Knack Factory on Lounging with Lannalee


I (Alex) was recently a guest on the great podcast Lounging with Lannalee. I recap some of the highlights regarding my personal life over here, but here are some of the highlights that apply to our work with Knack Factory:

  • Come 2014, Knack Factory will aim to produce many more creative projects. At present, we work on a number of commercial projects and we intend to continue to do so, but we intend to grow our creative presence and produce much more creative content. This is, after all, why we all got into this game. With some magazines, news outlets, production houses, and other producers of content it is becoming increasingly difficult to differentiate between ads, paid content, and editorial. It should not be like this. We will go out of our way to be as explicit about these differentiations as possible, so it is never confusing as to what series of interest created which video, photo essay, article or mix of the three. It is our intention, though, to produce as much independent creative content as possible.
  • Lanna asked if we were looking to create content that would take off on YouTube, or find a mass audience, to which I said no, we just want to make quality creative content. We got into this because we wanted to help people be creative, but also because we wanted to be creative ourselves. I should clarify that I love our range of projects. I love making video catalogs about bricks or overseeing product and commercial shoots. I love a challenge and doing something well, but we really want to express ourselves. I don't want to make things exclusively to get seen, because that strikes me as needy and tonally inaccurate with regard to who we are. If we find that traffic I will take the perks that accompany it, but that is not our primary goal. Not a lot of people pay you to do creative and interesting things, so you do it on your own. You figure out what you want to do and how to do it. Ideally, we could take every billable hour and devote another to the creative projects mentioned above.
  • With regard to my work with Knack Factory, and my aesthetic preference, I don't know if this is because I was raised on The Real World or because of the prolonged proliferation of reality television, or because of the popularization of independent documentary in the 90s, but I am almost exclusively interested in documentary style production at the moment. I enjoy showing things as close to the way they actually are as possible. This can be upsetting depending on who ends up seeing it. When we produced Food Coma TV, someone from the community I grew up in got in touch with me to wag a finger.  She was very upset about the language that was being used, and she felt as though we were promoting a specific sort of behavior.  I understood where she was coming from, but I responded as frankly and respectfully as possible, I worked with her son at a restaurant when we were 15, and I told her that she might not have known this, but at the time we were working in close proximity to white supremacists, drug addicts, sex addicts and all sorts of damaged folks. These can be the realities of the food industry, and that is what we were trying to show. By no means were we trying to glamorize it what we were showing off. It can be a big, dirty, gluttonous reality, and that is what we intended to show.
  • Speaking of which, I had lunch with Joel Beauchamp, one-time co-host of Food Coma TV earlier that day, and we had been joking that the reason that show worked is because it looked absolutely unsustainable, and like the people featured on screen were real. It looked messy and like it was going to fall apart, which is why it resonated with food industry folks in particular. There is always a moment where it all falls apart, or that's what I remember about working in the industry. There are always these great folks who are amazing workers, and they're so much fun to work with, but it is only a matter of time before they throw a spatula across the kitchen and walk out on a shift. I had always said that I wanted to be in a traveling punk rock band, but I had no music talent, not even the minimal talent being in a punk band requires, and so that show was my traveling punk rock experience.

You can check out the rest of the interview here.