The Oscars: Alaux, de Crécy and Houplain Talk Logorama
Logorama is undoubtedly the most audacious Oscar nominee: A gun-toting, foul-mouthed Ronald McDonald? A sexy Esso Girl? A heroic Michelin Man? An edgy Bob's Big Boy? Four years in the making by the French collective, H5 and produced by Autour de Minuit (with financial assistance from Mikros Images and Addict Films), I spoke with Hervé de Crécy and Francois Alaux, who have gone solo, and separately with H5 co-founder Ludovic Houplain.
Bill Desowitz: How did you come up with Logorama?
Ludovic Houplain: The genesis of the concept first arose when Antoine Bardou-Jacquet and I collaborated on a video for Alex Gopher called The Child that was based on the idea of creating New York City completely out of logos.
Hervé de Crécy: The Child became a world made with only type. So everything is made out of words, typography, so from there, we knew it was possible to build a world with just signs.
LH: After that we proposed a music video for Télépopmusic, Da Hoola. We realized that we could apply a similar principle but develop the concept further. Our world can be represented with logos. They can symbolize everything: characters, animals, vehicles, plants, graphic shapes… but the idea never took off.
And then there was an opportunity to work with George Harrison, who wanted to make a video about consumerism. And we proposed a world with logotypes and he was enthusiastic, but the music label wanted this concept but with fake logos, and for us it was impossible. You lose the concept and you lose the power. Then Harrison passed away and the idea with him.
Francois Alaux: And Ludovic, Hervé and I also kept some money from works we did before to continue the project because it took three years to make, and we had to pay the guys working on animation and rendering. And all the sound design and the dialogue were produced in LA. RSA helped us a lot, especially their department, Little Minx, run by producer Rhea Scott, who helped us work with [screenwriters] Gregory Pruss, Andrew Kevin Walker and even David Fincher.
BD: What were their contributions?
HDC: They loved the story and Pruss and Walker helped push the dialogue and made it funny and cynical. They worked on it for three weeks. And Walker voiced Hot and Spicy and Fincher voiced the original Pringle.