How To Create Great Looking Videos On A Budget Interview With Kenneth Kebow

Ken Kebow at news desk
Interview with Emmy award winning documentary producer Kenneth Kebow. Ken shares his secrets about how to create great looking videos on a budget. You can listen to the interview here:

Creating great looking videos on a budget can feel like an insurmountable challenge.

You've tried to create professional looking videos and you aren't happy with the results and you're not sure why.

Sometimes you wish you could just hire someone to take care of it for you.

But you don't have the budget for professionally produced videos.

If there were only somewhere you could go to learn a few tips to get you on your way.

I hear you, in my early days of producing, budgets were always lean and I didn't have all the technical skills to create a great looking video.

That meant getting creative, and surrounding myself with talented people I could learn from.

I think I may have an answer for you.

Today's blog is part one of my interview with Emmy award winning documentary producer, and director Kenneth Kebow about How To Create Great Looking Videos On A Budget.

Transcript Episode 25 - Camera Ready With Val Brown

On today's podcast, my guest is Emmy Award winning documentary producer and director, Kenneth Kebow. Ken is going to share his production secrets for creating amazing looking videos on a budget and he has a lots of production secrets that I don't even know, so I'm really looking forward to this.

Next week he's going to take us behind the scenes and talk about his process for creating award winning stories that connect.

Let me tell t you a little bit about Ken. Ken is a friend, colleague, and mentor and has been in the television industry for more than 30 years. Some of his clients include Google, American Airlines, CBS and the United States Marines. He's been honored with a number of awards for his corporate work as well as his documentaries, which include one of the original Disney imagineers, Rolly Crump, and another one with Academy award winner, Richard Dreyfuss in a documentary he did about Lincoln's second inaugural address.

Both are amazing pieces of work. At the end of today's podcast, there'll be a link where you can find out how to watch both of them. So let's go ahead and get started. Welcome Ken.

Ken: Thanks for having me. I'm really excited about being here. Thank you.

Val: Well, thank you. You know, can I want to go ahead and just jump right in, we have so much to share with listeners today. The first thing I want a do is let them learn a little bit about you and how you got started doing documentaries.

Ken: Boy, that takes me back a few years. I was one of those funny little kids when I was probably 8 years old, running around with a movie camera, they were Super 8 movie cameras back in the day, and documenting family trips, and I even made a couple really bad horror movies.

One of my uncles, Uncle Jack McKinsey, was in the film business. He is a lighting guy and I really got excited about making movies from him. He used to tell me about all the stories and times in Hollywood. So I think a seed was planted early. I worked in a couple of TV stations, and continued to do corporate work, but I've always had a real interest in documentaries and telling people's story. And there's just something about the genre, documentary, that Errol Morris who's a really well known, documentary filmmaker once said, you know, the great thing about documentary is you could pretty much do anything. You can. A lot of other genres and film types have pretty set rules that you don't want to waiver from much. When you make a documentary, you can really put the pieces together however you want. And there's no one to wag their finger at you and say, “Oh, you can't do it that way.” And I think it's really one of the genres that allow you to do that. So it's a really fun genre to work in.

Val: Absolutely. And you make it look fun. I love watching your work and I love the fact that you come from a family that actually has been involved in making documentaries. One of the things I always like to talk about is you need to know the rules, to break the rules. That's what I love about documentaries is that you have the freedom to know the rules, as far as good lighting and composition but how you tell the story is your own.

Ken: It's true. And again, it's almost almost like being a writer Val, as a writer, you know, if you look at good writers and writers, period, everyone has a different way of explaining, describing detailing, and there really is no wrong or right way. And I think the genre allows you to experiment. And I've experimented and some experiments, work out and a lot of them don't, but you never know till you try them.

When you make something and you watch an audience and you listen to an audience and share it with friends and family before anybody. And it's really interesting to see what people respond to. I think what I've learned through that process more than anything else, and we're all a little guilty of this, but you get inside your little bubble when you're doing these things and just because you think something works or tells the story the best way possible doesn't mean that that's the direction you should go.

I, I try to make a point now in something's in a decent stage to review that. I get it out to a lot of people for that feedback and that critique, because ultimately when it’s in front of an audience, you want it to work as well as it can. And it's kind of the beauty of it though, is then you can go back and maybe change it to make it resonate more with an audience and be more emotional and powerful.

Val: Yeah, and it's like testing your audience. Actually, you are hitting the mark with this and I really applaud that because you really do need to understand who it is that's in your audience and what matters to them.

Well, you know, Ken, you are absolutely one of the busiest people I know in this business and you are. You're a hard guy to get ahold of and as a producer, writer and director, and you've seen it all. I know you've been out there in the trenches. What is your secret sauce to creating successful projects?