Fred Mortagne, AKA French Fred is a filmmaker and photographer who’s been skating since 1983. He’s one of the most well-known skate cinematographers in the world.
"My name is Fred Mortagne, AKA French Fred, I am a director and photographer, mostly active in skateboarding, which I started 33 years go!
It’s skateboarding that developed my creative side, so they are definitely totally linked up. I truly think it is something that needs to be promoted. Being creative is something important in life. I don’t think our school systems are really trying to help the kids being creative. It was the total opposite for me. But the world needs creative people, especially nowadays with all the challenges mankind is facing… Yet, our societies are still formatting people, and doing everything possible to limit their creativity. For me, being a skateboarder and a photographer is very complementary. They even have a very similar approach, as far as evolving in urban environments. For me it is a natural evolution to have become a photographer also. My love for skateboarding is endless, and so I love working around skateboarding, and using my work to promote the positive values and facets of skateboarding.
I always say inspiration, for me, can come from any where. Of course from cool art that I enjoy, but even from shitty stuff… and it’s about staying open in life in general. I don’t have TV anymore at home, but sometimes when I do watch it in other places, which is super rare, something in a crappy program might give me an idea. Sometimes a bad example might put you on the tracks to the good thing to do. References, positive or negative, can get inspiring you know. So I don’t have a specific routine to stay inspired. Music, though, is sometimes the starting point to my edits. It can sparks idea, or at least an atmosphere… I love editing to music, it’s something I hope to keep on doing for a long time.
I think it’s great to highlight and support the creative aspects of skateboarding. As I said it has so many important and interesting facets, but skateboarding cannot be resumed strictly to the action and the performance aspects, like it is widely the case in magazines and videos. The creativity emerging from that sport/lifestyle is just incredibly amazing and powerful., and is sociologically important to understand, and to spread.
Right now I focus on the release my book, and will keep on working on projects with Element Skateboards."