SCANDAL played to rave reviews at the September 2018 Experimental Feedback Film Festival in Toronto.
Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?
Pablo Mengin-Lecreulx: Younger, I had a hard time to choose between music and visual arts.
When I was a child, I was constantly drawing or playing the piano. Eventually I choose to focus on music. But when the album that I composed was done, I needed a music video. But I couldn’t manage to let someone else do it for me. Few directors wanted to do a music video for this track, but it really felt like I had to do it myself.
2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this short?
From the idea to the finished film, it took me about two years, 8 to 10 hours a day.
3. How would you describe your short film in two words!?
It could be a film about the end of dreams, determinism, the place of man in society, pop culture, love and death.
4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?
I wanted to prove that we can do a good looking film for no money at all. It was possible but it took a very long time. I was doing 1 second of film per day. So after a while it felt like I was living in a different time zone than everybody else. Everybody around me seemed to do so many things in one day, when I was only painting 1 second of film.
After one year of work, I realised everything I had left to do, I started to be afraid that I would not be able to finish it. It is like being in the middle of the ocean on a raft : you’re too far to come back, and you still have a long way to go. In those case, the solution is not to think about your destination, just row until you get somewhere, anywhere.
5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?
First of all I really liked that the audience took a little while to think about what they had just seen. There is a lot of information in my film “Scandal”, and you could basically pause after each scene and try to find your own meaning about it. I wanted the viewer to be overwhelmed by everything going on the screen. I really did not want to follow the lyrics.
Then, I was very touched by the audience, because they try to understand who the director is and how he thinks. I wish I was there so I could have answered to their questions. Someone talked about “dystopia”, which is a concept that I find really inspiring. They also noted the graffiti wall at the end of the video, the statue of liberty with a forked tongue, which was my way to describe my life in New York as a French immigrant, and the woman crushed in a hand which describes the oppression and the power games that we all face everyday in the society, specially in big cities.
Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:
6. How did you come up with the idea for this short film?
I made the video after I lived in New York for 5 years. Living in New York was both a tough, and great experience.
Tough because, for example, less than a week after I moved in, a teenager got shot dead in the stairs of my building. That was my “Welcome to New York” event, or warning. I grew up on a quite peaceful island, and I also lived in Paris for 7 years, so I was not quite ready for this type of violence yet. I have also witnessed a pretty strong social violence.
Long story short, at the first glance, NY felt a bit like “Sex and the City” but the more I would stay, the more I would feel a “Taxi Driver” vibe.
And in an other hand it was also a great experience because I grew up, I’ve learned a lot (I can spot a con artist pretty easy now!), and I had the chance to meet Bashton, who is a longtime rapper, and probably the most brilliant rapper I have heard in the city.
And that’s how the album called “Dirt” was born.
I came back home in 2015, I wanted to do a music video, and I naturally gathered my emotions, in an intense way, in this video. It is a patchwork of feelings.
About the technique itself, what you see in the video is more than 2000 paintings in 4 minutes. So I thought : if I can made one good painting, then I’ll just have to do 2000 good paintings.
7. What film have you seen the most in your life?
It is not easy to reduce everything to one film. But let’s say “Pierrot Le Fou” by Jean-Luc Godard for its creativity.
8. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway, what are you feelings of the submission platform from a filmmaker’s perspective?
I think FilmFreeway is a perfect example of what the internet should be all about. It is a great tool that changed the game completely. I am sure there is a big positive impact on the art of filmmaking, giving exposure to filmmakers who would not have been noticed before.
I can’t imagine to go back to sending a package with a dvd.
9. What song have you listened to the most times in your life?
Unwillingly? The Skype ringtone.
Willingly, the second movement of Beethoven’s 7th Symphony
10. What is next for you? A new film?
Yes a new music video should be on the way, and also some music projects!