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Meet Pascal Combes-Knoke

Today we’d like to introduce you to Pascal Combes-Knoke.

Pascal, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
In high school my dad would film me on a cheap camcorder for Wrestling and Football. So I would borrow the camera and film skateboarding videos with my friends on weekends. Fast forward to Upenn where I purchased the Canon 7D and was blown away by the images it could produce. I became obsessed and ended up getting a double degree in Economics and Cinema Studies and filming a SCUBA commercial in Australia along the way. Fast forward to Chapman Grad film school where I purchased a used Steadicam and used the specialty as a fast-track to bigger projects like Schoolboy Q and One Direction. I then used this as a stepping stone to become Cinematographer full time.

Has it been a smooth road?
The biggest obstacle by far has been chronic back pain as a result of a sports injury and years of Steadicam operation. I’m currently on the brink of getting surgery so it’s a scary place. But I have hope and truly believe that once the pain is behind me, the experience will empower my success moving forward.

We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
It’s all about story and specifically visual storytelling. To me the key to success is largely preparation followed by the ability to adapt and execute on set. I want to know what the director wants on set before he/she or the AD ask for it. My workflow generally entails reading the script a few times and then exchanging thoughts in a feedback loop. Next transcribing these ideas into a lined, annotated script and diagraming concurrently with location scout. I then create overhead diagrams to clearly illustrate the relationship between the lighting, cameras and actors within the geography of the space. Then I return to the location and photograph key angles and beats on my Nikon with the correct lens to create previs/animatics.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
Don’t be afraid of the dark but shoot for the stars. Everything happens for a reason and failures are necessary to make you stronger and wiser. Embrace your mistakes and you will reach the cosmos 😉

Contact Info:

  • Phone: 805.405.5055
  • Email:
  • Instagram: @pascalfilm
  • Facebook:

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