Behind the Scenes: Kevin Kunze

Kevin Kunze holds the video camera that he recently purchased to shoot “Id” his first feature length film.  Picture by Melissa Stihl/Foghorn
Kevin Kunze holds the video camera that he recently purchased to shoot “Id” his first feature length film. Picture by Melissa Stihl/Foghorn

Junior Kevin Kunze has recurring nightmares about having laser eye surgery go awry. Though he wears contact lenses to correct his vision, he would not consider getting his eyes permanently fixed with the slightly risky procedure. “It’s not worth the risk when you count on your eyes for your future,” he said.

He’ll certainly need them for his upcoming project, his first feature length film, Id, which he hopes to start filming as soon as this month. The film will be counted as a directed study with media studies professor Melinda Stone and he will be blogging updates at

A media studies major and film studies minor, Kunze is a filmmaker who produced his first project at age seven. It was a short horror film starring his friends set in Stratford, Conn. where he grew up. When the tape they had filmed on was ruined after working on their masterpiece all day, they redid it the following day. Kunze said the results were much better the second time around; it was his first lesson in the laborious production process.

Since then Kunze estimated he has worked on over 150 short films, including short documentaries, dramas, animations, and paid commercials. He has had a YouTube video go viral, produced a segment for a show on Punjabi TV in India, and had films screened in festivals around the world. He was hired as a lab monitor for the USF media lab his freshman year and has been a TA for advanced film classes, usually positions reserved for upperclassmen. He also interns at Microcinema International, an independent film distribution company, and works as a resident adviser in Pedro Arrupe hall.

Now Kunze is embarking on the challenge of a feature length film, a process that may well take a year or two and brings with it obstacles not yet presented to him in the world of short films. Finding actors has been more challenging, he said, due to the longer time commitment for which they will have to sign contracts. Securing locations for an extended period of time is also difficult, especially because of the unusual settings the film Id calls for.

The film is set in an underground fallout shelter, where four friends are experiencing their own personal losses (death of parents, a stillborn baby, a runaway cat) while dealing with the possibility of the world coming to an end. It is a sort of existential thriller according to Kunze. He said, “People keep approaching me saying, ‘I don’t get it, but it seems cool.’” The important thing to Kunze is that he gets it. “I can picture the entire story without looking at the script,” he said. The themes of the film are loss and mortality, but ultimately sends a message to embrace the present instead of dwelling on past and future.

Editing is Kunze’s favorite part of the production process. “Editing is unique to film as an art form. It’s like sculpting through time.” Kunze appreciates every aspect of the process though, from writing the script to filming. “Filming can be stressful. There are always accidents,” he said. “You just hope they become happy accidents.”

In the pre-production stage, there is still much to do. Though some of his actors and locations are determined, others are not. He is still actively seeking actors, and wants to recruit students if possible. His to-do list may be full, but Kunze feels confident that the film will happen.

Kunze is attempting to work very low budget. Actors will be paid based on a percentage of the film’s profits. Props are mostly being donated or acquired on the cheap. As for the camera, Kunze recently pawned off some of his possessions to invest in his own high definition camera.

To see some of Kunze’s work, click here.

7 thoughts on “Behind the Scenes: Kevin Kunze

  1. I hope that you can rethink your desicion on laser vision correction after reading this.
    What is exciting now in refractive laser eye surgery is
    the safety of the procedure and the range of treatment
    options now available for patients. It is rare that a patient
    cannot benefit from refractive surgery. The greatest development in recent years has been the use of the femtosecond laser for the creation of
    the flap upon which the lasik procedure is based. Not
    only does this create a thinner and more uniform flap
    which leads to better optical outcomes, it alleviates the
    need for a blade and cutting microkeratome which was
    for many patients the biggest hurdle preventing them
    from having refractive lasik surgery. The safety factor is
    so great, I no longer utilize the microkeratome blade in
    lasik eye surgery.
    At Lasik ProVision, we have the Wavelight Allegretto platform but we are
    increasingly shifting to the Zeiss Meditec MEL 80
    platform with the Visumax femtosecond laser. This
    platform in my belief delivers the optimal reshaping of
    the cornea to maintain the natural corneal shape for optimal
    optical correction and customization. Zeiss laser
    Blended Vision is unique in the treatment of presbyopia
    or “reading glasses vision”. It is the only excimer laser
    platform that predictably increases the range of vision
    so patients can see at near, intermediate and far without
    the loss of stereovision. This is truly exciting. Previously,
    and on other laser platforms, we could only treat with
    monovision with one eye corrected for far and one eye
    corrected for distance. This left patients with a loss of
    intermediate vision and reduced stereoacuity. It worked,
    but Zeiss Laser Blended Vision works so much better.What is the future of refractive surgery? The future is continuing to refine the refractive outcome with even safer and less invasive procedures. I am very excited that
    within the next year, we will begin to fully utilize the
    femtosecond laser’s potential, going beyond the creation
    of better flaps to conducting the entire laser procedure
    within the cornea without a flap. This may sound like
    science fiction, but it is a reality and I am honoured that
    Zeiss has chosen to partner with Lasik ProVision in Niagara
    Falls to bring this technology to North America.
    I know at lasik Provision laser vision correction
    is viewed as an art form and I have hand selected an experienced team of individuals who are constantly striving to provide the finest in all aspects of patients experience.

    I wish you much succes in your life.

  2. Undeniably believe that which you said. Your favorite justification appeared to be on the web the simplest thing to be aware of. I say to you, I certainly get irked while people think about worries that they plainly don’t know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top as well as defined out the whole thing without having side-effects , people could take a signal. Will likely be back to get more. Thanks

  3. I must thank you for the efforts you’ve put in penning this site. I really hope to view the same high-grade content from you in the future as well. In truth, your creative writing abilities has encouraged me to get my very own site now 😉

  4. Do you mind if I quote a couple of your posts as long as I provide credit and sources back to your site?
    My blog site is in the very same niche as yours and my visitors would certainly benefit from a lot of the information you present here.
    Please let me know if this okay with you. Appreciate it!

  5. Thanks for any other informative web site. Where else
    could I get that kind of information written in such an ideal
    manner? I have a project that I am simply now operating on, and I’ve
    been on the glance out for such information.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *