The French animation collective who just want to make us laugh with their ‘3D rendered jokes’
Megacomputeur is a truly interdimensional creative collective. Their work combines the stylings and spirit you’d more usually associate with 2D cartoons with the texture and tech of 3D animation. Their work is crisp, crazy and very, very funny. Packed with perspective-flipping mountain goats, inept robbers, persistent monsters and narcoleptic romantics, their films bely a sense of gleeful silliness – so it’s little surprise that they describe themselves as a bunch of kids who never grew up.
Shockingly, this talented bunch hasn’t even graduated yet. They’re currently in their final year at the esteemed French animation school MoPA. However, they’ve already garnered professional experience of working with the likes of QUAD’s Wizz Academy in France and Passion Pictures in London. It was while at QUAD that they created ‘Deuspi’, a short film they produced last year that was a hit on the animation festival circuit and is a real LBB office favourite.
Intrigued to discover more, LBB’s Jason Caines caught up with the Megacomputeur crew to find out what drew them together, their favourite animators and why Dexter’s Laboratory is such an inspiration.
LBB> What are your names, where did you grow up and what were you like as kids?
Megacomputeur> There are six of us: Leo, Camille, Maryka, Oscar, Corentin and Quentin. We come from all over France, but we met in school in Arles, South France. As kids, we were like any other kids, we guess, but we always wanted to have a computer on our laps.
But we all feel that one thing that makes us different from other kids is that we stayed kids. Even though we’re all grown up we still want to fool around and make people laugh at our 3D rendered jokes.
LBB> How did you get into animation?
M> The reason we got into animation is the classical 'I fell in love when I first watched Toy Story'. But we secretly got into it to become super rich and famous ;-)
Seriously, we felt like animation, and particularly 3D animation, was the best way for us to create funny characters and tell stories like we never could have done otherwise.
LBB> Who does what as part of the group?
M> We all work together on the preproduction – that includes the design, storyboarding, storytelling. When we start the 3D part, we also all do the modelling. But then we split into two teams. Three are in charge of the animation and the three others will take hold of the image part.
LBB> What was it like to be selected for internships with companies like Wizz and Passion?
M> We had the opportunity to work at Wizz and Passion Pictures London over the past two summers for our internships and to make our own short films there – ‘Deuspi’ at Wizz and ‘Play-Off’ at Passion. But we're still in school for our last student year, so for now we’re going to focus more on our graduation film, and we'll wait until the year is finished to pursue our work as a collective and to see what projects and opportunities come up.
LBB> Who are your creative influences from France in terms of your animation and its style?
M> One of our main influences from France is CRCR. They are a French collective at WIZZ
who all studied at Gobelins – the most famous animation school in Paris.
We also like French Roast, which is an animated 3D short created by Fabrice Joubert.
Also some shorts made by creators from our school at Wizz, like Garden Party by Illogic
and Meet Buck and Salesman Pete, who are part of Steak Collective / Feed Me Light.
We're sure there are thousands of other influences that we can't remember right now…
LBB> What’s your favourite piece of work that you've been involved in and why?
M> There are two films that we've made between our first school and our actual school that are our clear favourites. The first one, Sleep Remi, is already on the internet and the second is about to be released!
It was difficult to stay at school to make these films because of internet problems in the school so we decided to buy some ethernet cables, a switch and we built a little network at home to make the shorts. It was our first ‘studio’!
LBB> Who are some of your favourite animators?
M> In terms of animation, we are fond of Carlos Baena from Pixar. His work on The Incredibles is really impressive and he also gives some good advice on his website.
We are also big fans of the work of Genndy Tartakovsky, especially for all the work that he did on Hotel Transylvania and for all his classics like Dexter's Laboratory and Samurai Jack.
LBB> Are there any animators that you admire that you think the advertising industry should know about?
M> We really like the work of Felix Colgrave, he creates mainly on music videos, but he also does short films. He has a completely crazy universe, and it would be fun to see his work on a TV commercial.
LBB> Do you have any upcoming projects that you'd like people to know about?
M> As we mentioned earlier, we have a project that's already finished, and which is about to be released. And we are currently making our graduation movie, but this time we split the team in two because it was easier for the school organisation.
LBB> Do you have any advice for budding animators out there that could help them?
M> We are still students, so we can't really give advice, even if we are in our last year of study. The only thing we can say is that you must keep motivated, try to learn new things and progress every day. Also, you have to get out of your comfort zone.