26/10/2010 | by Tom Copsey
[Pour lire cette interview en français, cliquer ICI]
We hit up this new French movie outfit to find out what we can expect from their first movie, Pan Pan, which comes free with Onboard issue 118.
With the exclusive teaser of the 100% French snowboard vid Hara Kiri dropping on our website, we met up with the filmer and director Manu Vivion to talk about his first snowboard release.
From where did the idea for this project come from?
At the end of winter 2008-2009, JJ Roux and Bruno Rivoire and I decided to launch our own snowboard video production company. We were really hot about being able to do our own thing. It’s something that seemed quite achievable. With JJ and Bruno in our crew, their styles seemed to complement each other plus we all had a lot of connections with other riders and potential sponsors. In addition, we immediately found a lot of support (namely Salomon and Onboard) to get us out of the starting blocks and the ball rolling.
How did you find yourself heading up the initiative?
It was just a natural process really. When we launched Hara Kiri, I already had some good experience in filming and editing. I’d been doing that kind of work for various projects for a couple of years, mainly in skateboarding though. And it’s just something I love doing. I like to do my own thing when I film, but when I’m editing in front of my computer I always like to get other people’s input. JJ and Bruno are always there to guide me and bring ideas to the table.
What other projects have you worked on in the past?
I spent the whole of last season filming for the video Bloody Board by Cédric Le Cordroch and David Boisson. That was my first real whole season shooting backcountry with riders like Arthur Longo, Gérôme Matthieu… It was great experience, and really good training too. Filming for those guys definitely contributed to us having the idea of Hara Kiri, it was the first time I got to shoot with JJ. It went really well and made us want to do our own thing. Prior to that experience, I had tried to launch a skateboarding and snowboarding Internet TV channel. It was called Magnetik TV but it never really got off the ground. I filmed, did some editing, putting out a 15-minute video every month. It lasted two years, it was a bit of a struggle – especially as I was all on my own – but it was all really valuable experience. It forced me to get out there and meet lots of cool people. And prior to that, I worked on a few personal projects as a starting point that allowed to me to learn the basics of video production.
What snowboard films have inspired you in your work?
Absinthe. Without question. I saw Vivid in 2003. It was one of the first snowboard films that I saw and it made a hell of an impression. Nico Müller and Romain de Marchi’s parts in particular. It made me say, “I want to do that as a job: film snowboarding”. As a result, Absinthe’s work has no doubt influenced me, the quality of their 16mm images and style of editing… After that, when they started filming more jib stuff with mini DVs I wasn’t such a fan. But their videos are still a real reference mark for me. In general, I love any footage that celebrates the wilderness and raw beauty of the mountains. Powder and backcountry is what makes me tick, and I think you’ll be able to feel that in Hara Kiri.
Did you have a good idea of how you wanted the video from the word go or was it something that came with time?
We knew that we wanted to focus on powder and backcountry footage, but apart from that we kind of just improvised. My previous season taught me that it’s very difficult to predict snow conditions and therefore plan anything too far ahead. So we simply invested all of our energy into being where the best snow conditions were at any one time and tried to make the most of that. You end up filming what you’re served, and that what will give the film its general thread and feel. Or at least that’s what we did this year.
Tell us a little about the idea behind the video?
Well, we kind of stumbled upon the name ‘Hara Kiri’ by accident during a brainstorming session with JJ. We just liked the sound of it and what it suggested: blood and violence. We’re nice guys really but the name gave us a bit of a theme to play with… and we thought it was important to have something that stood out seeing as it was going to be our first release. The clash of “old dudes versus young guns” served as a good starting point and worked well with Hara Kiri.
Tell us a bit about the crew. Nearly every French rider is in there!
In the crew, you’ll find a large part of the Atmo crew from Gap (Bruno, Gaby Bessy, Victor Daviet, Ben Thomas Javid, Sully Monod, JJ Roux), the guys on the French half-pipe team (Johann Baisamy, Aluan Ricciardi, Mathieu Crépel, Arthur Longo) and friends like Victor De Le Rue, Allan Besse, Valérian Ducourtil, Sylvain Bourbousson, Gérôme Mathieu, Enzo Nilo and THE girl, Vicci Miller.
Who were you blown away by the most?
Victor De Le Rue, for his level and commitment. Otherwise Johann Baisamy too. When I found out, after him landing a series of sick tricks off a backcountry kicker, that that was his first backcountry session! Bruno Rivoire too. Very busy with his various jobs and family, he had very little time to film but was super productive every time we went out.
Anything in particular memories stand out from last season?
The month of January in the Southern Alpes was epic. It was really cold and the snow stayed light and fresh for a long time. Ideal for backcountry riding. A trip to Savoie in Febuary where it snowed every day for nearly a whole week. Pillows and tree runs were the order of the day, 3 feet of freshies, it was magic. Then at the start of March we went to Cerler in Spain. The session was organised by KIM and Onboard with a 33-metre kicker. It was huge, and we scored some sick footage from the session!
In your opinion, what the video’s real highlight?
It has to be some of the powder footage we scored!