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Q&A: Kjell Redal

Palmer Morse directed 2021 WMFF features “FLOTSAM”. We asked him a few questions, see our Q&A conversation below:

What is in your gear bag/kit?

We shot FLOTSAM on a BMPCC 4K camera, Sony A7SII camera, DJI Inspire 2 drone with X7 camera, and GoPro Hero 8 Black. Light and fast was the name of the game. Flat color profiles and DaVinci Resolve were essential in blending all the footage together.

What item can you not live without?

Duct tape!

How do you choose music for your films?

I like to let a sense of place define the film’s music as much as the location within a storyline and tone.

Most necessary character-quality for a director?

Flexibility

Who has been most influential in your directing career?

I’ve found inspiration in work from Ben Knight, Ava DuVernay, Jake Michaels, Renan Ozturk, Emmanuel Lubezski, Jordan Manley, and many others. And my mom will always love everything I make!

Favorite on-set memory?

We got to a point in production with tons of underwater fish footage but no sailfish on camera. Josh the underwater DP was busy during a sailfish-focused tournament so I went to a tourist shop on South Beach, bought a $15 mask and goggle set, then went to Best Buy to get a GoPro.

Craziest on-set/en route to set adventure?

An angler hooked the first fish in less than an hour. I thought it could be my only opportunity so I jumped from the boat into a sea of jellyfish and towards the fish – socks still on. My snorkel broke off and sunk on impact, but I still had the GoPro and a sailfish was on the line. Little did I know the anglers would go on to land 22 more sailfish that day. I followed as many as I could – looking like an under-equipped, jellyfish-stung, drowning dog. All the underwater sailfish shots in the film are off that GoPro.

More About Kjell Redal

Kjell Redal is a director, cinematographer, and photojournalist whose work revolves around outdoor adventure and social issues. He was a photographer at The Seattle Times and studied visual journalism in college before pivoting to film production. Kjell works in the documentary and commercial space with past clients including the National Geographic Channel, NASA, and Netflix. He specializes in drone imagery, frequently incorporating the unique angles in his work. Kjell resides in Boulder, Colorado.