The events that have occurred in Paris are heavy on my heart. I was visiting friends there in the fall and it has been very hard reconciling what has occurred recently. This article/interview and any additional articles concerning French subjects are written wishing the best for my friends there and the citizens of France.
In anticipation of going to Paris and to practice my French, I conducted an online interview via email with the French YouTube videographer Faireset/Parole de Chat (loosely translated in English as Word Cat). Faireset’s YouTube videos are in French and dubbed in English. I and scores of others have found this videographer, who lives in Paris, so clever and entertaining that to date Faireset’s various videos have received millions of views. The interview I conducted with Faireset (whose name will not be revealed; we’ll say that Faireset is the persona), was in French. The English translation appears here. The complete transcript of the interview in French with the English translation will appear on my blog. The popularity of Faireset’s work and influencers indicate the ongoing paradigm shift that is taking place in entertainment media online over traditional media.
Did you have any training or education to put together your videos? Do you do it for fun? Did you learn by trial and error?
I am totally self-taught. I have learned on the job and have been helped by tutorials found on the Internet. What is very exciting is that anyone can produce whatever kind of video they want. If you have a good idea, have the time and energy, all the tools are there to realize your ideas.
Faireset is very funny, talented, intelligent. Which filmmakers and actors does Faireset prefer? Who is an inspiration?
Thanks for the compliment. For Parole de Chat, my greatest inspiration comes from The Private Life of Animals (currently unavailable in digital format in the US), by Patrick Bouchitey. But I also have great admiration for an American who has his own YouTube Channel, “Talking Animals.” (Talking Animals Klaatu42).
There are so many artists and actors that fueled my enthusiasm over the years: Georges Méliès, Charlie Chaplin, Louis Jouvet, Louis de Funès, Alexandre Astier, Freddie Wong, Hugh Jackman! I can continue to cite dozens of other names, any time period and any genre of every kind. I am also a big fan of these American series (How I Met Your Mother, Dexter, The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, etc.). The list is very long!
Faireset has a big following. Some of the videos have gone viral because they are truly brilliant and touch many people lifting them up from their troubles. C’est bien. What does Faireset like about doing the videos? The act of creating? The response of fans? The cats? The collaboration with other artists who help with the video projects? The risk? The fun? Something else?
I remain incredulous about receiving millions of views. I look at the numbers as if it was not me who made the videos, as if I could not do that. So I read all the comments and try to answer all the questions as best as I can. I come back several times a day to Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, or Instagram just to be sure that all this is real. And where it becomes magic is when I see the impact that some of my videos can have on people watching them. For example at the end of Ninja Cat when I say there may be one (Ninja Cat) behind you right now…many people turn around to see if there is a Ninja Cat behind them. The funny thing is is that often their cat is sitting on the couch looking at them as if to say, “Ah ha, now you’re making it less evil than it really is.”
What are Faireset’s favorite movies and videos…comedies or dramas? What are a few examples of each?
I am a tremendous fan of Louis de Funès! I watched Louis de Funès films so many times, I lost count. Rabbi Jacob (The Mad Adventures of Rabbi Jacob), La Folie Des Grandeurs (Delusions of Grandeur), La Soupe Au Choux (Cabbage Soup), the trilogy ending with Fantomas Against Scotland Yard, Hibernatus, etc. But I am also a great fan of SF films and fantasies: Star Wars, the Matrix and all films about super-heroes, etc. And as I like to do the splits, I also take great pleasure in looking at classic black and white films with Audrey Hepburn or Marilyn Monroe or Louis Jouvet, for whom I have boundless admiration watching A Ghost or Doctor Knock (Knock in English). Sometimes I’ve gone back and seen films with my family, for example, My Name is Nobody with Terence Hill and Henry Fonda. The film is brilliant. And YouTube videos in French that I recommend/subscribe include people like Cyprien, Norman, SLG, and all WhyTeaFam. I also appreciate GonzagueTV; the list is long! The guys from Corridor Digital in the US do an incredible job. And I have a great admiration for Zach King (the King of Vines).
Faireset is an artist of people who enjoy cats, talking animals, and laughter, but also an artist of the people on a deeper level. Have you written a screenplay? What are your plans for the future?
There is a project dear to my heart that I’ve been considering for a long time. It is to produce a webseries. The day we manage to get up a budget to be able to start production on episodes which are already written, then I will realize a childhood dream.
I’d like to know why you have chosen the identity of Faireset? Is it because of Charlie Chaplan’s influence?
Yes in part, but it’s mainly in reference to Georges Méliès, to whom we owe A Trip to the Moon. (the film Hugo based on Brian Selznick’s book The Invention of Hugo Cabret, was Martin Scorsese’s tribute to Georges Méliès’s life). Georges Méliès is known especially in France for being the inventor of special effects in cinema. He called them tricks. He was a magician of images, pictures. He was the first “Cinemagician.”[amazon template=iframe image&asin=161238966X]