Music Management Exec Branches Out into Cinematography to Foster Young Talent

Ken Stewart, an executive with music management company KSM Worldwide/Peach Micro (New York, NY), does some serious moonlighting as a cinematographer, shooting music videos to further the careers of his clients with his AG-AF100A HD Cinema large imager camcorder

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Ken cites the need to be “a jack of all trades” in a highly competitive climate where music labels require professional materials from young performers, including all-important music videos. In turn, the artists themselves have a growing expectation that their management will arm them with marketing materials. “We have to be versatile to push a project forward, and, fortunately, technology costs have fallen to the extent that we can function as a mini-production house,” said Ken.

“My videographer friends had been talking up Panasonic cameras for the better part of a decade, so that’s where I turned when I was moving into video,” he said. “Originally, I was looking at an older, smaller-sensor AVCHD model, but I was interested in interchangeable lenses, shallow depth of field, built-in audio inputs and a vectorscope: I could get all that and more with the AF100A, and at a price I could afford.”

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Ken has shot several music videos for singer-songwriter and instrumentalist Chantele DiBrava, who describes her sound as “Jersey-Americana” and counts Johnny Cash, Elvis and Dolly Parton as influences. Videos for “The American Way” and “Knocked Up,” two cuts from DiBrava’s debut album, can be seen on leading country music site CMT.com as well as YouTube:  “The American Way – Chantele DiBrava” and “Knocked Up – Chantele DiBrava“.

“My first big shoot with the AF100A was last summer, another video for Chantele, set in a Mexicana-themed roadside attraction in South Carolina,” Ken said. “We shot through the night, from 5 p.m. till 5 a.m. It was swampy, hot and humid, but the camera stayed cool. And I operated on one battery until the last hour of the shoot; that was amazing.”

Ken has found the AF100A to be lightweight, capable of “incredible” image production and “rock solid.”

“There are just so many elements to a music video shoot that I’m very grateful not to have to worry about my camera,” he said.

His AF100A is typically outfitted with a Lumix 14–140 mm lens, but Ken said he searches for older lenses, such as the Canon “F” series, to “get creative.” He handles his own edits, using FCP X.

For more information of the AG-AF100A, visit Panasonic.com.

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