We had the good fortune of connecting with Kevin Stevenson Stevenson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kevin, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I never thought of myself as a business owner, I rather consider myself a craftsman, or entrepreneur. But it just so happens, owning a business is a byproduct of doing what you love. And it took me until the age of 24 to find what I love, which is film and video production. I didn’t open an LLC in California until the age of 30, but each year, I would grow my business, acquiring more gear and more clients. As technology gets better and cheaper, it’s a never ending battle to keep up with technology and the ever growing demands of the clients, who always want the latest and greatest cameras, lenses, and lighting. And so with that, expenses add up in the form of insurance, business licenses, taxes, overhead, rental fees, passion projects, and a tone of ancillary costs that you really don’t notice until you add it all up at the end of the year.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
As a filmmaker, I’m a huge love of small indie cinema theaters. When I travel, I always make time to visit at least one indie theatre in the city I’m staying at. My trips to London, Paris, Cairo, Dublin, New York, San Fransisco, Omaha, Miami, San Jose in Costa Rica, Athens in Greece, Edinburgh in Scotland, and Rome have all been made more memorable due to the cinemas. I have a hard-time dragging people into these smaller movie theaters, but for me there’s nothing better because every time I see those movies later in life, I am immediately transported to the city I watched it for the first time. This passion carries me through my years. I absolutely love what I do, and for that reason, I can completely immerse myself and invest everything I have into my art. And I believe the people around me understand my passion and as a result, they are willing to help me out whenever I need something. So being dedicated and passionate go along way in other people’s eyes. And I’m at a point, where there is no other path for me, I have crossed the point of no return, and I truly found my purpose in this life, which is to tell stories, short and long form. The thing that excites me the most, is when a team of actors and crew members agree to shoot on location for an extended period of time, living and breathing a project 24/7. These are adventures and journeys that carry through our careers and we can honestly say we gave 100 percent to make the best films possible. And no, it’s not easy, that’s why it’s so worth it! The most important lesson I’ve learned as a Director and Cinematographer, is to always have a back up plan, in case the initial idea doesn’t work out. This approach allows me and my company to create big productions on a tight budget. We can alway make it happen, with sheer will and proper planning.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
When a friend visits Los Angeles for the first time, I always recommending driving through Hollywood Blvd and to the beaches of Venice, Santa Monica, and Redondo Beach. Then at sunset, make our way to top of the Mt. Wilson trail where you can see the city lights from 5,700 ft above. You can’t fall in love with LA without seeing it after dusk from high above. It’s so sprawling, and the opportunities are endless. Then, of course, we’ll check out Quentin Tarantino’s historic theatre the New Beverly Cinema. And in between these stops, street tacos and boba milk teas are a must! Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My success is largely due to my supportive wife, loyal friends in the industry and my parents who helped me become the person I am today – a hard working visionary who approaches each project with vigor and unrelenting determination. With this support, I’m able to take risks, I normally might not be able to take, such as direct 4 feature films, 1 documentary, and a TV pilot. Additionally, there are countless projects I’ve shot around the country that required being lengthy stays away from home, and without the support and diligence of my wife Courtney, I’d never have the luxury to travel and work the long hours that my craft calls for.