Reminiscing: Powertools by King Khamen

Experimental Grunge and Rhythm for HipHop music video

4 min

July 9, 2023

King Khamen

Few things beat collaborating with my friend and hip-hop artist King Khamen.

The truth of both our arts is expressed freely with as few limitations as we can impose on ourselves.

This usually becomes using very limited gear and finding the expression in the moment. Experimentation. Flow.

The result is usually somewhere closer to the artistic intention of the moment.

We took inspiration from the beautiful black and white look in movies like Akira Kurosawa’s High & Low, Andrei Tarkovsky’s Stalker and the black and white sections of Wong Kar-Wai’s Fallen Angels.

An example still from High and Low by Akira Kurosawa for Blauw Films tutorial.

An example still from Stalker by Andrei Tarkovsky for Blauw Films tutorial.

An example still from Fallen Angels by Wong Kar-Wai for Blauw Films tutorial.
References from our breakdown video on YouTube.

For the sped-up sequences we we’re inspired by Shinya Tsukamoto’s Tetsuo: The Iron Man.

In our second collaboration with King Khamen we wanted to explore the explosiveness and intensity in his music. We captured its rawness in this experimental music video that makes use of low-quality equipment to put the listener in the headspace of the track.

A grungy 8mm still from the King Khamen Powertools music video by Blauw Films.

A grungy 8mm still from the King Khamen Powertools music video by Blauw Films.

A grungy 8mm close up still from the King Khamen Powertools music video by Blauw Films.

A grungy 8mm still from the King Khamen Powertools music video by Blauw Films.

A grungy 8mm still from the King Khamen Powertools music video by Blauw Films.

The logo for Powertools, a hip-hop song by King Khamen and from the music video by Blauw Films.

It was nice to read an editor at PromoNews.TV say

Leonardo Verkoelen speeds through the streets in perennially effective time-lapse mode to capture King Khamen performing his banger Powertools in a gritty old school style.

The grungy logo from Powertools by King Khamen designed by Blauw Films.
Typography explorations for the Powertools logo.

On our YouTube channel we broke down the process of achieving the grungy look in After Effects and Davinci Resolve.

We shot the project with a Canon 60D without a lens attached to the body. We used mouldy Minolta Lenses from the 70s by focusing them manually in front of the body while shooting handheld.

A Canon 60D from an example of a Blauw Films tutorial.

Vintage Minolta lenses from an example of a Blauw Films tutorial.

We knew how much we could achieve inside compositing and we had a strong reference of the look we were after. This meant we could trust on our instincts and let the equipment capture the image.

For my work in VFX-compositing I use a variety of film grains and digital noises to match assets with their backplate.

The Digital Camera Noise Resource from Blauw Films. Available for Free for filmmakers and creators to add realism to their work.

The noise used in Powertools can be found in the Free Digital Camera Noise pack, and includes an After Affects Grain Control set-up.

Finally, I’d like to have a look at some stills photographed on the day of shooting :)

A 16mm film photograph of King Khamen on set for the Powertools music video.

A 16mm film photograph of King Khamen on set for the Powertools music video.

A 16mm film photograph of King Khamen on set for the Powertools music video.

A 16mm film photograph of costume designer Charlotte Simons on set for the Powertools music video by King Khamen and Blauw Films.

A 16mm film photograph of King Khamen on set for the Powertools music video.

A 16mm film photograph of King Khamen on set for the Powertools music video.

A 16mm film photograph of King Khamen on set for the Powertools music video.


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