Position title: Video Creative
Major: Communication Arts (Radio-TV-Film track)
Certificates: Digital Studies & Entrepreneurship
Graduation Date: Spring 2018
How did you end up at Kikoff?
After graduating from UW–Madison, I moved to San Francisco to work for Curology. I joined their video team in 2018, where I spent the next 4 years directing and editing branded and commercial work. After that, I freelanced for a few months. I helped produce and edit work with brands like Google, Swimply, and Men’s Wearhouse.
I recently joined the team at Kikoff, a San Francisco startup in the credit space. My title is Video Creative, where I work on performance-based and branded video. Kikoff has just launched their first commercial on broadcast television; a spot I was able to direct and edit.
What does a typical day in the office look like for you?
I tend to speak with my Creative Director daily. We go through what needs to be completed in the video world. If we are working on a new concept, it may involve pulling reference material, storyboarding, or scouting locations. If we are working on performance-based user video ads, it may involve iterating in post-production. On these days, I spend most of my time in Premiere.We have a very small team, so it’s common to wear many ‘hats.’ I’m currently the only video-focused person on the creative team, so I’m tasked with the gathering of video assets and editing/delivery.
How has Digital Studies influenced your career path?
I think Digital Studies courses allow you to see the high level consumption of digital media in our current landscape. It’s a forever changing machine fueled by consumers’ eyeballs. When I was in class, I distinctly remember talking about the vitality of Tweets, and how products can be sold through this ‘new’ method. I can now only imagine how that has transformed and translated in lecture with the rise of TikTok-based selling.
Did you have a favorite Digital Studies class?
Comm Arts 355: Introduction to Media Production! You learn a great deal of film theory, and then are given the opportunity to write, produce, direct, and edit short form narrative work. It shows how rigorous creating something can be, but how rewarding it is to have completed it.
Do you have any advice for current students?
Say yes to everything. Help students work on their projects, and ask students to work on yours.
1) You will meet people who have similar interests and build a network. People always say that, but after graduating and moving, that network can open many doors.
2) It’s super valuable to leave college with some sort of portfolio. If you are working with any sort of moving images, it’s much easier to show than tell.
What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career thus far?
Directing: I had the chance to direct Curology’s SPF launch commercial. It was a studio shoot, with a lot of sunscreen! This one is currently in post production.
Editing: I had a chance to edit the brand launch video for skincare company, Agency. This one threw many challenges my way in post production, having to work with external sound designers/mixers, colorists, and vfx artists. Here is the final spot: https://www.alechuggins.com/agencys-ccd-launch.