This my first blog post ever. I want to introduce myself and talk about who I am. I’ve always been a fan of the way The Music Bed has conducted interviews with different filmmakers and I wanted to treat this as if I am in a conversation with somebody. It’s almost like talking to myself but with more class.
Q. So what’s your name and who are you?
A. My name is Owen Kent and I’m a filmmaker. By the way I always forget how to spell the word filmmaker. Anyways, I’m 25 years old, and I have been married for about 3 years now. I live in Idaho going to school right now but originally I’m from Missouri.
Q. What are you studying?
A. I’m just about to finish up a BFA degree in Graphic Design from Brigham Young University-Idaho.
Q. How did you get into Graphic Design?
A. I think I developed a love for design through all of the motion graphics I was exposed to in the video world. I do some motion design but thats not the main thing I like about design. I got into design because I thought it could help me be a better filmmaker and push me to be more creative. The biggest thing I love about design is, you guessed it, type. Also I love being challenged to create concepts. It’s hard but pretty rewarding at the same time.
Q. How did you get into filmmaking?
A. Well I first got into filmmaking at the same time I got into skateboarding in high school. I used to film short skate videos of my buddies and a big part of getting hyped to go skateboarding was watching skateboarding videos of the pro’s. So I think that definitely influenced me as well. We shot on this cheap camcorder my family owned that used DV tape. After doing some research I bought my own fish eye lens that I picked up from an old photography store.
My first real taste of film production though, was in college on a documentary film shoot I got to go on my first semester to California. It was a blast. We shot on canon T2i’s and had a busted up slider with a 50mm 1.8 kit lens. This is where I met one of my best friends, Nik Hill. Me and Nik have worked together ever since. About a year later me and Nik made a new friend, Cassidy Hilton and all three of us do almost all of our work together. It’s cool to have people you can trust and actually enjoy working with.
Q. Then what?
A. After that shoot, I was super hyped about video production and I knew that I wanted to be a filmmaker. From then on I started to learn all that I could about filmmaking and naturally that led me to the internet. I guess you could say that I am a student of the internet. I’ve found so much knowledge and inspiration on the web. I would study for hours behind the scenes photos to try and figure out how things were being lit. I am for one grateful for communities like Vimeo that allow filmmakers to collaborate and share their work but mainly I am thankful for the filmmakers that have posted their work online and that have shared what they know for others to benefit. It’s incredible.
Q. Who do you follow, what kind of work do you like?
A. That’s a great question. On vimeo I follow over 300 filmmakers and studios. It’s just adds up over time. I definitely have a group of core filmmakers that I admire and that I feel like have really shaped me as a filmmaker. By far the people who have influence me the most is the production company, Variable in NYC. These guys are simply incredible. If there is one group of filmmakers that I resonate most with it is them.
I’ve been following their work for a few years now and everything about them is what I have wanted to become. Their style is very organic and kind of darker visually which I love. I am very inspired by Khalid Mohtaseb. He is by far the most influential person in my career as a filmmaker and I’ve never even met the guy. The way he approaches lighting, camera movement, set design, and color grading is so unique and inspiring. I simply can’t say enough good things about Khalid and about Jonathan Bregel and the whole team at Variable. Recently Salomon Ligthelm joined the Variable team as well and I’ve been heavily influenced by Salomon’s work also. He is a severely talented individual.
Some others that have influenced me is Shane Hurlbut for sharing so much knowledge on his blog. I’ve learned so many lighting techniques from him with the “book light” being a favorite. I have always loved the work that Roger Deakins has done and especially the knowledge online that he has shared. Biggest thing that I have learned from Roger is how to bounce off of Muslin!
I’m also inspired by amazing filmmakers like Diego Contreras, Ryan Booth, Elliot Rausch, Phillip Bloom, Adam Lisagor, Gustav Johansson, Zia Mohajerjasbi, Camp David Film, Brooks Reynolds, Dan Difelice and a whole lot of others.
Q. What do you like most about filmmaking?
A. I think the end result is what originally got me excited about filmmaking. Just being able to see peoples reactions to your work gave me a lot of satisfaction. That’s still exciting for me but things have evolved a little bit. I love figuring out how to tell different stories and one of the biggest things I enjoy is simply creating images. I love lighting. I know-what cinematographer doesn’t-but I obsess over it. Meaning, lighting and camera movement drives almost everything for me when I am creating a film. I find it really rewarding to examine lighting situations in real life and to learn how to mimic them.
Q. Any last words?
A. Thanks for your time.