The Oscars: Alaux, de Crécy and Houplain Talk Logorama
BD: So, how did you handle the rights issue?
HDC: We didn't think about the rights -- we weren't looking to make money. We just wrote the story and wanted to make a good film. We weren't against the brands: we love logotypes. It's like the best casting in the world to make the biggest blockbuster movie. And, of course, there is some chemistry between logotypes and some action that happens -- that's life.
BD: Have any of these corporations come after you?
LH: No, they haven't. Actually, it's more of the opposite with some brands asking why they aren't in the short.
BD: And what was it like researching and compiling all the logos?
LH: We compiled a database of 45,000 logos. And at the end we only used 2,500. And then we had to draw all the logos from all the different angles and modeling in 3D. And at the same time we worked on an animatic. And we worked on the edit for each scene in order to place all the modeled logos in different camera angles.
HDC: We made a first version of the film with basic After Effects animation. Plus we used ideas from Hollywood blockbusters just to get the right cameras, the right action, etc. From there we did the edit and were ready to start the animation when we finished these steps, and that's the moment when we went with Mikros Image. And so we gave our 2D animatic to the animators -- we don't animate ourselves. We just directed all the animation and also for the animation we used Rotoscopic-based animation, which means we filmed ourselves doing basically all the movements and playing all the characters in the film and gave that to the animators so they could have a reference and also to reinterpret our moves to make it work with characters that don't necessarily have a human shape.
And also we spent a long time with the animators to redo all of the cameras because we didn't want it to look too cartoonish but real: our reference was live-action blockbusters. The idea was to use cameras that were not from animation but could have been possible.
FA: They are references from John McTiernan movies or Tony Scott or Ridley Scott. There is some stuff from Black Hawk Down in the film. But it was important for us to use a universal language because we were in a very bizarre world of logotypes. And we wanted the audience to stay in the story.
HDC: Because there are so many levels of understanding in Logorama but it had to work as a story first. What we like is when people just dive into the story and at some point realized that it's a world made out of logos. They don't even have the time to concentrate on the logos. And we wanted the story to be as iconic as the logos themselves. The narrative is also a logotype because it uses all the tricks of Hollywood.
LH: The whole film is filled with logo associations, playing on the opposition of signification, and the competition between brands. It’s really very playful. We allowed ourselves everything that was forbidden on TV or in films or advertising. Everything was allowed. There were no limits.