Can you introduce yourself in a few words and tell us about your career as a photographer/director?
My name is Mathis Decroux, I am 25 years old and I am a photographer and director specializing in outdoor, mountain and extreme sports content. In other words, I often ramble with my camera in my backpack to create images in all conditions and environments. I love to tell original stories around athletes, brands or events.
What is different about the film "Young, Wild & Free" compared to other projects you have done?
For me, this is the biggest project I've ever had the opportunity to make. What François, the athlete I showcase in the film, and I are presenting today was entirely imagined by us; starting from a blank page, then we sought the support of brands to finance the film and to be able to put our ideas on the screen. It proved to us that if you give yourself the means, the energy and the time, you can achieve whatever you want. It is also the project that pushed me to set up a structure for my audiovisual production company, and it has been a very enriching experience on the artistic and sport level.
What were some of your challenges during filming for this project? What are the challenges of creating content at high altitude?
Creating content in the mountains requires knowledge of the environment. Although the chosen summit in the film was easy to access, I took up mountaineering to train my physical condition and to acclimatize myself to the summits of more than 4000m in order to be at ease in more hostile alpine conditions. This allowed me to focus entirely on producing content once I was up there. The biggest challenge was to have the ideal conditions for François to safely take off with his paraglider. At 4000m the winds are varying and can be very strong. We also had problems with the drone and GoPro batteries. FPV drones are able to go very fast, but at the expense obattery life: usually 4 minutes, less than 2 minutes in the cold of the high mountains. This left us very little time to capture the shots we had imagined.
Why is your Vuarnet equipment essential during a shoot or your adventures?
When you're in the mountains, it's important to have clear vision and to have a lens that protects against UV rays and the reflection of the snow. The different product lines allow me to have protection for each activity or adventure: skiing, hiking, biking, trail running, mountaineering... I can focus on my practice or on the implementation of my artistic vision.
Do you have a favorite pair of glasses to recommend to outdoor content creators?
I like many Vuarnet models but my favorite is the ICE range. They are mountain glasses that offer excellent comfort in high mountain conditions while maintaining a style I love. I wear ICE Round every time I go to altitude and they are the ones that accompanied me on the "Young, Wild & Free" project.