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Evian Baby Inside: An Interview With Legs Media

// Interviews

Legs Media are a creative and production studio with offices based in Manhattan and Los Angeles – composed of a team of writers, directors and producers, they are led by co-founders, Georgie Greville and Geremy Jasper, and create broad and artistic work through various media, such as film, photography, performance and installation. Known for their innovative and unusual creations, the company has produced music videos for both Florence + The Machine and Goldfrapp (amongst others), has worked with big companies like Versace and Sony, and they also create motion backgrounds for websites.

Their most recent work for Evian, a remix of the world famous mineral water company’s “Babies” advert, combines different animation techniques with live action dance sequences. One of our writers, Jess Gurr, recently had the chance to interview them:

Tell us a bit about yourselves: how many are you? What are your backgrounds? Your creative likes, dislikes and inspirations?

Hi. We’re Georgie Greville and Geremy Jasper- a writing and directing duo and co-founding members of LEGS Media based in New York City. Before LEGS, Georgie was a writer and director via MTV’s On Air Promos and Geremy was a writer, collage artist and musician. LEGS was based on the dream of creating an atmosphere where, as directors, we could work independently or with clients on unconventional hybrid-type projects.

Can you describe a bit about your working processes for us?

The pre-production process for Evian involved tons of late nights and early morning calls to Agnes and Valerie, the creatives in Paris. There was an enormous amount of dance research and tweaking that went in to the final choreography sequence for the film. We were constantly trying to add more tricks and surprises so that there was a legitimately fun and entertaining arc to the piece.

In terms of shooting, we share the responsibility and take turns directing and making sure all the details are perfectly matching our boards and overall intention for the piece. Directing the adults in white T-shirts was like a very meticulous, military drill so it had to be very organized but also had to be somewhat fun and spontaneous. We put on dance music and used a gigantic 400-page, frame-by-frame reference bible to make sure every frame had the right body position to match the accompanying baby dance moves. Working together is the best because we have telepathic chemistry and don’t get too overwhelmed with stress.

How long did the Evian advert take to produce? From the idea to delivering to the customer.

The initial pitch was in October 2010. We found out we got the job the day after Thanksgiving (November 26th) and we finally delivered it on April 19th 2011. So, about 6 months of baby mania.

We’re a little curious on the techniques used. The Evian advert looks a little like stop motion and a little like ‘very well made’ compositing. Which is it?

It is a bit of both. It is stop motion because each frame of the film is just a still but the babies on the shirts were done in post.

We were very focussed on the babies not looking like they were entirely created in CG and wanted to create a very organic, believable aesthetic. We shot professional dancers as well as a small person performing the choreography on green screen while wearing adult-sized diapers so that we could accurately body-match the CG baby’s bodies to actual human movement. We then worked with One More Production in Paris to make sure the babies didn’t look cyber or creepy in any way and instead, looked like a T-shirt graphic coming to life in a cute and somewhat surreal way. We really tried everything we could for the babies not to appear creepy.

What inspires you as a company?  Do you find inspiration comes from your environment, working in such a vibrant city as Manhattan?

We find inspiration from Bob Dylan, Bob Fosse and Bob Odenkirk.

Our latest video mixes Mariachi bands, keytars, pinatas and light sabers so everything is game.

New York has a real particular creative chaos that we find very inspiring.  Just the other day we saw a Hesidic Jew flirting with a Chinese transexual while Electric Avenue blasted out of a taxi cab.

Your creations are pretty innovative – how much on the creative concept comes from yourselves and how much input does the client usually have?

We love writing and directing our own concepts, but some of the best projects happen when clients come with a strong concept and ask for us to add our creative spin to it – to crack the code. We love the challenge of strange limitations and trying to make the work somehow personal to us.

In such a competitive industry, how do you manage to stay fresh, what with so many diverse techniques being used today?

We have stayed true to our initial impetus in starting the company – to create visually unique work for all mediums. The combination of different short form and event-based projects we have worked on has kept us creatively limber and has given us a very free mindset when it comes to conceptualizing projects.

You’ve worked with some big names (Florence + The Machine, La Roux, Evian, to name a few) – has there been a favourite project of yours?

Evian and Florence are both incredibly fun and rewarding projects. However, our favorite yet has been an hour long variety show we wrote and directed for Benefit Cosmetics/ LVMH where we were able to create original characters in multiple short films and sketch bits along with 6 different character-driven musical numbers. That project used all of our talents in the most comprehensive way and we are excited to create more things in that vein.

Are there any ‘dream projects’ that you’d like to do?

Our big dream is to make a feature. We want to make our own musical.

What would you consider to be the best part of doing what you do?

Sharing brain space with each other and working with such incredibly talented teams to bring our ideas to life. There really is nothing better and more nourishing that the collective spirit of creation on a film set.

What’s next for LEGS?

We just finished a music video for Selena Gomez and an hour long TV Show for Benefit Cosmetics. As usual, we have a pu pu platter of projects in the works, including interactive fashion events, traditional ads, long form TV and feature film projects….oh and our wedding, which is in heavy pre-pro right now.

If you were stuck on a desert island, what 3 things would you hope to get washed up with?

Lube, good tequila and The Bible.

Finally, any tips for people starting out in the industry?

Stay true to your personal style and seek out challenging, creative projects that let you develop your own personal aesthetic. The most creative projects often don’t involve money, but the reward of honing a style all your own is what will set you apart from the rest, and ultimately lead to bigger and better things.

Thank you very much for your time!

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