As a slightly alternative approach to the normal album notes, we wrote to Fursy (LES DISCRETS) for a retrospective view on his work for the OLD SILVER KEY video "Burnt Letters" produced in 2011.
Old Silver Key - Burnt Letters
Interview with Fursy Teyssier (Video Creator, Director), 24 February 2014
Were you approached by the band or label to create the video?
It was by the label, but I was in contact with the band at that time already. I worked for DRUDKH before (including the Handful of Stars cover artwork -ed). Season of Mist asked me to make two videos, one for GHOST BRIGADE and another one for OLD SILVER KEY!
Did you have any input / direction from the band? Was there a formal narrative already designed, or were you free to interpret the song?
If I remember well, not really. Roman told me the song tells about souvenirs and family mostly. So I played with that concept, the lyrics and thought that memories could have been photographs. And the letters could have been written on those photographs, hung up on trees like the flags in Tibet, so that wind spreads the memories everywhere so that they're never forgotten.
Did you take inspiration from the music and lyrics?
As written above yes of course. It's very important to fit to the lyrics obviously, but at some point, the purpose of a music video to me is to add something that the lyrics and music don't tell. Or even better, if the video can make you see the song lyrics in another way. Words have different meanings depending of the pictures you associate to them don't you think?
How was the film created? What materials and techniques were used?
The budget was terribly small on that film. I couldn't afford to work more than a month on it. So from scratch it took 4 weeks. The technic is 2D puppet animation, inspired of old russian animated film the "Hedgehog in the Fog" [Ёжик в тумане, 1975] by Youri Norstein or Lotte Reiniger films. The good point is that this technic is beautiful and easy to make.
You created this video a couple of years ago now, it reminds me of your earlier work (Tir Nan Og for example, the combination of painting and animation) and you have since worked in different media. How do you feel about it looking back?
Despite it looks like Tir Nan Og a bit, the work has nothing to do. Tir Nan Og is 2D cut out animation, which means every frame is hand drawn, coloured and placed on a still background. Here, the character is drawn profile, face, back and quarter. I did a few facial expressions too. And all the parts of the body are then animated. But there is no need to draw the character every frame. So I don't really look back. I tried that technic for the first time, but it's very limiting in term of camera angles and motion. this is why it looks clumsy and jerky sometimes.