Adapting with the technology: From web series to vlogs

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Kaye Kittrell has cranked out over 200 videos for her YouTube channel in the last year and a half.  It’s a dramatic increase in productivity from the 10 or so episodes she’d create annually for her web series Late Bloomer.

Kaye started out in the entertainment business in 1980 as an actor, with some writing stints and photography. In 2012, after having “an epiphany” about gardening, she combined her career and newfound passion to create an educational reality show. In the end, she produced 100 episodes of Late Bloomer over five years.

The series turned to vlogging after a meeting Kaye had with executives at Adobe at VWF 2016. “(They) walked me through making my first vlog on my cell phone through their new app called Premier Clip and they gave me the confidence that I could edit.”

Despite the experience with the web series, Kaye says vlogging still came with its own learning curve. “Quality is not that important and I always wanted to make really high-quality videos,” she says. “I was such a perfectionist for the first five years but when you have to upload three videos a week… it’s really intense.”

She says the demands of constantly creating content are draining on her creativity, but coming up with story material isn’t a challenge. “All you have to do is just have to go outside and look around and you’ll see something you haven’t seen before,” she says.

Although much of the editing is now done herself, Kaye says she still relies on a sound editor to perfect the audio and provide an outsiders’ perspective. “Part of the wonderful thing about filmmaking is collaboration, bouncing ideas off people and seeing what they bring to the project, things you wouldn’t think of, “ she says.

Reaching people across the globe with her stories is the most fulfilling part of the job. She says she ended up sending seeds to a teen boy in Sri Lanka who contacted her after watching an episode and being unable to track them down. “It’s so heartwarming, it’s the thing that makes you keep going because you’re touching people. That’s the best reward.”

Kaye Kittrell's Late Bloomer was the VWF's 2017 Best Reality winner. Find the schedule for screenings of this year's official selections here. Adobe will also be back at this year's festival! If you're a creator, these events are perfect for you.

Linda Givetash