A conversation with Remi Kranen: from intern to video-edit hotshot
Remi Kranen, born on February 4, 1997 in Venlo, has been part of the Gobsmacked® team since 2016 and is responsible for the majority of all edits. After he came in as an intern from his education at SintLucas, he secured a contract at breakneck speed. Since then he has been an indestructible rock within our team. We managed to take this imperturbable editing robot out of his working mode for a moment and ask him questions about the path he has traveled so far.
Hi Remi, so cool that we are doing this!
How did you experience your education at SintLucas?
I had a good student life in the 4 years that I was at SintLucas. In my first year I mainly looked for what I found most interesting to do, which initially brought photography to the fore. The second year was mainly devoted to learning more about your field of study and interests. As the year progressed I came to the conclusion that I was starting to get more satisfaction from moving images. During my 3rd and 4th year I was able to develop myself into an all-round audiovisual specialist. During my 4 years of study I got to know many new people, with whom I had very pleasant years.
However, I have experienced that you have to develop yourself outside of school and gain experience by making your own productions, in my case these were largely music-related productions.
Of course you have to study practical and theoretical things, but creativity is on the inside; you either have it or you don’t. During the training it also became clear who could and could not distinguish themselves creatively. I also enjoyed seeing how everyone in their own right went in their own direction within the same field, but ultimately had the same passion: creating things.
How did you initially come into contact with us?
During my training years outside of school I worked with a small freelance company, with which I mainly produced music related videos (aftermovies, video clips, event trailers, etc.). Via the Facebook page of my company I received a Messenger message from Jos Deenen whether wanted to come over for coffee in Nijmegen. During the interview it became clear that it had been an application, but since I was still at SintLucas at the time, we came to the conclusion that I could do the best internship the following year.
Why did you come to the conclusion that you would like to do an internship here?
In Jos’ Messenger message, he concluded with a recent Gobsmacked® production: “Hyster-Yale Group – The Craigavon story” When I received Jos’ message, I mainly created after movies and video clips. And as a young guy you try to create your own style that you implement in your video productions. You look for inspirational examples of the big boys in the scene. Until then I had never seen a ‘corporate’ video in a certain style that I could only recognize from the guys from the music world that I looked up to so much.
I immediately saw and felt that these guys understood how to do justice to a brand / company in a video, by means of the edit type, shots, the ‘branded’ lighting and portraying people who work there as true movie stars. It almost makes you want to work for such a brand or company. Besides that, I have always had an interest in the manufacturing industry, and I looked up to the type of companies we now produce the video content for.
You have fully focused on your development as an editor. Why is it so important to specialize in this field?
As I mentioned earlier, it is important to specialize in 1 or 2 aspects within the field. So that you can really become good at something and you can really develop yourself as an artist. This also allows you to work on your career and then present yourself as a specialist to the outside world. Think of your social media, or for example during a job interview. Because I believe that a company that strives for a certain level is more likely to look for a specialist than an all-rounder who is average at everything, but does not really excel at anything.
How did you experience the internship here?
Because I have been able to participate and watch in every area within the company, I have experienced my internship as very educational. During my training, the focus was mainly on the field of video and film. During my internship I learned more and more about, for example, marketing, brands, content strategy, sales processes & concepting.
We work largely in the international B2B industry, which I personally find very cool, and sometimes very impressive. Because of this we often come to places where you normally do not go, and we see a lot of the world.
The working atmosphere is very relaxed, so there is enough room for jokes, pleasant and personal conversations during and after working hours. I experience more of a friendly bond with my colleagues than that we see each other as ‘work’ colleagues. For example, where possible, we try to plan fun activities such as grabbing a terrace, eating out, the annual IBC in the RAI Amsterdam, drone trips, several table football sessions at the office and so I can continue for a while.
In which areas, besides editing, have you developed the most?
I came in as a modest and quiet boy and found it difficult to express myself and put my thoughts into words. As my internship progressed, but especially afterwards, I really developed in the communicative field and as a result of this I have grown as a person. At the moment I also dare to be myself more within the company and with customers.
Because I have a lot of interaction with our sound designer Francisco Rios, who was born in Mexico, I also learned a lot about the English language. I can express myself a lot better and more easily with foreign customers or contacts.
I have also learned a lot in the field of marketing over the years, and I have gained more feeling for branding. Because we are a compact agency, as an intern you will be involved in all aspects of a project, from customer conversations to a concept session, and from shoots on location to presenting the production in the cinema. As a result of which you learn and gain experience in every area outside your own specialization. Other than that, they are really paying attention to YOU, instead of being seen as one of the interns.
You may name 3 projects or achievements that you are most proud of. Which projects are they?
- Nooteboom recruitment: For the personnel / recruitment part of this video, I was specifically looking for a different way of editing and filming to really make this part of the video stand out separately from the storytelling intro. When the team saw my first edit setup, everyone was immediately enthusiastic and I think this is the project I least had to adjust to before we presented it in the cinema.
- Hyster RS45 A404 In-action: In this video is a transition that I came up with during the shoot, which has widened my interest in the broader post-production process. During the shoot I saw a helicopter flying, and immediately had the idea to use it as a transition to a “news reporter” who was, as it were, reporting a news item from the container terminal where we were filming. In addition, this was the first project in which I participated as an intern.
- Mpac Group Storytelling: this was my first project in which I created the edit together with the director of that production, Bram Koopman. The way of working is slightly different in this case, because you translate the director’s vision into the edit, as it were. He has a certain vision on a scene that I then have to convey to the viewer by means of the shots and the transitions.
What can you tell about the collaboration with the team and the people we work with on a project basis?
For each project we consider whether we will work with an external person or company to boost the production value. This can consist of a director, music composer, DOP, gaffer, sound engineer, VFX supervisors etc.
In the field of post production I work very closely with our sound designer, Francisco Rios. Since we involve him in virtually every project for the audio of our productions, I have the most and most frequent contact with him. We then go back and forth about the edit and how we can apply certain effects or tricks in the video, with which we can give a slightly higher production value to the whole.
We also regularly work with 3D / CGI / VFX artists and choose the most suitable person for each project. In most cases I also have direct contact with these people because the VFX process can run parallel to the final stages of the edit. In all these cases it is instructive to spar with a ‘creative mind’ about certain elements that make the process more fun. You often notice that you speak the same language and that you are on the same level of thinking, which makes such a post-production process more fun.
What advice would you give to people who want to do an internship here?
Speak up as much as possible and assert your opinion. Even if it is not always relevant, it is always good to receive new, different, outside the box opinions.
I think it is also very important to have ambition. My ambition before and during my internship was to end up working as an editor for this company. I was and am convinced of my qualities, and I think you should be able to use them at all times.
What goals do you want to achieve as part of Gobsmacked® in the near future?
As my time within Gobsmacked has progressed, I have become more and more involved in the marketing aspect of our content and we try to get the most potential from our images by reusing videos, and making new versions that can be used especially for different social platforms and campaigns. In the future, I would like to see the majority of our customers to see this potential and go along with our vision. In addition, it is a nice challenge to be able to implement video content strategy at even more companies from the Manufacturing industry top 100.