You may recognize Pierre Weyland – the friendly Frenchman is a 14 year veteran of Shanghai’s F&B scene, currently (well, when not locked down) managing three locations in the city: Pichet on Julu Lu, PoZ on Fumin Lu and Lost Bistro on Gaoyou Lu.
He is also a talented amateur auteur and has spent the lockdown making a series of hilarious videos about the situation with his family. We sat down with him to find out more.
We're loving the videos! First up, could you introduce your talented team of actors…
My wife, Zhu Jie, and our kids, Elodie, 11, and Louis, 9. The kids normally go to the French School, but this year we chose to do French homeschooling (CNED), because we want to do a world trip (prepared since 2016 – we didn’t imagine that COVID would happen). So I am a teacher early morning, and I also get help from others teachers (French, math and Chinese).
How did you get into videography?
Since I was two years old my father was making family movies. At that time, he had only one actor: me (my sister and mother were not super happy to do it).
Since I came to Shanghai, I discovered GoPro 3, and since then I love making videos with my iPhone and GoPro, which is very convenient to take everywhere in a small bag.
When did you first decide to start making the lockdown videos?
In 2020, during the first lockdown. Doing videos is a passion.
Do you come up with the ideas, or does the whole family get involved?
The ideas are family teamwork. And honestly, during COVID – as everyone knows – we have plenty of time!
When I talk to my kids about an idea, we start writing a story (B-roll), and my kids… they always get excited to add their touch, find a funny end, fight to be the hero of the video.
They always help a lot with their kid’s mind. This is gold for me; I am young again!
Which is your favorite video so far and why?
Until now my favorite video is Lockdown Habits, because during a lockdown everybody has to do something during the day, and I think as we are in the same situation, I can feel that we are all brothers doing similar things everyday… like going to our fridge!
How long does each video take to make?
Filming is around one hour on average, and movie production (choosing music, cutting the rushes, etc.) is around one hour and a half.
What tips would you give to someone else thinking of making videos like this?
Just do it! It is not about your camera quality, lights, etc. Start with your mobile phone! iMovie on MacBook for the production – or any app to make it happen. If you love it, you will never stop… it is a good drug.
Will you carry on making videos after lockdown has ended?
Of course! I plan to travel with my kids as soon as possible to make some nice movies about our lifestyle and happy times with family.
And any more lockdown videos lined up?
For sure! Follow us on WeChat to see all the latest ones…
Watch Lockdown Habits, Pierre's favorite video... so far!
[All images and video courtesy of Pierre Weyland]