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Sex & CGI – Megaforce's Leo Berne on new Is Tropical video

Sex & CGI – Megaforce's Leo Berne on new Is Tropical video

David Knight - 21st May 2013

Megaforce's sequel to their cartoonishly violent video Is Tropical's The Greeks is even more controversial. Where the directing foursome of Clement, Charles, Leo and Raphael visualized the imaginings of Nerf gun-wielding ten year old boys in The Greeks, for Dancing Anymore they have done the same thing with the imagination of a teenage boy, alone in a palatial home where he is supposed to be working... Promo spoke to Megaforce's Leo Berne about the video that has provoked an outright ban on YouTube for its sexual content. 

PROMO: How would you describe the similarities between this and The Greeks?

Leo: We see them as a diptych. In both videos, we use a post production trick to represent what is happening in the minds of our protagonists.

In the first video, we intentionally shot very roughly with a cheap camera. In our opinion, it was the best way to express the wild side of childhood. To contrast with that, we wanted the representation of their fantasies to be very thorough. We choose japanese animation for its incredible power to represent explosions and blood in a fascinating, aesthetically compelling way.

For this new one, we wanted the story to be more cinematic, more intimate. We achieved this contrast through adding unperfected CG characters with all of their bugs and glitches. This was mostly because our of our fascination about those things comes specifically from the way in which they fail to replicate reality.

What were the difficulties in making the video? Did you have trouble selling the idea to the band and the label?

Well the cadre of all the people we worked with was so high, that we can honestly say that is wasn’t a difficult video to shoot. Our production company Iconoclast, the DOP André Chemetov and his team, the post production company Mathematic, the Label Kitsuné and the band, they all trusted and supported us from the start till the finish with no major glitches.

What was the budget? Did the success of The Greeks mean you had more money to make this one? How long did it take to come together?

The budget was low, basically the same than for the Greeks, but this time the production company and the post production company invested more in it. We will be eternally grateful for that. You need huge balls to support a project like this.

Where did you shoot the live action (nice place!)?

It's in one of the poshest areas in the suburbs of Paris called le Vesinet. We wanted a house that was almost unreal, in which you would clearly feel the excitement in the freedom to be left alone in there. Besides, the living room was very convenient because it was big enough to place all the green screens we needed for the full CG scenes.

Did you have any trouble casting your ‘hero’ (ie, any contenders for the part put off by the idea of having to be masturbating through most of the video?)

It was tricky but our casting director Philippe Elkoubi is really someone we can trust. It actually was a very short casting, we only met 4 guys. Each guy we saw brought the film in a very different direction. One of them declined when we explained to him more precisely what it was all about. Anyway, when I saw Louïs I said to myself “That’s him! That’s my bro!”, from that moment I started to be able to picture the film.

Who worked on the animation? And which one of the Megaforce team had the job of directing the animation? Was the job done in a veil of secrecy, or under more secretive conditions, due to the nature of the content?

The modeling, the animation, the integration, all of that had been done by the brilliant teams at Mathematic. The 4 of us at Megaforce had an eye on what was going on and we often popped into the studio to give our comments. Yes, it was quite tricky for them to hide their screens when they welcomed clients…

Is this going to be released through the usual channels? Have there been any concerns from the label and the band about where the video is going to be shown, getting banned or censored, etc?

Well, we knew that it was going to be difficult but still we feel that being banned from YouTube is unfair, the video only lasted for 25 minutes on the site. We didn’t do the video to shock people and achieving buzz through controversy was not our intention. We just want to make videos that touch us and share them with all those who will take the time to receive them.

Are there any plans for a third video in the series? After dealing with sex, is there any need…?

Well we’re thinking about it, but we will only do something if we think we have something that’s worth it.

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David Knight - 21st May 2013


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