Netflix: Swiss will create a visual universe “Love, Death and Work”

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Two novels, Jessica Rossie and Bastien Grieve, designed the set for one segment of the series. A fantastic tribute to designer Moebius.

“Cruel Pulse of the Car” tells the story of an astronaut who found himself on one of the moons of Jupiter.

DOCTOR

There’s no denying that the formidable anthology series created by Tim Miller and David Fincher for Netflix, “Love, Death and Work,” continues to amaze us.

Available a little over a week, Season 3 gave us some real nuggets. Especially memorable is the first staging in the field of animation by David Fincher with “Bad Voyage”, where a giant crab in the middle of a group of sailors; “Night of the Little Dead,” said a flash of zombies ravaging the planet on a small scale, followed by the incredible Jibaro, who pits a deaf knight against a lake mermaid in an ultra-realistic visual style. But it also comes from the party “Cruel Pulse of the Car”, which follows an astronaut who was on one of Jupiter’s moons. An initiative and introspective journey of extraordinary beauty, made in a graphic style that pays tribute to Moebius, a genius cartoonist.

The novels by Jessica Rossie and Bastien Grive are designed by this episode. The couple (married in the city) have set up their own company, Wardenlight Studio, in the south of France, near Montpellier, where they work as “conceptual artists” on prestigious audiovisual productions, between video games, television and film. In other words, in the early stages of the project, they are responsible for developing visual universes, kits, vehicles and other weapons based on the script. They worked on “The Witness”, the fabulous part of the first season of “Love, Death and Work”, on the games “Call of Duty: Black Ops III” and “Halo Wars 2”, on the animated film “Spider-Man: New Generation”, and also “Star Trek: Wunderkind”, an animated series for children, which should be available in Switzerland this year, with the upcoming arrival of the Paramount + platform.

They tell us about their immersion in the world of Moebius and the world of “tracks”.

Jessica Rossie and Bastien Grieve work as

Jessica Rossie and Bastien Grieve work as “concept artists” in prestigious audiovisual productions.

DOCTOR

Sometimes it can take a long time between finishing your film or video game and releasing it. How do you usually open the work you have been working on?

BG: Always with a little anxiety, because we don’t know if they respected our work or not… But we always manage to do it surrounded by friends. There, for this episode of “Love, Death and Work”, we had an aperitif at home. So we crossed our fingers a lot, we launched Netflix… and we weren’t disappointed (he laughs).

JR: Sometimes it can actually take up to 3 years from the time we submit our projects to the completion of the product. At the same time, our proposals are often changed, sometimes radically. There were cases when they completely changed direction in their path or did not move to animation from our concepts, and therefore had to change them…

BG: But there, with The Rough Pulse of the Machine, they really followed that. With a few details we find all our work. When we came to the project, the art direction was already in place. They decided to recreate the style of Moebius’s drawings and encouraged us to create sets in this style.

How did you appropriate his universe?

JR: From a large number of documents, going through his work, from the first to the last, to absorb his style …

BG: First of all, we had to do a lot of tests to find lines of the comics aspect, because Jean Giraud (pseudonym Mobius) drew with a ballpoint pen. We needed to find a way to recreate the feel of this technique in Photoshop. And I think we managed to bet by recreating that ink-like feel of comic book pages.

What aspects of the film did you work on?

JR: Mostly on the set of this satellite of Jupiter, where the film is taking place. But also on the graphic effects, when the heroine begins to hallucinate. It was also a very enjoyable aspect of the work because we were really able to let go and use color schemes that are usually little used in movies.

BG: After “Spider-Man: New Generation” and his “Oscar” for best animated film in 2019, all the works gave way to artists. The film showed that a pretty crazy visual style can be liked. So far, the animation industry has not taken too many risks and has limited itself to the standards developed by Pixar and DreamWorks, remaining in very specific chains. But Spider-Man: The Next Generation really changed the game. In the past, our field of activity was much more limited, but since then all our clients have given us much more freedom.

Is this freedom further enhanced by the fact that this series “Love, Death and Work” is aimed at adults?

BG: We really immediately felt a certain maturity while reading the script. For example, in the scene where the stones turn into naked women coming out of the desert, for any other film we had to think about the accepted angles of the camera. So far we have no restrictions. And it’s a real pleasure to have your hands free to best illustrate the script. But one does not interfere with the other, because we are also currently working on the series “Star Trek: Prodigy”, more for teenagers, and there, too, can be released. I’m designing a really sneaky drone / ship for season 2, and I’m happy because I don’t have to cut the corners too hard so the kids don’t have nightmares about my ship. We can still afford some very scary concepts.

Now the duo is working on the series

Now the duo is working on the series “Star Trek: Prodigy”.

Warden Light studio

Your episode “Love, Death and Work” was shot by a woman director, Emily Dean … Have you felt a difference in the concept of the film compared to this, in fact, the male universe?

JR: Yes, during our interviews, she very quickly emphasized the sensitivity she expected from our proposals. Especially in this scene where the rocks turn into women. She was also happy that I could take special care of it. And it is true that for me this cooperation was especially useful. I do not want to belittle the male gaze, but I believe that I have coped with the silhouettes of these women and the position of their bodies, without having in mind the desire to seduce a male audience. I just tried to stay sensual in my line, paying as much attention to their hair or face as my chest or buttocks. And this whole aspect of my work was really respected to the end.

How is your work with new technologies developing today?

BG: In particular, we started using virtual reality for 3D modeling. So far, we’ve mostly been working on 3D software, volume by volume, with the mouse. For example, the development of the work took us about 2 days. Being there, with my virtual reality headset and controllers in hand, I can model it completely in space, as with modeling clay, in just two hours. This is a phenomenal time saver. And in terms of sets, it allows us to zoom in to walk into them and really feel the space and volume. This is amazing!

What did your work on “Star Trek: Prodigy” involve?

JR: We started by working on the conceptual art to define the graphic style of the series. Then we started designing scenery, spaceships and even different vehicles… We also hired my dad, Dominic Rossie, to take care of the computer interfaces of the spaceship! He has been working as a graphic designer for more than 30 years, but he is, above all, a real “tracker”, the biggest fan who knows the universe of the saga inside out. What he created is just phenomenal! Crazy precise work, where each button performs its function… So much so that you really feel that you can control the ship. This is the type of guy who can say, “No, we can’t put that button in there, because there was an event like that in an episode, and then the Federation changed.” Even production in the United States was affected. In fact, the ship from the first episode, which they developed before we started doing this aspect of things, caused them a lot of noise on social networks, fans posted screenshots, explaining that this button exists. , in the upper right corner, was impossible. So they hired my dad to take care of the rest of the fleet, and now he’s an expert at Paramount, which manages the Star Trek license. For him, this is the realization of a child’s dream.

BG: The series also allowed us to enter pure animation and start making our own episodes, as in the first seconds of the first episode. It really allowed us to develop and add strings to our bow.

In Star Trek: Prodigy, Jessica Rossie's father worked on the computer interfaces of spaceships.

In Star Trek: Prodigy, Jessica Rossie’s father worked on the computer interfaces of spaceships.

Warden Light studio

How soon to make your own short film in one of the next seasons of “Love, Death and Work”?

JR: We are mainly preparing our own animated series: a big project, which we hope to launch next year and which will unite our favorite topics: motorcycles, strong female figures, supernatural …

BG: We like girls who stuff their asses into demons (he laughs)! We will find a cartoon style, but with a very realistic visual aspect in the visualization of photography. We will try to recreate the silvery aspect of the film … Basically, instead of drawing inspiration from animated films, we draw inspiration from great American photographers: Stephen Shore, Joel Meyerwitz and his Kodachrome period … We are going to perform quite intensely before start looking for a diffuser. But we are already negotiating with streaming platforms, including Netflix, which we are beginning to know well… It should take us a while!

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