We are KAGE | Backstory

Last spring I received an email from one of the organizers of the Photon Festival, a gathering focused on photojournalism that takes place in Valencia, Spain every year. They were doing an evening featuring photography collectives and wanted to spotlight KAGE as one of the groups. Obviously we were very flattered and even thought of attending in some capacity—the logistics, unfortunately, didn’t pan out.

We decided to create a short video documentary to explain our motivations both as a group and a collective, something that would ultimately give a sense of who and what we are, why we stick together. As is usually the case, the schedule proved rather tight and we had to scramble in order to put something together in a relatively short amount of time. So I asked everyone to record about a minute of audio, something personal about their relationship with photography, the collective… Material I’d be using as the main thread throughout the film, the backbone. It sounds easy enough but we don’t often stop to think about “why” we do what we do and I believe this proved to be an interesting exercise for all of us, forcing us to reflect on a subject we don’t necessarily question all that often. In fact, it triggered an emotional upheaval we hadn’t expected: our friend and colleague Craig Litten, faced with this forced introspection, realized his life had taken a different course and decided to move on; mirrors sometimes send back images quite different than the one we expect...

The project was of course completed but with one compromise: there was no time to create an original soundtrack, so the film was edited on songs and music for which we didn’t have the rights. This is par for the course in this day and age of video sharing but as creatives, we all take licensing issues very seriously; you can’t expect others to respect your rights if you trample on them yourself. So we agreed that the film would remain private until a new soundtrack could be added.

Fast forward a couple of months: Charlene Winfred joins the group. Perfect opportunity to recut the video, dive into creating an original soundtrack and finally get this ready for public release. Here it is.

For the techies out there:

  • The video was entirely edited in Apple Motion 5.
  • The score was written, composed and recorded in Apple Logic Pro X. All audio elements were also assembled and finalized in Logic. 

A lot of work overall but it’s nice to sit back and finally have something to explain this project.
Plus: now you’ll know how to pronounce the name too :) 


P.S Share away if you feel like it :)

Still photographs: KAGE COLLECTIVE
Editing and original soundtrack: Patrick La Roque
Additional music: Spartacus (feat. Kenny Baron) by Tommy Smith (used with permission)