Name: KOS
Notable Work(s): Dorftrottle, f33l

Tell us a little bit about yourself, your background, interests, etc.?
I grew up in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany in a small city and wanted to work in film since pretty much for ever. First attempts in getting into fine-print or editing failed hilariously in the teenage years and funnily got better after editing Quake to death. Later got into VFX as a compositor, later lighting artist and lastly technical director in lighting. Nowadays I'm into market analysis and watches.

Are you self-taught or have you taken formal classes on editing?
Self taught, because at that time editing wasn't a thing in my area. Haven't studied anything formally.

What software do you use?
Lately for projects Houdini and C4D. For Quake, Q3MME, After Effects, and Fusion.

When starting a project, what is your approach like? Do you have a specific workflow?
As absurd as it might sound, usually listened to certain music tracks a few hundred times and later some hundred times in editing again. The complication in DeFRaG was that most maps took 10-60 seconds to complete, so to sync it really well, one does a timeline to put certain maps into a ceratin sound line. So one puts runs against a soundline. Don't feel like cheating, but slowing down moments when a player did a really good move slowing it down helped obviously with a dramatic effect to highlight a move in such a fast paced game.

What has inspired you in your work? Are there specific movies or moviemakers that changed the way you approach your own work?
Aside from Kubrick, Tarkovsky or Paul Thomas Anderson in cinema, likely Chris Cunningham in commercials or music videos. Cunningham opened up editing synch for me. Annihilation inspired me the most made by Own-Age. Some Shaolin Production stuff.

Regarding your mention of Chris Cunningham (the legendary music video director!), there is an obvious connection between music videos in general and gaming movies. Music shares a key role with the in-game content in gaming movies. In some ways, it seems to provide a structure/skeleton for the editing process.

However, in your filmography, you've typically chosen songs which have unusual structures. In f33l, for instance, you used songs by Autechre and Boards of Canada which are artists you typically do not hear in DeFRaG movies. Do you think your song choices drove you towards more innovative editing or was the choice of music based on your desire to take a more innovative approach?

Music and music videos played a big role, but were never occupying me too much in terms of trends or whatever. I have never been in a "scene" or owned a TV or a radio. Be it Autechre or BoC at that time, it was always me being lucky for the players trusting me in music choice. It was literally the music I listened the most at the time of making. People laughed when they asked where I know BoC from and I said from coffee shops. What inspired me a lot at that time were time slice/ bullet time effects. Stuff like this: https://vimeo.com/timeslice

Which of your own projects are you most proud of? Which do you think were most instrumental in your development as a moviemaker?
For myself, I'd say Dorftrottel and F33l because they took effort on both the automated technical research side and manual hand work.

There is a range of game movies in terms of editing styles and structure. Some you could call some "old school" (minimal editing) and then there are very elaborate projects with significant amounts of editing. Where do you think your movies fall? In your opinion, is there an ideal balance between editing and content?
The gap between editing and content was always a question of synergy for me. Overall, I always focused on putting players like w3sp, HAL9000, or Nzr0 in the spotlight. Over-editing is one thing but if I wouldn't have liked them it wouldn't have worked.

What do you think the future holds for game movies? Are there new styles/techniques possible?
Going 3D, likely. With the help from CPU we loaded some demos into C4D just like that. Be it Quake or Overwatch or whatever, the future in moviemaking I see is in complete control over the shot by whichever means.

I know you've included 3D in several of your movies. It seems to be especially hard to not only create something that looks good by itself but also make it fit seamlessly with the rest of the movie's aesthetics. With Quake 3, which was released back in 1999, inserting some very high polygon models into scenes could easily backfire if it looked out of place. Could you describe your approach for this?
I love compositing, which is sort of Photoshop in movement. So matching it with Q3 was the job. Took a lot of time to not make it intrusive or fake. The Speedcap Promo for instance was pretty much completely done in Fusion, a compositing app that can load in 3D geometry. In my opinion there is always a middle ground. I've seen Q3 vids with awful AA but with shaky 3D rendered smoke trails comped in. Not so cool :D

What advice do you have for new moviemakers?
A lot of patience. The will to learn software from scratch. Going over a lot of failed movies without response.

Any last comments/shoutouts?
Shoutouts to pretty much everyone in Q3. It was a great time with both the Defrag and CPMA people. Won't call out any names because it was awesome! \o/
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