The promotional campaign for The Congress, put forward by Entre Chien et Loup and created by DogStudio, was met with a lot of interest in our Mons-based office. The film of course lent itself particularly well for online extravaganza, but the proposals made by Dogstudio were both attractive and pertinent. Their provocative tone convinced us.
It seems we are not the only ones won over by this daring approach, since following a nomination for “digital bureau of the year 2012”, DogStudio won two international awards for the site made around Ari Folman’s film: one “Site of the Day” award and one FWA for “Website Awards favorites”.
Astrid Pirlot, account manager at Dogstudio, is impressed by these awards. “Ari Folman has a very personal and precise vision of the film. Therefore, the first challenge was to translate this world to the internet, while respecting the message he wanted to communicate.”
The hybrid nature of the film – half animated, half live action – proved to be an additional difficulty when making the internet site. “The story and its world are a little psychedelic, they cannot be resumed in one image. Transcribing the essence of the film, its complexity, became our second challenge, » Astrid continues. “However, thanks to our work together with Ari Folman and his assistant, Shirley Hermann, as well as with Diane Elbaum and Nathacha Gilson from production company Entre Chien et Loup, we were able to determine and realize what we were expected to.”
Created by Henry Daubrez, the front page of the site for The Congress opens with a vast mosaic of videos from the film. Larry Gérard, front-end developer on the project, made this plentiful assembly. “To make the video mosaic, it was necessary to test 4-5 different techniques, to finally find the right one and successfully create this effect to act like a zoom, movement and mix between animation and reality at once. I had fun working on this project, and you can see that in the final result. It is appreciable to work with a director who is open to our suggestions and gives us a certain liberty, which isn’t always the case.”
This task was even more arduous, since “at the start of our collaboration, almost no material (logo, graphic chart,…) was available, because the film was still in the very early stages,” says Henry Daubrez, creative director and managing partner. “Little by little, we received elements we had to add. The hardest part? Optimizing all the images available on the home page because the animations go in every direction.”
The team made an effort for the site to be rendered the same on a desktop screen, tablet or smartphone.
In conclusion, Astrid Pirlot adds : “Several times, we had to take additional steps in our approach to make the site better and obtain the final result. Ari Folman is a very busy person – also because when we were putting the site together, he was preparing the film for the Cannes Festival, but he was very involved with the project and also showed his appreciation for the result. He thanked the DogStudio team and recognized we did a very good job.”
A collaboration between a Walloon web agency and an internationally recognized Israeli filmmaker might seem surprising at first. Thanks to Wallimage Crossmedia however, it became a reality. Within the framework of the Creative Wallonia programme, this specific line of subsides created two years ago makes it possible to finance new methods of communication. This way, companies from Wallonia get a chance to work with Belgian artists as well as artists from all over the world.
Androïd/iPhone apps, innovative Facebook pages, extraordinary websites and games, are just a few examples of the support media developed to accompany a film’s release in theatres. The goal is to get the attention of a public as large as possible, including people who would normally perhaps not be spontaneously interested by the film.
So far, Wallimage CrossMedia supported 17 audiovisual projects and it made it possible to reveal Walloon talent such as the DogStudio agency. The Namur-based company has made quite a reputation after serving on three Wallimage CrossMedia projects, the making of the websites for animated film Ernest et Célestine, for Couleur de peau: Miel and for Torpedo. Winning six “Site of the Day” awards, one “Site of the Month” award, two FWA and one “Adobe Cutting Edge Award”, the studio is soaring and more than ever ready to take up new digital challenges in a large range of domains.
“Given the awards we won, Awards ranks us first web agency in Belgium, and we belong to the worldwide top ten,” Henry Daubrez explains. “Awards which show that a huge budget and a large team aren’t necessary to make a difference, but a lot of thought is.”
The film’s website