AWARD-WINNING FILMMAKERS WE ARE FROM L.A. ON HOW 10,000 HOURS IS JUST THE BEGINNING
“We spend more time with each other than with our partners. Working with someone is like being in a relationship—both parties must communicate a lot in order to clear any dissonance they might encounter.”
33,000. This is the number of hours French directors We Are From L.A. have spent together in the past ten years: “We spend more time with each other than with our partners. Working with someone is like being in a relationship—both parties must communicate a lot in order to clear any dissonance they might encounter.”
Clément Durou and Pierre Dupaquier both grew up in the Parisian suburbs, sharing an appetite for American pop culture, which they fed with MTV, Kobe Bryant’s dunks, and skateboarding videos from the Venice Skate Park. Los Angeles was an obvious symbol of utopia for them and they knew the city by heart through the graphics of Grand Theft Auto and scenes from Beverly Hills Cop.
Having met at Olivier de Serres—a prestigious art school in Paris—Durou and Dupaquier instantly felt a special creative bond. Even though they think very differently, the duo found out right away that they complement one another. After graduating, they started in advertising and eventually debuted their music video GIF animations for Kanye West’s “Power.” Then they set a World Record for longest video ever made with Pharrell Williams’ “Happy,” Even though Durou and Dupaquier won a Grammy Award for that (which stands on a fireplace like any prize should), We Are From L.A. are eager to keep pushing the boundaries of a format that they feel is often too cosmetic.
Pierre and Clément don’t always share the exact same vision and talk projects through until they are in sync on every detail. One thing they always agree on is the direction they want to take toward the public. They want to interact and create a territory for anyone to share and bounce ideas.
Both in their early thirties, they are part of the first generation to create under the reign of the internet. And what better tool to connect the dots between a teenage girl in Inglewood, a Nigerian jazz musician, some dude in Mongolia, and two video creators in Paris than the world wide web?
Durou and Dupaquier try to create a great deal of appreciation for the audience in their work. Take the video for “The Missing” by French Touch legends Cassius—they shot a wide range of people making out, allowing the viewer to mix and match the couples. Yes, there is a reference to Tinder and swipe culture—as the public only has to click on a character to break off the on-camera PDA and add someone else into the mix—but with its references to Michael Jackson’s groundbreaking video “Black or White,” this is foremost an exercise in openness. We Are From L.A. aspires to draw humanism, even altruism, into their work and create music videos that carry a universal message. “Within the chaos of hate the media are showing us,” explain Durou and Dupaquier, “it feels great to see a diversity within people loving each other, it gives a lot of hope for the future.”
Styled By: Margaux Dague
Written by Elodie Tacnet
Photographed by Ecoute Chérie