15th March 2016
Golden touch
Title of film: Camp Claude, Golden Prize
Director: Diane Sagnier
Production Company: Quad Productions
With gorgeous people being even more gorgeous in stunning locations, Diane Sagnier's fashion films, even for the deepest winter collections, are warm and fun. You can see why brands like Billabong, Galeries Lafayette, Marie Sixtine keep coming back for more film work. Now the French director has created a road trippy film for her own band, Camp Claude.

We were going to ask about your ongoing relationship with the band Camp Claude’ as you’ve shot several videos for them then realised it’s actually your band and you star in the video that you’ve just made called Golden Prize. Please tell us how the plot and the film evolved – was it a joint effort among the three band members? Was it as much fun as it looks to make?

Camp Claude is Mike Giffts, Leo Hellden and myself :). The guys all worked on the sound production, I took care of visuals. We had such a cool driving song and the idea of “golden.” So I needed to come up with the imagery to it and ally both elements! I wanted to go all the way into the feeling of the Road Trip. The speed, the longing, the wind and burning sun, and this trippy aspect. When I was a kid, we’d spend so much time on the long road trips in our family or friends’ cars, moving across France or going on vacation. I’d hardly ever sleep and just stare out the window, it triggers your imagination. You can see so many unexpected things from a car window… add the heat and the times when the AirCon just wasn’t a thing…

So I wrote it up, got all my muses on board and my fav team, and my production company went all in with us too! It was a super fun but full two days in the desert. I’m glad it feels so natural, most of it was spontaneous and we played around the original script a lot.

Love the VFX in Golden Prize – are effects something you’d like to incorporate more into your narratives?

Thank you! Actually yes I was very excited to have the opportunity to work on VFX thanks to the Fix Studio team at the Quad who helped out beautifully. I’ve always wanted to experiment with special effects but never had the project or knowledge to pursue it. I usually picture what’s real, sometimes in a distorted way but never to that length! I needed VFX to represent these heated hallucinations. It fit the script and I’ll do it again for sure!

What came first – making films, music or photography? Please give us a potted history of your background.

From as long as I can remember I’ve always been a music lover and an image enthusiast. I always drew a lot then started using my parent’s camera as a teen. I would film and take pictures of my friends then got into photography school, Les Gobelins in Paris. I collaborated with a bunch of people, and others started proposing jobs. I started guitar at five years old, and stopped learning all technical skills when I could strum three chords and sing along and get a vibe, which I’m still doing!

Are you constantly taking notes, keeping scrapbooks of ideas, images?

I don’t intentionally but it’s spread out around me. If an idea comes i’ll write it down for sure, email myself. I’m more influenced by my feelings and a general vibe than any other rational explanation.

Where and how do you work best – do you have a creative process you follow for making films?

I work best when things are spontaneous, often my favourite work is what was unplanned. I need to be inspired by a place or a person… Sometimes my team is my inspiration, I can work with anything if feel the surroundings are good, or free to do anything. In Golden Prize for example there was just enough the unexpected between the muses (all actors are like some of my favourite people) and harmony with the team, which was secured by just enough prep.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

I’d love to share my latest short film “ (also see work above) Emotions as Chemical Reactions“, no client or editorial goal, I’ve worked in synch with my creative team and it’s a piece I’m very proud of. My side kick makeup artist Mathilde Passeri and I wanted to experiment with liquids in a “beauty/skin” aesthetic film. I also wanted to use this very graphic material to embody feelings which aren’t physically expressed. The music was originally made and fitted to the film by a producer friend called MXIMILN. Even more than for Golden Prize, I worked by what looked the best on the day, script changing and evolving continuously, just like when I shoot photography.
We’ve got a setup and a vibe, a few key moments, and take it from there.

Also, music related, our first Camp Claude album Swimming Lessons is coming out on the 8th of April! It’s super exiting!

Please list five inspirations that have connected with you recently:

– I’ve started a project with this awesome organic/real effects director called Roman Hill! Here is his latest film Genesis

– I watch a lot of 90s teen movies, some cheezy some badass. But here is my all time favourite “Nowhere” by Araki.

– Love hand made things, this is an oldie but still epic:

– I’m always falling for these emotional guys, the music is amazing and the low-key bromance clip, here, is so nice to watch.

– Just saw this the other day, quite a real life mermaid


Quad Productions