Interview with Raoul Paulet

As part of the Encounters Festival 20th anniversary, a series of short interviews with previous filmmakers who have screened at Encounters will be published and updated weekly on our website blog from now until the beginning of the festival in September.

Le Mystere - Hugo & The Prysmatics was selected for the 2013 Music Video programme and a still from it has also been used for this year's flyer.

1. Where did your strong passion for minimalism and simplicity originate from and how has it developed into influencing your work? 

Raoul Paulet - Telekom SloveniaThat’s an interesting question. When I think about it, I find it difficult to understand when and how exactly I’ve developed this strong interest for minimalism and simplicity. Probably it’s because of my personality, which over the years has finally truly revealed itself. Everything I like, study, see and feel is transformed into something reduced to the essential.

I like the idea of spending a lot of time thinking over and researching about a subject, and then, step by step, starting visualising what represents the core of it and that’s what I want to keep into my pieces.

In the same way this process is applied to every aspects of creation: design, animation, shooting, everything I use is subject to this kind of analysis.

Even if this could sound a little bit overthought, all happens very naturally and spontaneously.

2. How did you conceive the idea for the film?

The idea for this video was born by putting together different ideas I had in mind at that time and stuff I wanted to experiment. Plus, I had the chance to collaborate with an amazing duo of Lithuanian fine artists (TerribleTwins). We spent together a lot of time researching and testing new things.

Essentially, I wanted to combine my passion (my background too) for performing arts, theatre, cinema, design and animation into one unique piece.

3. What interesting physical materials did you use whilst filming in order to create the various illusions that appear?

That’s a long list… 🙂 But I think what’s interesting is the way we opted on how to prepare and use them.

The basic idea was to work on a “live Photoshop canvas”, where we could transform the props into something more graphic and optical by distorting their tridimensionality. For example, making flat objects looking like they had a depth and vice versa over everyday objects like bottles and glasses, by making them looking bi-dimensional. A graphical interpretation of Natura Morta.

4. Did you and Hugo & The Prismatics work together in order to create such a successful video? Were you left to your own devices or did you work closely?

EN-2014-E-Flyer-1000wI met Hugo & The Prismatics a few times, and we had a nice feeling from the beginning. We had the chance to share ideas but especially to know each other better. They were happy and curious at the idea of collaborating with me so they decided to give me carte blanche. When I showed them the final result, they didn’t talk for a few minutes… Silence. I remember a few open mouths, then we had a big party to celebrate it, happy people everywhere, hugs and hive-fives till morning after. It was a great and prolific collaboration.

5. How would you say your video bridges the gap between music, dance, design and animation?

Honestly, I hope so. It’s what I’m looking for, always in the search of creating new bridges between different and -just apparently- different disciplines. I find it challenging but very inspirational, it satisfies my curiosity on multiple levels. To find the right balance between a variety of worlds co-existing in one piece, it’s fundamental to be able to find a way to deconstruct them. Music, dance, design and animation need to lose something on the way, to create room for everyone. The big challenge here is to identify precisely what to keep and what to lose from each of them in order to create balance and harmony.