#WFH Diaries: Etienne Renaux and Paul Marty of Herezie Paris

As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc across the globe, we're checking in with creative people to see how they're faring. Here's an update from Etienne Renaux and Paul Marty, executive creative directors at Herezie in Paris.

Give us one-line bios of yourselves.

Etienne Renaux: 33 years old, ECD of Parisian agency Herezie. Proud dad of two.

Paul Marty: Paul, half the age of Etienne, ECD of Parisian agency Herezie.

Where are you living right now, and who's with you?

Etienne: I am in my apartment in Levallois, a city cross-border to Paris.
I am living with my wife Clara, my daughters Noa (4) & Sasha (2) and Jolia the cat of my sister-in-law. 

Paul: I'm living with my girlfriend, in Paris. If the confinement were a video game, we would be playing it on expert mode.

What's your work situation like at the moment?

Etienne: It's the chaos, but it's a beautiful chaos ... with lots of fun and laughter. In some way it's very cinematographic.

Paul: Métro, boulot, dodo. 

Describe your socializing strategy.

Etienne: One of the most socializing moments for me is at 8 p.m, when I put my head outside the window to applaud all the people fighting the virus frontline. I've started to become really friendly with my neighborhood. Beyond that, I have more classic tools like Messenger. I've also created an amazing relationship with Jolia the cat—we are talking with our eyes.

Paul: I'm spending 82 percent of my time on the phone or in video conference, 5 percent on my balcony making signs to my neighbors, 7 percent in Scrabble party, 12 percent sending memes and football (soccer) anecdotes on WhatsApp and Messenger, and I'm pretty sure at the end the total is not 100 percent.

How are you dealing with childcare?

Etienne: After 36 days at home, honestly you just do your best. My kids are kind of like animals—day by day, they win a bit more territory inside the apartment. They extend their bedroom to the full apartment. 

Paul: I do my best, in this order: 

1) I read them stories
2) I play games with them
3) I watch cartoons with them
4) I watch classic football games with them
5) I remember I don't have kids

What are you reading?

Etienne: Men We Reaped by Jesmyn Ward.

Paul: I read my Twitter feed 30 times a day. The story is pretty cool but a bit rambling. 

What are you watching?

Etienne: I am watching a lot of TV shows ... Kalifat, a Swedish show on Netflix, and High Maintenance.

Paul: I can't really say why, but I'm in a historical-experimental-binge-movie-and-documentary moment. Basically the last two movies I watched were Experimenter, about Stanley Milgram, and The Stanford Experiment Prison, about Philip Zimbardo.

What are you listening to?

Etienne: We've launched with friends blind test parties on Zoom each Saturday night. So I am listening to all the blind test playlists on Spotify ... aha i don't want to lose anymore.

Paul: I'm in a cliché Billie Eilish period.

How are you staying fit?

Etienne: I quit smoking. 

Paul: Aha, I don't.

Have you taken up a hobby?

Etienne: Yes! I'm building a dollhouse.

Paul: Not a new one, but I'm using all my "free" time to improve my main hobby: collecting/finding AS Monaco football shirts.

Any tips for getting necessities?

Etienne: Try not to go outside for nothing. We are all changing our perception of necessities. If, after reflection, it is still a necessity, go to the closest store from your home.

Paul: Just read Etienne's answer again.

An awkward moment since all this started.

Etienne: I was in a client presentation, and my wife and kids totally crashed the call—the kids yelling and crying. I was very embarrassed by the situation, but I am now very amused because we are all in the same situation. It could happen to everyone. 

Paul: I've noticed that I was not able to hand-write anything anymore. So when the time came to fill out the French authority authorization to walk on the streets, it took me like 15 minutes.

Best work email you got since all this started.

Etienne: I think it's a "go prod"... which means we still produce ideas.

Paul: Maybe this imaginary email saying, "Guys, we've just received this new brief, and guess what? It is not linked to the Covid-19 situation."

An aha! moment since all this started.

Etienne: People are really sharper and darker in their humor since we are all confined.  

Paul: If you've read Etienne's awkward moment, just imagine that I was on this video call, too.

What's your theory on how this is going to play out?

Etienne: Sadly, some agencies or advertisers will disappear, but newer ones will appear. It will also cause a real change in the way the brand will advertise. They will act more bravely. For example, to me it's the first time in France that I've seen brands act and not just advertise. Which is funny, of course, because it's not the one we all expected.

Paul: Theory: Simply but surely, and most importantly [*please insert something that rhymes with -y*].

See the full #WFH Diaries series here.

Tim Nudd
Tim Nudd was editor in chief of the Clio Awards and editor of Muse by Clio from 2018 to 2023.

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