Ag Career Profile: Videographer and Studio Director
While growing up in the suburbs of Louisville, the closest Matt Hilton ever got to agriculture was at the grocery store shopping for food. That wouldn’t last for long though as Matt was hired 11 years ago to be a video coordinator for Kentucky Farm Bureau. These days Matt is “knee deep” telling agriculture’s story throughout all of Kentucky as Director of KFB Studios.
Matt along with his colleague, Austin Anderson, are solely responsible for all the video capture and editing that happens throughout the organization. This includes the Emmy winning tv show, Bluegrass & Backroads, which in 2018, is celebrating its 14th season.
Matt says his love of photography began at a young age.
“I’ve always been interested in photography and video. [I] took numerous classes in photography in high school and that worked well with my broadcasting major at Western Kentucky University.”
It was while he was at Western and beginning his career in television where he discovered he loved to get to know people and share their stories.
“Once I got into the business [of television] I really enjoyed telling people’s stories through video.”
For him, it is an art that has gotten better over time through learning from those who came before him.
“I’ve always loved interviewing people either as a video shooter or the interviewer. Talking through someone’s story, asking the right questions and building a story through interview is something I’ve really loved. I’ve learned a lot of how to talk with people during an interview from coworkers and mentors like Bob Shrader of KFB and many reporters I worked with at WLKY.”
Now at Kentucky Farm Bureau for the past 11 years, Matt talks about how it is a great time to be a part of the organization.
“We are in a lot of transition currently with the renovation of the KFB State Office building. With this change we have new opportunities with new equipment and facilities. So really it has been a fun time to get creative and think of new possibilities.”
While formal education is necessary for video production and photography, Matt, expresses the need for experience.
“A formal education teaches you the starting points of video work but really only experience in production gets you to success in television. Obviously the technical aspects of video creation are important. I think if you can let your creativity come through the technical aspects of video creation you can make it.”
When asked what advice he would give students interested in this field of work he responded with, “My advice is to learn all you can. Understand that there is always something new to learn. Also keep in mind that just because you made it doesn’t mean it’s good. Take criticism and learn from others.”
“I really like where I am currently in my career. I work for a great organization that gives me all I need to be creative. [I] can’t ask for much more than that.”
By: Carilynn Coombs