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Interview with Luccio de Rosa and Florian Ferrier
 
 Interview with the directors of CLE


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Florian Ferrier
Director of the
3D-CGI part

Virtual World scenes


Featuring
Gulliver Bevernaege
Odd's actor




Luccio Di Rosa
Directors of the
live-action part

Earth scenes
 
 

Context
 
This interview was conducted by the two webmasters of Codelyoko.fr during the advance screening of Code Lyoko Evolution held in Paris on the 5th of December 2012. The following page is dedicated to this day and a report on it: Click here.

As official representatives of the community with Moonscoop,, we were able to enter the room during the advance screening in order to make our mark and interview certain people before the show.
First interview of the day and definitely not least: the interview with the two directors Luccio Di Rosa and Florian Ferrier. For those who don't know, the former is the director of the live action portion, or the real life scenes. The second is the director of the 3D portion...Two completely different and unique jobs? Not at all, as this interview will show!

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On the left, Luccio di Rosa. In the background on the right, Florian Ferrier.
Photo taken with the actors and Christophe de Sabantino at the advance screening of Code Lyoko Evolution.

Enjoy reading this interview as it becomes all the more exciting before the broadcast of the advance screening of the first episode on France4's website.
 

Warning
 
Broadcast

This interview is an exclusive of Codelyoko.fr granted by Moonscoop through our partnership.
You may link to this article to lead people to this page. Any other use of this interview must be agreed on beforehand by the staff of Codelyoko.fr.

ABOUT THE TRANSCRIPTION OF THIS INTERVIEW

The report of this interview is completely re-written. Although this is entirely in the form of question and answer, the words of the two directors have scrupulously respected in their meaning, have been reorganised and the order of questions changed.
This is a choice by the editor for several reasons, explained below.

- Firstly, the two directors were very talkative and pertinent in their answers. In fact, they themselves were able to answer one at a time and respond in a precise manner to all the questions we asked and that we planned to ask. In fact, both webmasters hardly had to conduct the interview because it took off by itself.

- Furthermore, the interview wasn't conducted in a linear manner. The directors sometimes emphasised certain points and returned to them several times. We have therefore voluntarily reorganised the recount and synthesised several responses to make one to make the interview easier to follow.
Along the same lines, we haven't separated the speech of the two directors nor the two interviewers in order to simplify the reading and avoid multiple changes of speakers because the words used by the two colleagues will be used in the same sense.

The interview has been translated from French to English. To read the original interview, Click here.
 

The interview
 
After a brief introduction by the official representative in our partnership with Moonscoop, we sat at a table. The start of the interview started was Mr Di Rosa alone, quickly joined by Mr Ferrier. We didn't have a need to pose the first question, the two directors already seemed to know what to say:

Luccio Di Rosa & Florian Ferrier:
We were contacted very early, around April 2011. We had already met the year before at the Festival du Film Français d'Angoulême (the French Film Festival of Angoulême) one weekend in November. It was necessary that we met and became friends to see if we got along well. Especially afterwards, when we wouldn't be working in the same places.
In Code Lyoko, there was just one director (i.e. Jérôme Mouscadet). With Code Lyoko Evolution, that wasn't possible anymore; the real life and 3D scenes didn't necessarily match in terms of directing. They needed therefore someone in charge of each of those aspects. However, it was necessary that those two people got along well. Resentment could be translated into and felt in the series, each director trying to take different steps to the other.
Following our meeting, we very quickly began to get along. We had the same vision and we knew what we were going to do with Code Lyoko Evolution.

CodeLyoko.fr team:
So you were the first to be recruited before the writers and even before all the work on the synopsis of Code Lyoko Evolution had begun?


Luccio Di Rosa & Florian Ferrier:
Pretty much. It was after that we recruited a writing director then a team of writers was formed.
But Florent and I have been making decisions in the choices in the writing done for Code Lyoko Evolution. When a director needs to work on a pre-existing universe, either because it's an adaptation of a book for example or, as with this, an adaptation of an animated series in live action, it's absolutely necessary that it's appropriated as part of this universe. If not, it won't work efficiently and liberally for the most part.

Also, before being named “Code Lyoko Evolution”, the name of the base project was “Code Lyoko 2.0”. This gives a good idea of a new beginning...Of a beginning which conserves the main ideas of the series...But which adds new developments.

CodeLyoko.fr team:
Was the person who justified the evolution of certain elements of the concept of Code Lyoko Evolution also the one who did the same for Code Lyoko? Have you seen the episodes of the original series?


Luccio Di Rosa & Florian Ferrier:
Yes!

While it was being confirmed that we would be working on Code Lyoko, we watched all the episodes. We had mainly seen the episodes of season 4 because that's the season where the whole concept is revealed with the advent of the Network.
To be completely honest, the first time someone explained the concept of Lyoko to me, I responded “I don't understand any of that.” I needed more explanations before anything started to make sense.
Luckily, the concept of Code Lyoko was very much suited to a live action adaptation. After studying it, we asked ourselves why it hadn't been done earlier!

Still, the concept of Code Lyoko is extremely complex and unclear. Plus certain elements of the show were a bit older. Take the Digital Sea for example...In Code Lyoko, it's a term given at all-will to describe a lot of things. There are in fact many “Digital Seas” which form the Network which the heroes navigate between Lyoko and the Replikas and also a Digital Sea inside Lyoko.
There's also Sector Five. Its organisation is very complex. There was a part of the Digital Sea inside (i.e. the Celestial Dome). A more precise example: in certain scenes, we see certain rooms in Sector Five which are completely empty except for platforms. When I asked what made up this void, nobody was able to give me a precise and certain response.
We had to adapt all of that. We had voluntarily made the choice to simplify the concept and most of all to remove the incoherent aspects.
With Code Lyoko Evolution, there was a new team of writers who arrived and who needed to have the concept explained to them. We couldn't work properly if regularly, the writers asked questions like, “And what is there once you leave this room in Sector Five?” and we were unable to respond.

We therefore for the first time, with David the head of writing, reworked the Literary Bible of Code Lyoko with the goal of simplifying the concept.
That's why two Sectors disappeared (i.e. the Ice and Forest). We made the choice to limit the number of Sectors to better exploit the remaining ones. It's not by chance; it's the fruit of some reflection around the world of Lyoko but also the originality of each one of these Sectors. Sector Five has also been simplified. And finally, a part of the vocabulary used in the series was redefined, also so that the people who know nothing about Code Lyoko can understand Code Lyoko Evolution.

CodeLyoko.fr team:
And the Earth part? Filming restrains have surely influenced the writing choices?


Luccio Di Rosa & Florian Ferrier:
Obviously in some amount... Filming a live series is in no way comparable to a cartoon.
The filming constraints are enormous. Just for the scenes at Kadic Academy, we had to immobilise Lycée Guez-de-Balzac for two months! This can't simply be improvised and we couldn't overstay our welcome, because after that, it was back to school time!

We met the actors in April 2012. Their preparation was paramount and they were subjected to a rough filming schedule. But they handled it like pros. We also had to compose an entire team.

But thinking about filming constraints was put upstream, at the same time we were working on the story and modifying the Literary Bible.

CodeLyoko.fr team:
Since we're talking about the adaptation of Code Lyoko to Code Lyoko Evolution: Did you work a lot with the original team who worked on Code Lyoko? I'm thinking of Sophie Decroisette in particular, the writing director, and Jérôme Mouscadet, the director of Code Lyoko.


Luccio Di Rosa:
Uh, no, I didn't see them a lot...
(To Florian) You worked with them, right?

Florian Ferrier:
No, not a whole lot.
They chose to stay in the background. They helped with the writing of the first episodes, but that's all.

Luccio di Rosa:
You have to realize that writing for a live series isn't at all the same kind of work as for an animated series. You need to understand them too. They don't necessarily have the desire to get their feet wet in an area of work that isn't theirs. Same for the writing of the episode scripts. A script for an animated series and one destined for a set with real actors isn't the same at all.

CodeLyoko.fr team:
What about Tania Palumbo ?


Luccio Di Rosa & Florian Ferrier:
She is also staying in the background and not artistic director anymore, but she's remaining with Thomas Romain, the creator of the original project.

CodeLyoko.fr team:
So, a lot of elements were inevitably removed. We think the fans are all under the same impression. Due to budget restrictions, the special effects are a lot more costly and difficult to achieve than in an animated series. Likewise, we also suppose that certain places and people have disappeared, which is equally understandable.
Apart from that, could you tell us more about the challenges of transitioning from the animated series to the live action series?


Luccio Di Rosa & Florian Ferrier:
Indeed, the special effects on Earth can't be treated the same way in the live action series. Unlike Code Lyoko, when XANA attacks, we can't make explosions in the middle of the city in the live action. So, the action will be developed in the 3D part on Lyoko instead. On the virtual side, we worked a lot on the realism to make the fighting more dynamic and more fluid.
However, the live action also has its benefits.
It accentuates the physical side of the series. So, from now on, the live action scenes will mainly be focused on the atmosphere. We put extra focus on the humor, but also on the sentiments between the relations of the characters. And in doing that, I think that we succeeded in recreating the atmosphere that existed between the characters of the animated series.

CodeLyoko.fr team:
In addition, one of your greater challenges was to produce a series that will attract new fans while still satisfying the old ones...


Luccio Di Rosa & Florian Ferrier:
Absolutely. And we were aware of it from the beginning.
It's a subject on which we have equally worked on a great deal, and I think that it will be one of our successes.
Of course, not everything can be exactly identical to the original series... and to tell the truth, even if it were possible, that was not our goal. There will still be changes. But we have kept a lot as close as possible to Code Lyoko.
We have occupied our time in particular with the casting and extended the duration of it in order to find good actors for the characters. Not necessarily professional actors with a lot of experience, but with the actors who felt truly in touch with the character they play.
Take Marin for example, you just have to see him to see Jeremy. Their resemblance is striking! And then, there is also Gulliver! Gulliver... You watch how he talks, moves, behaves... He's Odd! And I think that he'll go far if he perseveres in the acting career. He's made of gold, and he's very talented!
Next, of course, for the fans, the cartoon's transition to live action isn't easy! There are necessary differences between the cartoon and the live action. For Odd, if we had looked for an actor with blonde hair... Well, we would have looked for a long time, because blonde hair doesn't exist quite simply.
Or again, Aelita's wig... In Code Lyoko, Aelita has pink hair. Pink hair, that also doesn't exist... So either we change the color of their hair, which isn't what people want, or we adapt as best we can. We had a lot of trouble getting a result with this wig.
Next, it's a question of understanding and adapting. When you see the wig for the first time in the series, of course, that's surprising... You only notice the wig and as a result, you focus on it... And then the episode unwinds and after ten or so minutes, you pay more attention to the episode, because you get used to it. Everything is there actually. You just need to accept the change.
And besides, have you seen the episodes? What did you think of them?

CodeLyoko.fr team (Kerian):
(Note: The interview took place before the screening of the two premier episodes.)
I saw episode 5 during the "focus group."
I think there were successes as well as pitfalls. But from what I understood, the episode wasn't totally finished when I saw it. So, the special effects were not completely integrated.
From a scriptwriting perspective, I found the episode quite basic.


Luccio Di Rosa & Florian Ferrier:
Yes... I remember that for episode 5, we were asked to complete it as quickly as possible for MIPTV. In fact, it's a very basic episode, because nothing happens: The goal was really to show what an episode of Code Lyoko Evolution is like with the transition from the animated series to the live series. Therefore, the episode contains no major scriptwriting revelations.
It's even in a way "the worst of the series," because it takes place after the freshness of the first episodes, but before the action really starts - the action starting from around episode 7.

CodeLyoko.fr team:
So, it's sort of a pilot episode?


Luccio Di Rosa & Florian Ferrier:
That's right.

CodeLyoko.fr team:
Since we're talking about the evolution between the episodes: Is this season an "evolving" season when it comes to the plot?
I'll explain. Normally, the original series was known for having a basic scenario and was comprised of repetitive episodes that could be watched in whatever order. The goal is that new viewers can get into the series along the way.
We already had that in Code Lyoko with season 1, and as well with season 2 where, in each episode, Aelita had to escape from the Scyphozoa. Does Code Lyoko Evolution follow this repetitive logic, or is there a different logic and progression to the plot that requires an order to the episodes, like was the case in seasons 3 and 4?


Luccio Di Rosa & Florian Ferrier:
Well, yes and no.
We tried to make an "evolving" season with real development in the plot... even though we were encouraged to do the opposite...
So, there is a logic to it, and it is clearly preferable to watch the episodes in order. Despite everything, you can partly follow the series out of order... but I think if a person does that, they won't understand what happens at all in certain episodes.

CodeLyoko.fr team:
Without getting back into the scriptwriting revelations... The character of Laura!
Was this new character a wish on your part? Was it necessary in your eyes to bring something new to the table and to present a new character "who must explain everything," and who, as a result, can provide explanations for the new viewers?


Luccio Di Rosa & Florian Ferrier:
Totally!
For us, Laura was fundamental.

Not only that - she brings a new face to the team. But really, she was thought up as the character who could ask questions to bring about explanations. Eventually, her role slightly changed, because she doesn't appear immediately in the series.
But ultimately, her influence stays the same. Laura, she's the new arrival. Her determination to join the team is going to cause a mess, because she is going to ask questions that should not be asked and put herself right in the middle of the sentimental connections between the characters. She is even going to bring her own bit of discord into one of the relationships... Besides that, she is the female equivalent of Jeremy.

CodeLyoko.fr team:
Since we need to conclude
(Note: The public started reentering the room,) do you think that Code Lyoko Evolution will be a success?


Luccio Di Rosa & Florian Ferrier:
Well... The test is just today... The two premier episodes are going to be subject to the eyes of pros (Note: The old fans mainly present at the premier.)
On our part, we sincerely believe we have made the best possible... At least... Let's say rather that I think that we couldn't have done better with the amount of time and the means that we were given. The amount of time that we had was very short, and above all, the hybrid between the 3D animation and live action was a first and a total challenge.
Now, these are the figures and the results that will make the Code Lyoko Evolution of which we speak.
I think the important thing is acceptance. It is necessary to adapt to change. With just a few minutes of watching, we get used to the novelty and are new again to Code Lyoko.
When we see each other again after the premier, will you tell us what you thought of it?


CodeLyoko.fr team:
Sure thing! Thank you so much!
 

Interview collected by Shaka and Kerian from CodeLyoko.fr
During the Evolution advance-premier on 5 December 2012
Reorganised and slightly reformulated by Shaka

 
 
Thanks to Mr. Ferrier and Di Rosa for sharing their time with us!
 
 

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