Talent Feature- Unleash the Power of Film and Creativity with Kevin Blanc

August 19th, 2017 Jump to Comment Section
Talent Feature- Unleash the Power of Film and Creativity with Kevin Blanc

My name is Kevin Blanc and I run a Film and Motion Design Studio where I work as the guy in charge, thinker, filmmaker, cinematographer, motion designer, and everything else that is needed to keep our fun place up and running. We believe there is a new way of authentic communication for interesting companies – and that’s where we put our focus. 

I would like to spend my time helping people and companies with great ideas and products to tell what they’re about and – all with moving images.

I am – and always was – impressed by the power of film and sound, and I love the moment when they match and unleash a power that can take us on a journey and make us forget about our surrounding. I’d like to combine that with stories worth sharing that ideally bring us forward.

Our approach is to work in a small team and to control each step of the production process. By moving from one stage to the next ourselves, we carry what we learned from our client through the project and are able to make the countless creative decisions in a way that pushes the story in one unified direction.

Name and age: Kevin Blanc, 36.

Currently based in: Zürich, Switzerland.

Language (s) spoken: German, English, French and Swiss German.

Occupation: I run a Film and Motion Design Studio where I work as guy in charge, thinker, filmmaker, cinematographer, motion designer, and everything else that is needed to keep our fun place up and running.

How did you get started in our industry? My path started with my interest in computers. I did a degree in IT and started out with web design. I then took an evening class in filmmaking at the New York Film Academy in London primarily to practice English, and that triggered my fascination for film and moving images. I then spent the next three years at the Ravensbourne College of Design and Communication in London studying Moving Image Design, and then went back to Switzerland to work for SWISS TV as Art Director. Spring 2009 was the starting point for my own thing and, soon after, LAUSCHSICHT was born: a place to do what I love doing, which is spend my time with an amazing team, interesting clients, new toys and new challenges every day.

Current assignments: We have many projects in our pipeline, some of them with new and some with existing clients. I guess it’s best to follow us for that.

What types of productions do you mostly shoot? Every shoot is different, but what we like doing is working in an agile, compact team on location. We enjoy entering our clients’ world and learn more about their challenges, product, production or service. We want to understand what they do, how they do it and especially why. Together with an understanding of their brand, we then develop a story that emerges from our clients company in a natural way. Looking back, this has mostly resulted in productions on location with a crew of four to six people.

On set we work in a very collaborative way: we talk and design the shot together. Everybody has a remote screen, everything is wireless and works off batteries. We use the different perspectives (client, hair & makeup, camera…) to fine-tune a shot.

What is your dream assignment / job in our industry, and what are you really passionate about? My dream assignment combines a useful and thoughtful product/service or company with a budget. This allows us to create something meaningful and visually engaging. We’ve achieved this in the past and I hope we can continue to work this way in the future. I don’t have a specific dream assignment, but I find it very satisfying when I see both our clients and their clients enjoy our production. Sometimes people get so used to their world that they forget how fascinating it is, and I’ve seen people re-discover that through films we’ve made. That is a dream job for me.

In the work that you are presenting us, now that it is done, what would you have done differently throughout the production? The Film “SWISS Bombardier CS300 – Western Switzerland” was as fast-paced during production as it is as a final film. We were on the road for three days and shot all locations on a super-tight schedule. We then spent three days in the hangar with the experts who put the foils on the plane. In the end we came back with nearly 4000 shots and had exactly one week to finish the piece. Given this, I don’t know what I would have done differently – maybe chill out a little bit more and enjoy the scenery.

What current camera, lenses and sound equipment do you use? We shoot most of our productions with our Canon C300 Mark II. We were the first production in Switzerland and one of the very first in Europe with this camera. “The people behind SWISS” was our first production with that camera, and we still like it very much. We also uploaded and shared some BTS footage for that project. Hopefully you will like it too.

We really got used to working with and trusting the auto focus of the C300 II, and we use a set of Canon L lenses: the Canon 24mm f/1.4, Canon 50mm f/1.2, Canon 100mm f/2.8, Canon 24-70 f/4, Canon 70-200 f/2.8 and the Sigma 35mm f/1.4.

But it all depends on the project. We’ve shot with RED, ARRI and Sony cameras. In my humble opinion, all current cameras are amazing and allow us filmmakers to tell very nice stories.

I personally love Canon’s color science, the look, the compact body, a solid internal codec and of course the AF – for our workflow this was a game changer.
Of course, I’d love to have the power of the Canon C700 in a C300 body, but let’s wait and see. The new Canon C200 has many nice features and, as we all know, time is moving faster than ever and a new C300 will be in our hands before we know it.

For sound we use our RODE NTG 3, or have a professional sound person as part of the crew.

Can you please describe your workflow? Were you happy with the results and will you ever go that way again? We work on a shared 10G storage with Adobe Premiere CC, and color grade in DaVinci Resolve. We’re currently trying to challenge that and have been doing editing tests in Resolve, which would make life a little easier.

The proxies generated by the Canon C300 Mark II are very handy and we started working with those as soon as the proxy workflow in Adobe Premiere became available.

In short, this is our current workflow:

  • Data transfer with Hedge For Mac
  • Backup to tape with Archiware
  • Edit with Premiere Pro on maxed out iMacs (been waiting for more power since forever)
  • Enhance the edit in Premiere Pro / After Effects (Transitions, Stabilisation, Reframing, VFX)
  • Export as one conformed ProRes 4444 clip with an EDL for Resolve
  • Import and Grade in DaVinci Resolve (on a shared production environment with a central db server)
  • We often use Filmconvert somewhere in our grading node-tree
  • Export back to Premiere
  • Sound FX / Sound Design in Premiere and Audition
  • Subtile de-noise with Neat Video
  • Export and Compression

What’s your favorite lighting equipment and why did you choose that kit over other solutions? We have two light setups. One with a focus on mobility and the other with more power.

Our mobile setup is:

This setup is very powerful (each AREA 48 has an ouput of about 1KW halogen) and mobile without compromising on the quality of light.

Our less mobile setups is:

This setup is like having a mobile sun with you. The light quality is amazing and the para’s offer an unparalleled control and brilliance.

Do you use drones or gimbals in your productions? If so, what is the most effective way you’ve found of deploying them? We make heavy use of our gimbal, The Beast by ACR SYS. We are ambassadors for them and helped fund their initial BeSteady Gimbal on Kickstarter. Ever since then we’ve used their products and are very happy with the result. Here is quite an extreme example of one of our first gimbal shoots, and the behind the scenes.

Having a gimbal has really changed the way we shoot, allowing us to do things that were impossible for a small crew before. Combined with the AF it allows us to do complex movements in no time.

How much of your work do you shoot in Log and what is your preferred way of colour correcting? We shoot everything in Log (C-Log 3 or C-Log 2) and grade in Resolve 14.

How frequently do you travel, and do you have any tips when it comes to packing your gear? We store everything packed in the bags and (nearly) ready to shoot.

Kevin Blanc and working with the Canon C700

You can learn more about Kevin and his production house, LAUSCHSICHT by clicking here, or head to Vimeo to see more of his incredible work.  

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