Fortiche: Can you tell us about your career?
I started with an MANAA (equivalent of Foundation Art course) at ESMA Toulouse in 2010-2011, followed by a 3-year degree in 3D Feature Film Animation at the same school. I graduated in 2014 with the short film "Amir and Amira" that I co-directed with 5 friends from my class. This short film enabled me to find work quickly.
My first job was at Teamto, where I worked for 5 months on the 1st season of "Pyjamasks". Then I did 3 years at Framestore London from 2015 to 2018, where I was able to work on projects like "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2", "Paddington 2", "Beauty and the Beast" and "Mowgli" among others. Those very realistic and challenging projects allowed me to really push the details and credibility of my animations.
I then returned to France to be closer to my family. I spent a year at TAT production, in Toulouse, participating in their second feature film "Terra Willy", before joining Fortiche Paris in March 2019 for the first season of "Arcane".
F: Why did you choose this career path?
As a kid I used to go to the movies with my dad and he always watched many, many movies at our house. I used to sit on the couch next to him. I grew up surrounded by VHS, DVDs and Blu-rays of Martin Scorsese, Georges Miller, David Fincher, Ridley Scott, F F. Coppola, Brian de Palma, James Cameron to name a few.
From my childhood to my teenage years, Pixar, Blue Sky and Disney movies were part of my weekends. While my father was working, I watched them with my sisters.
And of course, I also grew up with a Playstation controller (PS2 and PS3) in my hands. I was fascinated by the evolution of video games’ graphics and especially cinematics. I think that seeing God of War’s graphics (from the first game, on PS2) is what initially made me want to work in the field of animation.
Then, a television documentary confirmed this desire when I was about 14 years old. I discovered that the world of computer graphics, and specifically of animation, was made of full-fledged professions and that one could make a living from it. Finally, we had other choices than being an engineer, or studying literature or economics in university.
I think that animation is a wonderful way of expressing myself which allows me to explore my own emotions and to put them into the characters. And most importantly, we get to make movies! Which is great. We are actors by proxy. What I like most about this profession is that on the one hand, it is a passion that pushes us to go further in the accuracy of what we want to tell, while we continue to learn. On the other hand, it is a collective work, a real team work and I think that it is what I like the most.
F: How long have you been working with Fortiche?
I celebrated my third year at the studio in March 2022.
F: What is your role on the project or at Fortiche?
I am currently co-supervising the Parisian animation team on season 2 of Arcane with Jean-Charles, which represents about sixty animators supervised by 9 lead animators.
My role is first of all artistic : collaborating with the leads of each team to give them briefs for the animated sequences they will be working on. I have to make sure these briefs match that of the directors’ in terms of intentions and ensure the graphic style of the animation for each shot. We have to guarantee the overall consistency and continuity of the characters through the sequences /episodes while supervising the gestures/behavior of the newer characters of the series (pre-production animation). Finally, the goal is to deliver the finished episodes, managing the mass of work between the different teams and especially ensuring regular feedback to the animators on their plans.
My role is also technical: we have to connect with the other departments through meetings to anticipate issues on upcoming sequences. We also have to do prep work, like testing rigs for the team, preparing work in the animation library, requesting and following up on new tools for the department, as well as organizing small masterclasses to share tips/tricks with the team. And finally, I try to animate shots sometimes, to keep in touch and especially to enjoy myself :) .
F: What is your best memory at Fortiche or do you have an anecdote to share with us?
When I was an animator on season 1, my lunch breaks lasted 1 hour and I could play table soccer, have a coffee on the terrace at 4pm, chat with colleagues and leave at 7pm with the feeling of a day well accomplished... Ahah! In reality, it was well accomplished too...
On a more serious note, there are far too many things that make working here unique enough to choose just one. There have been so many passionate discussions about the animation of a 4 frames blink made by one of the animators, moves on the dance-floor, memes and gifs on mattermost, or the privileged relationship you have with the directors and showrunners, that make the project so enjoyable. But also to be amazed every day by the designs, boards, mattes, fx, 2D animation, compo, music and so on, to have the feeling to be part of a whole that makes sense and that, I think, is quite rare in our industry.
Finally, the whole experience of working here and on the current project form a single beautiful memory filled with different little flavors. Kind of like a gourmet dish. #ForticheTouch