How drones revolutionized mountain films

Lying on the right of his skis, a swerve to the left, stepping over some fir trees, before paragliding towards the rocks of the Morzines canyon then flying over a block of chalets… Filmed with a drone, the sequence no longer only offers to be seen the descent of speed rider French Valentin Delluc but turns into a substitute for thrills. The clip, promoted by the RedBull brand two years ago, left its mark on the world of film and mountain sports documentaries, gathered this week at the Chamonix festival, which ends on Saturday June 18.

For its second edition, the majority of the 38 films screened again relied on this technology. It has become ” an addiction “, confirms Thomas Guerrin, 34-year-old drone pilot and director, who this year presented a film on the history of the high mountain guides of Chamonix, a city-temple of French mountaineering. Because if the traditional helicopter has long made it possible to capture the best aerial shots, racing drones – or so-called FPV drones (First Person View) – have revolutionized the discipline.

contact and distance

“It brought something that we were incapable of: an immersion closer to performance and the ability, at the same time, to move away from the athlete very quickly to return to the landscape”, notes Maxime Moulin, documentary filmmaker for ten years, the arrival of the first drones on the market. With a camera on board the athlete and an aerial drone “which, on the other hand, gives the outside point of view, to also allow yourself long poetic shots, you can tell everything there is to tell without being present on the stage of the performance”, complete Thomas Guerrin.

The drones had however arrived in the mountains with a bad reputation: too intrusive, even risky, as when a machine had crashed on the slope in full descent of the alpine skier Marcel Hirscher, landing a few decimeters from the Austrian, in 2015. The specter of the accident forced the legislation to thicken, in particular for the overflight of dwellings, imposing an authorization from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation on the teams which pilot them up to 4 km away . “Depending on what we want to do, we cannot film certain parts of the mountain, the helicopter cannot be replaced, even if it also represents a greater environmental cost”explains Maxime Moulin.

Technology versus creativity?

In addition to a reduced cost, accessible to novices in mountain film, drones have reduced the risk-taking on set, for directors and for the athletes themselves – mountaineers in mind – by allowing more precise identification of less accessible climbing areas.

With the fear, however, of a standardization of films, tempted to overexploit these aerial images to the point of caricature. “We have in fact been witnessing for 10 years a standardization in the ways of filming. With drones, filming times are also reducednotes Steve Scott, director of the Kendal mountain film festival in the United Kingdom and member of the jury this year in Chamonix. To regain creativity, directors must learn to use them sparingly. »



“Sport, literature and cinema”: a festival on the greatness of sport

On September 20, 2000, Marie-José Pérec, the big favorite in the 400 meters at the Olympic Games, hastily left Sydney the day before the competition. Victim of a hostile climate, she flees. When a television team finds her in an airport, the contact almost turns into a fight. Psychological shipwreck of a great athlete who will reinforce her image as a whimsical sportswoman.

Guest of 9and Sport, literature and cinema (SLC) festival, organized by the Lumière Institute, Marie-José Pérec appeared as a peaceful woman, ready to talk about herself at length, with perspective and sensitivity, interviewed by Thierry Frémaux, the director of the Institute. But also answering questions from the public and signing his book of memories, alongside Paul-Henry Bizon, who devoted an astonishing novel to him, Olympia.

Sport, openness and revenge on fate

What does Marie-José Pérec say? “Sydney? I accept it today. No one has a linear life. While high-level athletes must constantly show that they are strong, keep their heads held high, I cracked up. My weakness took over everything. When I returned to France, I stayed at home for three months without going out, without washing. »

She does not cultivate nostalgia for her great era. All his medals are gathering dust in his cellar. Mother of a 12-year-old son, she has changed. “But every day, I meet someone on the street or in a store who comes to talk to me about what I’ve done. This kindness gives me goosebumps. »

Marie-José Pérec came late to athletics in Guadeloupe, without knowing anything about it, or harboring the slightest dreams of conquest. Her natural gifts, plus work, carried her to the top, supported by her grandmother, a stranger to this world, who followed her exploits. “When I arrived in France, I was not accepted everywhere. My medals made me lose my skin color. I was no longer who I am, a black woman. However, I wanted, through my performances, to mark my era and change the way we look. »

A verve à la Audiard

Sport, openness and revenge on destiny… Revelation of judo, five-time world champion and Olympic champion at Tokyo 2020, Clarisse Agbégnénou revealed that she was born premature at seven months, with her twin brother, who had kidney surgery at 1 month and considered almost dead, before suddenly being reborn.

Bernard Lacombe, former footballer for Olympique Lyonnais, Saint-Étienne, Girondins de Bordeaux and the France team, also told how, from his village and pushed by his grandfather, he forged by country football. Moving testimony, told with an Audiard verve and a touching humility, where alternated, without boasting, modest hours and moments of glory.

→ 2020 EDITION OF SLC. Nostalgia, guest of the Sport, Literature and Cinema festival

SLC is also a series of films and documentaries on sport, some of which are presented by the Olympic Foundation for Culture and Heritage, which has brought out some gems from its archives, such as WhiteRockby Tony Maylam, on the Innsbruck Winter Olympics in 1976. There are also rarities, such as The king of the pedalscreened in cine-concert, silent film by Maurice Champreux, co-scripted by Henri Decoin, shot in the middle of the Tour de France 1925, with the indescribable Georges Biscot.

An audience of moviegoers

Or striking elements like backfire, the investigation conducted by Canal+ into the terrifying accident that occurred to Formula 1 driver Romain Grosjean on November 29, 2020. Prisoner of his burning car, stuck in his tub, he had accepted the idea of ​​dying, before rebelling thinking of his children. Driven by the will to survive, he succeeded, in extremis, burnt hands, broken knee, to extricate himself from this blaze…

SLC is also a series of photo exhibitions by The Team, among its collection of 12 million photos, a fabulous yet under-exploited wealth. SLC is also and above all the meeting of an audience of cinephiles and the curious baited by the poster. It is this fine blend of sport and culture that ensures its success and sustainability.


To read

SLC has also been an ephemeral bookstore for nearly ten years, animated by signing sessions, which sells more than five hundred books in four days.

Among the 2022 vintage:

– The Straight Lineby Yves Gibeau (Emphasis);

– The Passion according to Saint-Etienneby Christophe Verneyre (Emphasis);

– The Society of the peloton, philosophy of the individual in the groupby Guillaume Martin (Grasset);

– Football Instinctby Bernard Lacombe (Solar);

– Born to playby Alain Giresse (Robert Laffont);

– Olympiaby Paul-Henry Bizon (Gallimard);

– The Eye of Sport, the most beautiful images of photographers, The Team (Solar).


Top Stories

The ‘great drought’ of cinemas

Covid-19 has lasted for more than a year, causing the movie theater business to plunge, but if overcome, the opportunity to explode after the epidemic is said to be not small.

Minh Tu (District 10, Ho Chi Minh City) has been a member of VVIP (the highest class member) of a large cinema chain for 4 years now. In 2018, he entered the top 1,000 members who met the VVIP standard as soon as possible to rank for 2019. At the end of that year, he spent more than 12 million VND on film money.

Minh Tu belongs to the generation of young urban people who choose to watch movies in theaters as a regular entertainment channel. A 2019 survey of 16- to 39-year-olds by Q&Me showed that up to 84% of respondents said they watched movies in theaters. Of these, 57% go at least once a month.

The movie theater industry has thus benefited significantly. In the period 2010-2019, the number of cinemas nationwide increased from 90 to 1,096 screens, an increase of 1,104%. Along with that, the number of people watching movies in theaters increased from 7 to 57 million times per year (up 714%); movie sales in the whole industry increased from 540 billion to 4,147 billion (up 668%).

Customers buy movie tickets at a cinema in District 1 in May 2020, after Ho Chi Minh City lifted the distance order. Photo: Quynh Tran.

But things suddenly turned around when Covid-19 appeared last year. The amount of money spent watching movies of a VVIP member like Tu has also continuously decreased. This number decreased to more than 10 million VND in 2019 and dropped to just over 7.4 million VND in 2020.

“Last year, due to Covid-19, the cinema was closed for a while, the movies were also few and less special, so my spending decreased. Fortunately, the system also lowered the VVIP standard to 5 million dong, instead of 10 million, so I kept the rank. At the beginning of the year, I only spent 1.4 million on movies, the annual gift tickets for members have not been used up,” he said.

This also clearly reflects the general gloomy picture of cinemas in recent times. According to the financial report of CJ CGV Korea, the parent company of CJ CGV Vietnam, the company’s revenue in 2020 is nearly 72 billion won (more than 1,400 billion VND), down more than 60% compared to 2019. along with a loss of more than 43 billion won (more than 850 billion dong). The revenue in March 2020 alone decreased by 500 billion VND, which is the first time the theater was closed because of the epidemic. By April, the system said no revenue.

The Lotte Cinemas side is not better either. Not disclosing individual revenue in the Vietnamese market last year, but Lotte Shopping (Korea) recorded revenue from movie screenings in all markets down 65% compared to 2019. In which, the number of visitors alone box office in Vietnam decreased by 29.8%.

In 2020, after exciting periods such as Tet or April 30, the “great drought” of cinemas is even more acute. In an official letter sent to the Prime Minister in the middle of last month, four big enterprises, namely Thien Ngan, BHD, Lotte Cinema, and CJ CGV, said that from February until now, revenue from film screenings and distribution has been almost zero, while still bear the cost of space, salary and benefits.

“With this situation, whether large or small businesses can fall into bankruptcy, leading to the decline of a film industry is inevitable,” the document stated. Other theater names, also confirmed the difficulty of the market.

“After the outbreak of Covid-19 in Vietnam from January 2020 until now, many service industries have been severely affected, including the film industry. Until early 2021, the domestic film market will has not been able to restore the normal state before the epidemic,” said Mr. Bui Quang Minh, CEO of Beta Cinemas.

Exchange with VnExpressMr. Minh said that he is optimizing the costs of space, operation and personnel. This unit also spends the epidemic season to develop new cinema models, perfect the franchise business and find investment cooperation opportunities with single theater clusters or theater chains to overcome difficulties together.

The CGV side also seeks to optimize cash. For land owners who cannot find a common voice, they ask the court to arbitrate. From May until now, two land owners have sued at the People’s Court of District 1 (HCMC).

“During the shutdown period to combat the epidemic, movies currently showing have to be paused, and upcoming movies have to be rescheduled, leading to losses in ticket sales and promotion costs,” a CGV representative said, adding, Even though it is closed, it still has to pay the costs of the premises, operation and maintenance of equipment, and cleaning.

Employees of a cinema in District 1 clean up after Ho Chi Minh City stopped non-essential services to fight the epidemic on February 9.  Photo: Quynh Tran

Employees of a cinema in District 1 clean up after Ho Chi Minh City stopped non-essential services to fight the epidemic on February 9. Photo: Quynh Tran.

In a document sent to the Prime Minister, four large cinema chains offered many options for financial support, such as loan support, extension of time for paying social insurance and health insurance until the end of this year, reduction and Deferring payment of value added tax… In addition to financial-related support policies, they also want to return to work soon, committing to comply with epidemic prevention measures.

Struggling to pay for the closures, but the theater industry is also a service segment that is likely to revive well if it reopens. Mr. Bui Quang Minh said that, regardless of the immediate challenges, the cinema market is a potential and attractive business market for investors.

Both CGV and Beta agree that, after each epidemic, the audience’s demand for movies is increasing day by day. The proof is that when the theater reopened, a series of movies like The Godfather, Flip Face or Kong vs Godzilla all had good sales.

Lotte Shopping’s (Korea) first quarter business results report also recorded that the revenue of Lotte cinema segment in Vietnam in the first quarter and then increased by 5.5% compared to the same period in 2020, thanks to domestic films with high quality. high revenue. Similarly, the report of CJ CGV (Korea) in the first quarter also assessed the recovery of box office revenue in Vietnam compared to the first quarter of 2020.

“After the pandemic, the entertainment demand of the audience will gradually increase again and even more because of the pressure and stress due to the isolation period. So this is also an opportunity for filmmakers and filmmakers alike. movie theater investors,” said Minh.