Since screening his film //Control// for Apple Jelly at ASFF 2014, Jérémi Durand has been making numerous music videos all distinct and unique yet continuing his interest in exploring choreographed human motion. In this promo for the French electro band, Petru keeps control over his daily life through his own kind of dancing ritual. We catch up with Durand to find out how his practice has evolved.
ASFF: Apple Jelly: //CONTROL// was screened at the ASFF 2014 where you were also on a panel with other filmmakers and directors. How has your experience at ASFF shaped your filmmaking? JD: Being selected for a BAFTA qualifying festival such as ASFF always sets expectations very high. I think that’s what I went home with, the will to do “better, faster, stronger” videos. Moreover, meeting other directors when you are selected to be on a panel discussion like this is always a privileged way to meet someone, to share experiences and knowledge. And again, you see where you stand pretty quickly, and what you need to do in order to improve.
ASFF: What do you struggle with most as a filmmaker of music videos and what are the positives of working in this industry?
JD: I wouldn’t say it is a “struggle”, I would say it is hell. As simple as that. Budgets are tinier and tinier while expectations have become higher. That sets a very complicated equation to resolve. But fortunately, when you reach a certain point in your career, I guess things start to shine a little more every day, until you see the light. The positives are when you reach that level, you can finally get paid to do what you love, and that is such a privilege.
ASFF: Your more recent music videos such as Miami Showdown and Running to the Sea are very different to Apple Jelly: //CONTROL//. How do you think you have evolved?
JD: Indeed they are. I actually never think about it like this. To me, evolving as a filmmaker, or as an artist at all is not necessarily in comparison to what you have achieved in the past. It is more a day to day growth of my inspiration span, of maturity as a human being, and of my circles. These make me evolve from where I started from.
I take each and every project very individually and I have no problem doing things that can seem different at first. I am sure that there is my print, my DNA in it, and that it will stand out and make my work recognisable somehow at some point. I believe it should remain a natural and an organic process, so I never force it and try to link works together, it would on its own.
ASFF: Movements in a lot of your music videos often have dance or dance-like elements. What interests you about choreographed movement?
JD: I am fascinated by the human body, by dancers, actors, and by humans in general; by what they can do, look like, achieve, how they can move. So I have always encouraged the characters in my videos to push themselves under a certain direction. I trust that the people I work with can be pushed to be better than they know. If I chose to work with them and to show them in a certain light or position, it is because I know they can do that and eventually show me more than I know.
Watch the music video here.
To see more work by Jérémi Durand, visit www.jeremidurand.com
ASFF 2016 is now open for entries. To submit, visit www.asff.co.uk/submit