Martin Bernard has filmed with us on shoots in Verbier, Finland and the Czech Republic, just to name a few. We took some time to catch up with him after the release of his latest project, "Smelly Socks | Sayonara" starring Dan Hanka, Antti Ollila and Shingo Sasaki. We took some time to talk about the trip as a whole, Martin's process shooting on one of their first backcountry missions and what it was like in the powder wonderland of Japan.
All images in this article ©Zuzana Stromkova
Q: What is your name? Where are you from? What do you do? Tell us a little bit about yourself!
Hi there, my name is Martin Bernard, I’m 30 years old and I am a full time filmmaker specializing in outdoor action sports. I am based in Czech Republic and travel the world to shoot what I love!
Q: What is your role in Smelly Socks?
I am a guy who pushes the red button since the beginning on this project, haha! I take care of all the filming, editing and post production.
Q: How did you get involved on Smelly Socks Sayonara?
We created SS with Daniel Hanka after working on a few, first edits together. So we’ve been collaborating together for more than 6 years. We talked about a Japan trip pretty long time ago so I am glad we finally did it, it was great to see Daniel somewhere else than on the rails.
Q: Who’s idea was it to go to Japan? Where did the idea come from?
I would say we needed to show something new, each episode was becoming similar, just park skiing, so we decided to go to mecca of powder skiing and show people how Daniel and Antti handle deep powder, and I think they did pretty well!
Q: What resorts did you hit up, do you have a favourite and why?
Most of all we skied at Kiroro resort, it was the best one so far, not just because of the terrain but there were not many people either. We also skied Rusutsu on the last days of the trip which was also really good and Niseko of course – but this one was super crowded cause it’s the most famous one. I am really grateful that we had our local guides Gen Sasaki and Yu Yoneya who showed us around. I would recommend it to everyone to have a guide there otherwise you just get stuck in the most touristy places.
Q: What’s it like working with Dan and Antti?
I always look forward to what the guys are coming up with. It’s a pleasure to my eyes to see these guys skiing. I appreciate that both of them are pushing every single trick and camera shot until it’s perfect and that’s how every professional should behave, thanks a lot guys!
Q: How was it to film in Japan? Were there any difficulties?
It was amazing experience for all of us I would say. We had to adapt to local conditions - snowing all time so we couldn’t really film long distance for example, because with all the snow you couldn’t see anything what was further than 20 metres. There were no big difficulties except we lost our skis at every occasion, and had to do some missions to dig them out, but that’s just a part of the game!
Q: What is your process for shooting on a trip like this?
I was a little bit scared in the beginning, we had actually no idea what we are gunna’ create and I didn’t know what to expect from the guys – so there was no concept. In the end it went all right, guys did a really good job.
Q: It was Dan and Antti’s first time filming in the backcountry/powder, was it new to you as well?
I filmed some freeride before, but definitely not in these conditions, it was snowing every single day! We were lucky that we had fresh snow every next day but on the other hand it was complicated to film in it.
Q: What was the best part of the trip?
I can’t really pitch some special moment cause it was one great experience and every day was awesome, I loved to woke up every morning and see fresh snow and couldn’t see our lines from day before, I also enjoyed Japanese food, especially matcha products – oh, how I miss matcha ice cream!
Q: What was the best part of the trip?
I can’t really pitch some special moment cause it was one great experience and every day was awesome, I loved to wake up every morning and see fresh snow and couldn’t see our lines from day before, I also enjoyed Japanese food, especially matcha products – oh, how I miss matcha ice cream!
Q: Would you go back?
Without any hesitation – I had an amazing time. But now I would definitely film a little bit less and enjoy the skiing more.
Q: Where do you want to go next?
We still haven’t figured it out, there a few options and maybe some new projects on a horizon. We talked about a road-trip through US west coast – we will see!
Thanks a lot for an opportunity to write a few words! Cheers!