At the dawn of the release of FOOTMOON, an award-winning documentary on the story of Julien Cudot which will be made available to the public this Friday, December 15, we had the chance to speak with its producer and director, Vincent Romain. Many of us in Montreal know Vincent from having skated with him when he lived there. It was hard not to notice him with his exceptional style and the level of difficulty of the tricks we all saw him do. We all have memories of the awesome tricks we saw him do*.

But do you really know Vincent Romain? Let's find out more about him in the rest of this article on: 5 things you may not know about Vincent Romain, producer and director of FOOTMOON.
1- He made his first grind plate with Meccano parts

Vincent's love of skating began in France in 1996 when he was just 11 years old. As soon as he saw his college friends doing jumps on a homemade springboard, he was hooked. He tells us about the beginnings of his love with skating:

After that I got my first fitness rollers and it didn't take long before I decided to put an iron bar from 'Meccano' toys as a grind plate, while removing the 2 wheels from the medium. I tried to grind my first sidewalks…. But it didn't work at all as I wanted.

It didn't take long before I was pestering my parents to get my first pair of street skates: the Rollerblade Menace. Then it all started: my first soul, my first backflip, my first contest…

And of course, its famous true fish! Like many skaters of the 90s, the discovery of this new sport immediately translated into passion.

2- His skating references: Mathieu Heinemann and Chris Haffey

As there were few skateparks when he started skating, Vincent quickly fell in love with street skating. When we ask him what he likes best about skating, we recognize it right away:

Style in execution is a big part of what I love about skating. I don't like watching myself roller skating on videos if I don't find the entire movement of the trick harmonious.

But that's not all. It is not enough to take care of the execution, it is also necessary to have amplitude and difficulty:

For me, my delirium is mainly the spots, even more than the technical tricks I think. The more challenging it is to skate a spot, the more it excites me.

And everyone who had the chance to skate with Vincent knows it! He does not shy away from challenges. There is no monotonous session when Vincent is there. You have to be in good shape when he is there, because just seeing him skate, you want to surpass yourself. He is a source of skating inspiration for many of us, but who inspires him?

Mathieu Heinemann or Chris Haffey will remain lifelong references for me.

Inspired by such legends, we should not be surprised to see him pushing his limits so much.

3- His fondest skating memory: his first back soyal at Bercy!

Pushing the limits seems to be a strength for Vincent. During his first years of skating in France, his level progressed quickly. At that time, he often went to join the UCK crew in Paris, a collective made up of several of the best French skaters of the moment (Momo SIlla, Mathieu Heinemann, Nicolas Mayé, Neou Men…). He tells us about one of his best skating memories, on the famous puddings of the Paris-Bercy sports center. Inspired by the full cab back soyal that Mathieu Heinemann did easily, Vincent pushes his limits:

At that moment I myself managed to make my first back soyal on the puddings! My father came to see me that day and I believe it was the one and only time he saw me doing street riding. The only problem was that for him a royal and a back soyal were the same, he didn't see the difference. For me, having successfully back soyal on these puddings was huge!!! Even Mathieu congratulated me.

We also recognize a competitive side to Vincent. He explains to us that at that time the craziest competitions took place on the street. Even at this time, he won in a street competition in Bordeaux. He won one of the best prizes that a French competition could have offered according to him: a 2-week skating trip to California with all expenses paid!

4- The climbing film Free Solo inspired the Footmoon documentary project on the life of Julien Cudot

The FOOTMOON documentary project started 2 years ago now. Living in Mexico for a few months, Vincent learned that Julien Cudot would be traveling to South America. Being both French and having crossed paths in the world of skating over the years, Vincent invites him to stop by his house during this trip. Although he was interested in the idea, Julien was not able to go there at the time. But the two skaters remain in contact. In the summer of 2022, while Vincent is passing through France, he and Julien meet in Paris and the project takes shape. He tells us:

That’s when I presented my idea to him. If he came to Mexico long enough, I would have liked to make a film about his life. I explained to him that there had never been any documentary films on roller skating. We could see documentary films on alpine sports, climbing or even snowboarding or surfing on Netflix, but none about street skating. That same evening, I showed him the film Free Solo about the man who climbs entire mountains without ropes. I explained to him that I would have liked to do something like this but with him as the main character.

This exchange convinced Julien to come to Mexico with Stéphane Alfano at the end of the year. This trip was very productive! In addition to filming the documentary FOOTMOON which will be released in a few days, he made it possible to film Alfamor, a video showing the return of Stéphane Alfano on skates.

And Vincent does not fail to point out to us that all these achievements would not have been possible without the contribution of several other skaters:

Obviously it would not have been possible to have such a final result without the help of Stéphane Alfano, Adrien Bastouille, Frai Gomez, Thomas Camus and many others who helped me film each trick from several angles.

5- Vincent wants to give visibility to match his talent to Julien Cudot

When asked why he chose Julien for his documentary project, Vincent does not hide the fact that he feels a natural closeness to his French compatriot. But for him, THE reason why he chose Julien is clear:

For me it’s just the strongest in the world at the moment! And when I watched Julien's street edits, I regretted a little the lack of polish in the videos, but technically he was clearly above the others, and I didn't understand why the skating media snubbed him so much. So I wanted to participate in creating something that I myself would have wanted to see: a documentary film about the only rider in the world of all time who is both world park champion and in the top 3 of the best street riders. skateboarders in the world.

For Vincent, the creation of FOOTMOON is above all an opportunity to correct the media imbalance that there is towards Julien Cudot at the moment. According to him, the documentary will allow us to see Julien's skills in a new light, highlighting his style, his technical level, the amplitude and difficulty of the tricks he is able to do. He is convinced that we will have a lot of fun watching the fruit of their labor!

Through our interview with Vincent Romain, we had an overview of what motivated his progress in skating, but also to get involved in the FOOTMOON documentary project on the story of Julien Cudot. The man who started doing tricks with skates patched with Meccano parts and who was impressed by the journey of legends of our sport like Mathieu Heinemann and Chris Haffey now presents to us the story of the current skater who inspires him. more, Julien Cudot. Having a preference for the style, amplitude and difficulty of tricks, Vincent wants to show us how Julien is the greatest of our time. He presents it to us through his lens in a documentary which has already won ten awards at film festivals. Hopefully this film will leave a mark in the history of our sport, as it already does in many other action sports.

Are you as excited as we are to see this documentary? We remind you that FOOTMOON will be available for purchase and rental starting Friday, December 15, 2023 on their website. Solo Inline is organizing a documentary viewing cocktail in preview, Thursday December 14, 2023 at 6:00 p.m. at its Montreal boutique. You are expected in large numbers!

*For those who did not have the chance to see Vincent skating, we have added at the bottom of this article links to profiles that have been done on him recently:

December 13, 2023 — Francois Therrien