Our Employee Spotlight this month features Kevin Boyle: Producer, Editor and Director of Photography. Kevin is a jack of all trades and has the experience and professionalism to back that up. Kevin sits onsite with a client in Boston, and shares how he immerses himself into the culture, allowing him to be proactive instead of reactive to the client’s needs. He lives by the quote from James Clear, author of Atomic Habits, “You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems”. Check out the full interview with Kevin on our below!
How long have you been at Mills James?
I have been at MJ for 4 years now. I started in May 2019 as the first employee based in Boston, MA.
Producer, Editor and Director of Photography… you really are a jack of all trades. Which part of your job is your favorite?
I really enjoy getting to work on a variety of different parts of the production process. If I had to choose one, I would say editing is my favorite. Editing was my first love in the industry. Growing up I always thought there was something deeply interesting about cutting disparate clips together and turning them into a coherent story. The Editor has the biggest influence on the end product; they are the ones putting the clips into a timeline and forming them into the story.
Where were you before Mills James?
Before Mills James I had two main jobs. My 9-5 day job was working at an ad agency where I worked my way up from Assistant Editor to Online Editor. As the Online Editor, I had to be extremely diligent and catch any outstanding production issues, as I was the last person to touch a video before it aired. I also ran the video department at the Xfinity Center, an outdoor concert venue south of Boston. That job was great as I love music and there was no way to be closer to the action. I worked hundreds of shows over a decade and got to see a ton of cool bands. I can’t say I have a favorite show… but the one band I “discovered” there and still listen to is Modest Mouse.
You sit onsite at one of our clients which is very unique. Can you tell me more about that?
Being onsite working with the clients directly is a very unique experience, and something I also think is becoming a more common business practice. The main benefit is consistently building relationships and showcasing our work to prospective clients. It is so much easier to immerse ourselves into a company’s culture when you are sitting amongst their teams and working with them every day. When you’re onsite you get a good feel for what the current pain points are for the client, allowing us to tailor work to be more response as a partner. We are creating work that resonates more with the client and their consumers, something that others aren’t able to provide.
What is a project that you’ve worked on that sticks out to you compared to the others?
I work on a wide range of projects from corporate videos, to ecommerce media, to product photography. The most unique project was a collaboration between our client and a non-profit. This organization (TAPS/Salute to Service) connects veteran mentors with children who have lost parents who served in the military. At the shoot, there was a child who had lost their Dad at a young age and missed on so many simple things, like having your dad teach you how to shave. The photoshoot paired this child with a Veteran (who had also lost his own son) and had him teaching the boy how to shave. It was really a powerful moment and emotional for everyone in the room. The young boy’s mom was in tears watching her son experience this pivotal moment in his life.
What’s the biggest challenge you see in this industry and how have you overcome it?
The biggest challenge I have seen in the industry is how the competition is now global and it’s not just about finding a local company to partner with. Because of this, it’s the people that stand out alongside the quality of their work. Clients want to feel heard, supported, and work with people they know and trust. Taking the time to build these relationships enables a level of familiarity that provides a benefit so much more valuable than cost savings and allows us to take more risks and push the creative envelope because the client trusts you and knows you will deliver.
What’s the “secret sauce” to working on so many different projects that require time, attention, and creativity?
I think the best way to manage people and projects can be boiled down to a quote from James Clear, author of Atomic Habits. “You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems”. I could not agree more with this. Being efficient and keeping track of each step of the project requires a strong system in place. I’ve developed workflow processes that enable me to keep track of all the moving parts. Whether it’s initiating a project, dumping footage, packing gear, managing archives, filming, EVERYTHING has a workflow associated with it. That means each time I get a job, I don’t need to think about what to do or how to do it. I know exactly how to begin and keep the process moving. Being consistent with this not only benefits me and my projects, but also my clients. Over time, when a client reaches out to me, they already have an understanding of how the process will go and what to expect. Consistently interacting with partners this way creates a synergy that enables us to move faster and do more, because we KNOW we have created an efficient way to do so.