Thursday, April 12, 2007

Babylon AD : will it ever end ?!

Maybe some of you are already aware of it : i am part of the 11 happy traceurs working on Mathieu Kassovitz' new action/anticipation film : Babylon AD.

We've already been twice in Ostrava (Czech Republic)to do some shooting, and we're heading back there on the 17th of april for the last remaining scenes. The film is not about Parkour but features a few short scenes involving Parkour. Release date, from what i've heared, is planned for either next november or january of 2008.

I'll post some photos and a summary when i get back to France.


After only 3 days of shooting, we're back in France before heading back again to Prague in just a few days (no wonder films cost so much !). What can i say about these 3 days ? The most boring ones in all the shooting !
I was carrying pots, and pressing buttons in the background from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. : yeah !

Here are just a few photos, out of the millions we took on the sets. I'll update this message when the shooting will be completely finished.


The shooting that never ends...

We're back from Prague after just one day of shooting (which was supposed to be the last one), and we just learned that we still have 2 scenes to work on. I can't argue as it is a very exciting experience, but i really want to start travelling now !
Normally the remaining scenes shouldn't take too long to shoot. Thanks, by the way, to everyone for your very nice comments. I read them with all my attention and they make me very happy !

Stay tuned...

Friday, April 6, 2007

A word about Parkour

I will not describe here what Parkour is about, you may find information on wikipedia or if you don't already know about it. I will just briefly explain what my interpretation of Parkour is, as i am often questioned about it.

I believe that Parkour, however wide it may be, is not a discipline in itself, but a piece of a bigger thing. If you follow the idea of Parkour (at least as it was when i got into it) to the extreme (being able to save your skin from any dangerous situation), then you should not only train to jump, run, climb, etc... You should also be learning about survival techniques, escape techniques, fighting, and things like this.
How useful are you to yourself if you can do a nice and cool jump in a confortable urban environnement but you can't walk 20km in a mosquito infested jungle ? Unfortuantely, that's the case of most Traceurs (aka Parkour practitioners). Most people train in extremely confortable situations, they have water, food, weather-adapted clothes and they can go back home at any time if they get tired, bored or injured. In the winter they train in gyms because they don't like when it's cold. At no time are they forced to face a difficulty, it always remains a matter of personnal choice.
I am not saying that this is a bad thing if they feel fine with it (everyone is free to train as he/she pleases and i encourage that), but it just doesn't correspond to my vision of Parkour. If you want to be really useful to yourself, you must be prepared to face undesired situations. For this you should be strong physically, and psychologically, and have a good amount of general knowledge.

I started realising this some time ago, and that's how i got interested in all types of adventurers or people with rather adventurous lives : Mike Horn, Walter Bonatti, Miyamoto Musashi to name a few. They have faced huge physical and, most of all, psychological difficulties and survived to talk about it. I know i am millions of miles away from their respective levels, but they are some sort of guidelines to me, they show me all that has yet to be done.

One thing links them all : strength.

Strength comes in a variety of types : it is being strong to train to do 10 one-armed chin-ups in a row, as much as it is to walk 2 years non-stop in subzero arctic temperatures, as much as it is to wake up at 5 o'clock nearly every morning of your life to go to an exhausting work because you have a family to feed, as much as it is to stay true to your principles when someone's offering you a big stack of money, as much as it is to... etc.)
However, i believe that those men are/were truely strong men, as they have given proof of having many of those types of strengths.

That's why instead of limiting myself to Parkour (which i train very often nonetheless), i now try to learn about other disciplines, to face other types of difficulties, as my goal has always been to search for my limits and to become a stronger man.


Thursday, April 5, 2007

A word about me

I was born in Arpajon (France) and i spent my childhood travelling. I lived in Virginia (USA) during five years, New Caledonia during 2 years, and i moved from town to town in France every 2 years. Why ? Because my father was in the army and he was always working in different places... The family just followed.
So since very young, i got used to breaking my roots and not seeing just one place as my home. This probably explains the thirst for movement (in all possible ways) that i have today.

I've been into Parkour since April of 2001, after seeing something on tv about it. A few years later i started getting interested in all types of adventures after reading a book written by Mike Horn about his travel around the world following the equator. I did several bicycle trips alone, for a start, and i'm now moving on to bigger things (but i'll tell you more about this soon).

What's my goal ? To challenge myself, to discover what i'm really made of and how far i can go.

To illustrate my point, here's something written by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, the writer of the "Petit Prince" :

"La terre nous en apprend plus long sur nous mêmes que tous les livres. Parce qu'elle nous résiste. L'homme se découvre quand il se mesure avec l'obstacle."

meaning :

"The earth teaches us more about ourselves than all the books.
Because it resists us. Man discovers himself when he measures
himself against the obstacle."


What's this blog about ?

First of all, why the hell am i writing in english although i'm french ? Because i have friends (yes i do) all over the world, speaking different languages, and i want to share my stuff with as many of you as i can. English is the international language, understandable by many (including my dear french fellow-citizens) !

I'm usually not so much into sharing private details about my life, and actually, that's not what i'll do here. I just think that a blog is a good, easy, and fast way to share photos, experiences, training tips, etc. with many people all at the same time instead of doing it one by one...
I'll also post about subjects that have nothing to do with all of this but that i find interesting nonetheless.

I don't know how often i will post, this will depend on the time i have and the things i have to share.

I just hope you like my blog !