Interview with Wasaru

Thomas Fourniret, or Wasaru as he likes to be called, of the animation studio of the same nickname,  has a style that is very unique. His animations, set to the music of the group or song he is working with, are made in a refined style, to the point where the animations almost look like people. He’s done many things besides animation, too, including making a soundtrack for a film. From making an original sound track to his most recent video set to the dubstyle sound of the song “Allaxis,” Wasaru has covered it all, and he enjoys his work. He sat down with Cliché to talk about what it is like to do an animation for a song.  
Cliché: What type of music is the easiest to work with for a video and why? The hardest?
Wasaru: I like so many styles of music, but I don’t think a style would be easier than another. The easiest music to work for is simply music that I dig! If I like the song, I will get tons of ideas, and I will love to work on it for a long time. On the other side, if I had to make a music video on a song that I’m not fond of, that would be terrible… (making a music video implies that you listen the music a hundred or a thousand times, so…)
What has your biggest musical accomplishment been to date?
For the moment, my best musical accomplishment was to create an original soundtrack for a short sport film. I do really love filmmaking, and it’s totally linked with my musical creation. My music is composed like a soundtrack. That was totally great to make a soundtrack for Ambiance. I really hope I’ll be asked to make a short film (or feature) soundtrack again.
What is it like putting together an animation? Can you step us through this process?
Sure, it’s all about organization. It’s a step by step process. If you don’t do the things in the right order, you’ll have trouble in the end. The first thing, the most important thing, is the screenplay, then the storyboard (put in quick rough images each step of the screenplay), drawing the backgrounds, then drawing a model for the characters and make the animation (that’s the longest part). Then, the compositing and edit is merging all these steps together to create the final result.
What have been some of your favorite bands or songs to work with so far?
Actually, working for Le Peuple de l’Herbe was my best gig. Here in France, they’ve been famous for more than 10 years, and I remember watching their music videos when I was a kid. That was the first time a “real” band asked me to make a video and I was so excited that I worked happily, 18 hours per day, during the whole making of the video.
What was it like working with David Cazeaux? Was there anyone else you liked working with?
David Cazeaux is a great animator, and that was a pleasure to work with him. He managed to animate the best scene of the music video (the one where the monster follows and then flies above the car). I love to work with my friends like David Decobert and Jean-Philippe Florin (with whom we directed an animated short film, just for fun, some years ago, called Ice Cream Road)
Does the animation get made first, or does the soundtrack get made first?
The soundtrack is made first. I receive the sound file, then I start thinking about a screenplay, and storyboarding. It’s easier for me, because the music gives me the rhythm, the beats.
What is the message of your animation video for “Allaxis”?
For this one, I don’t think there is a clear message, except, to me, the fact that the weapons’ politic in America is a terrible thing. The whole music video is based on the quote from Dirty Harry that is sampled all the song long.
Do any of the videos you produced have different messages than this one? What are some of those messages?
Yes, I try to make different kinds of videos each time. In the music video for the band, Le Peuple de l’Herbe,  it’s about the necessity to vote, since the song was written and broadcasted just few months before the french presidential elections. I recently directed a music video about the colonies involved in World War I; the message is simply the duty of remembrance… I always try to make the video to match with the music, that’s why it’s always so different.
Interview with Wasaru: Photo courtesy of Daphné Delahaye

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