QD & ME – CLÉMENCE MORISSEAU – CINEMATIC & CAMERA ARTIST
Quantic Dream: Please introduce yourself! What’s your name, where are you from, and what is your role at QD?
Hello! My name is Clémence, I’m 24 years old and I’ve been lucky enough to live in a lot of different places, including Reunion Island, Tahiti, the Orléans and Sarthe regions in France… So, I can’t really say where I’m from, haha! And now I’m a Cinematic & Camera Artist at Quantic Dream, in Paris!
Quantic Dream: How did you come to work in the video games industry? Was it a lifelong dream, or did you luckily stumble into it?
I studied Game Art in Paris, to work in the video game industry. I learned a lot artistically about how to compose shots, the principles of animation, lighting, 3D modelling, or more generally the role of each profession in the creation of a video game. I also did a stint at France Télévision, where I learned to mix real and virtual cameras, but I quickly realised that it wouldn’t suit me. I wanted to combine technical and artistic skills, but I had to discover which position in the video game industry would be a good fit. When I saw the job opening for “Cinematic Artist” at Quantic Dream, I realised that this was clearly the job for me. I went for it and I don’t regret it!
Quantic Dream: Let’s talk about your job at Quantic Dream! Could you elaborate more on your role, and the role of your team?
We have several roles. First, we must create high quality cinematics to make our players feel the emotions of the characters they are playing. We must make sure that our players are involved in the story, in the characters, in the choices they can make.
Then, we also have to create gameplay cameras that are pleasant and smooth, but also narrative and directive, while keeping in mind this very cinematographic aspect that is typical of Quantic Dream. And it’s quite a challenge that I love to take up!
So, there can be in moments where I’m going to “shoot” cinematics, and others where I’m nose-deep in the script, trying to figure out why my camera isn’t working as it should in the action phases!
Editor’s note: you can discover more on the work of Cinematic Artists by clicking here.
Quantic Dream: Tell us more about the members of your team. Any fun story to share?
I’m in Maxime Brochen’s team (Lead Camera Artist). I can’t say if it’s an anecdote as such, but it happens regularly that I test things, tell myself that it’s not bad, that I might even be some kind of genius! Then I show my work to Maxime and I quickly realize how HORRIBLE it is! I don’t even need him to give me feedback, which is always constructive by the way, I already know what I need to change, haha!
Or while testing a build (editor’s note: a version of the game under development), I sometimes don’t understand why nothing works! The camera is out of focus, it’s a mess, and I’m like:
- Wait, who broke the build?!
- Oh dear, a critical error on the script.
- Oh my, the camera script is not finished.
- Oooook, that was done by me. Oooopsy.
(Note: no build was hurt, just my ego)
Quantic Dream: Can you describe to us a typical day for you? Does a typical day even exist for you?
Yes and no! At the beginning of the day, we always check the bugs that have appeared and we deal with them first. Then, it depends on the needs: either I take care of filming the game’s cinematics by relying on the Game Design document, or by questioning the Narrative Design team; or I work on the gameplay camera systems.
Quantic Dream: What are your external inspirations that are reflected in your job?
Yes, clearly! I read a lot, fantasy in particular, and because of this background, when I work on the camera system for an action scene, I always take a lot of time to detail in my head every interaction, every shot. The same goes for inspiration I take from movies, games, series. Denis Villeneuve’s Dune instantly became a cinematic pillar in my head, for instance, in my way of seeing narrative through images. Or the animated series Arcane, from which I learned a lot in terms of shot reading and editing. I also have in mind more classic references, such as Quentin Tarantino’s way of filming, which is very singular.
Quantic Dream: Be careful, BIG question… What are your favourite games?
I’m a huge fan of role-playing games, I love to play stories, characters, to be taken to another world. My favourite gaming franchise are The Witcher, Dragon Age, Final Fantasy, and of course World of Warcraft. This game has marked my adolescence and my life in many ways!
Quantic Dream: Tell us more about your hobbies outside of work.
Art in general. Outside of work, I draw a lot, it’s a real passion. And as I love role-playing games, I also play tabletop role-playing games! Classics like Cthulhu, Dungeons & Dragons, Alien, Star Wars. Or original universes created and written by my best friend and my partner. This is my main source of inspiration when I draw!
Of course, I also love reading and writing. Mostly fantasy, medieval fantasy, heroic fantasy. I recommend Trudi Canavan‘s trilogies, as well as the epic The Sword of Truth series!
Finally, I’m a sports fan, I hardly go a week without lifting more than my body weight at the gym at least twice!
Quantic Dream: All right! What does your perfect Friday night look like?
Surrounded by friends, my partner, with a nice drink, playing some role-playing game all night long, that takes us on an adventure far from the Parisian metro!
Quantic Dream: Do you have a message for our readers?
Don’t be afraid to test and fail; it’s almost the heart of the job, to fail in order to succeed. It can become fun as soon as you’re not afraid of failing! And this applies to so many other things outside of work!
Quantic Dream: Final question! Chocolate cake or Fruit pie?
Can we mix “cake” and “fruit”? Because clearly, I’m an unconditional fan of cherry tart, apple or pear cake, so… Fruit cake!