A self-described “Master of None” Olivier Gittler has been slowing cementing his name in snowboarding through a variety of outlets for the better part of the last decade. Where his snowboarding first put him on the map, it is often now his filming and music that is most readily noticed. However, that isn’t to say that his snowboarding has become any less impressive, or that he hasn’t been concentrating on continuing this snowboarding career. He’s just a really good musician and filmer. After his unbelievably successful Side Hit Euphoria series took over the web the last two seasons, Olivier has since dove into a substantially larger project with Volcom, for which he will not only be snowboarding, but filming, and creating the soundtrack. So make sure to keep more than your eyeballs tuned into Olivier, there are many big things to come from this American-born Frenchman. – Owen Ringwall
Birthdate: December 12th, 1990
Current title: Brand Ambassador (Filmer, Musician) and Snowboarder for Volcom, Electric, and Vans.
What does your current position in the snowboarding industry entail? Describe a typical day on the job.
I am a snowboarder, I film, and lately, my band has been hired to play a couple shows at events, but that's another story. My typical day would be rolling up with the crew on whatever project we're focusing on with my full snowboarding and filming gear. Some days I will only ride (or just film a few scenic or ambient things), some days I will only film, but most of the days I will mix both. After shredding on the hill I will rush to dump cards onto a hard drive, edit a quick clip if we get nice footage with a track I have recorded beforehand and then hang out with the pack the rest of the night.
Where are you from and where do you currently call home?
I was born in Boston to an American mother and a French-Belgian father, but I have lived most of my teenage and adult years in France. This winter I have been staying in between trips with my new roommates in Newport Beach California, right by Volcom HQ.
How did you start snowboarding?
Living in Boston all we would do with snow is cross-country ski or have snowball fights. As soon as I arrived in France my parents put me on downhill skis until a snowboarder ollied over me while I was eating snow and thought "wow, that was so cool!" and I have never been on skis again, well, at least sober (wink-wink Torgeir and Arthur).
At what point did you realize that you wanted to work in the snowboard industry? And how did you make that happen?
I guess it came naturally. With Arthur Longo, we had this idea for our project Side Hits Euphoria, and we needed a filmer. We bought a rig and I got really intrigued by the whole filming and follow camming thing, so we ended up doing it all ourselves. Next thing I know, Volcom started to hire me as a filmer on top of being a rider on trips, and it's been really exciting ever since!
Who did you look up to in the industry for inspiration?
I definitely look up to Jake Price. Even though my way of filming wouldn't compare to his, I really admire his confidence and well-imagined "run and gun" style, especially since he mostly shoots in 16mm film–he can't even check how his initial shots look before continuing. When I'm filming a line with Arthur for example, he would often question what the heck I'm doing, but most of the time we laugh about it realizing it's working quite well on the first few tries and he lets me do my thing. But that's also Arthur's artistic vision coming into play. I try to picture what will happen and what angle would look nice beforehand, just like how Jake does it so well. I also admire Seth Huot's ability to not miss a single moment on a trip and still be able to fully live them as well. Pat Barraza as well for his different approach to subjects.
What do you feel has been your biggest impact in your line of work?
I'd like to consider myself as a master of none. Not outstanding at anything but dialed on a bit of it all, from the riding to the filming to the music (though I really don't fancy self-filming or POV's, so I would always need another person to film my snowboarding). If we're talking about projects, definitely both Side Hit Euphoria chapters.
What do you want to accomplish that you haven’t yet?
I would love to come up with an idea and make a full-length film. I would obviously have other filmers involved, but put something out that I can really say: "yeah I filmed it, edited it, colored it, with my music, and that McTwist shot of myself was filmed by this homie." Not to boast about it or anything, but just for my personal satisfaction. We're actually in the process of making a Volcom film coming out this fall, with Mike Rav, Arthur Longo and myself riding. Everything is chaperoned by Seth Huot, with my music and some of my filming mixed into his editing and shooting. It's really fascinating to see how it all works, and Seth is such a great guide.
Anyone you’d like to thank?
I would love to thank Seth for his passion and mentoring, Jeff and Lynn for letting me crash at their lovely Newport Beach home, Volcom for the musical opportunities they have given to our band LEOPARD Ale, Vernon Deck for his "learning by doing" concept, Shane Azar for introducing us to Gary Ablett, Victor Trifilieff and Nicolas Foray for the inspiration and actually teaching me how to properly record music on a laptop, and my Mom and Dad for letting me make as much noise as I want with my instruments in their home.