Freelance video editor Ken Eakins isn't someone who would dabble in formalities and beat around the bush. Born a journalist, grown in film and television, Ken has worked with clients in the likes of BBC, while also cultivating a passion for art in his personal projects.
You can tell from our chat below that Ken is the kind of creative who gets straight to the point, who knows what he wants and precisely how to get it. He is also, like most creatives we've spoken with, a dreamer and a believer in the power of art.
We caught up with him to discuss future hopes and dreams, including the possibility of opening more pathways into the creative industries for professionals from all paths of life.
Where are you from and how did you get into the industry?
I’m from the South of England. I got into the industry via journalism. I learnt to edit, and then transitioned over to film and television. Now I’m based equally in London and Brighton as a freelancer.
Explain your creative style and process
I like to have a certain level of autonomy when I edit. I don’t like to work with directors that want to just work you like a puppet. Filmmaking is a team effort, and the projects that I’ve been involved in that have turned out the most successfully are those where each person is allowed to flex their creative muscles.
Please provide one sentence about your spotlighted work on Creativepool
I really enjoyed working with the BBC and The Farm, great people and a fun project.
How has technology affected the way you work (if at all)?
Greatly. When i started, you had to rent an Avid, or use one in a production house. Now I can cut anywhere, even on location, which is exciting. I shoot sometimes as well, and personal projects especially look a lot better these days thanks to companies like Blackmagic giving us amazing cheap cinema cameras.
If you could change one thing about the industry what would it be?
There’s no clear path of entry. At school you learn about how to become a carpenter or a mechanic, but not about how to enter into film and television. I think a lot of people waste a lot of time and energy only to find out that what they’ve been doing isn’t ‘industry standard’ or similar. Open the gates a bit more, and I expect a lot of great people will emerge!
What’s your secret to staying inspired and motivated?
I try and watch as many films as possible, and I read constantly. Art is created on the shoulders of those who came before, it staggers me the amount of filmmakers I meet that are too wrapped up in the technical, and spend no time absorbed in the art itself.
If you weren’t in your current industry, what would you be doing?
Dying inside in an office somewhere probably. My works are all like children, to the point that I could never choose one that makes me proud the most.
Though you do need some time to recharge the batteries sometimes. Gym, walks, cinema, spending time with my lady and my bengal. These are my leisures of choice.
What advice would you give to other aspiring creatives in the industry who are looking for commissions?
Say yes to everything at first. I ended up working on some really big projects because I said yes to some weird, low paid stuff. The more you collaborate, the more likely you are to build a gang of people that will support each other.
What’s your one big hope for the future of the creative industries?
More creative patronage would be nice. I mean governments as well as larger private entities. People need art, end of, so why not support it? And it can often make people earn lots of money (if that’s your motivator in life), so it’s a win/win.