November 14, 2016 by Nicole Sijbers
Filter Management in Los Angeles and Copenhagen has more than 15 years of experience within the industry of photographic management, photo production and managing creative directors, stylists, illustrators and hair & makeup artists.
This successful agency is working with talented creatives who are known for their work in photography, retouching, styling, hair- & makeup, art direction, illustration, set design, props & costume design, food styling and interior decoration. They offer professional services to clients all around the world. But who is the person behind Filter Management? How did it all began? And what is the key behind their success? We had the pleasure to talk with Kristoffer Kosloff, the Founder & CEO of Filter Management to get to know them better.
Production Paradise: Can you tell us more about Filter Management? How did it all started? How did you come up with the idea to start with Filter Management?
Kristoffer: I finished my degree and Masters in Information Science, from the Royal School of Library & Information Science in Copenhagen in 1999 and with my new knowledge I saw a need in the photographic management industry as well as within production. The industry was messy and unorganized and I believed that my new skills and structured work ethic was much needed and in demand. Turned out it was…After a short stint at a leading photo management agency in Copenhagen and as the cofounder and Creative Director of another agency, I finally ventured out on my own in 2005 and founded Filter Management. After 5 years in the industry I was already making a name for myself and quickly attracted some of the best and most creative talents within photography, styling, makeup, hair and illustration.
Production Paradise: Did you always dream of starting your own company?
Kristoffer: I come from a family of entrepreneurs, so it was instated in me from early on, that at some point I should start my own business. I wanted to be a musician, an actor and all these other creative jobs but I found out that the most creative you can ever be is by starting your own business and work hard. I love what Tom Kelley from Ideo said “Fail often so you can succeed sooner”. And it is a lot easier to fail in your own business than being employed.
Production Paradise: You started with your office in Copenhagen; nowadays you are so successful that you also have an office in Los Angeles. Can you tell us something about the journey from Copenhagen to Los Angeles?
Kristoffer: I was very fortunate to have success early on and even coming from a wonderful environment and business climate in Denmark, it has always been a dream of mine to travel further and expand. My wife – who is a successful make-up artist – and I were both in love with Los Angeles and California so I figured that if I open an office there, my clients from Europe would follow. I have now been in the US since 2007 and we are closing in on our 10-year anniversary and what a journey. From a fun start in 2007 over some tough years during the recession to some amazing years up til now with fantastic clients. In the ene I was right, my European clients LOVE California and LA and they come here to shoot. We are shooting and producing everything from fashion & lifestyle campaigns to editorials, advertising and more “heavy” subjects like pharmaceuticals and the healthcare industry.
Production Paradise: What are the main differences between the shoots you have to handle in Copenhagen compared to LA?
Kristoffer: Funny enough, the creative process and the way photographers are managed and shoots are produced are more or less the same. The most important goal for me and my business is to match a creative brief with the right talent, handle each client with utmost care and in a professional manner and ALWAYS to stay on budget and deliver on time! In Copenhagen we are a little more relaxed and laidback when it comes to productions and how we organize a shoot. In LA things are more structured and as a Librarian I love structure. Los Angeles has another great advantage; the weather and the variety in locations. I can produce a summer campaign one day in Palm Springs with sunshine, desert, mid-century architecture and blue skies and the next day we will be in a private home in the Hollywood Hills shooting an ad campaign for a pharmaceutical drug. Southern California offers so much variety and so many amazing locations. For a producer it is a dream come true.
Production Paradise: You offer all different kind of services. One of the most important thing during a photoshoot is teamwork. How do you find the perfect match between the client and a photographer for example?
Kristoffer: I am glad that you ask this question because to me that is the most important thing in my relationship and dialogue with my photographers and clients. Matching a creative talent with a client includesmany aspects. I always consider a number of things such as creative brief, the talents creative capabilities, the clients & talents personalities, their interests in a project/brand, time, availability and cost. I believe that you need to consider all of the above to secure a fruitful and successful relationship and collaboration between client and talent. And to be honest not all clients and creative talents are a match made in heaven.
Production Paradise: You specialise in fashion, but also get requests for the pharmaceuticals industry. How do you manage both directions?
Kristoffer: Over the years I have worked with a huge variety of clients and advertising agencies from around the globe. From editorial shoots for Glamour, ELLE, GQ and Vanity Fair over fashion shoots for Urban Outfitters, Vero Moda, Only Denim, to big scale productions and shoots for SAP, Dell, Novo Nordisk, Coloplast, Carlsberg and beyond. My business is setup to be able to handle every request. And I represent amazing international talents to meet the demand of even the most demanding client. Because I have been in business for more than 15 years, I can easily transform from being on a fashionable and trendy fashion shoot to handle a much more strict and business-like environment with pharmaceutical companies. I also find that the work ethic and the knowledge I can share with all clients are mutually beneficial and I find it very inspiring and interesting to cast top models for Vero Moda one day and casting real patients for a pharmaceutical client the day after.
Production Paradise: Filter Management is getting bigger and bigger by the day. How did you take Filter Management to the level where it is now? What is the key behind your success?
Kristoffer: The answer to this question is simple: hard work! I always had a very high work ethic and I am very focused and detail oriented. I often handles 2,3,4 or more projects at the same time. My goal is not only to grow and get to the next level, it is also to be better every day at what I do, attract interesting clients and be able to demonstrate that I can do better every single time. I strive for perfection and the best way to achieve that is to work hard, stay focused and on track. After 15 years I can honestly say that it works. Filter Management has grown over the years and our revenue is up. But money isn’t everything and I want to emphasize that I have been doing this long enough to also appreciate to go to work with people that I like and that I enjoy working with. I truly believe that I am a better version of myself because of the wonderful people that I surround myself with. Tony Hsieh from Zappos puts it like this: “Chase the vision, not the money, the money will end up following you.”
Production Paradise: How has Production Paradise helped you with your online presence?
Kristoffer: Production Paradise is such a useful tool for everybody in our industry. I think that having a platform where the best of the best are connected gives us all an advantage. My presence and relation with Production Paradise has helped me attract new talent and new clients and I consider it the leading source for establishing new relationships around the globe. Well done.
Production Paradise: How do you see Filter Management in the future? What are your goals?
Kristoffer: Filter Management and myself will continue to attract the best talent in our industry, we will continue to deliver amazing results to our creative talents as well as our clients and we will always strive to be a better version of ourselves tomorrow, than we are today. My goal is to be a worldwide talent manager with a creative network from around the globe. I truly believe that you are never better than your last production or shoot and that we can always deliver better results. A new day is a new challenge and I am up for it!
Kristoffer Kosloff, Founder & CEO at Filter Management
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