DIRECTOR’S SPOTLIGHT: Kenneth Karlstad

3 months ago • DIRECTOR-SPOTLIGHTS

DIRECTOR’S SPOTLIGHT: Kenneth Karlstad

Credits for the original pic go to Miriam Flur.

Out Now – Faen Kaja – Brilliance Records

Today is a great day as we get to meet two geniuses from Norway. Singer-songwriter Kaja Gunnufsen and director Kenneth Karlstad redefine what synergy means with a stunning time-lapse video for Kaja’s latest single Au. The very productive Kaja released last March Faen Kaja, a stunning 10-track piece of Norwegian poetry which is meant to attract top-notch collaborators in her realm. Kenneth is likely to confirm ;) Have a go hero, press play and please your eyes and ears:

Grab Kaja Gunnufsen’s Faen Kaja on iTunes.

Premiered in Germany by our fellows over at nbhap, this post was originally intended as a YMT premiere for the rest of the world, but… Going back to the video again and again, our Love for Kenneth’s work exponentially grew; isn’t it a good time to re-introduce a director’s spotlight?

YMT: Yo Kenneth, so pleased to see you back on YMT (cf. Into The Haze)! What’s your story?
Kenneth: Hey! Thank you, it feels great to be on YMT! Hmm, I’ll do the short version of it; I’m a carpenter who quit his job and turned director a couple of years back.

YMT: Stunning Visual! Please tell us a bit more about the techniques you used for Au.
K: It’s all a time-lapse with certain lead characters moving in slower pace than the rest. Those characters moved in ¼ speed during the shoot. For an example, when there’s a lip sync, the actors lip sync with the tune in their ears at a quarter speed. Slow and tricky as hell. Especially with kids on a chaotic tram. But the method felt both thematically and audio-visually right. And I’m glad people seem to focus more on the narratives than on the technique. A big up to my cinematographer Torfinn R. Sanderud!

YMT: I really got into it and felt close to some of the “small narratives” you put in place. Feels very natural. Was everything ready before jumping on the tram? Or did you improvise few narratives depending on the people you encountered in it?
K: Glad to hear that! I wanted to have some narratives that people can relate to and others that where more daydreaming fantasies built out of, for instance, anxiety towards urbanization. Some of the scenes were written the same day we shot them, depending on which one of my friends and which actor who would like to join in the fun, and what kind of talent and function they had. When you work with such small budgets you learn to use what you got, and both me and Kaja are lucky to have friends and talented actors who are eager to join in. They’re awesome. So nothing was improvised actually.

I was pissed at myself for not running after this guy one day. He took the tram with a parrot on his shoulder, and the two of them were talking to each other! Would love to have them in the video somehow.

YMT: I guess that with such a set-up the unexpected is to be expected. Any anecdote?
K: What was most striking and touching was that several of the thematics and character types portrayed in both the song and the video was experienced and seen even during shooting. A lonely elderly guy who were seeking physical contact among the passengers inspired development of John’s character, a psychotic man who threw his redbull at me led to inclusion of the masked gang. And several Romanians where seeking warmth inside the tram. Kaja mentions norwegians attitude towards Romanians in the lyrics. So we got the feeling we were on to something, in a way.

YMT: I do believe there is no doubt about it… Thank you very much for your time and the great music video!

Grab Kaja Gunnufsen’s Faen Kaja on iTunes.
Follow Kaja Gunnufsen on Facebook.
Get more videos from Kenneth Karlstad on Vimeo.


- T&A - YMT



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  1. [...] pace than the rest,” Karlstad says of the video for ‘Au’ in an interview with Your Music Today. ”Those characters moved in ¼ speed during the shoot. For an example, when there’s a lip [...]

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