To continue on in the same thread (ha!) as Philip’s post on the Thread Wrapping Machine it’s only fitting that we enjoy this music video for the Black Books song, “Favorite Place.” The video was directed by Christophe Thockler, a French designer and director who’s brought the rather mundane world of threads and pins to life with wonderful results. Overall he used 10,000 photos, 1 km of thread, 350 reels of thread, 73,000 embroidery stitches, 6 kg of scraps of fabric and 100 needles and sewing pins. That’s devotion.
The still above really don’t do the video justice. The fact that Christophe was able to come up with almost 5 minutes worth of animations is remarkable. I think If I tried to do something like that I’d be bored or panicking 30 seconds in. We chatted a bit over email and he gave me some rather interesting insights into his process.
I brainstormed in my head, and looked around me, I came with the idea of clothes, I think that it’s something personal and intimate, in a way, in 2013, when people think about cloth materials, there is something that brings childhood memories, personal ones (I love working with onirism), I mean when you tried at school, or when you watched your grandmother sewing. I grabbed all that was in the attic of my parents, the tools my grandmother used (I always see my music videos as something personal too, and related to my life), and started playing, I think I had some colors, and clever lightning could help to feel the intimate part of this.
Then, I thought about a factory in my town, doing embroidery and cloth… I tried to call them, to explain my project. And wow! they loved the idea, and gave me all the reels and beautiful fabric you see (I started with my own clothes, not very very great).
I also thought about this beautiful music I had to illustrate, full of rhythm and breaks, and wanted to also celebrate music and dance. You can see the video as a kind of representation of all this material. The beginning, in the dark, is like the material waiting in the backstage, lights moving, then the song start, and everything is starting to move, to dance… to make a strange fusion with the song, embroidering the lyrics.
I spent near two months making this video, some sequences took me almost 2 days to be done. I spent many nights on the ground, moving objects and drinking soooooooooooo much coffee! Like always, I can’t manage to do a kind of storyboard, I have some ideas, and as long as I am shooting, more ideas come when you are in the middle of all the lights and material.