"Mr. Overtime" by Punks Jump Up: a road trip with Maxime Bruneel.
Maxime Bruneel is a French director known for his psychedelic animated music videos and the colored world of his live visuals. More particularly he directed "Your Love" by Aston Shuffle, "Jeez Louise" by Secret Squirrel and "Variation sur Marilou" by Alain Bashung.
After collaborating with Universal and Ministry of Sound, English label MODA's turn to ask him to direct Punks Jump Up's next promo, an eccentric English duo working on the title "Mr. Overtime" with Chromeo's singer "DAVE 1."
Londoner DJ duo created in 2002, Punks Jump Up delivers a dancing and definitely sophisticated electro pop. Over the years, the group multiplied collaborations with references from London's underground, proof of the quality of the group. Title "Mr. Overtime" is the opportunity for a new collaboration with Dave 1 from Chromeo and for Maxime Bruneel to sign a road-trip-shaped music video.
The Music Video produced by ChezEddy and directed by Maxime Bruneel is true to the aerial and subtle sounds of the group. Punks Jump Up wanted a music video inspired by "Alphabet City", a movie by Amos Poe. (Alphabet City (1984) Trailer – YouTube)
The idea was to go back to this 80's grain with a car driving in the fog, the night. Obvious references to this world are David Lynch's films, "Mulholland Drive" and "Lost Highway".
For Maxime Bruneel, the ambition was to recreate this ambiance, but revisited in a 2012 way not to fall back in a repetition of a 80's video.
Entirely animated with a very minimal render, black background, flashy colors in 2D, Maxime injected graphics, designed typos and perverted the colors scale to reach to something definitely current and more pop.
The pitch is rather simple : four young people travel the country in a Stang with radio sound, they dance in the open-top car until they hit a strange beast. In the accident, characters merge with the beast whom they bear the head then.
To ensure that the music would match the car scenes, Maxime did a quick editing of scenes from films like "Drive" by Nicholas Winding Refn, "Death Proof" by Q. Tarantino, "Somewhere" by Sofia Coppola, "True Romance" by Tony Scott, "Mulholland Drive" and "Lost Highway" by David Lynch, synchronized with the music by PJU. A little like a crazy sampler, the director didn't hesitate (or didn't resist the temptation!) to play with scenes, camera angles, use this material to create his own musical road trip! The result appeared so promising that the idea of a real cut, synchronized with the sound, by taking all live images that he liked, started to take shape. What was supposed to be a simple test at first became the starting point of the music video. The editing was then left to Manuel Coutant with whom they released more real than life animatics, with live pictures true sensations, linked to the images taken from the selected films.
This direction system happen to be very practical as it enabled to define a very strong ambiance, definitive timing and energy of the shots from the start. From the live cut, Maxime extracted the subject and the camera movements.
He then redesigned by re-using the organization of the image (perspective, etc.). For the animation, he chose to direct a faithful interpretation more than rotoscoping which would have been too smooth and cold.
The result is very much rich and stylized. Characters are 2D animated on Flash, the beast was created from a bear, an octopus and a bulldog! It was then modeled in 3D and animated on Maya, as well as the car, then composed in After Effects.
The result lives up to the director's expectations who signs an elegant promo with numerous cinematographic references who perfectly matches the band's spirit.
Director: Maxime Bruneel
Producers: Nicolas de Rosanbo, Jean-François Bourrel
Maxime Bruneel directs a 9-minute musical short film with a famous song by Serge Gainsbourg, Variations sur Marilou, interpreted in 2006 by Alain Bashung.
The lyrics are based on false repetitions. The same sentences regularly come back, slightly modified. Maxime Bruneel built his music video on the same scheme, with a certain number of extended shots to create variations. The unusual length of the song and its slow and repetitive rhythm claim a strong principle of mise-en-scene. Maxime chose to create 74 animated shots and transfered them to an editor as he would normally do for a live-action music video. The main constraint would have been do the whole project without any precise preview of the music video's cut, without any complete raw cut. The music video thus keeps a spontaneous side with unexpected and cyclic transitions in the repetitiveness.
The song rests between reality and fantasy. The music video explores this aspect by showing Marilou's gestures, parallel to the imaginary world of desire, all at once. It thus responds to the very daring worlds of Bashung and Gainsbourg. Maxime Bruneel's challenge was to achieve to show this image without it being shocking or bandied about. We are closer to Courbet's "Origine du monde" than today's pornographic films.
History reminder :
In 2006, Alain Bashung records his version of "L'Homme à la Tête de Chou", the mythical and totally uncharacteristic album recorded in 1976 by Serge Gainsbourg. In this version, recorded for the musical created and directed by choreographer Jean-Claude Gallotta in 2009, Bashung performs, as only he could do it, this 12-song poetic masterpiece, written by the grand Gainsbar. With his inimitable phrasing, his warm and sensual voice, Bashung imposes his silences, draws the contours of poetic and urban images, always surprisingly modern and exact, with this rock and classy elegance that qualifies him.
Director: Maxime Bruneel
Production Company: ChezEddy
Producer: Nicolas de Rosanbo
Line producer: Coline Six
Production manager: Anne-Lise Mallard
Animation: Antoine Ettori, Emmanuelle Walker, Matthieu Gaillard, Vincent Verniers, Gaëtan Louet
Editing: Manuel Coutan, Olivier Guedj
Thanks: ChezLouis, Arnaud Le Guilcher, Olivier Descroix