Matthias Dandois - I LO(ckdown)VE NY

Incredible video of Matthias Dandois riding a desolate New York City. Matthias managed to find some positivity amongst this dark time and the result is absolute mesmerizing. 

An Interview with Matthias Dandois about I LO(ckdown)VE NY

Photos by Constance Jablonski, Kyle Lieberman, and Matthias Dandois

What was your initial inspiration for this project?

I woke up super early one morning and went for a walk with the dog. It was the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, but the streets around my neighborhood were already super empty and it gave me chills. I felt like I was in the movie "I Am Legend" with Will Smith. I instantly knew I wanted to film a video with the city empty.

How many days did you spend gathering footage?

It was eight mornings. It’s actually super hard to get shots with no one in the background, so I was waking up at 5:30am was out riding from 6 am until 8:30. Then the city started to come alive a little bit and it was impossible to get the shots I wanted. At first, I only wanted to shoot some behind-the-scenes and Instagram story stuff - that’s why the video is vertical. Four mornings later, I realized that it could be a thing, but I was too far in - so the video is vertical. Haha! 

Were you alone during all of the filming?

Yes. I was all alone. It’s all filmed with my tripod. I loved to be alone in an empty city. Also, respecting the social distancing guidelines…

What was the vibe like riding in a basically-deserted metropolis?

It was actually amazing, man. It really felt like the city belonged to me. It was so quiet out there - so peaceful. I could hear birds singing in the middle of Manhattan. 

Which spot was the craziest to actually be able to ride at?

By far Time Square. This place is usually so hectic and filled with tourists and weird stuff going around. It really felt like I was in "Vanilla Sky."

For those not overly familiar with New York City, what are a few of the locations?

Time Square, The Brooklyn Bridge, Battery Park, Broadway, The Statue of Liberty, West Village, Central Park - all empty!

What’s your favorite clip in the video?

The intro on the Brooklyn Bridge. It was such a beautiful morning. The light looks sick and I had the bridge for myself.

What’s the song? It’s very fitting to the project.

"New York, I Love You But You're Bringing Me Down" by LCD Soundsystem. I love it and I think the lyrics and the vibe fit perfectly to the video.

What’s the city like today? Is it starting to come back to life?

It’s definitely starting to come back to life and lots of people are outside again. Thats the reason why I decided to post it now. 

How did you mange to stay so productive and motivated during the lockdown?

It couldn’t have been any other way. I had so much time in my hands for the first time in my life. It was super easy to be productive. Also, my girlfriend and my little dog are so awesome to be around and we always do cool stuff together. It was easy! 

Credit: Matthias Dandois
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