Digi-Tech Q&A with Christoph Hagen

This Q&A series is all about shining a spotlight on people in the industry. The goal is to learn about them and share their insights with you. There are many talented people in various markets around the world, and hopefully this series will help you get to know them better.

Q: Who are you, where are you based and what type of jobs do you work?

I’m Christoph, I am German and have been mostly working in Europe, but just shifted my base to Cape Town, South Africa full time. I work a variety of jobs, mostly commercial & fashion, the vast majority as Digi Tech, but also have been doing lighting for a long time and occasionally would still accept a job there to keep it interesting. I am not aspiring to be a photographer myself and in that regard am a “career assistant”, but I do work jobs as a DP/videographer as well from time to time.

Q: How did you become a Digital-Tech and how long have you done it?

I started assisting 20 years ago, still in analog times, and have been doing it ever since, working with Capture One since its inception. It’s just been a natural progression from lighting to Digital Tech & cinematography and then combining it all.

Q: What do you like most about your work; what do you like least?

I like most that it is never the same day twice, no matter what the request is, I still get excited to go and do the job every time, there is no routine or boredom associated with my job. Plus I really like the people I work with, in my 20 years it’s been super rare to meet people on a set that I dislike or cannot learn anything from.

What I do like least is the unpredictability of work, as it tends to be hard on family life and planning vacations etc.

Q: What do you feel is important to learn for anyone starting out or what do you wish you knew when starting?

I think it’s most important for anyone starting out to get on as many different sets as possible, to see the different personalities and ways of working that are out there, because ultimately it’s your job to work with people and make their life easier. You never know what situations will arise on the job, and experience is the best thing to keep you calm and be able to deal with anything a job

might throw at you.

Q: What’s one item in your kit you can recommend to everyone?

It’s so many little bits and pieces that make up the whole experience, that's really hard to say.

I’m still team iWorkcase & tripod vs a cart to keep it light and hand luggage compatible, so for me adding wheels to the setup is one of the best things that I’m grateful for on most jobs. But also the camera hoop often gets complimented on set, I got mine from First Digi in Berlin and really like to use it whenever I can.

Q: What piece of equipment would you like to never see on set again?

Definitely HDDs. their time is over.

Q: If you could change one thing about the industry, what would it be?

I realize that a senior tech can and should charge more than a junior, but I feel there should be a decent minimum that is set (by unions if necessary), it is just still too often that clients will offer a rate that is just disgusting, and newbies take it anyway to get in somehow, which just emboldens them to ask for the low rate again and again…those fights are just unnecessary to have, in my opinion.

Q: What was your best day on set?

I’m a big nature person, so for me the best days on set are the ones where you are out somewhere that you don’t get to see every day. A shoot on top of a glacier in Italy comes to mind, or a trip through Zimbabwe to shoot in the gold mines, but it’s really hard to decide on one specific day.

Q: How do you explain what you do for work to family/strangers?

I usually say I work in photography, I do quality control on the pictures that are shot and I edit them a bit.

Christoph Hagen

WhatsApp: 0027640326977  

Phase One Certified Professional


You can read others in the Q&A series HERE