KIN – Film launching soon + Fantasia

Hello there,

We’ve been so busy with all kinds of exciting things these last few months. It never stops! There are always new projects and ways to be creative, its exciting.

For thee last few days we were at the Fantasia Film Festival in Montreal, checking out a bunch of short films in a category called Fantastique Weekend du Court Métrage Québecois. We had our film KIN premiere there over the weekend, and boy was it a great experience. Seeing our film play on the big screen, with a great reaction from the audience was priceless. KIN had been in pre-production/production for over a year and to see it wrapped up and premiere at a large film festival was extremely rewarding. AND, we ended up winning an AWARD! Best cinematography of the Quebec short films, awarded to Ben McKinnon. It was very special to receive the certificate amongst so many other talented people.

So, KIN is launching soon… very soon… and just to keep the suspense going, we won’t give you an exact release date. Coming soon. To stay up to date with the whole project, visit our Facebook page HERE. A few quick updates are that we have been officially selected to screen at a few film festivals:
– Cyprus International Film Festival in Greece
– Corinthian Peloponnesian International Film Festival in Greece
– Off-Courts short film Festival in Trouville, France

So exciting!

For now we leave you with the trailer for KIN, until its online premiere.

KIN poster.

KIN is a winner! Best cinematography in the short films at Fantasia Film Festival!

A photo posted by Ben Mckinnon (@benmckinnon) on


Release the animal within!

Two days ago, Montreal pop singer Emmanuel Travis released his new music video Vendredi Sauvage that we put together for him. The video is about people letting loose, unwinding from reality, and releasing their animal side through physical transformation, dark behaviour, and even erotic urges.

The production process behind the video was actually quite complicated as we ran into some difficulties during our shoot. Our initial concept was to have a large crowd of people around a giant bonfire, who were going to be celebrating and progressively get crazier, letting their animal side take over them. The scene was going to be extremely out of the ordinary, consisting of anything from fire breathers in animal costumes to wolves and poisonous snakes. So we put together a treatment and were ready to shoot a few weeks later.  Now, this was indeed an independent video production, so no, we did not have the budget to shoot the next Kanye West & Jay-Z music video… we thought up creative ways to shoot the concept we wanted with the resources we had.

7:00 am, we arrived at our shooting location which we had scouted and prepped beforehand and began setting up. We set up a tower of wood, a tent for actors and gear and the rest of our props.
We spend the morning doing tests. Camera tests, bonfire tests and experiments, slow-motion capabilities of capturing the movement of the flames etc. We were ready to go and, in fact, early enough to be waiting for our actors, extras and the rest of the crew to show up when… it started to rain. The weather forecast had lied and was being its usual unpredictable self… Rain and now cold was invading our music video shoot.

It didn’t take too much time for our phones to start ringing and buzzing, and before we knew it, 85% of our cast was asking if we were cancelling the shoot. We decided to wait it out a little, but the rain and cold got worse…

We had heaters and giant tents set up for the cast and crew already on set, but decided to cancel the shoot for everyone else who was supposed to be arriving within the next hour. It was a good thing, too. As soon as the sun was beginning to set, we lit our bonfire, to quickly realized that the firewood had gotten extremely moist and wet. We were also getting wet and cold as we attempted to soak cloth and paper in gasoline and ligher fluid to get the fire up and going. It would have been a disaster for everyone in costumes in the rain.

But, Emmanuel was on set with a few actors, so we decided to make the best of the situation and shoot some footage. We eventually got the fire going and kept it alive with gasoline. Everyone on set started throwing around ideas and was helping out to make the best out of what we had, so we could shoot some interesting footage for this music video. The night was filled with filming a lot of different things, most of which didn’t end up making the cut, but everyone was extremely helpful and we ended up having quite a good time. Here are a few screenshots of scenes we filmed that didn’t make it into the video.

Unused footage

The next obvious step to take was to schedule a second shooting date. We needed more footage and decided to give our video a larger variety of scenes by going a complete different route and shooting a few indoor studio scenes. We wanted to keep the human/animal concept for these scenes, so we contacted Natasha Nebula, a performer from Black Snake Circus who came on set with her gorgeous snake companion. She also helped us out cast the two other models seen in the video, Maiko Starr and Vanessa Seguin. Things fell into place and we were ready to shoot our second scene.

Many hours of post-production later, the video was completed and ready to be launched. The challenges faced during this production led to our team finding creative ways to use the resources at our disposal to make this video come alive, which is the beauty of filmmaking. Check out the video bellow, give us your thoughts and comments, we’d love to hear them!

Updates from a lost blog, back for good.


So here’s the deal. We started up this blog, then got our hands full with a load of awesome projects, and no extra time to keep you updated on this page. So just to get things kicked off again, I just wanted to let you know what we’ve been working on, and whats about to be released soon. First of all, last month, I travelled to Peru with the Pure Art Foundation with the goal of building two homes for poor families in dire need  of proper shelter. I was there equipped with a Sony Fs-700, shooting hours of footage for a short documentary on the Foundation. So that is one of the videos that will be coming soon. In the mean time, check out the blog kept during the construction of the homes HERE.

Other than that, our team is working on a music video for the french pop singer Jesstelle (check out the behind the scenes photos taken by our team member Sonia Primerano on her BLOG.) and a music video for Emmanuel Travis. We are also almost finished with an EPK video created for Montreal hip-hop artist SRH. And then we’ve got two very special projects coming your way. One, a short film based on the famous Game of Thrones universe, involving violent sword fights and zombies, and two, Dead Life, an experimental visual effects film we have been working on for quite some time now. There is one other project in the works over here at Five Knights Productions, but its so top secret that all I can say is that it will surely blow you away once it is released for your eyes to see. There is more to come, much more, so stay tuned! What do you all think of these screen shots from the projects we’re currently working on?

Music Video Competition for The Civil Wars

Last weekend, our team at Five Knights Productions was on set shooting a music video for a film competition for the band The Civil Wars. Its an open contest (that closes today actually!) and the winners video will become the band’s official video for their song 20 Years. I heard about the contest, that is powered through Genero TV, and wanted to jump in. We were already so booked with other projects that the pre-production ended up being postponed a little and we ended up putting the whole thing together in less than a week. Seb McKinnon and I thought up a storyline that went hand in hand with the song’s lyrics and began putting together a cast and crew for the shoot.

Click the link to take a look at the video bellow! Share, like and comment and let us know your thoughts!


For now, all I can say is that we are keeping our fingers crossed for the competition. There are a handful of really great videos running in the contest! Take a look at the behind the scenes photos taken on set by the talented Sonia Primerano!

HEAVY METAL and one DSLR camera

Last August, I was contacted by the band The Agonist to shoot one of their live shows and make a music video out of the footage. When they said they would be playing at Heavy MTL, the largest Heavy Metal music festival I immediately jumped in at the opportunity. Not only was I going to be able to shoot a great metal band play live but also get a free VIP pass to the rest of the festival! Constraints with the press passes only allowed one cameraman to get in with the band to cover the show, so I packed up my Canon 5d MarkII and a 70-200mm (2.8) lens and got ready for the shoot. As a production team, we would have usually shot a live show with at least 3 cameramen, especially when the footage would be for an actual music video, but you’ve got to work with what you’ve got, and that was me and my camera. After shooting The Agonist play their set at the festival, I used my shiny VIP pass to get into all those areas the cool people go and ended up shooting many other bands that were playing that day. I was able to get on-stage and backstage access which allowed me to capture some great footage of these musicians totally rocking out. Only bands I couldn’t get too close to were Slipknot and Marilyn Manson… I got yelled at a few times, trying to stick around the backstage area with my camera. Apparently no one was allowed to shoot the real famous guys up close (except a few privileged photographers) and I learned that stage managers can get insanely irritated when a videographer tries to sneak his way by unnoticed with a camera. Oh wel… at least I tried haha.

So here are two videos I shot that day. The first was is the newly released video Panophobia by The Agonist, shot with one camera, one lens and a simple monopod.
The second video is what I put together with my best shots from the rest of the festival; a short trailer for Heavy Mtl. Check it out! Let us know your thoughts on the videos and don’t forget to go like our Facebook page! KEEP ROCKIN’

PANOPHOBIA Official Music Video


Dead Life – Sci-fi short film in the making

Second blog post! Alright!

Dead Life, a science fiction short film I wrote and directed in collaboration with Alex Boyadjiev is currently in the making. Actually labeling it as a sci-fi makes people think of films like Star Trek or Blade Runner, so I would actually call it a drama. Dead Life is a representation of our world in the future, a grim future where life, other than the human race, is almost non-existent. I don’t want to give too much away but thats the idea.

I’d love to start talking about how we made the film; about our “non-existent” budget, and how most of the costumes and props were made from things you would find in your recycle bin, but that will come later. All I’ll say right now is that the whole film, other than a few scenes, was shot in a DIY green screen studio in a warehouse.

The visual world of Dead Life was designed by Alex, who took on the role of production designer, and is now being brought to life by both Alex, as a matte painter, and VFX artist Florent Cachot who is generating, combining and constructing all the elements together through CGI special effects. We’ll  be sharing the official poster and a teaser of the film very soon!

FOLLOW us to stay posted on the making of the film, where we will go in depth about the difficulties and solutions to working with no budget and about every step of the production, starting with the imagination of an idea to how we gave it a life of its own.  For now, take a look at the promo photos and art we’ve been creating! Feel free to let us know what you think.

New Five Knights BLOG!

Today is a special day, indeed. Five Knights Productions,  has started a blog! For those of you who are interested in film and video production, photography, design or just like being creative, this is the place for you!

In this blog, we’ll be posting updates of our work, sneak peaks and previews of upcoming projects and all kinds of thoughts and even tips on the production side of things.

For those of you who don’t know us, check out the website on the side pannel!

We’re a production company based in Montreal, specializing in video, photography and design. And for now, check out our promo reel… More to come soon, very soon. Stay posted and continue being creative! Share this blog, too :)