Padejo is a collective of three Toronto artists driven by the pleasure of collaborative works. After a series of paintings and rubbings, they decide to explore an unexpected medium: balloons. One of them is uncomfortable with that choice, but they end up creating on-site balloon installations in Sudbury, Toronto and Montreal. With chance, playfulness and the ephemeral as a work philosophy, the result is always unknown but amazes the public.
I met Paul, Denis and Joseph of the Padejo collective at Le Labo, Toronto’s Francophone Media Arts Center in 2004. When I saw the three of them working together on the same canvas, I was instantly fascinated. Later on, I was invited to participate in the making of their multimedia project Micro>Macro. I made the video embedded in this installation that was presented to the public in 2007 (for more details, click here). After that great experience, I had an irresistible desire to document their next work in an improvised experimental way.
An on-location installation at the Fair of Alternative Art of Sudbury in 2010 gave me that opportunity. After three days of filming their first work with balloons, I realized that there was good enough material to make a more substantial documentary.
A few months later, Padejo presented another balloon work for Nuit Blanche at the Gladstone Hotel. Once again, I was there with a camera. After that, I decided to film and interview the three of them in their studios, still with no budget and investing my own money. Caught up with my professional commitments and the difficult task to find funds, editing the film was moving at a slow pace.
Then, Art Souterrain, one of Montreal’s Nuit Blanche events, selected Padejo’s application for a third balloon project in 2012. I clearly couldn’t miss what turned out to be the most popular balloon installation they had made so far.
In 2013, an Ontario Arts Council grant finally allowed me to fund a comprehensive post-production for the film. It was a tremendous amount of work for a single person to make that film: I produced, directed, filmed for the biggest part and edited this documentary myself. I’ve also composed and arranged the music. This is my first feature film, but actually for me this film is a first in many ways.
Padejo: Paul Walty, Denis Leclerc, Joseph Muscat
Produced and Directed by: Alexandre Loukos
Directors of Photography: Alexandre Loukos, Frédéric Ansaldo, Jean Héguy
Editing: Alexandre Loukos
Music: Alexandre Loukos
Sound Supervisor and Sound Mix: Daniel Pellerin
Postproduction: Theatre D Digital (The Royal), Creative Post
Released in 2015.
This film was made possible with the support of the Ontario Arts Council.