Company spotlight: Kauri Multimedia
Giveaway Day 5: In the entrepreneurial spirit, comment on this post giving Diego Vivanco one piece of advice/encouragment to be eligible to win a copy of Adam Westbrook’s e-book “Next Generation Journalist” and our last NewsU webinar pass. This concludes our week-long giveaway … thanks to everyone who participated!
The contest is now over and the winners of our giveaway have been announced! Thanks to everyone who participated.
Lately there has been a surge of multimedia start-ups, such as Adam Westbrook’s Studio .fu and Ackerman Gruber Images founded by husband and wife team Tim Gruber and Jenn Ackerman. However, few if any had arisen in Spain until I came across Kauri Multimedia, a new documentary venture by co-founders Diego Vivanco and Ian Clark. I thoroughly enjoyed Diego’s Q&A on multimedia in Spain and I hope you take the time to read his insightful thoughts!
Q) Please briefly introduce yourself and your role at Kauri Multimedia.
A) My name is Diego Vivanco. I am a Spain-based documentary photographer and I am one of the co-founders of Kauri Multimedia. I take care of the photography and sound recording of the multimedia pieces. I develop the storyboarding and scripting with my colleague Ian Clark, I then proceed to do the field work of photographing the story and subjects as well as recording the audio – be it narrative, ambient sound or interviews. Afterward Ian takes care of giving the story its backbone (theme, style, structure) and completes the editing and production of the project with some involvement from myself, and he adds other elements that might enhance the video – music, credits, etc.
Q) What makes your company unique? (ie whatâ€™s your elevator pitch?)
A) I think that our strongest asset is that there isn’t a production company like us in Spain. We are solely dedicated to multimedia storytelling through photography and audio. There are a substantial number of companies in USA, UK and other European countries doing fantastic work in this field, with plenty of expertise, but I think that we are the Spanish pioneers in embracing this format of storytelling and reporting.
Q) How do your employees drive innovation and creativity?
A) I think that the inspiration and creativity in our work comes from complete dedication and focus on the subject matter. Before starting a project, we absorb as much as information on the area, story, issue, protagonists, etc. It is only when feel we have enough information to do the story any justice, that we proceed with the first steps in storyboarding. We also spend a lot of time seeking inspiration from others – photo stories, photo documentaries, promos, film documentaries, renowned multimedia production companies such as duckrabbit, MediaStorm, Magnum In Motion, other initiatives such as Soul of Athens, are prime sources of inspiration.
With regards to selecting a subject, we are quite honest with ourselves in that we only go for subjects that fascinate us and that we consider can be of interest to viewers and the public at large. We consider that both criteria need to be met for the work to be a success.
Q) What company portfolio piece are you most proud of?
A) Colores is exactly the piece that we feel represents our reason for being. It tells a story that would otherwise receive little media attention, it is a positive local story, and touches on relevant social issues such as integration and personal development. That is not to say that we do not contemplate other subject matters, but we are extremely happy with what we set to achieve with Colores and the resulting product. Also, the club initiative is receiving more media attention since the multimedia piece was produced and it is helping them in its campaigning and fund raising. This is something that we are pleased with, as it shows that by telling a story or issue in a simple, honest manner, and executing it with relative simplicity and without grandeur can have a great impact.
We are currently working on two projects that we hope can see the light before the end of the year, completely different to Colores but still of a social documentary nature. We are really looking forward to showcasing them, as we think that viewers will consider them very original in terms of content and approach.
Q) How do you see your company expanding in the next five years?
A) We haven’t really set ourselves any long term objectives. Still, if everything follows its normal course I would like to imagine Kauri as a respected and reliable company in the sector, known for its credibility and integrity. Obviously with loads of demand and a solid and varied company portfolio that can attract all sorts of clients. Ideally we would still be covering social stories, covering NGO visual communication needs and possibly completing assignments for media outlets and clients on a regular basis.
I would like Kauri to be seen as pioneers by Spanish counterparts in what will hopefully be a successful medium – photography and audio storytelling. Multimedia workshops is also an option worth considering in the near future.
In terms of (physical) company expansion, I am not concerned about the number of employees. I believe that our current set up of Ian and myself with the occasional contributor is sufficiently strong to meet client’s demands. We also work quite well as a team and we know what makes each other tick, what to expect from each other and how each other works. That is not to say that we wouldn’t welcome a company expansion, that would be a good business indicator!
Q) Why would your company be an ideal place to work?
A) I guess our friendly and easy-going working style is a plus. We all enjoy working on the projects at hand, we are very clear, open and honest with each other and are very supportive. We genuinely enjoy our work and are extremely dedicated. Everybody is free to express their opinions and debate what is best for the projects.
Q) Will you divulge any funny stories that can give us an insight into the day-to-day operations at your company?
A) I would love to but I can’t think of any at this moment in time!
Q) What recommendation do you have for people either entering the workplace or looking to transition to this type of work?
A) First and foremost they should put all their effort into their work because even though it is a gratifying world it does demand a lot of hard work and dedication. They should also seek advice and inspiration from professionals in the field, we are a small family but we are all in the same boat. They should not expect immediate success or attention, as starting out (as in many other businesses) can be slow.
Above all, they must believe in what they do and must have genuine interest in the stories they cover. If you are not interested in the subject, you’ll grow tired of the work. You must also stick to what you know. Our knowledge is photography, audio, editing and production, therefore that is what we are sticking to.
Q) On that note, are you currently hiring?
A) At the moment we are not. We are a small team that occasionally seeks support from external contributors, be it photographers, editors, musicians, etc. In that sense our current needs are covered but that is not to say that we may need contributors outside our range/circle to cover future assignments, commissions or personal projects both in Spain and abroad.
Our selection process when requiring contributors is very much determined by the needs and requirement of the project. For instance, if we feel that the project requires a strong musical score our focus will be in obtaining a helping hand from people we know are capable of meeting specific musical criteria. The practical aspects of a project might also require the assistance of others; I might not realistically be able to cover both photography and audio in certain situations therefore I will seek the assistance of a fellow professional to back me up.
Being a small production team also determines the way in which we seek contributors. We have contacts, people we know work well and who we can trust, in specific fields of expertise, therefore we take little risk when looking for outside contribution. At this moment in time, it is people we personally know and trust and who believe in the type of work that we do. We know their work, they have a genuine interest in the project and multimedia, therefore there will be little risk.
Q) How can we learn more about your company?
A) You can follow our exploits via twitter @kaurimultimedia (inc. my own individual twitter @diegovivanco). My professional website www.diegovivanco.es is going to enjoy a complete revamp. When it re-launches with its new layout and content it will incorporate a Multimedia section dedicated to Kauri. We will let you know as soon as the website is ready. In the meantime Vimeo is the best option for following our work – www.vimeo.com/kaurimultimedia.
Want to recommend a multimedia company to be highlighted in this series? Please email us at email@example.com. A company will be featured every Friday, so look for the next company spotlight Friday, October 8th!
Tags: Diego Vivanco, Ian Clark, Kauri Multimedia