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Sunday 3 November 2013

Interview with Tancrède Melet who starred in Paul Smith's gravity defying underwear commercial.

I wonder if you guys saw the Paul Smith's brand new gravity defying underwear ad campaign AW13? I blogged about it too. If missed out then here is the"blog" once again. Trust me it's scary. I mean I almost pooped in my pants. Well also coz I am a pussy. 
There are two French athletes who are starring in it- "Antoine Moineville and Tancrede Melet" and guess what?............................... I have Tancrede in my blog now. WEEEEEEEEEEEE.......... The guy in the Maroon sweater is him. It was an incredible moment for me to be talking to a person whose passion is something most of us would dread doing.

(Hello Tancrede. Tell us something about yourself? Are you and Antoine buddies?)

I used to be an electronic and software engineer, but I resigned 4 years ago, bought a van and went wondering on the roads, finding the best spots for climbing and highlining- the two sports you see in the movie, highlining is the proper name of the tight rope walking. I met Antoine a few years ago along with some other friends and we pushed highlining to high altitudes where you first need to be an alpinist to reach the summit, to then set up your highline.

(How did you get into such a risky form of sport? Don't you ever feel scared?)

I started climbing cliffs long time back, then discovered the slackline stuff: tightening a webbing between two trees and try crossing it by balancing your body. Then I realized I could set up the slackline high up in the air and I did and I started highlining. At the beginning it was not common, we were only a few practicing discovering new spots so it was an excitement and fun and of course I felt scared in the beginning but after a point of time you just get used to it. Its a question of habit and practice. The more you practice, the less scared you will get.

(Have you ever met any accident while practicing such stunts?)

Yes, accidents are part of the game. Sometimes you want to play too much and you get a close call or even an accident. Few months ago I broke my foot base jumping. We were 3 people flying under a para glider and 2 of us jumped. I was filming a friend and was too focused on the camera, so when it was time to open the parachute I already reached too close to the ground. I hit the ground really hard with half of the parachute open above my head.

(Wow.. hats off to your bravery and loyalty to your work. I guess there aren't a lot of people who would go back to doing that after such an incident. I guess then you well deserve the Paul Smith ad campaign. So tell us how did you bag yourself a Paul Smith's commercial?)

In November 2011 we released a movie on internet with Seb Montaz, the same maker of the Paul Smith commercial. The movie went viral on the net and I think that's how Paul spotted us and got an idea of working with us.  You can watch the trailer" here "and you can also download the 40 minutes full movie from the website. 

(How long did it take to complete this shoot?)

It took us 2 days, we literally pitched our tents on top of the mountain in the bad weather of June. It was freezing. Snow and wind was terrible but we were determined enough to finish the shoot in two days. 

(Phewww.. that sounds so intense. I can only imagine. Well but then your hard work pays off and it really shows... inside out and I mean that literally ... your body is ripped. What do you do when you are not climbing? 

I have always been into sports since I was a child. I was a gymnast, practiced martial arts and loved break dance..... now I continuously practice mountain sports like: skiing, ice climbing,paragliding, base jumping,mountaineering etc.  

(Waoo.. I don't know how to respond to that. It's like your never on the ground and your job does not require coming down on earth ....lol but in all seriousness- Do you like fashion?)

I do like fashion but I don't really follow it. Life does not have time for everything unfortunately. 

(Okat Tancrede one last question. I'm sure my readers must be wondering if the Paul Smith underwear is worth trying or not so tell us-How comfortable is the new PS underwear? Did you have fun wearing it in the freezing cold while shooting? WINK)

(Chuckle) Well to tell you the truth, most of the time I do not like wearing underwear but the PS under wears are very comfy. After the shooting I kept few and I actually wear them quite often. 

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