Flat Eric went on to become one of the best-known and most fondly remembered icons in advertising from the past decade.
Dupieux is only a tender 29 years old, yet has clocked up almost 20 years of film-making. He began shooting short films starring his friends with his father's video camera at the age of 12. At 17, having saved for three years, he bought himself a 16mm camera.
Over the next four years, Dupieux directed 15 films and, aged just 21, he started to edit his films and write music. In 1998, he joined Partizan Midi Minuit and shot a commercial for BSM that won gold at the International Advertising Association Awards.
Soon after, he became something of a celebrity with his "Flat Eric" commercials for Levi's Sta-Prest. The campaign won many awards worldwide and attracted enormous press and critical attention, helping Dupieux to gain a place on the New Directors' Showcase presented each year by Saatchi & Saatchi in Cannes.
Dupieux, who has recently shot three more commercials for Levi's, as well as a short film, Mseq, that features Stephane, Flat Eric's father, says: "I have heard that everybody was happy with the campaign. We did another round of spots six months after the first, so I guess it must have worked."
Alongside his Levi's portfolio, he also directed a short film called Duvet and two music videos - one for Alex Gopher for the Party People track and a music video for his own single, dubiously entitled Analogue Worms.
Dupieux is on the brink of releasing his first feature movie and is already writing the next. "This is why I have unfortunately not had much time for shooting commercial," he explains.
But there is good news for Flat Eric fans: Dupieux is plotting his return.
However, for the moment the guise Flat Eric will return under has to stay top secret. "I can't talk about it, but it will be huge," he promises.
- Quentin Dupieux was talking to Isabelle Musnik.