Asude: Welcome Charles, thank you for being with us! We’ve been enjoying your content and following you for a while, so it is a real pleasure for us to talk to you! Let’s start getting to know you: when and where were you born? How did you get started with videography?
Charles: I was born in Ronse in Belgium on 4th September, 1997. So I just turned 21!
I’ve always had an interest to use a camera as a kid. It started with making little movies on holidays and taking photographs. It got a little more serious when I stumbled on the website Vimeo and the awesome time-lapse movies that were shared on there. I wanted to experience with it myself and bought my first DSLR. In the beginning years, I didn’t film that much as I didn’t take it that seriously. When I was about 17, I made my second time-lapse movie of my project “Evolution” and got some attention with it. I was studying photography in college when I released the third movie. It started to get me some jobs. Eventually, I wanted to make movies, not just time-lapse. I went to Paris on a school trip while in college, to visit the museums. I had one goal there and it was to make a short film. Didn’t look like much, but about two years later, I feel I’ve made a lot of progress!
A: It seems that you’ve been inspired, created your first project “Evolution” series and have come a long way in such short time, it is incredible. And, you have become the director of various commercial videos, but which one of them was the video project that you earned your first money? What was the starting point?
C: When I released my second time-lapse movie Evolution II, I got contacted by the world wide production company Caviar. They asked me if I was interested in selling some footage for a commercial. I think that counts as the ‘real’ first time I made money of my passion!
A: So, you have started with time-lapses and photography and eventually shifted to videography. Could you please describe your videography style for us?
C: I don’t like to describe my own style too much. I think I haven’t found what my style is as I am constantly evolving in my work. People do say they can recognize my work by the fluidity that’s in there. So, if I had to put a word on it I would call it that. I try to make my work stitch together and not have it be too random with every video I put out. Call it fluid :)
A: We agree that your work flows and we can definitely tell that you have your own distinct style. So, people are right! To create these fluid shots, what preparations do you make before you begin filming?
C: Shotlists! Shotlists are king! I’m not too much of a fan of storyboarding, but just knowing what to shoot and which shots are already in the big is so important!
A: Agreed. So, we see that you have many different equipment on your social media BTS posts. Do you own all of them? Do you prefer buying or renting your filmmaking equipment?
C: Absolutely buying. Not one thing as stressful as going to a rental house and always having to schedule a shoot on the availability of gear. On the other side, if I almost never use something, I won’t buy it. I’ve used a 70-200 on occasions over the past two years, but now that I rent it more than necessary, I’m thinking about buying it…
A: You’re right. Some people prefer to have everything they need. So, you’re one of those people. And, what is this equipment you generally bring to a set?
C: My main stuff is a 1Dx mark II with a 24-70 2.8, 35 1.4 and 100 2.8. All from Canon and I use it handheld most of the time. When I want to move the camera, I opt for the glidecam. Not too much of a fan of the electronic gimbals. For time-lapses I use my 6D as well! A 16-35 with the edelkrone SliderPLUS X works nicely!!
A: Could you please share with us the software you use for post-production?
C: Premiere Pro, Final Cut, Lightroom and LRTimelapse. Afters Effects comes in handy from time to time, but I don’t know the software too much to use it at its full potential.
A: You have a Youtube channel, create beautiful videos, have directed various commercials and produced short films previously. But, what’s your biggest ambition for the future? And, what would be the best advice you’ve ever been given until today?
C: I try not ‘to do goals’. My only goal in life is to be happy, as cheesy as it may sound. I think that should be everyone’s goal instead of “I want to make this much this year” or “I want to lose that much”. I have little goals set up to keep me on track, but my main goal is to do what I like every day. At the moment, I want to grow as a director of photography. I try to quit the little event work and aftermovies and do more work in the commercial world. That said, my plan can change sometime soon if I feel like it and go do something else. For the advice, I’m surely not the first one to say this, but I try to live up to this. “Just do you and don’t care about what other people are doing.” Look at what others do, listen at what they say and take from it what you think is useful. But, at the end of the day, it’s your thing, so keep it yours. Even if my friends and fellow photographers say something, I take it as advice, but don’t necessarily apply it to my work. I would give the same advice to other filmmakers, as well.
A:Speaking of your future plans, what do you think about the future of filmmaking with the technology is advancing so fast?
C: I have mixed feelings about it. On the negative side I think technology will make it so easy that we as filmmakers will cease to exist. Everyone will make films… but, to put that in perspective. Technology has become so great that we’ll probably always have new stuff coming our way to amaze our audience. I think great times lay ahead and I hope I can use technology to grow as a filmmaker as much as possible.