When I met Vincent and Marco, the director and director of photography duo behind Les Gamins, I felt old. When I started in TV ten years ago it was easy for me to believe I was in the vanguard with my mini DV, while older directors were still toiling away with their betacams. But today there’s a whole new generation who shoot digitally, use drones and have a seemingly infinite number of memory cards. Yet in spite of their cutting-edge equipment, it’s easy to see that they’re also blessed with a quality that never becomes obsolete: passion.
“The best advice I can give someone starting out is to shoot, shoot, shoot,” explains Vincent. “The best CV is your portfolio. So experiment, make videos with your friends, do tests.” The two friends, twenty and twenty-one years old respectively, had hardly arrived in Montreal before being signed by Roméo & Fils, a production house that specializes in music videos.
“It works this way: Roméo & Fils and other production houses receive offers from record labels to make new videos. Several directors are asked to propose video ideas with the help of mood boards, art direction and a synopsis.” So it happens that Les Gamins find themselves in competition with their other director friends. In spite of their young age they’ve already pulled off several quality projects, such as their latest videos for Koriass, Loud Lary Ajust and Foreign Diplomats.
They’re just back from two shoots in Florida and Honduras. “We just took enough material that would fit in our backpacks. We used natural light and did the location scouting when we got there. It ended up giving us more authentic images and it’s a more inspiring way to work than shooting a big video with a list of ultra-defined shots.” You just have to look over their work to see the guys have developed their own unique style.
“We have a tendency to work with artists who are flexible and who want to experiment,” adds Vincent. “For example, in our last two videos the artists didn’t even appear. We proposed a short-film concept and they loved it.” The artist in question is Twin Forks (the guy from Dashboard Confessional).
Apparently, the secret of staying young and relevant is to always push the envelope, both professionally and personally, regardless of one’s age and means.