FINDING LOVE FOR PEOPLE AND FILMMAKING IN AUSTRALIA
KU: How did you first get into time-lapse work and when did it become your full-time passion?
I remember seeing an astro timelapse compilation when I was in film school. My jaw hit the floor and I was hooked from the very first few seconds of that video. I tried out my first DLSR timelapse that night and I haven’t stopped shooting since. A while ago I was going through old family hard drives and discovered that I have always experimented with sped up video (mowing the lawn, tearing down a brick wall, speeding yup car rides etc). I like to believe that regardless of seeing that video in film school I would have eventually discovered my passion for timelapse anyway.
KU: You’re a Belgian national living in Australia – what’s your story for making the geographical jump?
Mid 2013 I travelled to Australia for a roadtrip and I fell in love. Not just with a girl, but also with the country and the people. I experienced it as one of the most friendly and laid back countries I had encountered on my travels. Two years later nothing has changed, and I’m glad to be a permanent resident here with an amazing and supportive partner.
KU: What’s in your gear bag right now as far as cameras go?
I have two Canon 5DMkIII’s and the new 5DSR. I’m experimenting with the XC10 for 4K video footage along with my Shogun. I usually set up two 5D’s and use the third one for my daily vlog that I started a while ago. A few of the lenses in my kit are the 11-24, 24 f1.4 II, 24-70 f4, 70-200 f2.8 II.
KU: What about your Kessler gear, when did you first gain interest in Kessler and what gear are you utilizing now?
Kessler Crane as a brand was always on the top of my wish list of motion control gear to have. After getting introduced to Eric Kessler by my good friend Phil Arntz in the lead up to a big trip to the Himalaya region last year, Kessler Crane was kind enough to ship me the Stealth traveller slider along with the then brand new Second Shooter. This system goes with me on every shoot and I wouldn’t change it for the world. It’s the ideal combo of size and versatility.
KU: Lake Wanaka is absolutely stunning and for many of us at Kessler HQ, the landscape is such a departure from what we’re used to. What made you decide to go there for your time-lapse work?
Tourism Wanaka invited a few ‘influencers’ as they call them here (people with a higher than average following on social media) to their lake for a week of activities and to co-host the country’s biggest instameet (a meet-up with users of the platform). I shot every morning, day, evening and night to capture as much as I could and ended up with the Lake Wanaka hyperlapse edit that is up on my Youtube channel now. It’s a pretty short and to the point edit, I have dozens of extra unused sequences, I just need the time to put them in an edit or chuck them on a stock footage library.
KU: What are your top 5 locations that you’ve filmed thus far and give us 5 more you are desperate to get to.
Tough question.. The more you travel the more you realize that you haven’t seen anything at all. I loved (in no particular order) Bhutan, Nepal, New Zealand, Australia’s Northern Territory and my very own Sydney. I would love to shoot New York, Antarctica, Patagonia, Africa (haven’t been there yet!) and a few other very specific locations that I’m currently working on and will hopefully become a reality in the next year.
KU: You’re incredibly active with social media – what’s harder, shooting time-lapse or maintaining all of your social media accounts?
The good thing about shooting timelapses is that there’s plenty of ‘off time’. I guess I’m a patient man (that’s what people keep telling me anyway), and I like to post and share on social media when the cameras are rolling. I don’t look at either as particularly challenging to be honest, although I recently started a daily video blog where I show my followers on Youtube my day to day life (travelling, shooting, but also editing and preparing projects etc). I’m about a month into that project now and it’s definitely made me plan my life way more in advance. Every night I set up a very basic script for the next day and look for activities for the following episodes. As soon as I stop loving it though I’ll stop, there’s no reason to keep something up just for the sake of it. The reason for my frequent sharing on social media comes from the fact that I love behind the scenes stuff and knowing more about the people that inspire me. I like to believe that what I do is interesting enough for a few people here and there and I love giving them the insight that I myself love so much.
KU: Who are most of your clients right now? I’m sure many time-lapsers are interested in what the driving economic force is behind you being full-time at what you do.
The majority of my income used to be purely commercial work (stuff like ad agencies, documentary shoots, event coverage etc). That is slowly shifting to getting paid by tourism/destination boards to cover their destination and share that footage on my own social media profiles. I’m a very organised person, this translates to a pretty efficient workflow and means I can deliver a lot of footage in a short amount of time, this is ofcourse interesting for brands/destinations focusing on fast moving platforms like instagram/facebook/snapchat/youtube etc.
KU: So, as a native Belgian, you clearly must miss some things about home, maybe most notably its incredible beer selection. Tell us the ONE beer you’d gladly buy a plane ticket home for.
Hah, now that’s a question! There are so many good beers back home that it’s incredibly difficult to choose. Off the top of my head Tripa, an American IPA from a flemish micro brewery.
KU: Kessler is so very proud to work with some incredibly talented time-lapsers all over the world, you being one of those individuals. It’s such a honor to see our gear in-the-field getting utilized on such stunning projects. Can you give people an idea of what it’s like to work with Second Shooter and your Stealth slider?
A few things come to mind when shooting with Kessler gear: reliable, ease of use, built like a tank. I put my Second Shooter and Stealth slider through some rough conditions, from the freezing mountain tops of New Zealand to the 113 degree heat of the Australian desert, without a hitch.
From reading and dreaming about the brand and gear all those years ago to being part of the Kessler Shooter team, it’s been an incredibly exciting journey and I can’t wait to see what our future holds.