studied music for seven years, and nothing came of it. Some people have a good ear. I think mine is pretty limited!
What can we expect to see from you next?
More video clips, we hope! Always different, we want to try out lots of things, mixing styles and techniques. Both coming from animation, we’re full of ideas and ambitions for live-action shoots and mixing our styles and techniques still seems interesting.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
A pint and a fag?