We’ve long admired and anticipated the strange animated projects that French filmmaker Laura Sicouri creates both in her solo work and with directing partner Kadavre Exquis. But proving that she’s a filmmaker not so easily pinned down, her latest project – a music video for Paris sextet Birdy Hunt’s Maria – sees Sicouri step into the live action realm for a workout session complete with choreographed moves that would tempt even the most reticent of exercisers into the gym. Sicouri tells us how the project came about.

Birdy Hunt asked me to make a music video for their track Maria and I agreed. I simply loved their mood. They wanted a live action video and I was really open to making one. The idea of using dancers is something I’d had in mind for a while and I was glad to have the opportunity to make it. Experimenting with new techniques is always cool. Moreover, we didn’t have so much time and to be honest, animation takes so much longer! Everything went really fast: we had two weeks to prepare, to shoot and two weeks to edit.

The shooting took place in a neighbourhood not far from Paris with a small but really efficient team. It was realized with two different cameras, a Black Magic and a Canon 5D Mark 3 to set up the slow motion shots. The Director of Photography Masanori Omori gave me a cool surprise when he took out of nowhere his black magic pocket once we arrived on set! Moreover, Birdy Hunt were very openminded so it was easy to explore different things during the shoot. It was a very rewarding and funny experience that I’d love to have again!

I’m working on different projects these days, personal and commissioned. Most of them are music videos. I might start a personal project as soon as I have time.

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