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Guest Blog: Travel Photographer and Filmmaker Serge Ramelli

Guest Blog: Travel Photographer and Filmmaker Serge Ramelli

From Paris to Hollywood

Ever since I used to be a youngster I dreamed of being an artist, an actor, a director or simply being concerned in making films.

As a youngster I keep in mind seeing Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, and this completely modified my life. Not a lot by the standard of film, which I beloved (I went to see it 3 times within the theater the primary week of its launch), however by the influence it created round me. Everybody at college was solely speaking concerning the film, and I noticed that a film might have a huge effect on tradition and society at giant.

This dream type of pale away as I grew up. I turned a father early in life, and I acquired a job coding. However sitting at a desk was not a life for me, though I beloved computer systems. I then acquired into gross sales for the journey business, first promoting sightseeing excursions in Paris and afterward working for my brother’s firm promoting web sites to resorts.

In 2004 on the age 34 years previous, I had 4 youngsters to maintain and plenty of monetary obligations. I used to be doing okay, however I began being obsessed once more about working in films. I made a decision to return to appearing class and to create some brief films to deal with the world of leisure. Again then there was no DSLR that would shoot films. To get something respectable you needed to lease very costly cameras that didn’t even have good bokeh or depth of area and didn’t seem like cinema in any respect.

All my efforts got here out to nothing; my shorts have been horrible and never completed, and the appearing courses weren’t doing properly. I felt like I might by no means make it.

As I used to be about to surrender, I went on trip with an entire bunch of pals in Guadeloupe. I had a small Sony level and shoot digital camera and began for the primary time in my life to shoot digital pictures. They have been simply snapshots of our vacation.

One night time we have been slightly bored, nothing good on television. One among my pals current, Kelvin Pimont requested me if I needed to see what Photoshop might do. I had heard concerning the software program however by no means noticed it in motion. Kelvin was a younger designer who was a grasp Jedi on the software program.

He begins displaying easy methods to choose the sky and make it tremendous dramatic, the right way to erase all of the vacationer round a portrait we had taken collectively and I couldn’t consider how highly effective and the way ‘straightforward’ the software program appeared to be.

My first Photoshop expertise earlier than and after

That day I had a serious epiphany that may change my life perpetually.

Till I might work out how you can make films, I might a minimum of create artwork with images and make my photograph chic with the assistance of this magical Photoshop software program!

Once we got here again residence, I went into the most important technical library in Paris (Eyrolles) and seemed for all of the books I might discover on Images and Photoshop. After shopping for numerous actually onerous to know books, I discovered a Photoshop e-book by Scott Kelby. Lastly one thing I might perceive.

I then began a venture that went on for five years, taking dramatic pictures of Paris after work in probably the most dramatic mild attainable. I might then watch tutorials on submit processing and utilizing Photoshop, after which afterward Lightroom, I used to be capable of make the pictures much more dramatic!

This was a blast and my life made sense once more. Once I turned 38 in 2008, I began doing inside design images as I did a photograph shoot in a lodge in Paris (in HDR) with the Seven Lodge. The lodge belonged to a lodge superstar by the identify of Philippe Vaurs.

Philippe was blown away by the photographs. On the time there was little or no retouching in inside design images and most photographer have been capturing on movie. I added some delicate mild results in Lightroom that appeared to hit house ☺

He began selling my work to many lodge managers/house owners and I began getting numerous job inquiries. A lot that a couple of months later, I resigned from my VP of Gross sales obligation to being a full time photographer. 

This was a really scary determination for me, particularly with 4 younger youngsters to maintain. I made so much much less cash however I used to be lastly doing one thing that I beloved.

My want to make films began coming again. When the Canon 5D Mark II got here out, I made a decision to make a brief motion film with it. Like everyone, I had seen Reverie from Vincent Laforet and was amazed by the cinema look we might get with it.

This film is known as Arthur, and it got here out in 2010. A parkour motion film with a younger pal named Arthur. He goes to high school and sees a woman in hassle and can use a few of his parkour energy to save lots of the day. The brief was nominated in four festivals and gained the general public prize at Arles.

I had no concept how a lot luck this film was going to vary my life, however extra on this later.

I then began educating images; submit processing in French on the internet website Tuto.com and later in English on YouTube.

This turned a direct success. I turned the second greatest writer on Tuto and my YouTube channel turned probably the most seen on Lightroom.

After doing the parkour brief, I began working for one the most important galleries in Paris referred to as Yellow Korner and received a tremendous cope with a German writer named teNeues. Six years of taking up 100,000 pictures of Paris beginning paying off

They needed me to take pictures and make books on a few of cities all over the world. This occurred at an ideal time. To be trustworthy, at the moment I began to get determined financially, and my first couple of years as a photographer have been very skinny. I virtually couldn’t pay my mortgage.

Over the subsequent 4 years I did 4 espresso desk books; Paris & New York in Black and White and Venice & Los Angeles in shade

However the educating on Tuto and the high-quality artwork deal saved the day! I used to be again at making sufficient cash to have a cushty life with my household.

In 2014, Kelvin, who had taught me Photoshop, relocated to Los Angeles and proposed me to maneuver there with my household to pursue my objectives of film making. I might nonetheless do all my educating from LA and journey the world for my galleries and writer.

It took me an excellent yr to maneuver there and get an artist visa, however the 14th of October 2014, I moved to Los Angeles. One thing I’ll by no means remorse.

A couple of months after shifting to LA, I turned pal with a screenwriter by the identify of Darius Stevens Wilhere. Darius had over 15 years of expertise engaged on promoting, PSAs and documentaries.

I wrote a brief film referred to as If Solely. The story of a person desperately in love with a woman that he sees typically and may by no means get the braveness to speak to her, so he daydreams of being another person to have the ability to meet her.

Darius helped me shoot this brief. Whereas doing this film, which included a battle scene, he met Arthur, the younger stunt man that I had labored with earlier, and he favored him lots. His youngsters had seen my brief film with him a number of occasions. At some point Darius tells me that he want to write a full function movie. A noble motion martial arts film referred to as, ‘As soon as Upon A Time In Paris.’ A couple of months later, he confirmed me the script and I beloved it. I really like films the place the hero is highly effective and really noble like IP Man or some Bruce Lee films. I additionally love martial arts.

The film could be very constructive and filled with cool motion.

The subsequent yr Darius wrote one other script and requested me to play the lead as an actor. The film is known as The Hollywouldn’ts. The story of a French males making an attempt to make it in Hollywood with no visa and numerous angle.

I produced the film with some associates and the assistance of Canon France who gave us all of the gear at no cost. They appreciated ‘If Solely’ and needed to assist us.

The film got here out this yr on Amazon and had some cool critiques, you’ll be able to see the trailer right here:

And the complete film is accessible on Amazon Prime.

After dreaming about making films my complete life, I lastly began one thing. An extended wait.

Only for enjoyable and for the images group, we additionally did a brief referred to as Measurement Issues. A narrative of two photographers making an attempt to seduce a woman by the dimensions of their lens…

About eight months in the past one thing occurred on YouTube that I didn’t anticipate. The brief film Arthur, that has been doing okay on youtube for seven years, blew up utterly, getting 500,000 to 700,000 views per thirty days. It has simply handed 6M views in little or no time.

On the similar time, my good good friend Darius advised me that he was shifting to Mexico for a suggestion he couldn’t refuse. This was very unhappy information for me as I actually loved working with him and hoped we might discover a option to make extra films collectively.

As he left, I requested him if he can be okay with me directing the film he wrote, As soon as Upon A Time In Paris (the complete function motion impressed by my brief film).

Darius was very joyful and accepted and wished me one of the best of luck. A number of weeks later in an entire random trend, I met a tremendous well-established Hollywood producer.

A younger man of age 28 that already had produced 41 films. He simply helped produce Rob Cohen’s (Quick & Livid, Triple XXX) and Rob Reiner’s (A Few Good Males) newest films.

I approached him first with the ‘As soon as Upon A Time In Paris’ script. He liked the challenge and determined to supply it and we at the moment are within the strategy of casting the film. I’m so exited to shoot an motion film in Paris.

I’ve additionally been engaged on one other loopy challenge, a sci-fi film. I’ve had the thought of the script for a very long time. After years serious about it, I made a decision to put in writing the script with the encouragement of my spouse.

I additionally had one other loopy concept, which was to shoot a mock-up of the opening scene of the film. One thing that needed to be spectacular sufficient to get a studio government intrigued and eager to know extra.

I went to the border of Mexico within the Imperial Dunes to shoot this mock up, you’ll be able to see the ultimate outcome right here:

To do all of the particular results, I discovered a tremendous 3D artist from Russia, Alex. You possibly can see his Artwork Station web page right here and see how gifted he’s.

I confirmed this to the brand new producer and he was certainly intrigued. He requested to learn the script and beloved it. We at the moment are engaged on some modification, however he needs to make it shortly.

Nothing carried out but, however I discover it superb that by holding onto these loopy goals, even at a later age that they might come by means of. I hope this encourages any artist on the market to pursue their goals. I can’t inform you what number of occasions I although about giving up, or considering I used to be not gifted sufficient or not this or that. However there’s something magical about pursuing one’s ardour.

Thanks a lot Scott for permitting me to precise myself in your weblog, you understand how a lot you’ve gotten been key in my life as a mentor.

You possibly can see extra of Serge’s work at SergeRamelliPhotos.com, study from him at PhotoSerge.com, and sustain with him on YouTube, 500px, Instagram, and Fb.