A$AP Rocky, Steven Spielberg and the team behind their latest shoots – Interview with Kindly Productions
With a strong footing and history in New York City, Kindly Productions has adapted to the constantly evolving needs of clients in the Big Apple and elsewhere in the world. Most recently adapting to the needs of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Motion, still or CGI, GIFs, and boomerangs, whether they’re shot together or on their own – they’ll take care of it all.
Read their interview below to find out about their interesting approach to projects, other companies and what production in a world of COVID-19 looks like as well as some cool details about their work from the last year.
Production Paradise: Could you give us some insight into your background and how you came to establish yourself as a successful production company?
Kindly Productions: Kindly Productions is the younger production arm of an artist agency that has provided in-house production services for their artists successfully for 20 years. The company was developed in order to fulfill growing requests from client-direct and from non-agency photographers/directors. Collectively, we’ve worked extensively in almost every area of commercial photography and videography. A key component to our success is the way we are constantly adapting and growing with the changing industry and with the needs of our clients who range from well-established to start up.
Production Paradise: How was your industry/business affected by the coronavirus pandemic and what is your strategy to overcome the challenges that it brought?
Kindly Productions: Being based in NYC for 20 years collectively, Kindly has weathered more than a few storms before. This helped us keep our cool when the industry started to shut down and shelter in place came into effect across the country. At first, we kept safe and channeled our energies into volunteering in the city and supporting loved ones.
As a production company, we’re so used to being on-the-go all the time that it has been difficult working from home instead of in the field for an extended time period. Throughout the shut down, we kept in close contact with our clients, peers and vendors to offer support and a space for open communication and brainstorming in a very confusing time.
Most recently, we’ve been working on health and safety certifications for our team with the Occupational Safety and Health Association (OSHA) and have generated Kindly’s guidelines for getting back to set geared towards artists and clients compiled with the directives of the Association of Commercial Independent Producers (AICP), Screen Actors Guild (SAG), Center for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO).
As the country reopens to production, from state-to-state and city-to-city we are keeping close tabs on local authority measures for getting back to set and creating custom approaches specific to the health and safety of each project that we’re working on. We’re learning that nothing is the same, but we’ve never been afraid of finding the right solutions to unique situations.
Production Paradise: Your production expertise ranges from high-end car shoots to fashion, sports and entertainments stills and film projects. Seems there is no project too big or too complicated for you. How do you manage to handle such a variety of shoots?
Kindly Productions: The variety of shoots we execute helps to keep the job interesting and fun, which is how we’ve been able to maintain a dedicated team with wide experience! Yes, it can be hectic at times, but we have a solid production team, from a range of backgrounds that are committed to doing the best job. And we really love and appreciate what we do!
Production Paradise: As Kindly is based in NYC but operates elsewhere as well, how would you say the competition differs in a place like New York City to other places around the country or the world?
Kindly Productions: There really is no place like New York City, but production is a very competitive market – not just within the US but around the world and we’ve found ourselves working in places like Los Angeles, Miami, Canada, Spain, South Africa and Prague (to name a few!). Everywhere we go, there are solid productions happening. In our experience, we’ve found that partnership – rather than competition – is the one thing that can differ. So, over the years, we have worked to build trusted relationships with other production companies and vendors across the States and all around the world that share our work ethic, attention to detail and can-do attitude; despite the difference in culture, language and location. Vice versa – we support productions from across the world in the US and love welcoming clients and supporting the variety of projects they send our way!
Production Paradise: You’ve been commissioned to produce the first relaunch issue shoot for the cover of L’Uomo Vogue, work on-the-fly in NYC with Juergen Teller and A$AP Rocky, cast press shots for Steven Spielberg’s latest feature West Side Story and successfully execute multiple Code Red – covert – car shoots over the years. Can you give us some insights on producing exciting productions like these?
Kindly Productions: Though we spend the majority of our time producing commercial photoshoots, our experience ranges from one-day editorial and social shoots to week-long motion projects for almost every industry. And we are always open to supporting an artist’s vision and executing exciting imagery. We have been working with WSJ Magazine to support editorials local to NYC and being entrusted to support Juergen Teller and a celebrity like A$AP Rocky was actually a dream come true – both were such a pleasure to work with. It’s always a little nerve-wracking organizing the nuanced elements required for any celebrity and covert car shoots (where the entire production has to stay under wraps). But that’s a big part of the challenges that we love and nothing’s better than working hard to achieve discretion, excellence and beautiful results and achieving it all.
Production Paradise: What’s next for Kindly Productions?
Kindly Productions: As motion is increasingly making its way into the photography industry to almost a 50/50 split, we are wrapping up a year with just below broadcast level commercial and documentary edits. Producing longer-form original content is something we’d love to do more of.
We’ll also be continuing to connect with our partners and nurturing those relationships while welcoming new ones. People are a big part of what we do and that won’t change!
Client: Toyota Supra – Director: Alex Bernstein – Location: Los Angeles area
Production Paradise: You’ve been a member of Production Paradise for a few years now. Anything you’d like to share about your time being listed with us?
Kindly Productions: When we decided to launch Kindly, one of the first listings we considered was Production Paradise. Our producers already had PP on their radar or had used the directory themselves. Something we apply well to our services is to use our US production network for a range of industries and successfully apply it to non-US productions. Having the US market and contacts already in shape, we felt that Production Paradise would help extend the reach to more international clients and photographers. And it’s worked!