When an opportunity arises, don’t wait for them to come to you, go get it. – Gabriel Kerr
Kerr, who’s based in New York City, travels around the world to film special projects and works with a unique team highlighting untold stories.
The Columbia University graduate received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Film Studies and interned for a television series for four years under the EBF program. His early success prepared him for late nights and early mornings – the typical, nontraditional schedule of professionals in the media industry.
As a producer for Rock’n Robin Productions, a company founded by Good Morning America anchor Robin Roberts, Kerr carries an idea from development to ideation. After obtaining a ‘green-light’ from his superiors, he proceeds through the production phase to bring the project to life.
During a Skype interview, Kerr explains everyday is different. The skills from his undergraduate program and internship developed the confidence and techniques he needed to succeed in his producer role.
A typical day in the field includes shooting video, editing, conducting interviews and reviewing media assets with his team.
“It’s a mix of documentary and news [and] it’s about hearing everyone’s story. ‘I’m very visual,” said Kerr. “I [also] want more Black and brown projects, I want to see all of that out here.
Kerr recalls landing his first job in television. He created social media pages for the brand, positioned himself as a ‘solution’ for media organizations and marketed his work accordingly. In journalism, the role of a producer can vary whether it’s supporting digital or broadcast projects, or working in the field coordinating talent. The opportunities are endless; it’s up to us to find them.
Remember, at the end of the day, we are all human and we are all here for a purpose. We should be able to work together and find commonality.” -Kerr
Q&A with Gabriel Kerr
LookWeAreIncluded.com: Gabriel, as a producer for Rock’n Robin Productions Company how are you able to use your creative license? How are you able to take these ideas with your team and turn them into stories people can [truly] see?
Gabriel Kerr: Here’s a perfect example I can share. There’s a digital series now in its third season. It’s called ‘Thriver Thursday.’ You’re learning people’s stories at their lowest point. I’m a supervising producer in that series.. [and] what we’ve seen in that series [the team] has built this to spotlight each individual.
Watch Kerr featured behind the scenes of ‘Thriver Thursday’
‘Thriver Thursday’ is described as an initiative that spotlights “thrivers” – people who persevere, achieve their goals and even surpass them despite life-altering circumstances. This includes people who have experienced a catastrophic diagnosis, unexpected loss, divorce, and personal betrayal. These are the people who were dealt a choice and they chose to thrive, according to Thriver Thursday.com
LookWeAreIncluded.com: What skills do younger journalists need to be good storytellers?
Gabriel Kerr: Curiosity first. As a journalist, never be afraid to ask a question or shy away from something you need to know. If you feel like it’s something pertinent to your story, find the artful of way of getting the information so it’s hit’s your point[s]. You should almost know without specific details how you want your piece to formulate in your head. You never want to not be prepared.
LookWeAreIncluded.com: How were you able to build relationships and a community of strong mentors?
Gabriel Kerr: Work ethic. I like to consider myself personable – someone who will talk to you, and actually listen about what you are saying. We are humans first and we’re all working together on a common goal.
LookWeAreIncluded.com: If you could say one thing to your younger self, let’s say age 22, what would it be?
Gabriel Kerr: You’ll be okay. Believe in yourself. I would tell myself to continue to learn being a life long learner. It’s how we all can grow and expand.
Follow Gabriel Kerr on Instagram: @gkerr821