Clement Maillet

How did you get into filming?

I begin while I was on holyday in 1996, with a Sony hi-8 in a yellow shell, to protect the camera from the snow, it was in Avoriaz , and it was the good old days…When Seb Daurel was working at the snowpark , imitating Eddy Murphy in every occasion , and Nico Droz was killing it in the mini ramp with skechie ‘table extension’ , sessionning in the church of Avoriaz. Then I continued to film on holyday for my own, a couple of years, and did my first winter season in 2000. My season job was photographer for Foto video, so I was shooting with the analog camera during the work and was shooting local snowboarders in super 8 and digital 8 during my rest days. Then I entered a cinema school in Paris and quit it after one year and a half, I was already working on Long film instead of going to school.  I did a lot of shortfilms,( near 70  I think) as  Grip or as light crew, but was always taking between 1 month and three months every winter, to go in the mountain shooting and riding.
In the winter 05/06, I filmed in DV a big part of the season for Advita, a French production, and then get in touch with the Pirates in December 06 and begin the season with them in January, in 16mm.


What different formats have you shot during the years? What is your favourite?

Hi-8, Digital 8, super 8, DV, 16mm.and dias with my analog camera.
For sure 16 and super 8 are my favourites, but back in the days I used to prefer the trashy grain of the cheap digital 8 , than the “quality” of the fashionwise brand new mini DV. In fact you can find an interesting format for every price ,” it’s not the car who makes the car driver”, having the latest fancy and expensive HDV cam , does not turn me on at all , even if everybody is pretending that it’s the future; in fact I heard that in the cinema industry for 7 years: “Next year, all the productions are gonna shoot Hdv” and film is still here! Every year!  And Kodak is still bringing out new generations of film with improvements. If I can’t shoot film anymore, half of the pleasure is gonna be away for me!


What is the biggest difference between shooting analog and digital?

- The weight of the backpack, (hehe)
- The incredible quality of 16mm film, nice grain and warm colours , giving so much more feelings and emotion to a shot than every HDV cam quality.
-  The fact that you can’t control straight after what you have filmed , waiting sometime one month to see what you’ve filmed!
- You have to rewind the motor of the bolex after every shot because it’s a  mechanical camera, so no battery problem with the cold, but one more thing not to forget in between every shot!
-To set the sharpness, you have to open the stops at maximum to light your viewer and if you stay on this position while you are filming , you overexpose the film, so it’s a lot more pressure than controlling the screen of a DV or a HDVcam
-The reloading of the film is also an important moment where you have to go fast , save the film you’ve just shot, and take care that the new film you’re loading stays the maximum in the dark,. All that , under your jacket when it’s minus 20,  windy or snowy like hell,  or both…
-You have to choose the speed of the shot and whatever you choose , reality speed 24 fr/sec or slow motion 32 or 48 fr/sec, there’s noway to change the speed of the shot after in post production.


Have you shot anything besides snowboarding?

Yes , a lot of short films, commercials, videoclips, TV series, Films and skateboard for friends.


Where do you find inspirations for your shots?

I find inspiration in riding with the riders I am shooting with, when I can… Watching old movies from 70’s, 80’s or 90’s for camera movements.


Is there anything you want to shoot desperately besides snowboarding?

A car pursuit in town with an old Austin mini would be a lot of fun, like in’ Bourne identity’, being DOP on a film that goes on screen, graffiti sessions, and Dimi riding Rollerblades!


What do you like to do besides filming?

I like to party with my friends, I like collecting old English cars and learning old mechanic, car racing , sailing , travelling  and I like to connect people.


How did you get involved in the PiratesProject?

After a few months of lessons with my Italian teacher in marketing and networking , I was 250% motivated but still got no serious plan for the season. (mid-december) My friend Silvain”Lami” Money was coming in Paris for the 686 meeting , I met him at the hotel Mercure near’ Gare de Lyon’where, he was sharing his room with Marco Feichtner , so he introduced me to Marco, I showed Marco a demo of my work and a few Camera movements on travelling rails and he sent me a mail back a few days later to give me the contact of Basti Balser. I got in touch with him end of December and I decided to come to Austria to meet Flo and him between Christmas and New year’s Eve, I got back to Paris to my friends at 23h30 the New year’s Eve night, after waiting for a cab during 1h under the rain, wet as if I would have dived in a swimming pool.  But 6 days later I was back in Austria and stayed there till end of April.
So thank you  Marco and“Lami” ! And thank you 686!!


Worst part of traveling?

I can’t drive my old cars, hehe .Waiting in rain, when you spend a lot of money and energy to be somewhere and for some reason , weather, injuries, or technical problems, you can’t shoot, then it’s really a bummer. Being away from the family, friends, and girlfriend…


Best part of traveling?

Not being at home like a lazy ass, wondering what you are gonna do in your life!
Meeting new people that help you the best they can sometime Filfulling your skype and msn list.
Discovering new places, new spot to shoot and different shapes of mountains, different quality of snow..
Trying new food and getting addicted to something you can’t find home…
Being ‘Hypely ill’ by getting weird diseases that nobody has never seen in Europe…
Discovering new places where it’s peaceful to live, and maybe found the motivation to leave France, especially after last president election !


What’s the worst part of being a filmer?

You’re not used to shotgun the bathroom first, as the riders are, so you take your shower last and then everybody wait for you… or not. Getting home with no shots or the feeling not to have done you’re best! When you are a filmer , sometimes you are in the best weather and snow condition , in the mountain and you would like to ride for yourself, but you have this heavy back pack and you have to focus on using this time to get shots and not ride for yourself. But I personnaly take a lot of pleasure in shooting and in getting sick shots, so that is enough to forget the good riding day you’re missing , Good feelings are ephemere, shots stay forever. The worst part of being a filmer is also when you have a shot in mind and it’s not happening because of the light or snow condition suddenly turn crap due to a raise of temperature or big clouds appearing by magic; timing is just not right and then you think at all the minutes and seconds you have stupidly lost during the day, and that has make you arrive too late on the spot. Sometime you miss the perfect ‘trick/light’ moment, by being just 30 seconds to late.


What still motivates you?

-The fact that there is still place for improvement in snowboarding and in the way of filming tricks.
-The way Pirates  crew understand what motivates me.
-The time spent in the mountain , working in amazing landscape, and being on a board or a sled at least half of the year.
-The result of a few camera movements .
-The support of my family and friends .
-The support of Nitro and Dakine France(greendoor) , of  Thirty-two and Dragon , Basti Balser and the Pirates for riding gear, boards and bags, …
-Connecting people !
-Travelling !


Do you like more or less riders in a crew?

Hard one! 3 or 4 should be the good compromise. But single session or just 2 riders can give sometime a lot more in a day , than a cheese wedge with 4 or 5 riders .  Or at least, the less you have riders, the more original and unique will be the shot, and makes less track in the landing too . But if you’re on trip with 2 riders and one get injured early, then you can be in the bad situation of having no one to shoot with.
Depends, with 5 riders, 2 can hit cliffs and small lines while three others are building a kicker or a step down, and at the end it can be a really good day. Also depends of who is with who? In which crew? That makes the composition of the crews a big brainstorm if you want to have the good ‘Alchemy’.


What’s your opinion on downloading snowboard movies?

Depends for which production? For a small production it’s kind of good, because they can spread their name faster than selling a few DVD’s, but for a professional production it’s bad , cause it’s a part of the money you would have invest to make a sicker video the year after.