BIO MEDIA ARTICLES CONNECT HOME

 

 

 

Aventura Magazine

featuring

KijiK President Kevin Sharpley

Read article here-page 72

 

Photo by Prescott McDonald

Kevin Sharpley is the president and CEO of Kijik Multimedia Inc., a full-service production company with specialties in integrated, branded and convergent media and development of in-house projects. He is also executive director of CineVisun TransMedia, a nonprofit organization that supports the independent film, media and entertainment industry. His range of work includes films, television, documentary, commercial, music video, multi-media and event video production. In addition, he is an actor and well-respected artist, having shown and performed his work in many exhibitions and shows throughout South Florida.

i

How do you utilize your knowledge to benefit and inspire others?

My company has many projects that are social in nature, that have outreach and visibility and inclusion built in. Projects such as documentaries on Haiti — one of my favorite countries in the world — and what has transpired there, artists and some of their struggles and triumphs, an animated piece we did that was narrated by the great director David Lynch for his foundation which outreaches to many underserved populations, even one of our bigger projects “The Beach Chronicles” that has a comic book, podcast, live action [and] animated components and feels like a more commercial project is actually about marginalized populations and deals with issues such as veterans [with] PTSD, homelessness, alcoholism, the foster care system and many issues that face the world. It’s my hope that in producing these types of stories, that they can affect others.

I also teach for a school in California that sends curriculum to my students, I go over that with them and they come and work with my company. This is extremely enriching, as many of my students have and continue to work with me. In addition, I do a lot of outreach; I chaired the film and entertainment board for Miami Dade County for four years, I serve on many other boards, committees, mentor and community work, do speaking engagements and volunteer work, so that’s a more direct way I try to do my part. I’m a big believer in “each one, teach one.”

Name two iconic humans that have inspired you or currently inspire you. Why?

My grandfather — he obtained his Ph.D. in a time when it was challenging at best for a person of color to obtain that educational achievement, he was self-actualized having achieved his dream of becoming a bishop in Michigan over 77 churches and built a multimillion-dollar church that continues to serve the community over profit to this day, and most importantly he raised 10 children with a focus on family and love which has permeated itself as a central theme in the extended family of grandchildren, great grandchildren and great, great grandchildren.

Martin Luther King Jr. — his was a life of sacrifice, of love and determination against all odds. He was the head of a movement that involved thousands, but his voice connected and united the cause and helped to create a wave that resonates to this day.

Please share the evolution of your brand and purpose. 

I started my company in 2000 as a multimedia company that served three purposes — to create storytelling experiences for clients, and for the company with in-house projects across a spectrum of entertainment; film, television, animation, web and more. There was no mobile outreach then, but what I knew was that media would be consolidated and that there would be a device that would encapsulate that consolidation and that there would be a screen you could hang up on your wall to beam your media from that device (just ask the University of Miami Vice Dean of the School of Business at the time, I pitched it to one of his classes there while I was a student and it didn’t go so well with the students in the class back then). So really, I designed my company in a way that actually works best in today’s environment.

There are two sides of my company; branding and entertainment, with multi-media storytelling as a centerpiece. There was really no term “branding” back then, but that’s essentially what my company does. We do all of the regular branding things; figuring out a client’s representation in the marketplace, then logo, web, social, SEO, any video (branded film, documentary, commercial etc.), we put on and cover events, collateral material (posters, hats, flyers), industrial design, anything our clients need to tell their story really. We’ve had and have had clients across the strata, U.S. Air Force, Bacardi, clothing company’s, insurance, nonprofits, musicians, individuals and more.

How do you build your network for success? 

Expose yourself to as much as you can, I’ve lived in many places, Detroit, Chicago, Miami, Kentucky, Atlanta, Italy, Africa, New York and have traveled a lot, California, Tennessee, Barbados, Nicaragua, more, and in my travels met a lot of people. I’ve always tried to get out as much as I can, which has not been the easiest thing for me, I’m naturally an introverted person. But in my experience, if you don’t get out, you can’t meet people that can help to take you where you want to go as you can help others, whether socially, technically, professionally or otherwise.

Learn as much as you can from your experiences, that knowledge can help when you’re moving from circle to circle. And learn as much as you can educationally, whether that’s learning from others, school, books, articles, research, whatever way you can that works for you, soak it up.

What advice would you give to young men about dealing with their emotions?

Talk about your problems, don’t keep it inside. Seek advice. If you don’t have someone you trust to talk to, reach out to someone that you think might listen that you feel is a good person, you might be surprised that there are many that want to help. There is no shame in asking for help.

 

 

 

Producer and father Kevin Sharpley shares the importance of education
by Cassidy Sparks

Kevin Sharpley is a director and producer who has created a range of work that includes film, television, documentary, commercial, music video, multimedia, and video production. Sharpley is a graduate of the University of Miami and Miami Dade College. He was inducted into the Miami Dade College Alumni Hall of Fame in 2014. He is also the president and CEO of Kijik Multimedia, a full-service production company with specialties in integrated, branded and convergent media. Sharpley spoke with rolling out about the importance of exposing your children to education.

i
What legacy are you leaving for your children and the children of your community?
As a multi-media company owner, we consider ourselves a storytelling company. With projects like documentaries about Haiti and about one of the most important Black artists of the 20th century and other television and film projects in the pipeline, I hope to leave lasting stories about the Diaspora that at once effects change and allows for education in a comprehensive and engaging way.

i
How would you describe your fatherhood culture?
For me, it’s always been about joining my daughter on her journey. I feel children at an early age have their own personalities, their own ways of interacting with the world that’s unique and independent of their parents. It’s up to the parents to help shape and foster their individuality, their way of being, while also providing stability, guidance, love, nurturing and education on many levels. It’s a tough job, but one of the most enriching, especially as you see your child’s growth and development on a day to day basis.


Why is it important to expose children to education and valuable skills?
Life can often be a minefield, navigating so many things; trials, tribulations, challenges and so much coming at once. Education and life skills allow children to be able to take these situations head-on and maneuver deftly with informed and calculated decisions instead of always reacting off of the cuff and spur of the moment. At least you hope for that. It doesn’t always happen, but at the least, you know you’ve prepared them for the life journey. In addition, it gives them choices as to what they want to do in life and, again hopefully the choices end up being the right way to go.


As a father and a life coach, describe your playbook.
I try to operate with a hands-on, hands-off approach. Children need guidance and structure, otherwise, they go off the rails. But too much and they rebel. Therefore, I try to give a balance of autonomy and authority letting room for exploration, but at the same time boundaries that ensure that it’s known that if things go out of control trouble will be brewing.


How important is keeping your word?
It is of the utmost importance. I depend on people every day and if they don’t keep their word things could go off of the rails very fast.

 

KijiK President Kevin Sharpley (top row, middle- photo: Carl Juste) is quoted in a Miami Herald article about The Miami Film Festival and Miami filmmaking scene. See the video below, read the article here: Miami Indie Film Scene

 

 

 

Meet KijiK President/CEO Kevin Sharpley during his Art Residency at The Betsy Hotel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From "The Film Connection blog"

NUGGETS OF TRUTH: Film Connection mentor Kevin Sharpley weighs in on mentoring, making connections and taking the initiative 

 
Film Connection mentor Kevin Sharpley

Film Connection mentor Kevin Sharpley

When it comes to being well-connected in the film industry, they don’t come much more connected than Film Connection mentor Kevin Sharpley. As the owner of Kijik Multimedia in Miami, Florida, Kevin has worked on projects alongside such industry pros as Danny Glover, Darryl Hannah, Josh Brolin, David Lynch and many others. He’s also chairman of the board for the Miami-Dade County Film and Entertainment Advisory Board, a judge at the Miami International Film Festival, and is even friends with the president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.  But perhaps the best part of all this is Kevin’s willingness to involve his Film Connection students in all that he does, and even giving them film credit when they take the initiative and contribute meaningfully to his projects. In a recent conversation with RRFC, Kevin chatted with us about everything from the importance of networking to his thoughts on mentoring in general, and even took a few minutes to brag on some of his students’ accomplishments. We’ve mined some of the best nuggets from that conversation to share with you below. Enjoy!  
 *  *  *  *  *  *  *  
 

HIS THOUGHTS ON THE MENTOR-APPRENTICE APPROACH AS OPPOSED TO TRADITIONAL FILM SCHOOLS:  “No knocks to traditional film schools—I went to a film school. I got a lot from it…but there’s one thing that I didn’t get from the film school that I graduated from, which is the real world experience. More often than not, especially in this industry, it’s the real world experience that counts. 

Kijik Multi-Media Productions Incorporated

ON HOW HE STARTED HIS OWN PRODUCTION COMPANY:  

“While I was [in school], I really wanted to do real work, so after my first couple of months I got a gig to do a music video. Low budget, maybe seven grand or five grand or something like that. I hired a producer, I just wanted to direct. I hired a whole team. No one did what they were supposed to do, and I ended up doing so many things. The editors that I had they tried to squeeze more money out of me because they had a little more knowledge than me. I’d only been in film school for a couple months. It was just not a good situation. “My next project, I really pulled my britches up and produced, directed it, sold it…From that point after I produced that second project, I just said, ‘Look, if I can produce a project, let me just start my own production company.’ That’s when…I formed my company to be able to work in that type of environment.” CHATTING ABOUT ONE OF HIS PET PROJECTS:  “I’ve always been a big believer in storytelling across multiple media platforms, being able to tell the story in time and space. You can tell a story in two minutes, you can tell a story in five minutes, 10, 15 a half an hour, 10 hours or 12 hours which would be a television show—but you can also tell it in the written word. You can tell the story auditorily. You can tell it just visually with a comic book. I’ve always been a big believer in this. We formulated a project to showcase this ability. That project is called The Beach Chronicles. It’s one of- now my company’s bigger projects. It was a small little tiny, baby project and it just exploded. “That one I wrote as a novel first. My creative director did these animated graphic novels vignettes…We put four of them together, entered them in film festivals, they got picked. That short got passed around to a bunch of celebrities, next thing you know we had all these celebrities on board…We set about actualizing those pieces and they kind of happened organically…David Lynch has his non-profit organization, so the music faction of his non-profit organization had a radio show, [and] they asked us to make a show…We did six episodes. In those, we have everyone from Tommy Flanagan from Sons of Anarchy, Nancy Sinatra, Jimmy Jean-Louis fromHeroes…Then the decision was made to do the comic books…so now we’re working with the comic book company and we debuted the comic at Florida Supercon…The list goes on.” 

ON THE INDUSTRY EXPOSURE HE’S ABLE TO GIVE HIS STUDENTS:  

Film Connection apprentice Brian Kennedy with Jimmy Jean-Louis of Heroes

Film Connection apprentice Brian Kennedy with Jimmy Jean-Louis of Heroes

“I do a lot of different things. I run two non-profit organizations, I’m the chairman of the Miami-Dade County Film and Entertainment Advisory Board…And then I run my production company. I do a few different things, and I have had the ability to involve my students in a lot of different areas…I’ve had students that have worked on projects with celebrities that are in a lot of my company’s projects. I have a student [Rocky Shores] who is a producer on a documentary short that’s part of a big documentary series that my company has [Ayikodans Rise]. One of them is narrated by Danny Glover. The other one, we have footage of Josh Brolin and Diane Lane and Paul Haggis and Madeleine Stowe and Maria Bello, Jimmy Jean-Louis fromHeroes… “[At the Miami International Film Festival,] I had Omar [Johnson] shadow me the entire time, so he was able to do a lot of different things…He was able to have a face to face with Cheryl Boone Isaacs herself. And even though she runs the Academy Awards, she was one of the biggest marketing executives in Hollywood, period. When you have that kind of situation, and you’re able to have a direct one-on-one with the woman that runs the Academy Awards—he had the ability to ask anything that he wanted to ask.”

ON THE IMPORTANCE OF NETWORKING IN THE INDUSTRY:  “Networking is more important now than ever, than it’s ever been…The industry is changing so much everyday. It’s like stepping on a floor that has squares on it, and then the squares [are] just kind of collapsing and moving every time you take a step. You have to have people that you can…If your square is moving too far, you can jump on somebody else’s square, hold on for a second then move to the next square. Put two squares together and then three and four and then you have something. That’s what this day and age is all about…I tell my students networking is as important as talent. I don’t want to say it’s more important, because if you don’t have any talent and you got all the networking skills in the world you’re still not going to go anywhere.” ON

WHAT CAN HAPPEN WHEN STUDENTS TAKE THE INITIATIVE:  

Rocky Shores on a shoot for The Reel Miami Projec

Rocky Shores on a shoot for
The Reel Miami Project

“[When] you involve and engage your students in what you’re doing, they will surprise you…I give Rocky Shores as an example. The reason why he became a producer, on this project [Ayikodans Rise] is because he came out with me to shoot some stuff when we were starting up the second Haiti documentary… He asked me to send him that material, along with the interview and he cut together something that was really awesome. He did it on his own. Because of that, I went and I interviewed the president of the performing arts center, the biggest one in South Florida. They brought this dance company back four times. It helped them to rebuild their dance studio after the earthquake in Haiti. That story itself was so powerful that my team decided to make it a third documentary, a third stand-alone piece. Rocky, what he did was a part of making that decision…It will go on a feature length documentary. Rocky still gets the producer credit because he shot footage, he helped to shape the foundation of that piece.” 

AND ANOTHER STUDENT THAT HAS DONE WELL…  “Tommy Kuzmiak—I’ve hired him on a few different things. He was a boxer before he got into the program. He’s developed into a fine professional…He’s writing a really incredible script. And we’ll produce that and move forward. I’ve hired him on numerous things. I may bring him on full-time at some point.” 

HIS THOUGHTS ON THE IMPORTANCE OF MENTORING:  “In this mentorship program which is more of a one-on-one type of program, you know you really have the ability to connect with the students and try to figure out what they want to do….Most of my mentors come from other areas…In the film industry, not so much…I took the initiative while I was at film school because I knew what I wanted to do and I had already been in the industry on the other side of the camera…I’m more in support of the mentorship. If someone would have said, ‘Hey Kevin, I’m going to take you and I’m going to turn you into a producer or I’m going to turn you into a director or I’m going to turn you into a cinematographer, I’m going to help you to get to that place’…I would have loved that.”

 

 

rolling out

Businessman Kevin Sharpley takes storytelling to technology

Sep 8, 2015 10:49 AM by
kevin sharpley black suit at edgewater

Tell us about your business.

I call my company KijiK Multimedia, a storytelling company under the guise of a multi-media company. On one side of the company we do integrated, branded, convergent and strategic media: production from concept to completion. Everything from conceptualizing media campaigns, logo design, web development (web site, social, SEO), branded content (film, commercial, animation, etc…), apps, designing events and covering them, as well. We’ll do anything for our clients really, to tell their story to the world. If it’s a hat, t-shirt, banner, just about any product or media tool, we’ll make it happen.

You have been an entrepreneur for many years. How have you stayed in demand?
Constantly evolving. The [motto] at KijiK is “Creativity Fueled By Innovation” and inversely “Innovation Fueled By Creativity.” We’ve been doing what’s now called “transmedia” for many years, long before it was a term, which is utilizing many media platforms to get our clients’ message to their audience. In order to do that, we are constantly looking for new methods of delivery, whether a new web tool, social site, app or product. An example is our foray now into exploring virtual reality.

Additionally, we’re always looking for ways to tell a story and more importantly an interesting story. We’ve seen the evolution from film and tape to digital to now even having camera phones with quality good enough to shoot a film, like the movie Tangerine, which was a hit at the last Sundance film festival and was shot using an iPhone. That’s not to say we don’t utilize the latest tools, 5K cameras, drones (responsibly), the latest in effects, graphics, etc… An example of the evolving tools and one we love is the Adobe line of products, which are now online and constantly updated from a simple and quick download. Evolution never ends and neither do we.

And as far as telling interesting stories, ask anyone in the business and they’ll tell you it starts and ends with the story. If it’s not good to start, it won’t be good to end, no matter what you do.

What has been your biggest obstacle, thus far?
I’ve fought hard to push for social responsibility in every facet of what we do and to do projects that mean something to the world. Often times these types of projects are not as easy to garner attention, to get them made, especially when you want to do them in a way that is true to your heart and soul. So trying to accomplish a balance between getting these stories out to the world, getting clients projects done and juggling other projects and responsibilities can be like navigating an obstacle course through a jungle on the hottest, rainiest day of the year.

Tell us about your most exciting project.
Right now it’s my company’s project “The Beach Chronicles” (www.thebeachchronicles.com). It’s pretty much everything I believe in as far as storytelling goes, the multi-media aspect of it, but also a reflection of my ideologies and influences from many areas, films, television, art in general, literature, science, culture, even the incredibly talented people I’m working with. I’ve been able to work with so many I’ve longed to work with and so many that I respect. I literally love everyone that is involved with this project, there are so many talented people both in front and behind the scenes.

In this the multi-media aspect of telling a story in many ways, across many platforms is liberating as a storyteller. It allows me to tell this big story, which is essentially about the circle of life, in a way that is as all encompassing as I can make it, I can imagine it. And I have days where my mind won’t stop, it just keeps going and going, so I channel that into the story and it allows me to tell it in a 360 degree manner.

Where do you see your business in the next five years?
Of course a bigger client base in that we see the evolution of our clients interaction with KijiK being a movement toward multi-platform organic outreach. That is reaching an audience with their core story, the heart and soul of their message and utilizing whatever platform and/or platforms that work best for their message. Essentially KijiK Multimedia as a true one stop shop in which we can outreach even utilizing our own platforms such as films, episodic shows and more.

We’re working on other things, a community center to teach underserved youth multi-media in which we’ve already retrofitted a building for that purpose, an online destination to view some of our projects and others we have a hand in producing both in episodic and in film format. We’re moving to have a full service studio space as we develop many more of our properties and continue to develop projects which in turn get placed on network, in theaters or on our own online platform.

In that I look for KijiK Multimedia to reach a diverse and varied audience in many forms; film, television, online, mobile, virtual reality, gaming, events and more. We’ll continue to tell stories, just more, across the ever evolving media landscape and bigger than ever before. You can check our evolution at www.kijikmultimedia.com, we have some great interviews on there like a candid with Eddie Griffin, projects, you can check out our blogs and more.

 

miami today 3

 

 

sunpost article

 

tbc cinekijikumhaiti

 

tbc new times

 

Kevin Sharpley In Focus Magazine

 

From the Hollywood Unites for Haiti website hollywoodunitesforhaiti.org

 

abff press release

 

miami today article

 

miami today article 2

 

 

Documentary chronicles the Haitian immigrant experience

May 18, 2006 Thursday
Sun-Sentinel
By Alva James-Johnson

 

The story of Haitian boat refugees presumed lost at sea en route to Miami in 2001 got Kevin Sharpley's attention. The Miami filmmaker became curious, and started researching the subject. When authorities in Cuba discovered that the more than 200 Haitians were there, Sharpley had already begun his journey to tell the story of Haitian immigrants. Now Sharpley, a Detroit native in his 30s, plans to release the rough edit of his documentary Sove Nou, which means "Save Us" in Creole. The film, narrated by actor Danny Glover, highlights the impoverished country's long struggle for survival and features Haitian leaders and four immigrant families in South Florida.
On Sunday, the public can view the film for free at the Photo Vibe Art Gallery, 1819 West Ave., Miami Beach. "It's very important that the world knows the contributions that Haitians have made, not only to Haitian history, but to American history," Sharpley said.


Today is Haitian Flag Day, and the film is just one of the many events scheduled over the next few days to highlight the country's history. It also comes as Haitian-Americans are pushing for the U.S. government to designate May as Haitian Cultural Heritage Month. U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek-D-Miami, has sponsored a bill to do so. A group of Haitian-Americans, including some from Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties, will meet in Washington, D.C., today to attend a Haitian Flag Day event at the White House. "In view of the ongoing debates about immigration in the U.S., the White House is making a noteworthy effort toward recognizing the contributions made by Haitians throughout North America," said Joseph Bernadel, chief operating officer of the Toussaint L'Ouverture High School in Delray Beach, who planned to attend. "This kind of diversity is what makes America strong."


Sharpley said he was first introduced to Haitian culture through friends in Miami.
His idea for Sove Nou began as plans for a feature film about the two vessels that were presumed lost in 2001; their passengers later were returned to Haiti after a month in Cuba. He planned to develop a documentary about Haitian immigration only as a supplement.
But when a boat carrying more than 220 Haitians came aground off Virginia Key on Oct. 29, 2002, attracting national attention, Sharpley decided to make the documentary the main focus.
"That really did it for me," he said. "It touched me so much."


The film documents Haiti's history, from its independence in 1804 to recent political upheavals that have brought thousands to U.S. shores. Among the Haitians featured in the film is Murielle Dieudonne, a pregnant mother who survived the brutal 2002 boat passage. The film also includes interviews with Meek, state Reps. Phillip Brutus, D-Miami, and Yolly Roberson, D-North Miami; Haitian activist Marleine Bastien; immigration lawyer Cheryl Little; former Haiti Chief General Counsel Ira Kurzban and Haitian musician Wyclef Jean.


Sharpley, who majored in film and psychology at the University of Miami, said the Miami Light Project helped fund the $100,000 documentary. He said the film is incomplete, but he is screening the rough draft to garner grassroots support, raise money and market the film.
The film will also be shown in Orlando in June, New York in July and Los Angeles in August.
Sharpley hopes the project will improve the lives of Haitians worldwide by raising awareness of conditions in their homeland. "The drive of the film is education, and we're trying to save lives," he said. "We really don't want this film to fall through the cracks."

 

Miami Herald article