Kyle Simpson Q&A

Birthplace: Prince Edward Island

Age: 28

Title at Confound Films: Partner/Director/Director of Photography/Editor/Gear Guy

What was the first movie you made? It was shot over the course of a summer when I was 13 with two friends. We used my parents’ camcorder and did all the editing in camera just by hitting the record button when we wanted to make a cut. It had something to do with finding a skull on the beach while we were out tossing a football around. I remember doing the transition of the football being thrown out of frame and then being caught in the next shot, I felt incredibly cool with that level of skill. It then transitioned into a bad guy with blue skin and a trench coat holding up a skull in a corn field as Limp Bizkit’s “9 teen 90 nine” played. Copyright infringement at it’s finest. I would trade quite a bit to see that movie now.

When you were a kid, what’s the first movie made you feel like a grownup? I still don’t feel like a grownup, so this one is tough, but I do have random memories of movies I was too young to watch. I remember the transition from being aware of what I should and shouldn’t let my mom see me watching. My stepdad would let me watch movies like Child's Play, so that was fun. He also took my best friend and I to some R rated movie (pretty sure it was Universal Soldier) on my 13 or 14 birthday. He bought the tickets, took us in, but didn’t stay I don’t think. Thanks Dave!

What are you unembarrassed to admit you’re good at? Keeping a clean house. I absolutely hate clutter. So we keep it more tidy than most.

 What do you wish you were better at? While I’m confident in my cinematography skills, I can always get better. I still have a lot to learn. I do wish I were better at conversation with people I just met and also keeping eye contact with people. I’m bad for that.

What phone do you use? I’m an iPhone guy.

What computer? Macbook Pro or iMac

Favorite camera to shoot with? I don’t have much experience outside of my own gear, so I’ll go with my Canon C100 (though there are things about my 5DMk3 I like more). Obviously a C300mk2 or a RED would be my real choice if I had the option.

Favorite lens? Again, if I could choose any, this answer would talk about Canon Cine Lenses. But if I’m choosing from my own gear, my 50mm L-series f1.2 is my go to. Big fan of the 85mm L-series f1.2 too, that will most likely be my next lens purchase. I also really like the look of extreme wides. So my 16-35mm f2.8 on my 5D makes a really nice wide shot.

Favorite gadget (non-computer, phone, camera)? I’ll cheat on this one like Joel did. My new DJI Ronin has changed how I shoot, quite literally. It has introduced me to a whole new level of movement.

Kyle's DJI Ronin with Canon C100 and 16-35mm f1.2 mounted on it.

Kyle's DJI Ronin with Canon C100 and 16-35mm f1.2 mounted on it.

Outside of gear though, I’ve recently become interested in vinyl. I’m late to the game, I know, but I do quite enjoy my Crosley record player, especially with Christmas records.

What everyday object is a masterpiece of design? An everyday object that’s actually in my life would be my wrist watch or my French Press.

Favorite phone app? I’m a big fan of the photo editor VSCO. I also like being able to pay for things with my phone, so the Starbucks app as well as Hot Spot Parking.

Favorite desktop app? I'm probably the worst person for taking advantage of cool apps on my Macbook. So looking at my dock, I'll go with Final Cut Pro X.

What social network do you like the most and why? Right now (Nov 26, 2015) I would say I check Instagram the most. Snapchat is fun, but I don’t have many people in my contact list (kylejason34 - add me). I like how streamlined IG is. Not much text, good structure, easy to follow. They’ve recently introduced varying picture sizes, which I don’t really like. I enjoyed being stuck in a 1:1 aspect ratio.

Favorite YouTube channel? I used to watch FilmRiot religiously. I still check in from time to time. Lately I've been into Casey Neistat like the rest of the world. Roman Atwood Vlogs are also something I check in on from time to time.

If you could create a commercial for any brand/product what would it be? I would love to do a spot focused on Christmas and the holidays. That could be a lighthearted one like Coke has done this year, or something more cinematic and moving like John Lewis.

What would be your dream music video project? Something with Taking Back Sunday. I would have loved to been given the task of putting together a treatment for “Better Homes and Gardens”. But what they produced is perfect. I was pretty excited to be able to film Lydia in Toronto this year.

Where do you most like to travel to? I haven’t done much traveling, but Austin was pretty great. We go to Toronto quite often. I’d like to see a lot of the major cities in the States. I’m not really the adventurous type when it comes to traveling, so I wouldn’t be trekking through The Himalayas or anything like that.

What helps you recharge? RedBull, coffee, and going to the theatre. I'll watch any movie if it's in the theatre.

What are you most excited about working on in 2016? Not sure yet, but I hope it’s huge.