Fortiche: Can you tell us about your career?
My background is a bit unusual.
After graduating from the Ecole Boulle in Applied Arts in 1991, I started as a set designer and prop maker. It was during the construction of the Disneyland Park in Paris. Painting, sculpting, molding, carpentry... I did everything but digital! It was a very meticulous job, with storytelling in every detail! I stayed at Disney for over 25 years.
I then worked as a computer graphics designer/DTP illustrator, then depending on the evolution of the needs, I became a webdesigner/webmaster, programmer, videographer, e-learning designer, communication manager... Quite different positions but always with a strong graphic/visual and technological component.
In 2017, I chose to follow a character animation training at the école des Gobelins in Paris. This allowed me to master the Maya software and to discover in a more tangible way the animation film industry, especially thanks to my teacher Jean-Claude CHARLES who worked as an assistant director on Michel Ocelot's films (Kirikou, Dilili in Paris...). Later, I also found one of my teachers among the animators at Fortiche!
I was then hired at Studio 100 on the animated feature Vic the Viking for Fix Anim, it's only then that I discovered this department.
F: Why did you choose this career path?
It was an old dream that goes back to the time when I wanted to enter the Disney studios in Montreuil to do 2D animation, and when we started to use 3D (The Hunchback of Notre-Dame, Tarzan...). I experienced the very beginnings of micro-computing in 1980, and especially the first 3D software (real 3D, sculpt 4D, Lightwave 3D...), with which to calculate the image of a simple sphere in raytracing, with cast shadows and reflections that could take several days! I've always been fascinated by computer graphics. Building characters and making them move, took me hours!
I grew up with the Disney classics every year at Christmas at the Grand Rex, which definitely influenced me. I also love video games, especially the storytelling part and... the cinematics!
When I changed careers, my goal was to focus on my passions and find an environment where I could share them, and here I have a lot to do!
F: How long have you been working with Fortiche?
Since the summer of 2019! I remember "abandoning" my wife and kids to take the job; in fact, I left them on holidays so I could do my training. Of course, I went back for them the following weekend!
When I was asked to join Fortiche, I had just heard about this studio with the secret project that was a hot topic in the sector, and especially I had seen the K/DA-Pop/Stars video that amazed me (and still does). During my job interview, when the animation director, Barthelemy MAUNOURY, showed me the first images of the Arcane pilot, I immediately fell in love with it (for the style and the quality of the project)!
F: What is your role on the project or at Fortiche?
I am part of the Fix Anim team. It's a department that is not well known by the public, and it works on a stage of production that doesn't necessarily exist on all projects. We oversee fine-tuning and arranging many details in the 3D scenes that we get from the animators. While the animators bring the characters to life through their movements and expressions, we arrange the details. It's a lot of work when it's done well, and it's not noticeable!
What I particularly like about this job is the thoroughness required (just like when I was a prop maker), the technical ingenuity needed to get the right visual result, but also the dialogue with the animators to avoid distorting their work.
F: What is your best memory at Fortiche or do you have an anecdote to share with us?
One of the most unforgettable moments was not at Fortiche but at home.
My son, who is in high school, has of course been promoting Arcane to his classmates. One day when he came home, he told me that his friends and even one of his teachers had looked for my name in the credits, he was very proud, and so was I!