Kyle Plummer is a senior at Dixie State University where he studies communication with an emphasis in digital film. He has been a storyteller and filmmaker for most of his life alongside his younger brother Carlos. They both run a small independent production company in the central coast called SuperImage LTD.
Videos by SuperImage LTD have appeared in various film festivals around the country such as: the Santa Cruz Film Festival, the G.I. Film Festival, DOCUTAH and many more. These film festivals have highlighted some of their greatest work.
Videos like “Tour of Honor,” which is an hour-long film documenting honor flights for World War II, Korean War and Vietnam War veterans. A local theatre in central California where the brothers live had showings for their film and people have gone up to them in the past to give them praise for it.
Abraham Ramirez: To start us off, how did your fascination with film start?
Kyle Plummer: The story goes back quite a way. I was about three years old, and I saw “Star Wars” for the first time. I was too young to really remember, but my mom tells me that I would watch it.
It would have an interview with George Lucas before the movie and I would always be fascinated. I just remember this general feeling that I was watching the movies and going “I want to do that.” I want to do what [the directors] are doing and make that happen.
AR: Was having a love for film a common thing within your family?
KP: Yeah, as I grew older and got more into it. My brother grew up with me being interested in film, so he sort of came along into film as well. My dad actually has a history of working in Hollywood. He used to do work for cable television and independent production companies. He lived in Hollywood in the 80’s, so he had some experience, and he was helping us learn.
AR: When did you actually start making films?
KP: When I was about 12 years old, my brother and I made our first short film and it was based on “Indiana Jones.” We actually sat down and wrote the script and cast our friends as actors, and it was a really good learning experience for us. We kind of went from there as we started continuing making projects. We got more into it and more involved, and now I’m going to school for it.
AR: You already mentioned that you had a fascination with film, but was there a specific moment where that triggered? Did you ever think to yourself, “I’m going to do this for the rest of my life?”
KP: Yeah, shortly after [my brother and I] made our first short film, we got some town support behind us. There was a local theatre where they would show plays. It was really small and they let us use the stage in there to project the movie, and we got like a hundred people show up from the town to support us.
When we were showing it, it was at that moment that my brother and I both knew. We both had the feeling, “yeah, this is what we want to do.” It didn’t matter how difficult it was to get our short film projected on the screen — it was worth it.
AR: How were you able to get your video projected at the local theatre?
KP: The people who ran the theatre let us use the space that night because they knew us and wanted to support the project — mostly because we were a small group of kids at the time who had come together to spearhead this whole thing. We got everybody involved and it was sort of a big deal in town when we did it.
We put an ad in the newspaper and like a hundred people showed up. We even had a costume contest and offered a prize to the winner. The winner got two tickets for a tour for two at this weird little house that was built out of the rubble of the construction of Hearst Castle called “Nitt Witt Ridge.” The people that ran the place let us film there for our “Indiana Jones” movie and are the ones who sponsored the tour tickets.
AR: How did the whole experience make you feel?
KP: When there’s an audience of people who’ve never seen [your film] and you get to see their reactions, that’s always been the best feeling; that feeling continues to this day. I just had a short film show at the San Luis Obispo International Film Festival in March, and it was one of those things that had never been shown to a live audience before.
When I sat down and watched, it was that same feeling of being terrified because you don’t know if they’re going to like it or not, but also it felt exhilarating because people are actually seeing it.
AR: Have your parents always been supportive of you being a filmmaker? I know there are some parents — when it comes to creative jobs — that feel as if that field of work doesn’t really make a living.
KP: Yeah, in fact, that’s part of why I’m going to school for filmmaking. I have received a lot of support from my parents. Like you said, it’s one of those things you want to get into as a career, and people kind of give you that look like, “that’s not a stable job,” but my parents have always been supportive of it, and helped me come up with a couple of solutions for after I graduate to get myself on my feet.
I’m not even graduated yet and my brother and I have a sort of video production business. We’re already marketing ourselves, getting ourselves out there and we’re getting jobs to do these videos for people.
Last summer, some people up in Northern California asked us to come out, and we did some free work for them. It was more for the experience at the time, but now its opening up doors elsewhere. But really, the support we’ve had from our parents has allowed us to get our names out there and actually find a stable place to jump off from once I graduate.
AR: Would you consider yourself an entrepreneur at this point?
KP: Definitely — my brother and I always have projects going on. We’ve been doing documentaries as passion projects because there are some really cool stories out there. Plus, they’re relatively inexpensive to shoot and to complete. But, on the other side, we do have these jobs that we’ve gotten by marketing ourselves. It’s definitely been an entrepreneurial endeavor for us as well as a creative one.
AR: How did you get into doing promotional videos at Dixie State?
KP: It kind of ties back to how I got into the school because the only reason I’m at Dixie State is that my brother and I had some short documentaries in their annual documentary film festival they hold on campus.
When we went out there to show our films, the head of the film department also runs the festival and he didn’t know we were in high school at the time, so he was really impressed. He was like, “We have a film program and we’re looking for students.” He basically recruited me for freshman year, so within my first year, I was making short films. I was also offered a job doing random projects at DSU that hadn’t been finished, but it got me started.
AR: Do you feel like this has angled you to capture documentary films over other types of filmmaking?
KP: It’s sort of a thing that makes the income right now. It’s definitely something I have gained a love for in a way. And it’s also just something that’s good for learning the craft of storytelling. I try not to limit myself.
I do still try to do narrative endeavors, especially at school where I have the opportunity to use high end equipment and lighting. Within my first three years, I’ve made at least three narrative short films per year.
When I come back home, I focus more on shooting documentary projects with my brother. Mostly because we don’t have the funding yet to actually shoot them ourselves. As we get further into doing our business side of things, then we can start actually pursuing the end goal, which is to do a combination of documentaries and narratives. We kind of want to go independent rather than following the normal studio system.
AR: You’ve participated in quite a few film festivals. What was your favorite film festival experience?
KP: One of my favorites that [my brother and I] went to was a long time ago. I was still 13 and my brother was about eight or nine. We made a short film called the “Magic Hat” and it was about a kid who wore a hat and could wish for whatever he wanted. It went around a couple of different festivals. But there was the Chicago International Children’s Film Festival — it was huge.
They were an academy award-qualifying festival if you were producing an adult-made production film for kids. When we went there, they put us up in a hotel for a week. We got taken around downtown Chicago courtesy of the festival and we actually took on the award for our category where the winning decision was based on a children’s jury.
AR: Are you going to continue on this independent, entrepreneurial path once you graduate or are you going to try and make your way into Hollywood?
KP: I’m still figuring that out. The general goal is to kind of stay on this that I’ve already created for myself. I have quite a few things going on at the moment that could turn into bigger things. I really want to see our production company become something bigger in the central coast of California.
We have the San Luis Obispo International Film Festival here, but as far as the actual production aspect, there’s not much even though there’s a lot of resources here that could be useful. The dream is to build a sort of independent spirit here on the central coast.