Who are you, and what do you do?
My name is Brandon Li. I’m a filmmaker who specialises in travel films. I shoot and edit for commercial clients like Eithad Airways, Philips, Manchester City Football, Airtickets.com, and others. I used to work as a producer on MTV’s show True Life. I also do a whole lot of personal projects just because I love doing it. Filmmaking is a daily thing for me, a hobby that’s also my job.
What forms of media have influenced you the most?
Most of my filmmaking is influenced by the Vimeo community and their creativity. I love being a part of the emerging art form of cinema for the web. We’ve come a long way since the early days of YouTube and skateboarding dogs (though cats on treadmills are still riveting). The web is a great place for finding ways to re-invent the concepts of narrative and documentary cinema. It’s a great place to experiment and find a niche audience for your particular voice. We no longer have to appeal to the broadest audience in order to have a career, and I find that really exciting and liberating.
What hardware / software do you use?
I’m constantly upgrading my equipment, but currently I own a Canon 5dmkIII and I use Magic Lantern to shoot raw. I also shoot on a Sony A7s, and occasionally the Sony RX10 and RX100 and GoPro.
I shoot everything handheld with no tripods, sliders, or jibs.
I edit on Final Cut Pro X on a Macbook Pro.
What would be your dream creative setup?
I am most productive when given inspiring subject matter and a blank slate for interpretation. I love meeting an interesting person in an exotic place and filming their world from their perspective. My challenge is to get intimate footage of my subjects without violating their sense of privacy. On my professional jobs, I find that I usually do my best work when the client trusts my vision and gives me enough time to make it perfect.
My Kochi from Brandon Li on Vimeo.