Ten questions for CEO and visionary of Kelvin, Halvard Aagaard about the future of lighting in the cinema industry.
Q1: Hi Halvard. Thanks for taking the time and letting us in on a look behind the scenes at Kelvin. Could you introduce yourself in a couple of sentences?
Hi my name is Hal, 37 years old Norwegian tech enthusiast. I believe in the Scandinavian model of inclusive leadership, but I’m also a proponent of strong work ethic and respect in business, which I’ve been lucky enough to pick up during my early career working and living in Japan for 6 years.
“Our approach is quite simple, we want to make solid tools which can open new ways of creating images and telling stories.“
– Halvard Aagaard, CEO
Q2: How did you end up in the Cinema lighting industry?
Since a very young age I’ve always been fascinated by the science of light. You know, Newton and Huygens and all of that stuff. Also, the cinema industry is of course exciting, with loads of cool tech and some amazing content being produced, although I must admit I have yet to see the inside of too many movie sets. But, we’ll see what the future holds.
Q3: What trends do you see in the market and what is Kelvin’s approach to tackling the LED market in the cinema industry?
From the technology side, already for many years the world has been moving from the traditional large, bulky and expensive tungsten/HMI lights to more flexible and reasonable LEDs. I believe this will continue, and we will see many new and innovative ways of using LEDs not only in cinema lighting, but in many other industries as well. Our approach is quite simple, we want to make solid tools which can open new ways of creating images and telling stories.
Q4: What makes the Epos stand out as a cinema light?
Since 2010, we have been pushing the boundaries of what is possible to achieve with full color LED lights. With Kelvin, we have taken all the experience and knowledge that we have built up over the last decade and built something we know we would want, entirely from the ground up, no compromise, no bullshit. The Epos is the first product in a complete line of full-color cinema studio lights built on this premise. It features our signature light quality, very solid materials and components, and intuitive analog and digital controls.
The amount of effort and work that has gone into this light from our team is borderline ridiculous, but I guess that is what it takes to make something that is truly unique.
Q5: How do the unique design and material choices affect the usability of the Epos 300?
The materials and components have been chosen for durability and sustainability, without making it prohibitively expensive. What you can expect is a solid light that will perform and last for many years.
Q6: What are the benefits of being an established LED Technology company?
We don’t look too much at the competition, but instead focus on our own strengths and the stuff we’re good at, such as the quality of light, user friendly design, and strong customer support. Having been in the industry for over a decade, we know that successfully bringing new products to market in such a fast moving and competitive industry is no easy task.
Q7: Who exactly is your ideal customer?
Personally, I’m a huge fan of people like Akira Kurosawa and Michel Gondry, pioneers in the industry who experimented with filmmaking techniques to tell compelling stories and create beautiful art. That doesn’t mean I think the main target audience for Kelvin lights will be Hollywood directors, but we are inspired by them, and the precision and flexibility of our lights will appeal to professional filmmakers who wants to experiment and fine-tune their scene to perfection.
Q8: How are you marketing your product?
I believe a product which is being seen and touched by actual users is the best marketing you can have, because of course they will like what they see and tell all their friends. To that end, we work closely with distributors and rental houses across the globe. In addition, we have what I’d like to call our online showroom, which is our website www.kelvinlight.com, where we also sell directly. We put a lot of care in ensuring that the quality and user experience is consistent across platforms, whether it is the product itself, the website, or in case you need support.
Q9: How does the future of Kelvin looks like in your vision?
Maybe not total world domination, but something close to that.
Q10: How will the Kelvin products shape the cinema industry?
Since inception we have been a pioneer and innovator within the science of light, and we will do our part in helping shape the industry towards more creative, more flexible, and also more sustainable lighting solutions. We are positioning ourselves as a challenger in the industry with something different, something unique.
Thanks for taking the time, Halvard, and thank you for the interview.
Conducted in Oslo, Norway, September 2022.