We had the good fortune of connecting with Olivier “Hero” Dressen and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Olivier, where are your from? We’d love to hear about how your background has played a role in who you are today?
I am from Belgium originally. A small country divided into 3 languages, French, Dutch (Flemish), and German (minority), also home to the surrealism movement and European headquarters.
My country is only 10 million strong, and even we all agree on chocolate, beer, and Belgian fries* the politics of this country are constantly divided. When I was living in Brussels, I spoke English to avoid any political disputes since languages can be a source of discords in Belgium.
* And yes, fries come from Belgium, not France.
This taught me to be a better diplomat in my everyday life. As I travel a lot for work, I have some good abilities to deal with conflict, language barriers, and different frictions onset levels or with different clients (agency, brands, creatives, etc.)
Being also part of such a small country also humbles you somehow; everything is almost bigger than us, so we moth unlikely to pick up a fight with anyone or bragging about our flag’s our country size.
Trust me; it’s an ego pacifier.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I think there is a common ground for every artist; it’s a constant work in progress. Perfection isn’t something you can achieve, and that makes the beauty of being an artist.
I had the chance to meet many very inspiring people in my career, and I still look forward to the next collaboration that will bring my work to another level.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I would definitely make a trip to LA and introducing my friends. Have the chances of having friends that are from different demographics, countries, and even financial backgrounds.
From a mansion in a private park in Beverly Hills to a house turned to a costume guitar factory in Silver Lake, passing by the apartment of an acting coach next to Paramount studio or a shared artist home in Midtown and a couple of friends spreads in Venice… there is somewhat already a great tour of Los Angeles and experience just by visiting them!
Since I have been living abroad for so long now, my friends are the closest thing I got from a family.
Otherwise, we will definitely do a stop by in and out, watch a movie at Cinerama Dome, check out the record store on the other corner of the streets, and go out at the Bungalow in Santa Monica, after a casual dinner at Mama Shelter’s rooftop and probably an after-party at a friend’s house or other late-night places.
The next day, we will start with a good breakfast at Shutter on the Beach in Santa Monica, a quick walk in Venice and on the pear, early afternoon, a walking-shopping in Fairfax on Melrose avenue with a great food break at Canter’s, I really like this place.
… And I will just stop here because I am just getting started… too many great things to do in L.A!
And yes, L.A is changing since the time of the interview, Archlight, my favorite cinema’s branch, just closed, and the epic venue, Cinerama Dome, the first concrete dome of his type with it. Hopefully, there will be a future for the Dome and also a brand like Archlight to propose movies to people that love cinema as I do.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My principal inspirations come from the tons of movies I watch, my family, and the talented friends I am surrounded by.
I would love to shoutout my affection to Laetitia Bica, an incredibly talented photographer from my hometown; Lisa Carletta, another incredible photographer from my country, Phil Carron, an amazing french director and motion graphics artist!
Recently I did the cinematography on a french short movie; I collaborate with the Italian director, Adriano Valerio, very inspiring.
Also, two of my rep, the first one in Paris, Aurelien Simon, they really doing amazing work at Spoa, and Boris Lambourgine, founder at Left Production, a company that also represents me in Los Angeles.
And last but not least, a big shoutout to Nathan and his work at Freenjoy. They probably do the best work that can be done in terms of music videos. His work always inspired me.