Wednesday, 17 November 2010
What does Pleix mean and how long has it been around?
Leti: “PLEIX” doesn’t mean anything, we just liked the sound of it and the look of the letter combination. This name comes from one of us in the group who is very good at finding words that sound good, yet are ambiguous. Most of us are based in Paris, and have worked together since 2001.
Are you all from Paris?
Leti: No we are not all from Paris, but we are all based in Paris!
Who is “Chased by Cowboys?” Are they the one(s) responsible for all the 3D animation
Leti: “Chased by Cowboys” is a production company that represents us in Germany. We have other producers in the UK for advertising, such as Blink Production, and for music videos there is Colonel Blimp. In France, we are with Soixante Quinze.
Bleip is your music vehicle?
Leti: Bleip is part of the collective thing we do. Bleip, the person, is a musician and also an editor. He knows exactly what “rhythm” really is, both musically and visually, and we like that about him. The music he composes is very “visual”, in that it’s very easy to imagine his music with graphics. Because we all like his music, we work with him often but we also do video for other artists. Currently, he has a new EP out called “+1” and is now working on his second CD project.
Do you all work together to complete a single project or do you take on projects individually, under one group?
Leti: In fact, it depends on the project we’re doing, but most of the time a project will start first by name only, and if needed (technically or creatively) two or all of us come together and join the project. We all discuss the projects collectively and share ideas. At the end, we sign the project as PLEIX.
What are your individual roles in the projects?
Leti: Pleix is a real community of digital artists; graphic designers, 3D artists, musician, editor and a project manager. We really like mixing our different skills to gain greater freedom to do a verity of things. The roles depend on our skills, but also of each of our own desires, it’
I read somewhere that you all met at Kuntzel+Deygas Animation studio, is that correct? Can you talk about that some?
Leti: Yes, we all met there a few years ago. It has been a great experience for all of us to work for those very talented directors, Kuntzel and Deygas. During that time, we (the Pleix team) got along very well together and found we really liked and respected each other’s work and ideas. As I said, we were all complementing, technically and creatively each other, and it was ideal situation for us to be together. We wanted to do our own projects. I guess that’s a really good reason to come together!
When it comes to motion design, what are you most interested in accomplishing?
Leti: We like to work on limits– contradictions and accidents that show the fragility of the digital world and the world in general. We all like producing tension by joining together heterogeneous graphics, videos and sounds. By being a group of seven, it makes our inspiration source very large– meaning our inspiration comes from many different fields like cinema, art, TV, comic books, cartoons, etc. For us, we find it is always very exciting to start on a new project together.
What are your individual influences?
Leti: We all really like electronic music– some of us like Aphex Twin, Amon Tobin, Björk and many, many other good artists. Individually we’re inspired by a lot of our own things, but for music, we’re in agreement. We really like electronic music, but not only that.
I like the cynical tone and modern approach in your animations. How do you arrive with the concepts in your work?
Leti: We really like using what we see every day on TV, in our society and whatever happens in this world. In our films, we usually try to have double meanings, and people are free to see what they want in them. We like to use social commentary with a touch of dark humour, and that sort of mix is very important for us to keep a project on the “lighter” side. We all like to work it to the edge of things and make one think.
What are your thoughts before and during the creation period?
Leti: Once we find the right idea… we don’t “think” anymore, we work! [laughs]
Who is the force behind all of your photography?
Leti: Ah, don’t forget we are a collective and it’s not always the same person who does the photography! We simply get what we need, the force behind it is up to whomever is working on that part of the project at that time.
I love the style, cropping and perspective. Do you stage all your photography/videography and later edit it digitally?
Leti: It really depends on the project, we never use the same process.
Can you talk about your process in handling photography in your animation pieces?
Leti: We love using a mix of techniques, photography is a combination of all of them, it’s just a tool though!
Do you all see yourselves sticking to this style or mood, or do you ever feel the need to try other things?
Leti: We don’t think there *is* only one “style” in all our films. But there is an ambience– an atmosphere– a feeling of how we all work together to bring the project on edge of things. The Pleix “touch” could be a common task reset to more unique conditions, however it is done, we too want to be surprised!
With some of the imagery you use, I imagine it might spark a little protest. What sort of reactions do you get from the public?
Leti: We are always very surprised to see that many festivals, design schools, art museum and so on ask us to show our films. Most of the time we’ve received nice reactions, but of course some people hate what we do, which we find is nice too!
Are you trying to get under their skin? What’s the overriding agenda in your work?
Leti: We find our inspiration in our society, our world which is full of contradictions. We usually try to have more than one connotation in our films, somewhat like a subliminal message. You can watch our videos without thinking of it or noticing it, then maybe later you’ll find something more sensitive in it. People are free to see what they want, we don’t mind. We are not so different from other artists. We’ve got our own tastes, our own desires and our own sense of humour– we’re free to use it.
I know group collaborations are not always easy, how do you all get along?
Leti: As when we first met, we really liked and respected the work we each did. It’s still the same and will remain that way. I know it’s hard to explain but we all get along really well, and there is no leader, and no hierarchy in the group. We feel free to do and say what we want and without worrying about each other’s character, because we just like each other, like a big happy family.
How do you manage your time? You have done so much in such a small span, you’ve either figured out how to stop time, or you don’t sleep. What’s the secret?∞
Leti: We all love what we do, that’s the secret to stopping time. We also love to share what we do with the public, so that motivates us, too.
Laetitia, thanks for the time to speak with you.
Leti: You’re welcome. Pleasure speaking with you.