Karl Cannone, A Filmmaker Creating New Worlds

Karl Cannone is a French filmmaker known for his commercial and fine-art work. Born in Marseille, France, Karl was attracted to video at an early age. Before he was even a teenager, he was such a prodigy that his tutorials on video editing were already a major deal on YouTube. Now Karl is an accomplished director, editor, and producer for a variety of Fortune 500 brands and emerging startup organizations.

Why do you love filmmaking? Film is the one of the strongest media for telling stories and immersing your audience in a world. My personal favorite is short-format storytelling. Whether through commercials or short films, I enjoy creating whole new universes.

Why did working and getting your education in the United States appeal to you? The United States has always appealed to me. Hollywood movies made me dream of what it could be like to live here. There seemed to be so much, from immense skyscrapers to vast deserts. I wanted to experience all of that. There seemed to be endless cinematic inspiration here. It was only after moving here that I realized the US was endlessly inspiring. I was so overwhelmed that I started taking notes of everything I saw to make sure I’d never forget it. The country is vibrant, and there are millions of stories to be told here, which is the best thing any filmmaker can dream for. 

How do you try to fuse art and commerce in your work? I think the most important part of creating an ad is to only create for brands or products you believe in. I never approach a commercial as a pure vehicle for selling, but as a way to paint a world around the product. When conceptualizing a commercial, I make sure the client feels good about the prospective cut, in which case they usually give me complete creative freedom. This permits me to remove all limits—my script could go anywhere, the makeup artist can suggest anything, and the actors are free to improvise. When everyone feels good about their work, any simple project organically becomes a piece of art.

Karl making a video

What advice would you give to clients on how to make the best videos for their brands? Ultimately, any video reflects the relationship between the client and the filmmaking crew. Start by looking for the perfect fit for a director. It is crucial that the director’s creative vision be perfectly aligned with the client’s from the start. The most important conversations need to happen while conceptualizing the project. My best ads have always come from a project where the client was as excited about the project as I was. [cw-mark]