Photos by Hadrien Picard interview by Chris Mortenson
Hadrien Picard seems to be able to do it all. Transitioning between the role of photographer and videographer is no easy task, however he seems to do it effortlessly and beautifully. Recently he has been pushing the limits of filming by shooting all his films on Nokia Lumia phone. Filming things on a phone is not a new concept, but with camer/phone technology getting better and better they are starting to turn into a necessity for any filmer/photographers bag. I caught up with Hadrien to find out more about his filming process and what he thinks about this new territory camera phones.
Can you give us a small introduction about yourself?
I am Hadrien Picard. I’m 31 and live around Paris. I’ve been riding for 20 years but I’m still terrible on a bike. I’ve been shooting photos for 16 years & thank god I’m a little less terrible at that. I’ve started to film around 7-8 years ago. I never thought I’d say this but I have the chance to be a pro photographer and filmer.
How did you make the transition from photographer to videographer?
For me, video has always seemed like a close cousin of photography. It has always interested me.
I’m not sayin I did everything in photo, very far from that, every day I realize that, but it was less a challenge for me at that time. I had a DV camera for a couple of years but something changed when video mode start to be included in DSLR. I was totally amazed by the quality and; the feel of the images from the 1st DSLRs that could film like the D90 & 5DMKII. So I bought a 7d and started to play with it. I did a couple of vids here and there, then I won the Nike StandBy Barcelona which helped me to look like a « legit » filmer haha.
I still and; will always shoot photos. It’s honestly cool to do both, it’s hard but it’s really rewarding for yourself to think you have done both. Video is a lot more work than photo, so I’m really happy when I can shoot photos ONLY.
What’s your current filming set up like?
I still have my lovely JVC HM100 but the majority of clips I film are with a Nikon D800 and; a Sony FS700 that maybe, besides my flat, is the most expensive thing I have ever bought. I’m pretty happy with it!
How did you start filming with the Nokia camera/phone?
They contacted me because they were looking for someone who was good in photo and; video in our sports.
Nokia used to be involved in BMX years ago so they knew BMX, skate and; snowboard are really photogenic/videogenic. They wanted people to shoot with their Lumias to show their cameras capabilities. I think they also like the spirit of BMX, skate and; snowboard. We met in the end of 2012 and; we talked about what we can do and Nokia Pureviews, and a creative community based around shooting with their Lumia lines, was born.
What are some of the challenges with filming on a phone? and did you have any hesitation putting down a video camera for a camera phone?
Those things are really light, which is good for your back, but I also thought that it can be a problem for stability. You have to pay attention to even small shakings but it’s actually less than I thought. There is an optical stabilisator inside that does great job.
Obviously a smartphone is and; will never be a DSLR : the sensor is small (even if the 1020 has a pretty big one) and; you can’t change lens. Some actually can but what’s the use having a smartphone that is big like DSLR at the end?
For sure it’s not a FS700 but overall I think the images look pretty damn good. Some riders were a little stressed to send it in front of a smartphone but when they saw the images they were confident about the result.
Your films are all very well done. How much does editing and post come into play? and could you give a little insight into your editing process?
I think editing is at least as important as filming. Photography is very exigent at the moment : a photo is good or bad. Period. But you can actually make a good video from not so good clips. The real difficulty of filming compared to shooting photos is that, even if it’s at the minimal scale, it’s not a movie, you have to think a little to what kind of shots you need if you want to make an intro, show something particular etc…
A photo could be great by its own but a video is an addition of a lot of clips so you have to think a little before & after about how organising it!
Music is also a third of the clip. It’s super important. It’s funny how I’m not a specialist in music but I really like to follow the most I can so the clip at the end is a perfect mix between sound and image.
I didn’t do any film/photo class so my editing process may not be the best! I don’t rename anything, I drag and drop all the clips I have in the time line and; from there cut and; select them and then bit by bit make the edit.
With camera and phone technology getting better every year, how do you think this is going to change the way we make films?
It has already changed a lot of things! Thanks to DSLR we can achieve a look that was impossible before. Things will become more and more close to perfection and; cheaper and; cheaper. But at the end, even with a Red Epic, if you suck you suck. It will never change that.
Smartphone speaking, they have 3 huge strenghs that may cause some big trouble to camera manufacturers: The image they make is getting better and; better and; can be usable for a lot of projects. Another strengh of the smartphone is that you carry it EVERYWHERE. It does so many thing it’s obvisouly already in your pocket, so you can shoot very fast whatever happen in front of you. « The best camera is the on you have » Remember. And finally phones are connected. Really important for geeks like us haha. But it’s true that more and more cameras can be connected. I bought a small panasonic that’s so smart it can send the photos to a phone via a wifi networks it creates. Crazy!
Do you have any other big projects coming out this year?
I have some really, really good stuff coming this year with Nokia…
Do you have any advice for future filmers out there?
Go out and shoot! Don’t wait, don’t be shy. If you want to learn, it’s 1000 times easier now that before thanks to digital and internet. Look around you to understand how things works but always remember not to copy/paste what is fashion today. Create your own style.