New Talent: Brutus Collective
From a gritty, ‘80s-inspired, zombie-infested world to the melancholic, ethereal atmosphere aboard a space station, the collective known as Brutus already have an eclectic couple of films under their belt. Made up of Sebastien Iglesias, Aurelien Duhayon and Thibaud Clergue, the team recently signed with Feed Me Light to make their first foray into commercial directing.
LBB’s Liam Smith caught up with Brutus to dig deeper into their short films and find out what’s in store for them at Feed Me Light.
LBB> Tell us about yourselves. Who are the team behind Brutus and how did you all meet?
Brutus Collective> At the start Brutus Collective was just four friends: Camille Perrin, Sebastien Iglesias, Aurelien Duhayon and Thibaud Clergue. We met during our studies at Supinfocom in Arles, where we graduated in 2012. We already shared a passion and vision for filmmaking, so it was obvious that we would build something together in the future.
After two years working apart at different businesses, we finally decided to regroup in Paris to create our first movie ‘Horde’. We spent two months on this, from the storyboard to the final edit, and this experience comforted us in the idea of collaborating on more pieces of animation, exploring other graphic settings and techniques. Finding our own style according to what we all liked.
LBB> What are the advantages of working as a collective?
BC> Being part of a collective allows us to have more energy to inject into the projects we make. Constantly keeping a fresh look by taking turns directing, and confronting each other’s different points of views and wishes.
Mixing our different experiences and skills makes the collective more versatile, which we think is a big strength, as we understand and can deal with all the aspects of the creative process. 2D, 3D, concept design, animation production and post production.
LBB> This is your first step into the commercial world as directors. How are you feeling?
BC> The commercial world is not totally new for us. We’re all working as freelance for advertising/production companies between London and Paris so we know how it works from the inside and what the constraints and challenges can be.
It’s actually pretty exciting to have the chance to work as directors in this field and we’ll hopefully be able to keep working on our personal projects on the side.
LBB> You recently signed to London-based production company Feed Me Light. What attracted you to the company?
BC> Every one of us has worked with Feed Me Light in the past, and we all enjoyed the spirit and the quality of all the work they have accomplished in such a short period. The company is young but is still very professional and reassuring in the way they deal with each project and the people who work with them. Also, it’s not too big so it will be probably easier for us to find our place in the team and grow alongside it.
LBB> I love your short film 'Horde'. The style, the music, the setting... it's all very '80s. What inspired it?
BC> That’s great to hear. The movie had a really warm reception when we shared it online few years ago, and we are always happy to hear such things. The inspiration behind the film mainly comes from media and movies that moved us when we were younger. So yes, very ‘80s.
For Horde, we were inspired by the action, fantasy and horror movies of the time. [John] Carpenter’s films, Terminator 2, The Warriors, films about gangs, punks... And B-movies/series from the ’80s-‘90s, like Metal Hurlant and Akira. We wanted to create something impactful with a strong visual identity, and this period had some great material to work with.
LBB> Your animation style feels like it takes inspiration from comics and graphic novels. Horde’s visuals remind me of Robert Kirkman's The Walking Dead (not just because of the zombies!). Is this a style you'd like to continue in your commercial work?
BC> Robert Kirkman wasn’t actually a direct influence when we created Horde but we all know and like his work. We really loved working on Horde and we think it’s pretty representative of our influences, but we are open to all kinds of styles. We know that working in advertising requires adaptation, and we think we can bring our own touch to any kind of subject.
LBB> Anthony Scott Burns (aka PilotPriest) contacted you directly to produce the music video for ‘The Last Goodbye’. Can you tell us a little bit about that project?
BC> Anthony contacted us after seeing Horde online. He was keen to create something with us and, it’s funny, but we were actually listening to a lot of his first album when we were still students. No surprise then, we agreed to make a video for his mesmerising track ‘The Last Goodbye’ using the melancholic and ethereal atmosphere of his music as a base to create the story of this astronaut wandering through space.
It was quite different but it was really nice to work on, and we are still grateful for the freedom and the trust that Anthony gave us.
LBB> What do you get up to outside of work to cool off?
BC> Like a lot of people from our generation, we like to play video games a lot. It’s a good way to chill and find inspiration at the same time, just like reading novels, or of course going to the cinema.
We are trying to keep an eye on the latest movie features, or re-watching classics. But staying away from the screen and going outside is probably the best thing to do. Having some drinks with your friends after work or on the weekend.