VIP - VideoChannel Interview Project

Les Riches Douaniers

Les Riches Douaniers
French group of media artists



Interview: 10 questions

1. Tell me something about your life and the educational background
Les Riches Douaniers is a organisation composed of two artists initially very miscellaneous. Anecdotally, one attended the first international exhibition of video at the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels in March 1975, while the other was not born.

2. When, how and why started you filming ?
We have teamed up to produce sounded film in 2000 under the name of Les Riches Douaniers.

3. What kind of subjects have your films ?
We have always made digital movies, without a camera, sometimes abstract. Our first films were CD-Clips. Today most of our films are machinima to various topics that evoke the problem of the hero: heroes wandering aimlessly, hero who commits suicide, kamikaze, mostly violent heroes, etc …

4. How do you develop your films, do you follow certain principles, styles etc ?
Initially, the principle has always been to reveal images through listening. In our abstract films, processing of the image was very slow, the music created the awaiting and depicted the progression of images. In our machinima music continues to have a special place. We play on extreme music that we produce by a system that we developed through the study of the sound spectrum. We play on the presence of silences. In one of our machinima films made in 2006, music was performed live.

5. Tell me something about the technical equipment you use.
We need especially high-speed computers, softwares like Photoshop, Premiere, etc., as well as game consoles and video games.

6. What are the chances of new media for the genre film/video in general and you personally?
We create only new media kind of film, as we work with digital images into 3D. We work now in HD. We believe that the role of new media is growing constantly in the everyday world of cinema. For example, we have been approached by a festival in the Philippines (Cinemanila), wich used to be a classic movie festival.

7. How do you finance your films ?
Sometimes it is commissioned work ( like festival Diése in 2007 in Dijon, for example). Also, at the present time we work for a musician for film on which the people are tell to play music for one hour. But it still exceptions.

8. Do you work individually as a video artist/film maker or do you work in a team ?
We work in partnership, rendering images, and building musics, and sounds. But sometimes we ask singers to help. Since the creation of Les Riches Douaniers we have never worked individually.

9. Who or what has a lasting influence on your film/video making ?
As we work from games, they effect us. For example, in our latest film “Kamikaze”, the player is climbing on an industrial building, because we found the opportunity to do so by playing. So we work like Godard where such instantaneous inspired him.

10. What are your future plans or dreams as a film/video maker ?
We are working on a feature film whose music is performed live by an orchestra. We would have time and money to conduct more full-length high-definition for example through the ZKM in Karlsruhe.