Throughout a cinematic video, director Loïc Andrieu introduces a new female hero high-concept. It features Jane, an enigmatic L.A.P.D officer, forced to face her Orphic power to dive into death.
Hi Loïc thank you for talking to TNC, how are you handling the lockdown?
My feeling is that this moment is of raw violence for human kind but also that it is priceless. Both for an interior journey and to reconnect with friends, family, nature and with creativity. A kind of biblical apocalypse that goes beyond science and economics. A warning. A blessing. This time must be cherished like a god in order to be reborn for those who will survive.
As a filmmaker is this experience providing you with some creative motivations?
As a screenwriter I am working on my next feature film script LIFE LINE. This film introduces a new female hero high-concept. Jane, an enigmatic LAPD rookie, trapped into a scary police hazing ritual and forced to face her secret power to dive into death. The concept of this project has inspired the music video AGORIA - CALL OF THE WILD. In fact you should experience this music video as a proof of concept for the full length movie.
Your music video Call Of The Wild, has been selected for the 2020 ÉCU Film Festival in Paris, what has it meant to you to be part of this unique film festival for independent filmmakers?
My producer Pierre Cazenave from Soldats Films and I are very proud to be part of this amazing event. Though we were blessed to win the award of the 2018 ECU edition with the music video "KCPK - The End", we never take anything for granted and we are honoured that CALL OF THE WILD will be screened this year in front of such an authentic audience.
Can you tell me a little bit about Call Of The Wild, what was the inspiration behind this music video?
Call Of The Wild is a female Orpheus myth. Death is the ultimate Pandora’s box. Dealing with it calls us to face inherent fears over the unknown. Jane breaks these boundaries and unveils the mysteries of the antechamber of death. Not dead yet, but no longer alive.
The concept of a female character blessed and cursed with an Orphic power came to me through personal mythological research. I created the concept of Jane as a real-life Fury. Furies are the snake-haired goddesses of vengeance, that under earth take vengeance on men, whosoever hath sworn a false oath.
How did the collaboration with Agoria come about?
My producer Pierre Cazenave triggered it all by introducing me to the amazing electronic music artist and producer Agoria aka Sebastien Devaud. I pitched him the concept…
From there, Agoria agreed and offered me one of the most iconic tracks of his forthcoming album Drift.
The supernatural-thriller tone of the script fits perfectly the mood of the track Call Of The Wild. The fast-paced menacing vocals of Philadelphia rapper STS complements the cold and uneasy mood created by Agoria’s industrial-tinged beats.
It was an exciting experience to collaborate with Agoria as he re-worked his track through the editing process of the video by adding powerful instrumental parts. Agoria’s inputs were priceless in terms of balance between the music video and the narrative segments.
What was the most challenging of filming of Call Of The Wild at night in Los Angeles?
Los Angeles is not an easy area to shot an ambitious project with a low budget. You must pay dozens of expensive permits. A single gun shot will cost you 200$ to rent the gun. 900$ to pay the weapon supervisor plus 3000$ to pay the permit to shoot by night in a suburb area. So you are not as free as you are in Europe to shoot with a small crew. Unions, casting, scouting, wardrobe, every aspects of a low budget movie production are a battle in LA. I guess all these rules are made to prevent the city to be overwhelmed by movie shootings. But even if you can’t be as picky as you would be in Europe, you will always find better props, a better car, or better locations than the one you had in mind because the volume of choice is way larger in every department.
Is this something you would consider doing again?
I’ll be back in L.A to direct.
Looking back do you think there is anything you would have done differently?
Every frame of CALL OF THE WILD is a part of me. There is not a single thing I would do differently. We made an amazing film in 3 nights. It’s a fact.
Have you always had a passion for filmmaking?
As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to become a screenwriter and a director. So it all started from a storytelling perspective. But it felt essential to me to first learn the directing craft working as Steadicam operator, really close to established directors.
You have vast experience as a steadicam operator on multiple features, how much did this experience help you move into directing your own projects?
Luc Besson has been one of my most inspiring masters. Working close to him taught me how to tell a story with a camera and how to coach the actors.
Working at Jacques Audiard’s side, I learned how to write and direct the exposition of a main character by revealing his backstory exclusively through indirect dialogue lines. On set, Jacques Audiard showed me where to put the camera in order to develop the main character’s point of view throughout a whole movie.
Collaborating with Leos Carax I learned the language of dreams by allowing the subconscious to overwhelm my visuals without providing any tangible explanation to the audience.
"Be a voice.
Not a follower. Love.
Did any of the directors you've worked with throughout your career offer you any advice before your debut project as director?
I’ve learned the most important things about directing on my own, through screenwriting. I would summarise my whole experience in a few words: Nothing matters more than the script.
Good or bad, almost anyone directs nowadays but only a few know the craft of screenwriting. The level of commitment needed to write an honest script is way beyond most of the skill of nowadays “so called directors” and way beyond their deep understanding of what is a character and therefore what is a movie.
The more and more easy access to a camera and an edit software can be compared to the easy access to any musical instrument…Meaning you can buy a guitar in any corner shop but it doesn’t make you Jimi Hendrix. You got to learn the craft. You got to learn screenwriting, the solfeggio of storytelling.
How much has your style and approach changed since you started out?
Every project I write and direct is a way for me to experience a new field of storytelling, not only on a visual standpoint but also on a subconscious standpoint. I am the camera operator of every project I direct. For years now I am developing a strong visual identity based on a use of classical tools like dolly, slider or crane avoiding handheld and steadicam as much as possible. I like using zoom lenses that I consider as an underrated tool and that is now part of my signature. CALL OF THE WILD was the first film in which I decided to frame handheld sequences. It sounded to me like the best visual storytelling tool for the interiors of the house.
Do you have any tips or advice to offer filmmakers about to make their first film or music video?
Don’t copy anybody! Be singular, an identity. Create a strong personal body of work, whatever the others say. Don’t sell your soul to the devil by directing lazy brand content or you’ll be pigeonholed sooner than you think. Be a voice. Not a follower. Love. Write. Direct. Create.
What are you currently working on?
My and my producer Pierre Cazenave from Soldats Films are working on writing and financing my next feature film LIFE LINE.
And finally, what do you hope people will take away from Call Of The Wild?
Jane the heroin of CALL OF THE WILD, is a fascinating character for me to keep on exploring the thin line between real life and dreamlike perception. This pattern allows me to even speculate with the audience on the reliability of Jane’s Orphic power.
The feature film will open even more doors.