Asude: Hi Kenji, first of all thank you for accepting our interview invitation, we’re really honored because we’ve been loving your videos! May I ask please ask you to introduce yourself and tell us about how did you get started with videography?
Kenji: I was born in 1988, in Lima, Peru. It all started out as a hobby. I’m a former IT Auditor and made it a career for about 7 years after college. I realised I was not happy with this. So, I quit and started out as a filmmaker.
A: You had a very different career path before, so we really wonder the video project you earned your first money since film industry in unlike any other and quite competitive. How did that happen?
K: As a car guy, I started making short films about cars and things related to that world. With time, you make contact with different people. So, one thing led to another and the Korean car company, Ssangyong, asked me if I could make a little video to show some of the specifications of a car they were selling back in 2016. I said yes and that was my first paid job.
A: Wow, that sounds really exciting: starting your career by filming for a very well-known company! And, sometimes it might take a long time to find the contact and clients to have a paid work. Even though you were not intended to be a filmmaker or in the film industry, do you have a background in videography?
K: I did not go to film school because I was focused on engineering. At the beginning, it was all about YouTube videos of people filming awesome videos, tutorials and related content. After that, I took the ‘full-time filmmaker’ course and I started to practice more and more.
A: You are an excellent example and you prove that some people enjoy learning inside of a classroom. During this time, you must have acquired your own videography style. How would you describe it?
K: I would like to say that my style is a mix of different references. I don’t want to be restricted to a specific style because I have 2 different kinds of clients: those who let me do what I think is better for them and those who come with a script (like advertising agencies). On the other hand, my personal video projects are destined to help entrepreneurs. But overall, I want to have movement on every shoot.
A: Even though your clients and their demands change, what’s the general preparations you make before you begin filming?
K: Before every shoot, I make a plan that combines location, hours, gear and camera movement. The scouting process allows me to know in advance what kind of light setting is going to be needed for a specific scene and the camera movement restrictions of the location that leads to a set of lenses that I would be able to use. After that, we just follow the plan.
Always be proud of your job.
A: So, until today, what’s the best advice you've ever been given?
K: “Fake it ‘till you make it”. I wasn’t born in this world of filmmaking, so I had to make my way up against everybody else. And, I understood that I have to believe in myself because nobody will do it for me.
A: I couldn’t agree more. So, let’s talk about a little bit about the gear thanks to which you’ve accomplished all your video work! For example, do you prefer buying or renting your filmmaking equipment?
K: Both. Sometimes I prefer buying my own equipment, and that is how I started actually. But, there are some other projects that require pro equipment that I don’t own and renting is the best choice.
A: We must say we especially love the projects you have produced for Audi Peru. What software do you use for post-production in these videos and in general?
K: Mainly Premiere Pro, After Effects, Adobe Audition, Photoshop, Lightroom and Davinci Resolve.
A: And, we’d like to hear the best piece of advice you could give to other filmmakers out there?
K: Do not give up! This is a very competitive world and don’t let anybody take you down and if you face the ground at some point, believe in yourself, be good to people, take every chance you have to let everybody know what you create, be positive and try to look happy and confident all the time.
A: Excellent advice! So, we know that you have produced lots of videos from various car commercials for Audi Peru to music videos for Alec Roman. But, what’s the equipment you generally bring to a set?
K: It depends on the job, but generally: camera, a set of lenses, drone, slider, tripod, steadicam or gimbal.
A: What do you think about the future of filmmaking with the technology is advancing so fast and companies launching new products everyday?
K: I think that technology empowers everybody to create visual content, thus more and more point of views than ever before. I think it’s not the gear that matters, it’s what you can do with what you have. Technology is here to help creators and it will only go better in the future.
A: And, last but not least, what’s your biggest ambition for the future?
K: To be someone relevant for content creators, to inspire other people to show their stories, their creation, their dreams, etc. I want to say that anything can be reachable if you work hard on your dreams, learn from your mistakes and enjoy every step of success.