30 août 2019

Work | Why is China investing Africa?

Role: co-direction, editing, motion
Writing, co-direction: Asia Balluffier
Story editor: Olivier Clairouin
14 minutes - lemonde.fr, 2019

The story

Since a decade, China's activity in Africa intrigues the West. On the other hand, in many african countries, the chinese partner is praised. In 2009, China became the first trade partner of the continent, distancing the U.S.A. and France.

But can China-Africa relations really be "win-win"? What is China really doing in Africa? Explanations with maps in this second episode of Mappemonde series.

Making of

I co-directed this video with Le Monde journalist Asia Balluffier. She did the researches, wrote the script, and we worked together on the global direction. From there, I was in charge of the production of the video.

I started - and this is something that I always do now - working only on the audio editing (finding good musics, and mixing them with the voice-over). For this 12 minutes video, it took me almost 4 days, which may seem long. But I really like to take this time to set down the dynamic, the vibe of my video, and push it as far as I can. Once I'm happy with it, I can just forget about that, and create/pick the frames that fit with it.

From there, the main challenge was the work on the maps animations. Since these sequences represented half of the video, I wanted them to be accurate, fluid, and also a little bit spectacular, to keep the attention of the viewers. To do so, I have taken full advantage of the glorious plugin GEOLayers 2. (I really recommend it to anyone interested in doing maps animations. Really, it's supercheap for what you can do with it.) It allowed me to easily go from continent maps to regional close-ups. I also decided to break the usual planisphere pov, and rotate the axis sometimes, which I think brings something a little bit unexpected.

From the existing script to final delivery, it took me two (big) weeks in total.

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