“Henri & Edmond – Droits d’auteur” (“Copyright” in English) is the second brickfilm by Maxime Marion (StudioEpsilon) featuring Henri, the hero, and Edmond, his firefighter friend who always helps him out of trouble… with style. “Henri & Edmond – Le Nouveau Voisin” (The New Neighbour) was the first brickfilm and was 7 minutes long. The second chapter is an amazing 32 minutes of pure fun.
Henri is pursued by SACOM ( a fictional music protection agency possibly based on SACEM) for illegally downloading the song “Brick Lady,” from the Internet. He calls his friend Edmond for help and together they try to escape SACOM and its obsessed boss Vince Stub. And they do it with “style” (according to Edmond, “style” can’t be described, sorry.)
I must first point out the excellent script. Everything helps the story, there is nothing to cut. What happens in the beginning is referred to later (even if it’s only for a joke). Everything has a meaning. When the story concludes, you’ll know what I mean.
There’s a lot of great metafictional humor too. Henri and Edmond are plastic minifigures, and they know it. Yes. When Edmond want to cheer up his friend, he tell him this story (no spoilers here).
When I was a kid, I wanted to be an acrobat. But someday, I realized that I was only a plastic figure, and that I don’t have neither elbow nor knee joint. But one day, my uncle came to me and told me that I must never give up though I’m only a figure… Where there’s a will, there’s a way and I could be much more than a piece of plastic.
Not only do they know they are made of plastic, but they also know that they are in a movie. “We’re in the middle of a dynamic montage.” says Edmond to Henri right in the middle of… a montage! And sometime they refer to the script writer or the film’s direction. If you like these kind of jokes, see their first adventure, “The New Neighbor,” for even more.
Technique and Animation
Maxime Morin’s work on lightning is amazing, it changes a lot, going from day light to sunset to night. The camera angles too must be mentioned, they are various and creative for a brickfilm, and gives you the feeling your watching a Hollywood movie. And speaking of camera angles, there’s a scene where Henri is hiding himself behind other minifigs by moving exactly as they do (Edmond calls that “the axis trick”). Look carefully and you’ll see that he’s there. That scene is not only funny, it’s a chef d’œuvre (masterpiece) of brickfilm animation.
“Copyright” is Maxime Morin’s personal project. It took him around 9 to 10 months of work in a three years period. He did all the animation and asked his friends to help with voices and post-production. As Maxime Morin works in the video business, it was easy for him to find friends who were passionate about his project, pro or not. I must mention that the French voices are very professional, as is the sound design… and everything else.
Oh! Did I mention that Henri & Edmond is in French? Don’t worry, there’s English subtitles.
But the song is in English. “Brick Lady” performed by “The Dragonflies” is not only the music of this brickfilm, it’s also part of the story. In fact, the movie’s official Original Soundtrack is available on Bandcamp.
There is more to say, but I will stop here. On the other hand, Henri & Edmond won’t stop here because there is a third movie coming out soon. The title is “Plastic Love.” See their Facebook page for the poster.