Creating videos all around the globe

"Rare animals and where to find them" could perhaps be the working title for Julian Kolb's moving image projects. Even before he finished his studies at HMKW Cologne, the graphic design student was already able to realize several projects with his passion for filming and photography. Here he tells more about his projects and studies.

[Translate to englisch:] Julian Kolb während eines dreimonatigen Aufenthalts in der Wüste Gobi.

Hello, Julian. You are about to finish your B.A. studies in Graphic Design and Visual Communication at HMKW Cologne. When you look back: Why did you decide to study this study program back then?

Hi, I've always wanted to work with cameras in the documentary field, but I'm also interested in motion design. HMKW also offers a journalism course, so I saw the opportunity to look beyond my own nose. Furthermore, I was particularly attracted to the field of "visual communication": this enabled me to focus my studies on moving images without neglecting design.


„At HMKW I saw the opportunity to look beyond my own nose.“


And what do you think about your choice of studies in retrospect?

In any case, I am happy that I have chosen this course of study. I have been given sound knowledge of design processes and was able to implement my own projects. In any case, the technical equipment of HMKW helped me to simply try out what I really enjoy. And it is precisely this trial and error that is incredibly important, because later in professional life you don't have the opportunity to do this.


„During my studies, I was given sound knowledge of design processes and was able to implement my own projects. With the technical equipment I was able to try out many things easily.“

Julian Kolb | Reel 2017 | Documentary | Nature from Julian Kolb on Vimeo.


You've been around a lot lately - among other things, you've ended up at the Mongolian-Chinese border, where you've been following the tracks of the Gobi bear! Please tell us about the film project you worked on.

Last year I had the chance to accompany a Mongolian research team for three months in the Gobi Desert. There they are researching the Gobi bear, a small brown bear that is acutely threatened with extinction - there are said to be only 30 - 50 individuals left. This makes it one of the rarest animals in the world. I have tried to film him, both with my film camera and with automatic camera traps. Unfortunately he was too shy for the big camera, but he fell into the traps.

Generally I was able to film quite a lot there: the work of the scientists was highly interesting and also a herd of the now equally rare wild camels came in front of my camera. My recordings were finally used in the documentary "On the trail of the Gobi bear" - it will soon be broadcast on ARTE.

What other projects have you worked on during your studies?

Mainly documentaries, for which I directed the second camera. Last year, for example, for SWR "Gefährliche Lust - Der Kampf gegen Kindesmissbrauch", for WDR "Was ein Zirkus! Menschen mit Behinderung in der Manege" for WDR, and a small film in Luxembourg about the endangered stream mussel, for which I led the first camera. But also the knowledge about motion design and layout I was able to apply from time to time.

And together with a friend who is able to program, I created my own website: So it was quite versatile besides my studies, but overall it was very well balanced.

What are your next plans?

I would like to do my master's degree and definitely continue making documentaries! Because the next films are already in the pipeline...