Filmmaker Focus: Ross Ching

08 27 2015

Ross Ching’s work highlights incredible landscapes across the country in ways that you may not have seen before.

Based in Los Angeles and raised on the west coast, Ross Ching has a healthy appreciation for the urban jungle he resides in as well as the deepest pockets of nature, captured in our own LURKR library.

His own work includes short films, music videos for the likes of Death Cab for Cutie and Collective Soul, and branded content for the likes of Dyson, Fuze and Adidas. One such short film, Running on Empty is featured above and caught our eye here at STALKR for Ross’s mastery of technique and visually engaging settings.

We had some questions for Ross on how he’s able to accomplish the technical feats of his work, where his favorite places are to shoot, and what’s in his filmmaker go-pack.

How did you get started in filmmaking?
My friends and I loved skateboarding when we were in middle school.  One day I brought my dad’s camera with us and we just started filming our amateur tricks.  We were never really good at all, but it turned out that our filmmaking skills were better than our skateboarding skills.  So we ran with it and began expanding ideas with what we could do with a VHS camera.

Where do you find inspiration? Who or what are your influences?
My main source of inspiration is anywhere on the internet.  I follow blogs and Twitter profiles that align with my interests.  From there I, on occasion, get links to cool things.  A lot of times, they’re cool tricks that aren’t shot in the most cinematic way, or they’re still photos.  Then I kind of imagine wrapping a story around those things.  I don’t really have a specific person who influences me.  It’s mainly random things I find online.

If you’re packing your film go-pack, what’s in it?
My DSLR camcorder (a Sony a7s), a tripod, an intervalometer, and lenses (11-16, 24-70, 70-200, and a unique Mitakon 50mm f/.95 for super dark work).

Can you talk about how you create these cityscapes – seemingly busy streets that are rid of traffic in LA?
It’s essentially a time-lapse where where the moving parts (the streets) are still images that I’ve edited in Photoshop.  I take a bunch of frames from the time-lapse and use the eraser tool to reveal other shots where there wasn’t a car.  Then lay that photo onto the footage.  It’s a little easier to explain here.

What are your favorite landscapes to shoot? It seems like you have a vast array of desert, mountain, city, etc.
I’m born and raised in California, so I’m a little biased to west coast landscapes.  I really love finding hidden gems though.  Going back to the blogs, I love digging deep into the internet to find that one vantage point that not many people have seen before.

Imagine you could shoot anything, anywhere in the world, on any budget. What would you be making?
When I got started in this business I wanted to make a feature film, and that still rings true today.  I’ve got a script that I’m trying to get made, but as far as the “anywhere in the world” part, I’ve always wanted to go to the “ends of the Earth”.  Places like Tierra del Fuego, Faroe Islands, French Southern and Antarctic Lands, etc.  Something about being in the middle of nowhere excites me.