Ryan Kawamoto, the 2012 AAF-Hawaii Ad Man of the Year, is a television and film director represented by Kinetic Productions. He’s been there since 2002 and has won numerous Pele Awards for clients such as McDonald’s of Hawaii, HVCB, and the Aloha United Way. In 2007, he directed a trailer for the ‘Ohina Film Showcase which received “Best of Show” and followed it up in 2008 with another “Best of Show” as a director for the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau “Colors of Hawaii” web campaign. You can follow Ryan on Twitter at @rkawamoto.
Just Do It or Think Different?
Just Do It.
Tell us about your first job in advertising.
I was an intern for a TV production company. This involved getting everyone coffee, picking up trash at the beach for a hotel shoot, and keeping gawkers and yahoos from walking through our shots.
What were some of your early creative influences?
Gondry definitely Michel Gondry. As a director in both the world of advertising and film, his stuff is visually amazing and sometimes mind-blowing.
What was the craziest thing you had to do in the name of advertising?
I dumped buckets and buckets and then more buckets of chum (fish guts and blood), and smelly squid all over talent for repeated takes. Nasty!
If you were in a rock band, what instrument would you play?
I play a mean Guitar Hero Guitar, baby.
What’s playing on your iPod right now?
Linkin Park. Still my favorite group. Working on the soundtrack to my feature film now and am getting into other Asian American artists like David Choi, AJ Rafael, and Kina Grannis.
If you were an action figure, what would your accessory be?
A big movie camera.
What projects have you worked on that you’re most proud of?
I had a lot of fun doing film festival advertising a few years back for the ‘Ohina Film Showcase. My favorite was doing an homage to the 1970’s Japanese Action Show Kikaida.
What inspires you?
Necessity is the mother of all inspiration… or is it desperation?
Tell us about the creative process behind your award winning work.
My best work comes when I am allowed to use all the crayons in the crayola box. Most of the time I’m only allowed to use 12 colors. In rare moments I’m allowed to use the box of 64. Then it gets fun.
Flight or invisibility?
Leonard’s or Champions?
Boxed wine or 40 oz.?
Definitely the 40 and one for my homies.
Kikaida or Kamen Raider V3?
Switch On! 1-2-3. Denryu hibana ga Karada o hashiru Jiro Change Kikaida! Go-go-go!
What’s your secret?
Grind away. Hard work can overcome any obstacle or lack of so-called-talent. You gotta have incredible persistence and learn from your failures.
What’s the best part about working in advertising?
In the end, your work, good or bad, gets seen by thousands of people in Hawaii. There’s something cool about that.