Interview with Yannick Barthe
Hello, my name is Yannick Barthe. I studied Engineering Sciences and Iʼm currently working as a Quality Manager in an Electronic Manufacturing company in Switzerland as my day job. Iʼm also an independent Swiss cameraman, photographer and filmmaker. You will find me on airfields, airshows or on the top of mountains filming all types of aircraft, capturing my perspective on the beauty of flight. My years of experience filming aviation videos combined with my open-mindedness gave me the opportunity to develop my skills in a wide range of areas.
I love pictures of all kind but Iʼve a marked preference for aviation films and aerial photography. A world of people, choreography and legends. The beauty of flight, the beauty of inaccessible places reached only through the third dimension. Performances of flying machines, sometimes simple, sometimes with advanced technology and colourful displays of smoke in the vastness of the sky. However I am also involved in the world of events and dance performances with my girlfriend Franziska (she is a fire dancer). Nature sequences often introduce or accompany my movies. A universe where I like placing my camera creating moods and atmospheres close to a river, woods or other amazing places. An interesting environment to play with my Kessler Crane Pocket Dolly or create timelapses.
How long have you been film making and where did it all start?
Iʼve been passionate about cinema from childhood onwards and discovered the world of filmmaking in 1998. I bought my first videocamera in 2002 and gained a lot of experience by filming radio controlled aircrafts during several years. I film my first aviation sequences in 2006 – the impressive F/A-18 Hornet at the Axalp airshow in Switzerland. A year later the organisers of Handiflight commissioned me to create a unique film recording the inspirational event. Handiflight gave me the opportunity to work with new aviation disciplines including paragliding, hot air balloons and gliding. My human approach to filmmaking recorded incredible memories and one of my beautiful experiences to date. Iʼve have been following my friends and pilots of the Handiflight team every year since 2007.
Your video ‘Zivko Edge 540 Aerobatics’ is an incredible edit, could you tell us a little about the making of it?
This video was made at the Dittingen airshow (Switzerland) in collaboration with my friend Vito Wyprächtiger (an airshow pilot and he also become the first Swiss pilot to take part in the prestigious and world famous Reno Air Race). Normally, there is always a lot of work before the flight to install the GoPro cameras on the plane because we have to find the best points of view and we need to be careful with the fixation. The onboard video cameras need to resist the G forces during aerobatic manoeuvers (without risk to the pilot or the plane). In this case all the onboard cameras were already installed on the plane with a hard fixation by Vito before the airshow. It’s a great help for me because I can stay focused on my video work from the ground. I film now with a Sony PMW-320 XDCAM camera but for this video I’ve used my old Sony Z1 HDV. Apart the crazy wasps around us all the weekend we have not experienced other problems.
What has been the most amazing project(s) you have worked on?
I’ve made a lot of amazing projects and each project gives me a lot of things. For me a great projet is first of all : great people. Handiflight and Eco Trans Canada are the best examples of projects with great people. Then a project is also a challenge for me. If I have to choose one, I would like to talk about the 26th world aerobatics championships in Italy. I was commissioned by the FAI to film the competition. Since several years, I watched the videos on Youtube with the world aerobatic champions like Svetlana Kapanina, Rob Holland, Jurgis Kairys and others… It was like a dream to be there to film the world championships. It was the culmination of my hard work all these years. I’m really proud to have filmed for the FAI in a category 1 event.
What is the main message to your audience in your work?
Try to do our best with the opportunities we have on our way, live our passion and share our dreams with other people who have the same interests. I have heard a lot of times “you can’t make that, it’s impossible”… and I have never considered these words. When you want something, you have to believe on it, you have to work and finally everything comes with time. And an important thing, it’s not the kind of camera you have who makes the difference of a good or a bad video. Of course with a very expensive camera you’ll have a better quality of picture but the results come with training and experiences. I’m also a big fan of technical gear and cameras but I’ve made some of my best movies with my old Sony Z1.
What post production software do you use?
I start to edit with Adobe Premiere in 2006 and I’m working since 2009 with Final Cut Pro. I like this software for its reliability, its stability and I’m really fast with. But it is the great disillusionment since last year and the new Final Cut “iMovie Pro” X from Apple. I think I’ll work until the end of this year on FCP but it’s the moment to go back to Adobe Premiere Pro with the new CS6 release. With the new formats I have to choose a software that answers my needs.
From a cinematography perspective, where do you want to take your work and what are you looking to achieve?
What I like in the video is the fact of starting each time from something new, try to do a better work than the last time. Every project is a new challenge. I would like to explore the aviation field with new large sensor cameras like my FS100 and try to play with the DOP on scenes with warbirds and oldtimers aircrafts. I’ve a lot of ideas of projects or films in my head and what I’m looking to achieve is to realize all my dreams one after one.
What has been the scariest moment you have faced during filming?
I remember my first glider winch launch as a passenger after the handiflight filming. There was a lot of wind and the cable broke just a few secondes after the launch. I was not prepared and the few secondes where I had no answers from the pilot and where I underwent some negative G forces were a little bit scary and disturbing.
Are you currently working on any new projects? any insights?
I’m working on different new video projects : hot air balloons, aviation, handiflight. Right now I’m preparing for a shooting in Norway and UK next month. I’ll start a 15- minutes short movie about the Swiss F/A-18 Hornet Solo Display. A filming scheduled until October, just before the film’s release on my website and vimeo.
What is your ultimate dream project?
The first is to make a flight in a fighter jet in a formation flight and after that, have the opportunity to earn enough money to live with my video jobs.