Owner Spotlight: Kent Jones
As the proud owner of Kent Jones Productions LLC, I look forward to sharing my story. I hope that you will enjoy getting to know me better.
Since childhood, I enjoyed photography and videography and dreamed of producing movies someday. Radio was also very appealing in 1975, and I chose to study broadcast production in college, so my career began in radio and television programming and production. An expansion of that was voice overs, plus freelance audio and video production and photography. As my services became more in demand, Kent Jones Productions LLC was born in 2007. Expanding on the photo-video aspect, I offered drone photography in 2014, which became a way to provide a new perspective that could not be achieved before.
Back in the day, if an overview shot was desired, a photographer had to use an expensive airplane or helicopter. But now, drones allow a cheaper way to get into the sky and shoot from angles that were previously impossible. A shot from forty-five feet in the air with the branches of a tree being part of the foreground could previously be accomplished only with an expensive jib arm, and it would be impossible with traditional aircraft. But a drone can capture the shot, and move in any direction to create interest. The drone is the biggest advancement in camera movement since the Stedi-cam as it allows for smooth movement from nearly anywhere.
Digital cameras have also changed the way photography is done. Instead of an expensive film that had to be processed in a lab (which could take days), now the photographer can instantly check exposure and composition right on the camera. Editing photos on a laptop can also be done the same day and delivered to the client quickly. The quality of digital sensors continues to improve as well as lens technology to create sharp, clear, color-accurate photos, and videos. DSLR cameras have increased their ability to shoot video, allowing for interchangeable lenses and larger sensors, to enable the photographer to create film-like images, enabling large-screen productions to be shot on smaller cameras. While the major television shows and movies use very expensive high-end digital cameras, the new technology has allowed aspiring filmmakers to shoot high-quality films on a smaller budget.
Computers and the internet changed a lot of businesses, and voice over work was no exception. Sound treatment of studios is still just as necessary as ever, but recording and processing techniques have gotten more varied and accessible since nearly everything can be recorded and processed on a laptop computer these days. In the old days, a script was faxed or even mailed to the voice talent in another city. The talent then recorded the script in his or her studio on tape, then edited the tape using razor blades and splicing tape, then mailed the small reel to the client. The process took several days to turn around a project. With the internet and computer software, some projects can be turned around within minutes.
I find the whole process of setting up a shoot and taking the pictures/video enjoyable. As a director of creative productions (movies, photoshoots, commercials), I enjoy designing the entire process with the vision of what the finished product should portray. When drones came into the scene, that expanded the vision and the possibilities. Because they fall under FAA regulations, learning the rules and following procedures to secure airspace authorizations is also an enjoyable process. I take pride in being compliant and knowing that I’m not putting a production or client at risk of penalties or safety concerns.
The editing process is where everything comes together to create the finished product. Choosing the right footage, angles, and photos, fine-tuning images and edit points, and adding music and sound design to videos; it all comes together to reach the goal of evoking an emotion from the viewer. When I see that emotion, it feels really good. For technical shoots like roof inspections or documentation of damages, I enjoy the process of making sure I get all the data needed for adjusters or technicians, taking the time and skills necessary to cover all the desired angles and capture the best resolution of finer damages. I want my clients to have usable data, and when I use my skills to achieve that, it is very satisfying.
A highlight in my career was when I had the chance to work on set for a short film, and I was in charge of filming the behind-the-scenes action and interviewing the stars and director. I produced all of those into features for the DVD. When production was finished and the rough cut of the film was produced, the director decided to shelve the project because it hadn’t achieved the look and feel he had imagined. I asked if I could have the footage and try putting it together differently. After editing the opening scene, he loved it and asked me to continue. After editing, color treatment, adding the music, foley and ADR, the film was ready. It was instantly accepted as a top-12 finalist in the Manhattan Short Film Festival and was screened around the world. It went on to win awards at film festivals across the country. That is when I discovered the power of good post-production, and I have loved doing it ever since.
I believe my business philosophy and personal attitude is what sets me apart from the others. I do what I believe is necessary to achieve the best possible results. I want to be proud of what I create and work diligently to make it worthy and appreciated.
I recall a time in my senior year in high school when we were all asked to submit a quote to be placed in the yearbook under each of our pictures. The quote I thought of then is still what I say today: “Success is the result of honest efforts and positive attitudes.” In other words, do the right thing and do it to the best of your abilities, believing in possibilities, and the rest will take care of itself.
I attribute my success to my customer service and the ability to build lasting relationships with my clients. I make sure clients are comfortable communicating with me and working with me, either in the studio or on set, or even by phone. We all have requirements that we would want to be met, and I am happy to facilitate that in a positive atmosphere. Together, we all win. Clients who are happy with the end result then refer my services to others.
It may seem strange, but my work is like a hobby. I love to fly drones, take pictures, shoot video, and create the finished products. I suppose you could also look at my love of trains and listening to music. The music part is why I enjoy radio so much, plus the fact that I get to meet so many people and hear how what I do on the radio helps brighten their day. Other than that, having dinner with close friends is something I will always enjoy. Most of all, time with my wife and daughter are the very best, no matter what we are doing.
I also have a heart for children who are hurt, depressed, bullied, misunderstood, and feel unloved. These children are crying for someone to hear them, to understand them, to know who they are, and to know they are valued. Often they are lonely, sometimes within their own family. I was blessed with wonderful parents, family, and friends, so this is not born of personal misfortune. But we all have times when we feel unfairly judged or misunderstood. For some kids, it is constant, and they learn to believe the lies and fall into hopelessness. It doesn’t matter what the family finances are. We all see the highs and lows with that. But through it all, love, compassion, understanding, and respect for one another are most important. Those, along with faith, form the foundation that allows greater things to happen in one’s life.
I have enjoyed sharing my story about the things which matter to me and how they influence the way I do business.
If you or someone you know is looking for voice over services, drone photography and videography, and audio production services across Spokane, Spokane Valley, Washington, Post Falls, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho and surrounding areas, I invite you to get in touch. Please visit my website at www.kent-jones.com.