An Adventure Through the Lens of Photographer and Filmmaker Antoine Janssens

From Iceland to Namibia, to Copenhagen and Dubai and more, Antoine Janssens specializes in capturing the unique beauty of locations worldwide.

Filmmaker Antoine Janssens

From Iceland to Namibia, to Copenhagen and Dubai and more, photographer and filmmaker Antoine Janssens specializes in capturing the unique beauty of locations worldwide. Hear more from Antoine on what keeps him creatively motivated, the role music plays in his storytelling, and how he utilizes Musicbed to elevate his work.

Musicbed: What sparked your passion for filmmaking/storytelling? 

Antoine Janssens: I was very inspired as a child by skate/snowboard films and wanted to try my hand at it by filming my friends doing it in Switzerland. I quickly realized how powerful a film can be in terms of the emotions you can bring through footage, editing, and the choice of music. And over time I began to shoot more and more, to get inspired from others, to push my limits further and further, and that’s how I developed and how I’m still developing.

What keeps you motivated and creatively inspired? 

I stay motivated and creative thanks to the experiences I have and the people I meet along the way. My greatest source of inspiration is probably travel, it’s while I’m traveling that ideas come to me. Seeing new things and having conversations with certain people on subjects can awaken something in me. When I’m not traveling, ideas come to me on the run. Or when I’m driving.

What makes a story visually appealing? What role does music play in storytelling? 

Music really helps establish the emotional tone, mood/vibe/atmosphere in a movie. It can evoke a wide range of emotions, from joy and excitement to suspense and sadness. I love playing with that. The changes in mood and rhythm. Surprising viewers with excited, dynamic moments when we are in a very slow scene. So good! 

Antoine Janssens underwater filming a shark

What elements do you think are essential for crafting a compelling story? 

For me, a good story has a beginning, a middle, and an end. The beginning has to be catchy, the middle has to give us information, and the end has to impact us emotionally. It’s important to have a relatable subject/topic/character for the viewers to be connected to someone or something. But for me, a good film is definitely one that gives me emotion. 

How important is music in your work? 

Honestly, for me, music is the key. I’m probably repeating myself, but in my work, it’s through music that I bring emotion to viewers. And touching them emotionally is the most important thing for me. That’s where my film succeeds. The music will put the viewers in a flow, in a mood. With the music you can transport them where you want in terms of emotion. Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.

What advice would you give other filmmakers/creators who are just starting their careers? 

I’d tell them not to be afraid to do something different, to be daring, to play with different styles of music, editing, color/greyscale… It’s obviously great to draw inspiration from others, but you have to be careful not to try to do something too similar because it’ll never be as good as the first person who did it. Create your own shit.

How do you find the balance between pushing boundaries creatively and delivering what your client wants or audience wants to see?

I don’t think I’m trying to do what my audience wants to see. I do it for me first. That’s probably why I don’t publish that much content. Working for a client can indeed be less creative than if I were doing it for myself because it has to please a lot of people, it has to sell a product, and there are precise expectations behind it. In the end, a personal project should only please me. But there’s always room for creativity with certain clients, and that’s great. We can always show them that our artistic ideas can also enhance the product in a slightly different way. 

Antoine Janssens filming client in desert

What is the most challenging aspect of being a filmmaker/creative? 

For me, it’s about finding the time to develop my ideas and my creativity, without being swallowed up by commercial projects (which allow me to make a living…). It’s important for our creativity as artists to have time to ourselves, without being framed by any constraints. And I find that the biggest challenge for me is to have enough time for that.

What are some of your favorite projects you’ve worked on? 

So many beautiful projects, so different from each other. I really enjoyed covering the subject of rhino poaching in Africa, as well as being on a large commercial setup recently. Sometimes you find immense pleasure in the moment, during the adventure/shooting, then once you’ve finished editing you realize that in the end it wasn’t the project of a lifetime. On the other hand, sometimes it’s the opposite, a small shoot with no great ambitions leading to a brilliant result that thrills us. I’m also currently working on a personal project shot in Utah that I can’t wait to show you.

How do you search for music on Musicbed? What are some tips that you’d give other filmmakers to search on Musicbed? 

Finding the right music is tough and time-consuming for sure. I pretty much always have an idea of the style/mood I want, so I search according to that. Also sometimes the style of the music comes into my head when I’m behind the camera, seeing what I shoot gives me a musical direction already. I spend a lot of time searching for music because, for me, the choice of music is crucial to the success of a project. 

Why do you utilize Musicbed in your work? 

This is where I find the artists who fit best with what I’m looking for. The quality of the content, the way I search for music, the diversity—I love it! It’s one of my main tools for creating projects for sure.

Explore a curated playlist of Antoine’s favorite music to use in his work—available to license only on Musicbed.