Sébastien Devaud

Canon Ambassador Sébastien Devaud adjusts his Canon video camera while sitting on a rocky outcrop beneath a bright blue sky.

Filmmaker and Canon Ambassador Sébastien Devaud shoots video for major broadcasters in his home country of France, and also produces commercials and music videos for clients across the globe. © Sébastien Devaud

It was the release of the Canon EOS 5D Mark II in 2008 that proved to be a game-changer for Canon Ambassador Sébastien Devaud. Always interested in new technologies, he grasped the video potential of the groundbreaking DSLR from the outset and was among the first to use it in full-scale video productions. He's been shooting video for more than 20 years, the past 15 of them as a leading director and producer.

The French filmmaker set up his first company, Akwaba Prod, in 1999, shooting and doing post-production work on commercials and music videos. Having discovered that he enjoyed the adrenalin rush of live recording, he moved into broadcast TV, creating scenarios that were notable for their use of contemporary lighting and depth-of-field effects.

Today he shoots for major broadcasters including M6, FranceTV, Canal+ and MTV, and also creates and produces TV commercials, titles and campaigns for multinational brands. Sébastien remains a hands-on filmmaker, shooting as well as directing, and uses a huge range of Canon cameras and lenses, experimenting with video technology whenever he can.

Canon Ambassador Sébastien Devaud filming with a Canon camera.
Specialist areas:Commercial, music, corporate video
Favourite kit:
Canon EOS C300 Mark II
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM (now succeeded by the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS III USM)
Three musicians performing on stage for a music video.

Sébastien regularly uses between six and 12 cameras for his TV work. His 'go-to' models are the Canon EOS C300 and EOS C300 Mark II but on some of his TV productions he has also worked with the compact and lightweight Canon ME200S-SH paired with small PTZ cameras.

Sought after for seminars and workshops, Sébastien is one of the biggest advocates of Canon's Cinema EOS system, having given engineers valuable feedback on the products. He regards making a living doing the work he loves as the biggest achievement of his career, saying: "The freedom to create in our industry is a real chance and to be paid for that is a double chance!"

A dancer lunges towards an overflowing bath, one leg behind her and with her arms outstretched, in a smoke-filled industrial-style setting. Bubbles appear to be floating in the air around her.

Sébastien's client list includes the likes of Air France, Disneyland Paris, Manfrotto and SanDisk and he is busy working on a mixture of commercials, TV shows and corporate movies produced by his company BIGSENSORS & FILMS.

His quest for new and fresh ways of filmmaking also means he has recently begun experimenting with 360° shooting and 2D VR. He is also working on a major motion picture project.

What inspired you to pursue filmmaking as a career?

"As a geek I love to explore the unknown limits of our technologies. As a filmmaker there's the pleasure of telling a story and the authenticity of the emotions during shooting. I love the middle part of the process, when you start post-production and your shooting work starts to come alive with the mix of beautiful images and inspiring, emotional audio."

What is the best lesson you have learned during your career so far?

"To always adapt to every situation. As a team leader you should always give positive energy – if you're disappointed by something and everything goes wrong in your mind, the feeling of your team will be negative. The right way is to always adapt and find a solution."

What drives your creative ideas?

"I wish to deliver human emotion with pure authenticity but also with extreme sensations. I'm also very interested in the power and quality of light – I love to create an atmosphere with the use of a unique light. The sounds of life are also very inspiring. I love to create a sequence around a sound, or start with a soundtrack to create a story."

How has Canon technology helped you to shoot your projects?

"The release of the EOS 5D Mark II in 2008 broke the frontiers between the three worlds of imaging: photo, video and cinema. Then there was the release of the Super 35mm – a new, affordable standard digital sensor ratio with the benefit of this nice depth of field. The ease with which you can mix Canon EOS digital cameras and Cinema EOS bodies with the huge EF lens range is perfect for creativity. All the new features of HDR sensitivity allow you to create more easily."

Why do you think the Canon Ambassador Programme is important and what do you hope to achieve by being a part of it?

"It's a 'window' for the world to see the images pros can create with Canon products and a practical way for pros to share their experiences of working with Canon products. My wish is to continue to deliver conferences about my shooting experiences and to always have the chance to meet new filmmakers and specialists, so as to keep connected with the next generation of filmmakers."

One thing I know

Sébastien Devaud

"Always stay open minded and versatile with regards to the different parts of a production. As a director you have to manage a team and you have to talk to specialists who are working for you. You have to respond to everything, so you have to learn more or less every part of the production process – from the shooting roles (filmmaker, DoP, sound designer etc) and the pre- and post-production guys (editors, colourists, VFX guys etc). Do that and you'll have a clear idea of how to manage the perfect team."

Facebook: @Sebastien Devaud

Instagram: @sebdevaud

Twitter: @sebdevaud

Vimeo: Sebastien Devaud

Sébastien Devaud's kitbag

The key kit that the pros use

Sébastien Devaud's kitbag containing Canon cameras and lenses

Canon EOS C300 Mark II

Captures stunning 4K/Full HD video with an incredible 15 stops of Dynamic Range, external RAW output and Canon Log 2 to help realise your creative vision. "My favourite kit is this camera with a Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L II USM lens; I use this on almost all my productions," says Sébastien.

Canon EOS-1D X Mark III

The successor to the Canon EOS-1D C Sébastien uses, the EOS-1D X Mark III is the ultimate creative toolkit, with superb low-light performance, deep learning AF and 5.5K RAW video.


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