Take an Exclusive Behind-The-Scenes Tour of Burberry's New "Night Creatures" Movie

We talk inspirations, references, and otherworldly beings with the movie’s directors.

Entertainment
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Since coming together as Megaforce in 2007, Charles Brisgand, Clément Gallet, Léo Berne, and Raphaël Rodriguez have forged a formidable path. Along the way, they’ve been joined by some of the world’s biggest talents in music and fashion, and have become a go-to for many looking to create narrative environments based on layers upon layers of references. In 2020, and having garnered this reputation, the studio began working alongside Burberry on a collaboration that would eventually see them create a trilogy of campaign films – beginning with “Festive” in 2020, and “Open Spaces” a year later, in 2021.

Now, in 2022, the directional quartet has debuted “Night Creatures“, which tells the story of adventure in the urban environment – with the subliminal message of why walking towards the things we are unsure of is the way we develop empathy. We sat down with half of Megaforce (Gallet and Rodriguez) to chat about their inspirations, working processes, and – most importantly – how they created a (kind and gentle) dancing monster.

Hypebeast: What was the brief from Burberry, and how did you interpret that?

Raphaël Rodriguez: It’s become a really interesting process with the brand, as we’ve collaborated with each other for a while now – so there’s never really a brief as such. But one keyword they did use was “adventure”, and to apply that to the urban environment.

Clément Gallet: We developed this idea of a monster – you don’t really know what it is, or where it comes from, and it’s something kind of alien. But the main characters, unlike the rest of the passersby who are running away, start to dance and have fun with it. It reflects a lot of societal difficulties, and we wanted to show that instead of being afraid of what is different, we should take it on and embrace it without judgment.

How did you bring the monster to life?

CG: We worked with an amazing character designer, who would just sit there with a pencil in his hand and was able to draw as you spoke through the references you’d pulled together. It’d suddenly take shape, and then the monster was there in front of us.

“We came up with the idea of how we face the unknown, and then embrace it”

Can you tell us about the techniques that you’ve explored?

RR: We used a lot of wires and explored different techniques with them. We explored using robotics that is used in small blockbusters to help people fly or swim, it’s basically a motion control arm and you can attach someone to it. We used it in the choreography, and it allowed us to do some things that were impossible to do with wires. But it was important to us that the dancers remained incredibly real, and that the movement was coming from them. I think, in a way, it helps you to experience the motions that they are experiencing, – a bit like watching someone going on a crazy roller coaster.

What were the challenges of shooting on location like this?

RR: So we did one week of rehearsal in the studio, to make sure everything was set up before the shoot as to not lose time. Because we were shooting during the summer, you’d start at 10 pm and finish at 5 am because the sun has already risen. It makes your day super short, so you need to be totally prepped and just focus on the performance with no technical issues.

What would a typical process look like for you, when you’re working on a new project?

CG: The four of us like to come together to discuss the project collectively. It’s a time of speaking and bringing ideas, challenging them, sleeping on them, coming back together, and going back to the start again. It can be a long process, but it gets us to where we need to be authentic. With this film, the biggest concern was making sure we were doing something different enough so that we weren’t repeating ourselves.

What do you all individually bring to the table?

CG: We’ve been working together for a really long time, so in a way, we have become very similar and have created a world that is similar to all of us. But obviously, we all have our interests and our way to to bring something to the story.

“The concept of ‘adventure’ links to Burberry’s brand ethos”

This is your third film for Burberry. Narratively, is there anything that threads all three films together?

RR: The first film was more about the choreography, similar to a music video, and the second one was more like an art piece with a strong concept. The idea for the first film was based on resilience, and how you face adversity. We developed the idea during the lockdown, so it was obviously a feeling that we all had at this time. The freedom within the second movie definitely comes from the relief felt post-lockdown. So when we got the keyword from Burberry for the third film (adventure) we came up with the idea of how we face the unknown, and embrace it. The typical reaction when you’re in front of something you don’t know is to escape, so we wanted to question that.

How do you balance making sure that a project retains your vision, style, and signature, while also delivering what the brand needs?

RR: This kind of collaboration is brilliant for us, as it’s about selling outfits and clothes. The product is there from the beginning to the end, but we’re delivering the spirit and the signature through the narrative. Even the “adventure” concept links to Burberry’s brand ethos, and how they create clothes that protect you from elements.

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