It takes a unique individual to not only run a successful production in the modern entertainment industry, but also make sure it’s delivered on time. Being able to raise the necessary funding and keep the production on budget, while also managing an entire crew and ensuring the client is happy with the end result, are all key for a producer, all of which are skills producer Kim Shapiro has in spades.
A talented producer, Shapiro is best known for his ability to bring the creative visions of brands such as L’Oreal, Johnny Walker and FaceTune to life through eye-catching commercials. He has also made a powerful name for himself in the world of music videos as the part of the production team behind Nikki Vianna’s “Mambo,” which has nearly two million views on Youtube, “One Life” from internationally acclaimed music duo DJ Aron and Beth Sacks, as well as Eliya Sinai’s “Girls Like You” and Aviv Terner’s “Azman Azal.”
The music video for the recent hit track “One Life” by music producer DJ Aron feat. Beth Sacks, which was produced by Shapiro, was a whopping success, gaining over 110,000 YouTube hits in just two weeks.
Since its world premiere on September 26, the dynamic pop video has earned rave reviews within the dance and LGBT community, with thousands of fans from around the globe dubbing the hit track as “the new anthem.”
“The vibe of the music video is very fun, and yet emotional.” Shapiro says, “It has aspects of the LGBT community as the artist DJ Aron is a very big DJ in this community. The music video also shows a bit of a connection to the Black Lives Matter [movement].”
The track was written during the early stages of the intense Covid-19 lockdown as a way for the artists to give back to their devoted fans while keeping their hopes alive during the challenging times.
Considering the powerful message behind the lyrics, the team responsible for bringing the video to life required a clear understanding of the artists’ creative vision, something Shapiro has excelled in time and time again with all of the artists he’s worked with.
“DJ Aron and his partner Beth Sacks, are both well known and they’re amazing artists,” says Shapiro. “When I heard the song they wanted the music video for, I knew immediately that we were going to make it happen no matter what.”
Known for his focus, diligence and keen awareness of the various wants and needs of all parties involved, Shapiro’s work as the producer behind the project was integral to ensuring that the production flowed on time and came in on budget.
“Some of the challenges were to keep it all on budget,” admits Shapiro. “When I produce any project, I need to consider what the director wants, what my client wants, what the director of photography wants, and to make sure that each of them will get the most out of the shoot.”
His level-headed approach and effective team management was the driving force that not only led to a phenomenal shoot, but ensured every artist, cast and crew member were completely satisfied.
Shapiro says, “I feel very good about the end result of the video, I think everyone did an amazing job starting at pre-production and all the way to post-production when we edited the video and released it to the world.”
A real people person at heart, Shapiro knows exactly what it takes to succeed as a producer. With an overwhelming and expansive skill set to his name, he has continued to lead the way for cutting-edge productions in today’s industry. However, it’s his superb business savvy management skills that have set him apart from the rest.
Any good producer will tell you that a detailed budget, which requires constant attention, and the ability to expect the unexpected are essential to managing a production. Through his years of experience, Shapiro has mastered the skill of factoring in every single cost when it comes to budgeting, and he ensures that the money invested is accounted for and well spent.
He says, “My favorite part about what producers do is dealing with the money, it starts with creating a budget, and then making sure that everything will stay on budget as we move on with the creation of the project.”
His cosmic repertoire of success, which extends to writing, directing and producing, has propelled him to become a highly sought after figure amongst many international brands. Over the years Shapiro has been a key contributor to commercials for multi-billion dollar companies such as Johnnie Walker Scotch Whiskey, the leading French cosmetics company L’Oréal and the recent “Landing on the Moon” commercial for Artgrid, which was inspired by the first spaceship launch to the moon in 1969.
Launched in 2019 by the founders of the music licensing giant Artlist, Artgrid is one of the world’s largest websites for stock footage, where top cinematographers from around the globe can share their artistry in an authentic way.
He explains, “We booked a location that was built over a 100 years ago and we made everything look as if it actually was from the 60’s.”
To pull off this kind of detailed shoot required a team of experts, and it was Shapiro’s outstanding reputation that landed him the job, alongside his brother and business partner Don.
He adds, “Artgrid approached my brother and I to produce this project because they saw other stuff we produced before, and they knew that we’d be the perfect team to produce for them.”
The global impact of Covid-19 meant that the director and client were unable to travel to New York for the shoot.
However, with never being one to shy away from a challenge, Shapiro used his razor-sharp creativity to think outside of the box and adapt to the project’s unique shooting demands
“The main difference between this project and other projects I produced is that this time, my director and client were not physically on the shooting day, they were in Israel, a different country, and they saw everything through a zoom call.”
Considering the technical skills required to bring a global team together, it was Shapiro’s genius ability to manage every department online that ensured a seamless shoot.
He continues, “Something very interesting about it was that we had to connect the camera wirelessly to the computer so they’d be able to see exactly what the camera sees live. It was also very interesting to see the director direct the commercial from another country.”
Artgrid were so blown away by the tremendous success of his work, that they re-signed him to produce their next promotional video, which is set to be released later this year.
With a long list of incredible achievements to his name, it’s fair to say that Shapiro has truly established himself as one of the industry’s leading production experts.
His reputation precedes him, with colleagues and friends praising not only his diverse array of talents, but also his light-hearted and welcoming approach to every cast and crew member he meets.
“Working with Kim is always a fun and yet very professional experience,” says “One Life” production manager Scott Hansen. “He makes everything run smoothly on set and with a very happy mood amongst everyone that we work with.”
A man of many talents, Kim Shapiro has undoubtedly set himself up for an exciting career full of longevity, passion and success.
“I’m interested in producing projects that I have the feeling that’ll get a big crowd and that I’ll have fun making. I believe that if you enjoy what you do you don’t need to work a day in your entire life, and for that reason, if I can choose, I’ll choose the projects that I’ll enjoy working on the most.”