Boyfriend-girlfriend filmmaking duo Vincent Lacrocq and Kristell Chenut talk us through KINESIS, their film starring dancer Loic Mabanza.
Vincent Lacrocq and Kristell Chenut are more than just filmmakers. Having both tried their hand at modelling – something Lacrocq still does – they have translated their previous jobs and experience to their work within film. Having worked on projects with fashion monolith Valentino, when it comes to their ultimate fashion film collab, it’s Prada. And who could blame them? But their work also spans the genres of narrative and experimental, with various shorts and a potential feature in the pipeline. Here, Lacrocq and Chenut talk us through KINESIS, their film starring dancer Loic Mabanza.
Tell us about your working relationship?
Kristell & Vincent: We pretty much do everything together. We’re both very different in personality and have learnt to do a bit of everything from shooting to post production, so depending on our personal feel of a project we’ll naturally split the work load. But generally, Vincent is more into the technicality while I’m more into the sensitivity, in every aspect of making a film.
So how did you come to work with Loic Mabanza?
K & V: We first met Loïc a year and a half ago on the set of the 212 VIP fragrance shoot where he was one of the talents. He’s quite popular in France as he’s taken part in a well known reality TV dance show. It was a pleasure to shoot him then, and when we thought of an experimental piece involving a dancer we immediately thought of him!
How did his style of dance influence the music selection?
K & V: Loïc was interested in dancing freestyle to a genre of music that was not typically associated with that style. We brainstormed together and came up with a mood and a few references, we then shared these with composer Nezzy Idy, who created the track.
And what about the name Kinesis?
K & V: Kinesis actually came from Loïc. We had a different name in mind that referred to a body of work from an artist that was not known enough for people to pick up the reference. In the piece, we wanted to create the illusion that Loïc was emerging from the shadows, awakened by the dust. He then associated his moves with light stimulus, hence Kinesis which means “the movement of an organism in response to a stimulus” in Greek.
Speaking of foreign languages… You travel a lot, right? Which countries in the world do you find the most inspiring and why?
K: Yes we do travel a lot! And we love it, it feeds our inspiration. It is mostly the diversity and the unknown that we find the most inspiring…
V: I think every country we visit brings different type of inspiration, NY has a very urban/cinematic style, European cities inspire us in a romantic way, Asia will be more towards spirituality and nature. I think we need a bit of everything to feel complete.
You’re also models, how do you enjoy modeling in comparison to film making?
K: Vincent is also a model so he’ll answer that one. I used to model on the side in the past to finance entrepreneurial projects, but I never really took it seriously.
V: It took me a long time to take it seriously, but it has given me so many opportunities and fuelled much inspiration. I enjoyed meeting a lot of new creative people and I learnt about lighting which I use now in our films. It’s hard to compare the two, but both help one an other and both bring me different levels of satisfaction.
How do you manage to juggle both?
V: We personally find it easier to juggle several projects at once than just one. Creativity is a complicated process, when we’re working one one solo project we’re sure at some stage to hit a wall, a blank page, and if we can’t put our mind into something else it becomes alienating. Stepping back from a project really helps keeping, as much as possible, a fresh eye on everything.
You’ve worked a lot with fashion film, in particular Valentino, how does that compare to your narrative and experimental works?
K: It’s completely different. Working for labels like Valentino helps us maintain a high commercial standard. It’s important when we want to be able to make a living out of film making.
V: Commercial and fashion film is always a good challenge too. We learn how to create a concept around a client’s needs, whilst with our narrative works we battle to keep our ideas maintained.
What would be your dream fashion collaboration?
K: Personally I would absolutely love to make a film for Prada. They include narratives in their films which is quite rare in fashion, and they’ve worked with some of our favorite film makers like Wes Anderson and Roman Polanski. They are really cinematic in their approach of a fashion film.
V: I agree, Prada is definitely there, but I would also love to make films for some other brands that haven’t taken the risk yet. We’re also hoping to do other projects with Valentino, aside from fashion shows.
What about your ultimate film project?
K: It would be a feature film, of course. We’re still in the process of writing our first short so that will take a while ! We love telling stories in a quirky, absurd way, and we want our first film to really define our style.
V: One of the shorts we are writing has the potential to be turned into a feature. The only thing is making the time to prepare it…
So is this the direction you want to take your film making in the future?
K: We want to work solely on narratives, but until we get there we still need to experiment and define our style.
Okay last one, what else are you working on at the moment?
K: Aside from writing shorts, we’re literally on a deadline for Zara. They are doing a picture series about Vincent. They also wanted a film, so I’ve been shooting Vincent still and in motion. We really hope they like it!
V: We’re also working on a comical mini series, but we can’t say too much about it right now, along with a project that might be released during NY’s first mens fashions week. Stay tuned!
Dancer: Loic Mabanza
Music: Nexxy Idy