Interview with Beau Chevassus

Beau is an adventurer in every sense of the word! He loves working with nonprofits as an "adventure videographer," storytelling their impact.

 

Q: Who are you? Introduce yourself as you would at a dinner party.

A: I’m Beau Chevassus. I love making non-profits, producing short films, cheez-its, Jesus, and martial arts.  Not necessarily in that particular order.  I run a wildly unique non-profit media studio that connects volunteer talent to non-profits who need media. These non-profit projects have taken me all over the world—from the Maoist controlled mountains of Nepal to the war-torn beaches of Sierra Leone.  It’s essentially "adventure videography” that captures profoundly impactful content. 

 

Q: What is your background? How does it differ from what you are doing now? 

A: It started with experimenting on YouTube back in college, where I got my degrees in Religion and Theatre. I would create these atypical video projects, mostly comedy, that turned people’s heads.  Despite my lack of skill and sub-par production quality, my videos went viral (over 25 million views as of today).  After a couple years I was thrilled to find myself winning dozens of competitive video contests, simply because what I did was so wildly different from my competition. I kept that “different” philosophy and gradually my skill grew to production quality.  As I traveled and grew closer to Jesus, it hit me how many good people out there need their stuff captured and shared with the world. I then created a non-profit media studio that “captures impact and broadcasts love.” It’s the best job ever. 

 

Q: What are you working on right now?

A: Actually just a couple hours ago I finished a short film project for a few local churches where I capture the entire Gospel without “churchy language.”  It was a very challenging project; I was surprised how difficult it is to sum-up Christianity without saying often misinterpreted words like “hell” and “sin.”  But after tons of rewrites, we have a final product—an accurate representation of Christianity in everyday vernacular.  I am quite thrilled about its potential.  Not all videos go viral—there are many variables, and it’s always a gamble—but this one has all the markers.  

 

Q: Why did you join Impact Hub?

A: Brian Howe’s beard seduced me.

 

Q: How do you make money?

A: Knok Studio, our non-profit media studio, charges the non-profits we serve.  However our services are typically about 50% of what traditional studios charge.  The rest is offset by using volunteer talent and our generous supporter’s donations.  I personally make money after hours doing back-alley tattoo art.

 

Q: What is something that really excites you right now (a trend, life development, time of year, food, etc.)?

A: We’re just developing a women’s self-defense seminar through a martial art I co-founded, Kalos Agon.  I’m very excited about its potential to help women protect themselves in a practical way.  You won’t believe how many self-defense systems say that the “groin area” will immediately incapacitate a male.  There are so many self-defense myths; it’s really quite surprising.  So I’m excited to share this unique knowledge with the world. 

 

Q: You have $10M to spend in the next year, and you can’t spend it on you, your friends or your family. How do you spend it?

A: I would establish a flagship studio space and hire a team of passionate creative directors.  They could manage volunteer talent (“Ambassadors”) all over the world.  There really is a huge untapped resource out there; 1,000s of talented creatives with big hearts, most of whom are creative professionals.  They want meaningful projects.  They want to help people with their artistic talent.  Knok Studio has those connections.  It’s just Knok needs a place and team to facilitate those projects between the non-profit and those creative volunteers. 

I would also do a bunch of boring stuff with the money, such as investing a chunk of it in high-yield savings to be set aside in the event of an emergency.  I’d also hire a donation specialist, accountant, and an office kitten. 

 

Q: What’s on the horizon for you (a new project, career path, personal development)?

A: I am just beginning to role out a donation campaign for those who like what Knok Studio is doing.  We really are a very different 501(c)3 that excels at serving a vital and very specific need.  I am excited to see if there are donors who would like to support us, especially in this first year of full-time work. 

 

Q: Where do you usually hang out when you are at Impact Hub? How often are you here?

A: I am at the Hub 3-4 times per month, and I float around.  I wish I could be there more! 

 

Q: What is something we don’t know? (Either about you, or something else)

A: I co-founded a mixed martial art, self defense system (Kalos Agon), I am a professional mime (yes as in the “silent type”), I am a licensed bartender, I actively climb mountains with crevasses, I’ve been detained by the police innumerable times, and I dislike sweet pickles. 

 

Q: Give us your top three Seattle gems!

A: Pike Place Market, The Seattle Underground, and Parker Matthews (a remarkable local actor). 

 

Contact Beau at MediaforNonprofits@Knok.tv