My wife Corinne has been an Urban Sketcher for about 25 years. She started to make drawings when we went on holiday for the first time. But she didn’t realise she was a real Urban Sketcher. Urban Sketching originated in America and it is now a worldwide organization of sketchers who are in touch with each other via internet and facebook.
An Urban Sketcher makes drawings of all the things he/she can see at any time and in any place. She/he depicts daily life in a village or town. They also meet regularly and they make appointments via internet to make location drawings in group sessions. The French Urban Sketchers have organised annual meetings for some years now. As France is a neighbouring country of Belgium and as it offers fantastic holidays it is easy for us to take part in gatherings of Urban Sketchers (sketching events) over there.
It offers the best way to know more about a city or any other location in a quiet and relaxing way.
Such an event lasts for one weekend, but we usually stay there for about one week. In the mean time we have already visited and discovered cities like Lyon, Sète and Strasbourg. This year we are going to Bordeaux.
The first year the sketchers didn’t know why I was filming them. I always had to explain. Now they already know me and they love to cooperate. My first report, USK-Lyon, has already 6,694 reviews on youtube! Usk-Sète has 1,694 reviews and USK-Strasbourg 1,160 reviews. This is pleasant as you can reach a wide audience all over the world.
Each time it offers me a challenge to create an original short film about the same theme, but in a different location. So far I have been able to manage. I always try to give the viewer the opportunity to explore a city by showing the artist’s drawings just like the sketcher himself discovers the location.
The sketchers follow a mapped trail. Mostly along lesser known places. In this way they can show us unusual images of towns or other locations. It’s pleasant that I am always driven to look for the most original angles. Every detail can make a difference. I also try to add a touch of humour. For instance by using a “teen shot”.
I always work without a tripod, but with a little Sony camera with lens stabilization. With such a camera you can also get solid movements just as if you would use a Steadycam. When the subject is not moving then I make movements with my camera myself. This may offer a very dynamic result. I repeat those movements several times to get a good balance with the filmed subject.
It means that I often have four hours of footage to make a short film of four minutes. The more shots you have the more options you get. My slogan is: “You cannot throw away the things you have not filmed!” I love that luxury.
After that I search the best music to support my images and to create the right atmosphere of the location or venue. So editing takes a lot of time with me because all the shots are analysed with accuracy on contents and movement. So I think that my precision approach is rewarding.
The movement of the man who shows the button of the camera looked better from back to front at a speed of 100%. He spoke from back to front (conversely). In this way I could find an original title.
Knowing that the editing process took hours and hours to make this short film of only 4 minutes I am very delighted that the result has been awarded and appreciated.
Many thanks for it!