Shooting real emotion is what we are all about.
As the live-action directing duo, KN+SAW, we specialize in crafting genuine lifestyle spots & documentary shorts for clients and creatives worldwide.
• Kids & Families (babies, toddlers, tweens, teens, millennials & grown-ups)
• Real People
We compose emotionally moving images that are fresh, whimsical, quirky and on-brand. Our work, in both broadcast & print, is grounded by being deeply rooted in connection.
what we do:
At KN+SAW we create and capture authentic scenes that are playful and natural — scenes that engage the audience. Our trademark footage is filming “connected moments” with storytelling that has surprise and payoff.
how we do it:
Relationships are paramount to us. We bring a spirited approach to all of our shoots. Down-to-earth quality communication provides a solid foundation for every KN+SAW production we film. From creative calls and throughout production, the client always gets our honest take on the boards & creative in a clear vision of how we see it all coming together.
Let us tell your story.
how have we been shooting during Covid-19:
We have Covid Production Protocols in place and work with crew that takes precaution seriously. Safety starts from the top and all of the line producers we work with have been trained and certified in Covid Safe Set Procedures. In addition, all crew is tested before the shoot and we always have a Covid Compliancy Officer on set with us.
We are networked for you to view remotely or safely on set with us in San Francisco and Los Angeles - or wherever projects take us. Give us a call and we will walk you through our new workflow.
what makes us different:
We breathe life into our projects. We are naturals at collaborating with fellow creatives; but we also excel at navigating tricky clients. We know how important it is to carefully walk everyone through the creative process. This ultimately gets everybody to a place where we can make the best possible spots and docs.
what has our production and on-set experience taught us:
On set, we have honed our techniques to get our actors to reveal core emotions that register real on the screen. We have an approachable down-to-earth way about us that allows us to problem solve by bringing people together. Being grounded helps us creatively achieve the excellence that is everyone’s goal.
We understand lighting inside and out. We also understand storytelling: when it is best to convey emotion by moving the camera and when it is best to let the camera remain static to let the scene evolve. This is something we have learned from our vast array of 25+ years of shooting for advertising clients.
what we love to shoot:
Whether we are shooting on location, in studio or on green screen, we LOVE bringing out authentic, genuine, spontaneous performances that draw the viewer in.
how do we describe our work:
Lifestyle with a twist!
why did we start directing documentary shorts in addition to our spot work:
Spots will always be out first love. That said, with documentary profiles, we adore creating pieces that have our fingerprints all over them.
Documentary productions showcase just how much we thrive on cultivating captivating performances from real people and crafting vivid stories that you feel.
When you watch our documentary shorts, you will have a direct portal into our natural, soulful & intuitive sense of storytelling. We have a hunch that real people storytelling is going to be huge, coming out of Covid. We are now directing docs that are 100% intimate - zero pretense - where texture is embraced by making the everyman the hero.
do we always work through an ad agency or do we work direct-to-client:
We work both ways, with advertising agencies as well as direct-to-client. Being based in the San Francisco Bay Area there have been many start-ups we have helped shore up their brand message. That trend has continued across the country where we have worked one-on-one with companies to create banded content that gets them to where they need to be in the marketplace.
do we handle post production in-house:
Yes, we now offer TURN-KEY PRODUCTION which can often streamline a project, while simultaneously reducing costs for the client... a win-win. Yay!
When it comes to tv spots and branded content, we can offer a couple of different production methods:
1) Turn-Key Production: Where we write the script, produce, direct, edit, add VFX, color grade, record the VO, write & engineer the music, audio mix and finish. We will hand you the deliverables for broadcast as well as cut-downs and “vertical edits” for Instagram, Facebook, etc. We are doing it all, but you will be kept in the loop the whole time giving us feedback while we achieve our common goal.
2) Traditional Production: You share your boards with us and we give you our insight. We then match the project’s needs to the most appropriate production company we freelance with to assemble the perfect team. From there we produce and direct the shoot. After we wrap, we pass the assets over to you, to finish with your post production editing house.
Both production methods offer solutions tailored to you and your client’s specific needs.
where we are:
Anywhere you need us to be! We are based on the west coast and shoot regularly in LA, SF, CHI, NYC (and anyplace in between.) We are also accustom to shooting abroad for both creative and budgetary reasons.
what gear we like:
You name it, and we’ve shot with it. We always tailor the camera package to what’s most appropriate for the project. That said, the Alexa Mini tends to be our go-to camera as we love it for how it retains the subtlety and shape of our lighting on skin tones.
We have found that sometimes a compact camera setup can be wonderful for being unassuming and helps us get intimate, tender-moment shots with youngsters and real people.
where we came from:
Both of us have backgrounds growing up in wide-open-space before big-city-life. Katrine grown up in a small town in Idaho. In college she discovered her passion for photography while attending business school, and split her time equally between the darkroom and the local ski area. Stephen grew up in Collinsville, an Illinois suburb of St. Louis. He studied fine art photography and independent filmmaking at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and then attended film school at USC in LA.
what happened next:
After working in the industry for a couple years (Katrine in Salt Lake and Stephen in LA) we both migrated to San Francisco. We each worked our way up to the level of well-established advertising photographers, before migrating to directing.
how we became a directing duo:
KN+SAW have been collaborating on shoots for the past 15 years. We started shooting personal projects together. That collaborative work rose to the top on our reels and in our portfolios. And just like that, a 💡 went on in our heads: by working together, we were stronger “visual storytellers.”
how do we save clients money:
broadcast & print = 😄 client
We’re a directing team, as well as still photographers. We shoot both broadcast and print campaigns. Often, we are hired to do a “combo shoot” where we direct the spot(s) and also shoot the corresponding print campaign. When we umbrella the motion and still asset request into the same production, we are able to save the client money, time and time again.
Katrine Naleid’s still photography site » KNphoto.com
Stephen Austin Welch’s still photography site » SAWphoto.com
who’s talking about us:
Our work has been featured in these fine industry magazines: Communication Arts, Lürzer’s Archive, Photo District News, HOW, After Capture, Print and Digital Output.
Lürzer’s Archive magazine interviewed us about our insights on directing for broadcast spots vs. shooting stills for print campaigns. The write-up delves deep into our storytelling techniques. Read Full Circle: The Evolution of KN+SAW.
Photo District News magazine interviewed us about how we combine shooting both broadcast & print campaigns. Read PDN’s article on us in THE MOTION & VIDEO ISSUE Combining Still and Video Productions: Striking A Balance | PDN’s candid chat with KN+SAW.
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