After shooting our latest Rush Hour installment in Paris, challenging security and trying his luck at skating guarded spots, we thought it would be cool to quiz filmer Guillaume Périmony about how it went and also to hear his general take on filming, just to discover he also has a knack for taking still shots! But see for yourself…
Words: Jan Kliewer | Pics: Guillaume Périmony | Portrait: Vincent Coupeau
Hey Guillaume, how was filming this Rush Hour clip with Rémy Taveira, Vincent Coupea and Edouard Depaz?
Quite hard I'd say. Obviously, nothing really happened as we expected.
We avoided going to LA DEFENSE (financial district) since we thought it's a bit overseen. And since that's pretty much where the most covered spots in Paris are, for most Parisian skaters it really feels depressing to go there on a regular day.
We chose to pickup a good line of spots in the centre where we knew there was a whole lot of different, good looking and guarded stuff.
Which spot did you guys get to skate, that you thought would have been a straight bust or vice versa?
Definitely the bank to wall which is in a quiet street. I've been there many times with a friend to shoot a picture, and we always end up in some bad arguments with the people living in there. The classic people yelling at us because their kid is sleeping.
What were some of the difficulties? Anything you would change if you went again?
We tried to have a tie mic on every spot, to get more of the argumentation with security guards, and some comments from the skater during the session. The Ricky Oyola tribute so to say. But technically it was pretty much a nightmare to deal with. Since this setup is really greedy with batteries, we had to put a few different devices on and off on every spot. And still we had to change a batterie every 30minutes, which of course always happened in the worst moments. I also accidentally erased one of the highlights of the days! Sorry Remy! Having an additional filmer would definitely have been the solution to most of the problems!
»We had to change a battery every 30minutes…«
What makes a good skate clip these days? What makes the difference, how can you film and edit your way into the people's memories?
I think doing your own thing according to what you love and put dedication behind it is still the best way. Better working your ass off on a not so good idea than doing the same different shit as everyone. Tastes are subjective anyway, while hard work speaks to everyone.
But still, to me, skateboarding has to remain the main element. If you think too much about the filming or the effects and forget about the skating when watching a clip, then the filmer might have missed his point.
»Better working your ass off on a not so good idea than doing the same different shit as everyone«
How did the process compare to filming for Fishing Lines Paris – another traditionally unconventional skate clip?
Well it's quite different. The Fishing Lines Paris was a lot of preparation since we wanted to have mostly overlooked or never seen spots. And since all of them were in the suburbs and in pretty tough area some times, I'm not even sure we got kicked out once.
You've been working on quite a bunch of filming projects that transcend traditional skate clips whilst still containing sick skating. Which project did you like best and why?
I really loved doing the Fishing Lines in West Africa. Michi and I are really into spot hunting, and I'd say we spent most of our time there looking for them.
We went to West Africa without having almost any information, only one or two pictures of shitty spots from each country – and we ended up skating a lot of gems! That part of the world is so overlooked skateboarding wise because everyone was pretty sure there would be nothing to skate. Us included! Before the trip, we were having fun thinking about us filming on dust and rocks and we ended up skating the biggest catholic edifice in the world !
I also have a lot of love for our Buddha Hide out project. It almost didn't happen since a lot of people left us during the preparation. We took our flight tickets only a few days before the trip after almost cancelling it, and I had to film and take the pictures at the same time. Let's say that was a lot of stress and pressure for me (and quite a heavy bag), but it finally ended up being one of my best trip thanks to Michi, Jarne and Anna.
Coming up with an idea, having to take care of so many things and pressure and ending up with a result you're proud of is definitely a great emotion.
»We were having fun thinking about us filming on dust and rocks«
You also shoot a lot of photos. Just a “hobby" or are you equally passionate about it?
I started both one year after I started skating. Filming ended up working better for me but I'm definitely equally passionate about both.
I might see photography more like a pleasure since it's not what's paying my rent, I only see the pleasure sides of it.
I don't push photography too much when I'm in Paris though, since a lot of my friends are photographers, and I don't want to end up being in competition with them or feeling like I'm stealing their jobs. It's hard enough for everybody, they can be four on some session, haha.
Still, sometimes I find a new spot or come up with an idea, and since it can be really obsessing, I really try to do something out of it. Without that, I'm almost only shooting when asked or when there's no photographer.
Outside of Paris, it's different. Since I don't want to lose too much money on the independent projects, sometime filming is not enough and I'd rather do both.
I'd love to go on a trip doing only the pictures once though. Must be nice to have that much time to make pictures, and not only a few tries before or after you have to film it !
»A lot of my friends are photographers – and I don't want to end up stealing their jobs«
Who did you most like working with? Who's a nightmare to film? Who's the skater you'd love to go film with?
There are a few people that are able to put dedication behind what they're doing, that can come up with ideas, have a vision of what they want. People that skate pretty much everything and are always stoked. That's quite a rare species, but it's definitely the best part to work with such guys. The nightmare is when you film with someone that feels like he deserves someone better than you and acts according to that.
Who are some of the filmers that inspire you? What projects? Maybe something outside of skateboarding? What video made a difference for you? What are you looking forward to in the months to come?
I really like Chris Mulhern's stuff. To me his stuff seems like hard work at its best.
Having worked in the ad film industry for nine years, let's say I've seen a lot of things, and I'm not easily impressed. But Chris sure can do it on time to time. I can definitely remember myself rewinding to look back at an ambient shot.
Still, my inspiration definitely comes more from the cinema. I watch way more movies than I watch skating nowadays. And some of my works are filled with movie references. I also definitely love shooting on film because of that.
»His stuff seems like hard work at its best«
What are some exciting projects your are currently working on?
I'm lucky enough to work on really nice and different projects these days. But I have a really strong opinion about teasing. And I really think something is more enjoyable when there's no expectation. And hey, it's also a nice way to keep pressure low!