Orlando de Guzman — cinéma-vérité & Kyno

From Manila to Thailand, Ilaya Films’ Orlando de Guzman has documented some truly thought-provoking stories in his cinéma-vérité style. Telling these stories requires masses of footage — footage that Kyno helps to parse.

Lesspain Software
4 min readOct 17, 2016

As director of photography, Orlando de Guzman forms one half of Ilaya Films alongside producer Lorien Olive. Together the pair combine feature-quality cinematography with unflinching reportage; covering conflict, corruption, and human rights across the globe.

de Guzman’s own history as a journalist stretches back over two decades, during which time he has covered major international stories in the Middle East, South Asia, the US and more. Today his documentaries are produced for the likes of Al Jazeera, HBO and VICE, and cover topics as diverse as Brazil’s 2014 World Cup, India’s coal rush, and Duterte’s death squads — the latter of which formed part of HBO’s nightly news program VICE News Tonight.

Creating each of the projects demands masses of footage — and to keep it safely stored and accessible, de Guzman relies on media management solution Kyno. Read on to learn about the important role Kyno plays in de Guzman’s workflow either on location or back at the studio.


“A lot of my documentaries are told from the ground up — cinéma-vérité is my forte,” begins de Guzman, reflecting on his approach as a documentarian.

“I’ve worked on a lot of different stories: my project on the wealthy kids of Thailand’s royalist movement, who helped overthrow a democratically elected government, is now a cult classic. The work I did more recently on death squads in the Philippines under the newly elected president Rodrigo Duterte was one of the hardest productions I’ve worked on.”

While working on such projects in the past, de Guzman encountered a problem faced by many DoPs out in the field: the lack of a decent program that allowed him to quickly review and scan footage.

“As I shoot cinéma-vérité, I have long takes and massive file sizes, so I need a program that can easily handle that kind of data while giving me quick and simple access to what I need to find,” says de Guzman. “In the past I’ve used VLC or Adobe Prelude, which don’t provide the user with a timecode preview — that’s so important when you need to tag and make note of where the important shots are located.

“Many programs are made almost as an afterthought in this area, or are simply too cumbersome for previewing media. Kyno gets around all of that.”

Seamless access

Using Kyno, de Guzman has been able to easily access and preview his footage via one simple interface, making the filmmaking process from shoot to edit easier all round.

“I constantly use Kyno to preview footage and make notes to pass on to my editor — it’s truly a huge aid to my workflow to be able to open up files, view them, and scrub through in such a fluid manner,” says de Guzman.

“Kyno gives all the essential data that I need right in front of me — including the timecode, the filename and more. I can quickly search masses of data and find exactly what I need and when. The transcode is incredibly easy to use too.”

For de Guzman, this kind of functionality is key, especially when working in intense and haphazard environments. Therefore, as his projects continue to grow in scope, Kyno will continue to sit at the heart of de Guzman’s media management process.

“Kyno gets you where you need to be with the least amount of fuss.”

Find out more about Kyno at kyno.software



Lesspain Software

Kyno is an easy-to-use media management, screening, logging, organisation and transcoding toolset for anyone working with video. Available now for macOS.