The Quad Group - Art Bridge director tells us about growing up in France, his fascination with film and music and his bright plans for the future
Gabriel Dugué is an upcoming director hailing from the sun-soaked city of Montpellier. He's got a fascination with film, music and
exploring the unknown and it shows. He's directed a series of sleek, cool, hiphop music videos and commercial spots and is looking to do even more. He's humble but he shouldn't be as he's achieved a lot in his short time on the scene. Signed to QUAD Group's newly launched Art Bridge department, he clearly pays a lot of
attention to detail in his work which has an undeniable je ne sais quoi, so we decided to grab him for a few minutes to discover more about him.
LBB> Where did you grow up and what kind of kid were you?
GD> I grew up in the south west of France with my father, in an old family house surrounded by woods, orchards and animals, and with my mother in several small apartments in Agen, the neighboring city. I have always been, on the one hand, very close to nature and the village atmosphere, and its town hall square where we gathered with friends; and then on the other side, the city and the room that I shared with my little sister. I think the double life experienced by many children of divorced parents allowed me to understand a lot about social divides, the differences and the commonalities between urban dwellers and rural people. I am very proud to belong to both and I would like explore this duality in my films.
LBB> When did you realise you wanted to be a filmmaker?
GD> I was initially interested in music. So I studied sound and then sound in cinema, and this was how I discovered images. It was only when I created my band that I thought I would make our music videos. That said, I did not really consider myself a director at the time. I think I’ve only really been a director for two years.
LBB> Where and how did you hone your craft?
GD> I think what allows me to develop my style is to constantly keep my eyes peeled, and of course to study passionately the work of others. I also try as much as humanly possible to put myself in the shoes of the viewer when judging my own work. The journey and meetings inspire me enormously and I find I want to film "people" more and more.
LBB> What do you like to get up to when you’re not making films?
GD> If I’m not filming, I wander. I travel. I rummage flea markets for furniture from the ‘50s to ‘70s (probably too much actually). And I read and cook.
LBB> What are your plans / goals for the rest of 2017 and beyond?
GD> In this exact moment I’m on a train to go shot a pilot for a series of short documentaries. I’m preparing music videos in collaboration with some French artists, and I’m preparing the script for my first short film, for which I’m patiently waiting to find the right production for :-)
LBB> How would you describe yourself and your work?
GD> I still consider myself a beginner. I'm still discovering all the different ways of working: with and without a team, with little or no money, with a production company behind you, or not. I’m developing a style. I seem to like getting at what’s essential. I tend not to like cutaway shots, shots that function as window dressing. I love writing and shooting ideas that are fairly structured and then deconstructing it, sometimes even making it less comprehensible. It’s almost as if I film real situations and then tell a different story with it.
LBB> What’s your biggest form or inspiration and why?
GD> I am inspired by many things. I spend at least one hour a day on Vimeo. For sure, I’m inspired by music videos by Daniels, BRTHR, Hiro Muray, Nabil, AJ Rojas. I also watch a lot of films from the ‘80s-’90s, movies that I missed and am now rediscovering as if I was a kid again. I recently saw U-Turn and Short Cuts - killer!!! I also read a lot of manga. In the end I’m not really sure what my biggest influence is…and I think that’s okay.
LBB> Which piece of work are you most proud of and why?
GD> It might sound a bit sad but it’s hard for me to choose one because I find them all imperfect. I am proud of people liking my work, and I’m proud if the artists or clients are. I know the strengths of each project, but then I quickly see what I could have done better. Surely, I’ll feel more proud in a few years when I look at them again with nostalgia.
LBB> What would be your dream project to work on in the future and why?
GD> Right now, I’d like to just work with a strong team and be given a carte blanche - the support to get as close as possible to something I write or imagine from scratch. I learned to direct by filming what I had available and around me. Now I want to really to fine-tune my style. And be called by giving me carte blanche. After having made music for six years and close to 300 concerts, I’m a newly minted director looking to make my mark.