Next Color Palette
NEXT COLOR PALETTE
Interview with MP Curtet
I started my career as a graphic designer & art director in big agencies. Then, I ran my own graphic studio, but being married to a photographer, it was obvious for us to create something together.
Your studio is unique in several aspects. First of all, you Marlyne and Patrick work as a duo. Then you are both french and work out of L.A... You equally focus on motion and still, motion graphics and very expressive layouts. Your main topics are fashion on the one hand and automotive on the other.
You are both photographers, but you Marlyne, having a strong graphic design background, are an AD and CD as well. Could you describe the principles of your work, and how you two interact?
We are really complementary, we share our passion and never stop trying to enhance our work. Patrick pushed me to take a camera to express my vision. So that’s when MP CURTET came to life.
As a duo, we each bring in a whole team with two different backgrounds.
I’m working more in advance, prepare the briefings, the treatments, share our visions via mood boards. Coming from Paris, I love fashion and elegance, so I try to be involved right from the beginning of each project, guide the casting, working with our stylist for the wardrobe and props… trying to make sure that all the ingredients we will need to create our story with a French flair will be in front of our camera.
Patrick directs talents and the whole scene. He is really experienced with technic/camera/light chooses the right location and forms the perfect team…When he starts to shoot I’m never far from him, but never at the same place and always with a different angle and lenses. Everyone is focused on him, so I can grab some unexpected angles, details and I can capture the moment when the talent doesn’t see me…I capture more the emotional and human stills. In the end this combo turns out to be is great for the client.
You are L.A. based. Why? Are you also working out of Europe?
Patrick has always been shooting in the US since the beginning of his career – and like a lot of Europeans fell in love with California. We also did a lot in Europe and are still doing a big chunk of our work there, but after 25 years we thought it was more exciting to come and live here, for us and for our kids, new places, new challenges. Don’t stay in your comfort zone, move forward!
We love to deliver the whole package to show our vision til the very end. By doing this we ran into really talented people in post-production, art direction, graphic design, editing, VFX, music…
MPCurtet studio is aligning still and video, artwork, very strong motion graphics and unusual layout at the same time. Isn’t such a wide span of activities very challenging and why do you try to fuze all this in your work? How big is your team and what kind of talent you have in place? What is role of THE CREATIVE TEAM, L.A. in all this?
So, we decided to unite all these different talent at L.A CREATIVE TEAM and formed an entity with a very special set of skills complimenting what we have at MP CURTET. A community of experts so to speak with a touch of French flair.
It is a one-stop-shop-studio that accompanies clients from the beginning to the very end of the journey. We are trying to offer the best services possible in terms of brand strategy, art direction, production, photography & video, post-production, digital and media strategy. This is what our clients want from us.
We are story MAKERS and always try to put together the perfect team, depending on budgets and needs.
I think what makes us different is that we create and produce IN HOUSE, so there are no intermediaries.
Your work is addressing fashion as well and very, very strongly automotive. How is this linked, or not at all? And if one looks at your way dealing with automotive, it feels like it is partly influenced by your fashion oriented work. How does this interact and what would you say is different and special the way you address automotive topics?
Patrick started by being a sport photographer. He was following motorcycle races all over the world for magazines. Then he worked as a reporter photographer and started to travel the world to discover the most remote places. Africa, China, South America… He‘s been to 75 different countries. Mostly by motorcycle.
When we met he began focusing on cars as it was a way to be more stable. Working in automotive is very interesting. It mixes landscape, architecture, travel, lifestyle and speed. But on top, the way we want to express ourselves in this field is with a certain human touch. Instead focusing on the car and its design only, we try to bring in this element. Cars are designed by humans for humans, and we play with sociological aspects, if you want to put it that way. This also is somehow the natural link to fashion.
We like to explore new areas, we never want to do the same image twice. Our work follows a path we reinvent every day. We work a lot on each subject and each time we like to push the boundaries. We think it’s really important to have a vision or even a target – investing in a lot of thoughts in advance allows you to go further and push the limits on the go.
Could you tell us something about NEXT COLOR PALETTE we are showing here? In what respect does it represent your approach?
Some artists do redo the same subject all the time, they never leave their territory. This is their way of expressing themselves and how they try to achieve a certain kind of perfection. I told you, that we are on the opposite of this. We love to explore all sorts of style in photos and films. We recently did this short video called “Midnight hours”. It was dark, underground, very rough. NEXT COLOR PALETTE is the counterbalance to this: bright, colorful, positive. After Covid we wanted to show how the streets can be a place full of joy and each corner of a street a place where you can meet creativity.
We always do and create personal work to explore where we can go further.