Spotlight | Mill Director Nevil Bernard

Thought December 9, 2021

Tell us about your career so far, how did you become a director?

I was introduced to filmmaking early on by my godfather who is a director of photography. He planted the seed and I started making my own movies in the backyard as a kid, pretending to be sick in order to skip school.  I studied film animation at ENSAD in Paris, then began working as a freelancer on institutional projects and music-related projects (music videos, festivals…).  

How would you describe your style and what are some of your favourite projects to have worked on?

My style of animation is colorful and playful, almost childlike which I feel reflects a part of my own personality. I love to twist everyday situations or objects with abstract and surreal imagery. I’ve always been in love with old traditional 2D cell animation and the imperfections that come with the tools they were using at the time. Those limitations give the image a very organic and particular feel. I spent a lot of time at school learning how to use a multiplane camera and trying to create volume using flat surfaces by playing with depth of field, and that “hands-on’ process influences the way I work today, even though most of it is done by computer now. I loved working with the French band Catastrophe because they have such a joyful and colorful approach to creation in general    that was a great experience. Working on any Melodies International project is really fun also because they are music nerds and I have a lot of freedom to try things out.

You have worked on many design projects for musicians, what are some factors to consider when making this sort of work?

I think there is a delicate balance between expressing the artist’s personality and giving it a new dimension through the visuals. I always try and find something personal about the music or the artist and start building from there. I am also a musician so I pay close attention to instruments, arrangements and rhythm. 

What are you most looking forward to about working here at The Mill?

I think working with a team! Sharing ideas, getting feedback and collaborating. Animation can sometimes be a solitary craft so I look forward to building new projects and working with other animators. Working with International clients is also really exciting.

What is currently inspiring you?

My talented friends! The amazing graphic design work of Atelier Choque Le Goff, the whimsical ceramics of Marie-Yaé Suematsu and the beautiful illustrations of Magali Brueder and Linda Merad.  At the moment I am working on the opening credits for a French TV series set in the early ’80s, so I am looking at old adverts and bumpers from that period. The amount of extravagance and hand-drawn poetry from that time is breathtaking.


You can check out more of Nevil’s work via his Creative Talent page / website and follow him on Instagram @bernard.nevil. You can also contact us regarding your upcoming projects here.