We caught up with videographer Jacco Kliesch to talk about his recent trip to Morocco and the video he was inspired to make as a result.
What drew you to travel to Morocco and specifically Marrakech?
It was kind of a spontaneous trip. My girlfriend, Alex, and I had some days off, so we booked a flight from Nüremberg a few days before. We had never been to North Africa before, and I thought the city was visually quite inspiring. We wanted to discover something new … and we did.
Was there anything specific about Marrakech that made it stand out from other cities you’ve traveled to?
It was totally different from any other city I had been to. It was dusty. It was loud. It was busy. What I enjoyed a lot about Marrakesh were the small streets, rooftops, and beautiful backyards. Most buildings look simple from the outside, but as soon as you enter you can discover the beauty of all the hidden places on the inside. The architecture is superb.
What was your favorite moment while in Marrakech?
One morning, I woke up quite early because of the chants of the muezzin. It was right before sunrise so I snuck out of our room and explored the small alleys of the souks. The alleys are like a big labyrinth and are super crowded during the daytime, but that morning I was one of the first on the streets. All the shops were still closed. After a while, I got lost, so I just kept walking until I arrived at Djemaa el-Fna, which is Marrakech’s main square. It was still quite empty. I watched pigeons looking for food, some motorcycles crossing, and old men taking morning walks.
How do you choose where you want to travel?
I get a lot of ideas from blogs, Vimeo, Instagram, books, movies, documentaries … and I follow Passion Passport, of course. I keep a list of all the places I would like to see one day. The difficulty is deciding.
Do you collaborate with friends? Or are you a solo traveler?
I travel with my girlfriend most of the time. We’re a great team. She helps me co-direct my videos and has a great sense for imagery.
As a photographer and videographer, how do you balance shooting video and photos at the same time?
That’s a real challenge sometimes. I’m more of a filmmaker than a photographer. I tend to think in motion. Both mediums can tell a story, but they do it differently. It takes much more to tell a good story in one photo than in a video, I think. Through my job I learned to balance photos and film because client work often requires both. The good thing is, nowadays, you can use the same camera. If my time on location is limited, my procedure is usually to take photos first and then video, or the other way around, depending on what I feel is more important.
What is one piece of advice you would give to younger videographers who want to start creating travel videos?
Go out and do your thing. Be creative. Don’t just copy, but try to create something new. And don’t carry too much equipment, because too much gear can actually be limiting.
After you get back from an epic adventure, what’s your process of sorting through all the footage?
I’m almost pedantic with my workflow. First I put everything into well-named folders on my hard-drive. I sort by location and chronologically. I take backups. Then I look through all the footage in my editing software, Adobe Premiere. I start to create selections and highlight the special shots. I also create new folders and timelines thematically with footage that might work well together. I like to play around a lot and experiment with new ways of editing.
Who inspires you?
I find my inspiration very often in music. Music is essential to my films, and most of the time they are driven by a certain musical arrangement. I also get inspired by people I meet while traveling in new places. My head is always full of new ideas for new films.
My name is Jacco Kliesch. I’m a filmmaker, director, editor, DJ, music producer, and creative mind. I live in Nüremberg, Germany. I work at a creative agency where I shoot commercials. I travel a lot – for my job as well as for my passion projects. I always carry my camera with me, trying to collect all the perfect moments along the way.