Last season, French phenom Olivier Gittler traversed the terrain of the Alps (and beyond), with both board and camera in tow. He negotiated a balance between his time in front of and behind the lens and over the course of the winter, compiled a stack of fifteen second-long edits that depict the daily tracks he left, whether in park or in pow (or the travails and travels that happen between those two things), and often alongside friend and fellow snowboarding savant, Arthur Longo. Once winter had wrapped up, Olivier decided to compile these Instagram videos, creating a collective reminiscence of a season well spent. The resulting video is aptly titled, Retrospection and is a stream of snowboarding consciousness and a proper look at the most enjoyable moments that go down during the winter when you’re strapped in (and all the moments between). Enjoy Olivier and Arthur’s riding in the above video, and below, hear a little more about Olivier’s season from the man himself.
SNOWBOARDER: First off, from the looks of Retrospection, it seems like you had a good winter. Where did you go? Any highlights? There were some variable snow conditions in Europe this past season, but it looks like you found the goods!
OLIVIER: For the first part of the season I stayed around home in France, and the native Arthur Longo was around as well. He lives in Les 2 Alpes and we happened to have four days of resets followed by cold, bluebird days in the beginning of January. The laps were so quick and we rode so much… just tossing around the camera, and taking runs without filming as well, from opening until close.
Retrospection is all of your Instagram videos from the past season edited together and even though each was its own little micro movie, the flow is kind of dreamy and works really well in this longer form. Did you edit it altogether in chronological order or in some different way?
Glad that you appreciate the flow! Most of the videos are edited in chronological order, but I mixed up just a couple because I felt like the rhythm flowed better in certain ways. Even though it hasn’t been long since we started making videos, I guess we have a style and humor that reveals itself naturally. So adding all of them up wasn’t the hardest part.
Video/media is very much in a strange and interesting place right now with the short form of Instagram edits and the slightly less short form of internet videos (compared to full length videos), etc. What are your thoughts on all of this as a maker of media, whether for Instagram or the internet, or some place else?
Making videos and all types of media is very accessible nowadays. It’s much easier to get your hands on a very good camera and edit on easy-to-use programs. That’s actually how we started. The volume of content available just exploded the past year or so, and people scroll through hundreds of posts a day. I love longer projects too, and by looking back at all of our short clips, I thought I could bring together a lot of good memories for a real glimpse of what my season felt like.
You made all the music for this edit, that’s really rad. How long have you been playing music and can you tell us a little about what the process of making tunes is like for you and your personal connection between snowboarding and making music?
I started making music one summer when I was 16. I was really into hip hop and the whole process of sampling, which made me discover a whole different universe of genres and sounds. It got me listening. Some good friends of mine who were in a band in Paris back then showed me everything about mixing, mastering and recording techniques. So I bought an electrical guitar, now recently a bass, a full drum set, a trumpet, a banjo, microphones, soundcard…. I guess have my own little home studio, haha! The connection between snowboarding and making music, throw in editing and filming as well, really allows you to imagine something that is completely within your reach. Well, I really like filming myself, but if I could have filmers Jake Price, Pat Barraza or Pirmin Juffinger aboard, I would never say no!
Lastly, France has always produced some amazing snowboarders, but lately there are a ton of French shreds making waves throughout the snowboarding community. What’s going on over there that breeds such stylish and talented riders?
There is a positive movement and a good dynamic. Parks in France become less linear and more artistic–events like ACT Snowboarding’s Ride the Snake demonstrate this well. Productions like Almo, and film riders like Victor Daviet and De Le Rue set the paths for newcomers to settle in. In terms of creativity and excitement, snowboarding is in a good place right now.
Read the full Retrospection: A season with Olivier Gittler and Arthur Longo article on Snowboarder Magazine.