Just over two decades ago, media influencing was an exclusive privilege. There is no denying the irrepressible nature the media has morphed into. The media’s accessible interactions, technology, and information have taken on a persuasive essence, thus the need for a more conscious media.
That’s why I brought on Kia Kiso today. She’s a founding member of the Producers Guild of America Social Impact Entertainment Task Force. An expert at teaching and creating content across various media streams, that impact awareness and have a purpose.
Kia is a multiple award-winning television, documentary, commercial, and film executive producer and entrepreneur, with a deep passion for uplifting the entertainment world by creating systemic change through her storytelling and helping others to do the same.
Having spent decades in the industry, she’s witnessed firsthand, the glorification of drama-filled and negative entertainment that hinder many from experiencing higher consciousness and being agents of change.
So, she took up the mantle.
In 2014, Kia founded Conscious Media Visionaries, a consortium of individuals and companies joining together to promote and create entertainment that has a positive impact on the world. It provides the industry with the necessary data and resources it needs so impactful entertainment projects are financed and distributed to those who are eager to see them.
She’s also the CEO of Zaza Productions, a company that aims at entertaining and inspiring through its work, in ways that will create more well-being for our audiences, and ultimately the world.
The added value Kia brings to the industry is consistently mindfulness-oriented and in a quest for positive outcomes.
Our conversation analyzes the realities we all face in our interactions with social media, films, or broadcast media.
It was a pleasure speaking to Kia. Enjoy!
Listen to more great episodes at Next Level Soul Podcast
Follow Along with the Transcript – Episode 010
Alex Ferrari 0:00
All right, okay. 321 I'd like to welcome to the show keoki. So how are you doing here? I'm doing great. How are you? I'm good. I'm good. Thank you so much for coming on our show. And we're gonna hopefully be talking about conscious media today and putting good things out into the world and figuring out how we can hopefully raise the consciousness of humanity through very powerful tools, which is media, which is storytelling. And getting into that, so right off the bat, first of all, how did you get involved in, in conscious media in in that world? Because you've been a producer? Well, why don't you tell people first of all, who you are, what you've done, and then we can go into the to the next next part.
Kia Kiso 0:46
Right, of course. So my name is Kenya, of course, I am a producer. I've made music videos, commercials, short form content, corporate videos, documentaries, award winning documentaries, that I've actually been on your other podcast to discuss. And I'm developing TV shows and movies within my own production company, but I also partner with other people. And sometimes I'm for hire. But I haven't always been a producer. I several I'm kind of like different cat lifes, right? I have prior life. So I was a camera system for 12 years in the film industry. And we're done. Scorsese's aviator, and house and cold case and Grey's Anatomy. And then those sort of those shows have a through line with what I'm doing now. And production experience as well. And it all culminates in my producing career. And that happened about 10 years ago, but I even went to film school for this. I've been doing this since I was 12. I went to summer school for this when I was 12 is part of the gifted and talented program. So it's kind of like I get bit by it. And I did temp work when I first moved to LA and I was good at it. And they're like, come work at the Easter Seals foundation. I'm like, I can't I can't work in this cubicle. I've got to be on set, I've got to leave these different lives. So
Alex Ferrari 2:05
that's how you got started. And you get like I always consider it a disease and illness. Being in the film industry is once you're bitten, it's it's done, you're done. It can't get out of your system. It will be with you for life. It can go dormant for years, sometimes decades. But it always raises its ugly. No way to get away from it. It does not there's no I was just talking to another filmmaker the other day about this. And I was like, you know, when the pandemic started. I was talking to filmmakers. And they're like, Yeah, no, the world's coming to an end. But how can we shoot our movie? How can we get like, literally the world is coming to the end and like we need to get how can we raise financing for this next film. It's it's a sickness, it really truly is a sickness, sometimes very positive, sometimes negative depending on how far you go.
Kia Kiso 2:56
I know I know, I have in laws that are soldiers and er doctors and so forth. And I hear the stories of like, that's how you go make money. That's what you do every day. I'm like, that sounds hard. But I'm very happy to go. Like, swim with the sharks, as they say, yes. Oh.
Alex Ferrari 3:11
So now over the years, you mean, you you start off in the business? You know, like going down the path like you normally would? We're working your way up the chain and things like that. At what point did you realize the impact that media was having on society as a whole? Yeah, well,
Kia Kiso 3:31
I mean, I was kind of aware of that, even when I was 12. I was like, Oh, this is actually a job. And oh, I have something to say. And people will sit around and watch it and talk about it or relate to it in some way. But this idea of I had to be responsible for the megaphone in front of my mouth, so to speak happened when I was working on cold case, grateful for that TV show. Totally grateful for it. I worked on that for a year and a half. But as a camera system, I was awful and on set a lot right near the actors where they were acting and it was a special episode where it was not only a murder, but it was kind of like a rape, murder. But I had to hide right next to the the actress while I was sleeping. And she's she wasn't very good at it. And we had to take after take after take and I was sort of kind of spirit myself out of this situation, you know, like a lemon. I'm not here. And at that time, I was taking some metaphysical classes, and learning about quantum physics and learning about making your life, the Laboratory of your mind, what you think changes your life kind of thing and learning about affirmations. And so I just started, you know, I was thinking of the affirmations I was doing as my homework repeating and repeating them and it sort of dawned on me is media potentially an affirmation for society. Here we're doing this TV show about rape and murder where it's sort of expected that people are going to die by passions, you know, fits passions from other people or I worked on house is every week some He's gonna have a mysterious illness that this quirky doctor has to solve. And if he doesn't solve it in time, you're you're Sol, you know, and I was like, what does this say about society and it doesn't necessarily fit into what I see is the world I believe that we have. We're born with a birth. Right? Right. We're born with these God given qualities of health and love and happiness and joy and prosperity and creativity. And now those are what, like, those are Givens. Anything that we put on ourselves, or we put on each other? Take away those rights? Right? So it's like, is this media lying to us about what life is really like that we should be scared and worried and scared of each other? And I was like, I can't be part of this. I can't be part of somebody that is benefiting from stories because I feel like it's pretty in the world. Now. Granted, sometimes there's just go have a good time. Watch something fun. Like I saw two weekends in a row. Nobody. The Baba Odin. Oh, I
Alex Ferrari 5:57
heard. I'm dying to see. So good. Isn't that isn't that like, isn't that like taken? or What is it? Like? It's like, he's, it's something like that, right?
Kia Kiso 6:08
I almost don't want to go watch the trailer and just go watch it. It's such a fun ride. But it is ultraviolent. And I enjoyed it. Right? Like you can have those moments where you have they're sort of like junk food. You know, look,
Alex Ferrari 6:22
I just looked at my wife was asking me, why are you watching Godzilla versus King Kong? I'm like, because I want to see Godzilla beat the hell out of King Kong. Like it's not. It's not it's not brain surgery here is like, I'm not looking for plot. I'm not looking like I just want to see a giant lizard, beat up a giant monkey. And it's gonna look really cool. Like that is just escapism is pure escapism. So there are places that are moments for that. And I think nowadays, more than ever, we need escapism, and sometimes escapism is violence. I mean, you watch a Tarantino film, you know, you can look at it for its art, its art steak, and what he's able to do in that, but they're ultra violent films. But that I feel is a little bit different. Because it's so stylized. And so over the top, that it doesn't even really connect as real in many ways. Well,
Kia Kiso 7:10
and that's what's important to, you know, an important distinction and and in my journey since then, and me researching this, I realized that it's, it's your reaction to the content that makes all the difference in the world because your reaction to it might be very different than my reaction. Right. So I could watch something equally as violent as nobody and be feel almost traumatized by it. Because it's, it's heightened. It's comedy, I enjoyed it. But like when I watched something similar like Platoon, oh, my God, I felt triggered for weeks. And I still think about it. Right. And it's and it's still violence for violence sake. So, you know, there's even media psychologists that study this Pamela, Dr. Pamela Rutledge is really amazing from oh my gosh, where she, where she, I forget where she was from, we can tell if we will put it in the show notes. But she was saying like, some people have a really bad reaction to a horror movie, or somebody else might really enjoy it because they're protecting their, their date, right, their loved one. And they're actually like, getting off on the protection. So there's actually endorphins that come out of that versus being shut down. And, you know, so so it's ultimately
Alex Ferrari 8:17
it's in the power of the viewer. So, you know, I'd argue that a movie like Platoon, the intention that Oliver had with that was to shine a light on the travesty of war to warn to educate, it wasn't an exploitative manner. It was in a manner of education. And sometimes you have to see those kinds of things in media to shake you up. I mean, you know, you there's some documentaries that I mean, will mean if you're if you watch any of these vegan documentaries, I mean, I challenge most people who watch them, it's it's rough, it's a rough thing. So there's that kind of media as well. But I think it really is about intent. I think we you know, you nailed it hit the nail on the head with intent, what is the intent of the Creator? What is the intent of the artists putting this out there? Is it just, you know, a horror movie, like you said, someone can watch Jason and laugh their ass off, and someone else can watch, you know, Freddy, and Jason, and be terrified and traumatized for life. It's all relative of who's watching it. So what's the intent? Like? It's
Kia Kiso 9:20
a bit of both? I think it's that that intention, right, because I feel like that's baked into the content somehow, like there's this almost this energetic transmission that happens with anything that's put out there and the intention is behind it. But it's also how is it absorbed by that individual, right, like some people can be allergic to some foods and other people aren't? Or some people can eat McDonald's every other day and be thin and other people can't. Right. And so I think we have to look at media and I'm really excited to talk to people like me, that media diet lately, and especially since the shutdown, I think people are a lot more hyper aware of how things affect them. But we have to be aware like what am i consuming right now? Is this a junk food thing? Or is this a real healthy thing, am I in mood for the mood for this I had too much sort of junk food media and I need to unplug for a little bit.
Alex Ferrari 10:08
I mean, I'll give you a perfect example. I started watching The Handmaid's Tale A while ago when it first came out, and I was I think in the middle of season two, and that thing happened in the middle of season two and I just said, I'm out. I can't I can't do this anymore. I can't I can't see the character constantly be beaten up again and again and again. And then we just get two years later, we just came back to it. And we're now ending season three, we're about this NCS started the season four which just started but it's a different world. We're living in a different kind of mentality. But it is a very dark show. It is a show that is definitely not uplifting. There's very few very few chuckles in The Handmaid's Tale very few chuckles. But we watch it. And honestly, the way I take media like that in is, I mean, it is definitely making a social commentary it is is educating people about what could happen. What's what great sci fi does, I mean, 1984 and, you know, Blade Runner, and he's getting that's what great sci fi does. But then we're like right after that, we're going to go right into Falcon and the Winter Soldier, the Marvel show on Disney plus, which we're waiting to watch. So and that's going to be complete escape escapism, it's going to be okay, it's fine. So it's You're right, the diet is really interesting about what you watch how you watch. I'm I remember during the, during the election, and also just last year, I mean, I was watching CNN, and NBC and Fox, watching all, it was an obscene amount of content. And I realized how much it was really damaging me. I was just like, it's about awareness. I was like, I'm like, I can't I can't do this anymore. Like, you know, so now we just like, what if it's something really important, it'll get to us. Like, if the Martians land, someone's gonna tell us, I don't need, I don't need alerts on my phone. So but that is an awareness that we need to take. And I think we, I think we have as creators, especially the artists, and the filmmakers, and writers, honestly, any kind of art in any kind of content, we have such a responsibility to the audience, what we're putting out there, and some of it is just an expression of yourself as an artist. And sometimes that's going to piss off some people, sometimes it's gonna affect people, and I get that. But the mass audience when you start dealing with huge projects, and things that are going to reach hundreds of millions of people, shows things like that. Got to figure, you got to start thinking about that. Right?
Kia Kiso 12:43
Yeah. And that's how I got into conscious media. And at the time, when I got into it, I wasn't, it wasn't labeled that in many ways, I was sort of part of the group that was like, let's call it this, let's start calling at the same, you know, we all leave use the same term, and broad enough to where, you know, podcasts, like your wonderful one fits under film, TV, and so forth. But it's, you know, and we spent a lot of time refining that definition. And this is what I focus my career on is, and this is how I define it. content that creates awareness, whatever you want to create awareness about, with a positive impact, with a goal of a positive impact. That's what I care about. There are some films out there that create awareness very well, but leave people shut down. Right there, the impact is not positive. Whereas like, it's great content. We all need to know it. Yes. Please tell us about the environment. He has. Please tell us about the refugees. Yes, please tell us about these things. But I think entertainment works better when you provide solutions. At the end, when you give people it doesn't have to be a call to action, but just show that there's a little bit of hope, or somebody solve this in some way. They're even newscasters that are making pledges to doing just that, you know, to prove that it's not just doom and gloom, or to leave people in a bad place like, you know, do you want to leave them wanting to help the refugees your audience so to speak, or do you want them to go for that next pint of chocolate ice cream because they just feel like that got pummeled? Right, so and I think that's in the strategy of how you tell that story. And there's an art form to that.
Alex Ferrari 14:22
I remember watching Inconvenient Truth and I was just like, oh, like and like give you like 90% of like, the world is going to end and then and for like the last five minutes, but there's some hope I'm like, dude, no, that's really unbalanced. The way the ice cream I'm already off the ship or any man are you kidding me? Like you can't just like it's like a newscast. Like you watch it a standard nightly newscast now and it's like 27 minutes of just negative, negative, negative, negative and negative and at the end like, inspiring America, I'm like, I don't care about that. The Girl Scout who sold a lot of boxes. That's fantastic. I'm glad that she did. But it does not overpower the last 25 minutes that you you know, so I think they do that for their own conscious, like, you know, we are doing something positive? No, you know it, I think there needs to be a little bit more balance in that world. And, you know, what's gonna ask you as well social media, like oh my god, what is that done to society? What In your opinion, like, because look, so so media is is is media. So it is it is media in one way, shape, or form. It's Yeah, might not be watching movies, or listening to music or anything, but it's a combination of everything I'll put together, there are some really positive things about social media connection, power to organize, I mean, revolutions have been fought around the organizational power of the social media companies. But the amount of negativity, the amount of impact that it's creating, the negative impact that's creating on society. It is, in my opinion, is it's unconscionable. And, and I don't want to go on a soapbox about about Facebook and Twitter. But I mean, essentially, they're just selling your attention, they have your profile, and that their business model is to harvest as much information about you as possible, and sell it to the highest bidder.
Kia Kiso 16:21
That's not going to keep you engaged over and over and over again, right, this addictive quality, I had to install all of those apps on my phone, because I'm like, what a flippin waste of time. This is Oh, but then I then I missed What are my cousin's doing or what are my classmates from high school doing or just sort of checking in on people, I was sort of missing the news of my community. But that was, again, a small dose of interesting information. And the rest of it is just like, I feel like, Oh, it's garbage at each other's throats. And nobody is on their best behavior, because they're hiding behind, you know, their keyboards, so to speak. And in the tribalism,
Alex Ferrari 16:59
and the tribalism, that's happening as well, we're just we have, all we see is the point of view that the algorithm thinks that we want to watch because they want to keep us engaged. So then, of course, it just separates us more and more as a people as a species. And now we're, I mean, in this country, I've never seen us more polarized ever. And it's not in my lifetime. You know, I'm sure they're what I mean, I'm sure right after the silver war, it was pretty polarizing. But it's remarkable. And social media has all the responsibility, a lot of the responsibility
Kia Kiso 17:35
very much. So I mean, it's very similar to my experience on cold case, right? It's like, do I want to be part of this, right, and some people are just happy to get a paycheck. And believe me, I was getting paid very, very well on that TV show. And it was very hard to decide to step away from that job in that career. But we have a really important responsibility to make sure that we're telling stories that make the world a better place that add something that add value. You know, I'm not going to go do the next Jason, that's just me. But I, you know, I'm aware that a lot of your listeners of this podcast, this isn't your filmmaking podcast, I'm aware that this is a lot of people that are maybe spiritual, that religious or just interested in seeking and what I would want to tell them is, you know, listen to what Alex is saying, when he says, I got a sense of that this news was making me feel achy after a while or I don't feel great when I'm on social media or I know I need a break from Handmaid's Tale like tune into what is best for you look at media just as you would any other supplement or a diet or any other tool that you use in your life, like exercise or education or whatever you moderate it, like be aware that people are just going to serve you whatever serves them, but what serves you take care of yourself and there's some great media out there you might have to do a little digging that's actually going to benefit your life could be part of your spiritual practice could be part of your just personal growth. Okay, so watch Handmaid's Tale two nights in a row. And on the third night, maybe go watch a great documentary or go watch blindside again, or go watch you know, last mimzy or something that's going to make you feel really fabulous inside like this. It's, you're consuming something. It's literally you're consuming it. So you know, just know that there are people out here they're trying to give you good stuff to watch. And and do your best to find it for yourself.
Alex Ferrari 19:39
Yeah, I mean, the thing was, is you know, when you and i, you and I are of similar vintage. So, you know, when we were when we were growing up, the amount of media that we had access to was extremely limited. I mean, before VHS. There was three channels, you had three shows to watch. every hour, every half hour, PBS, that's four, four, okay, you wanna throw PBS in there? Maybe your local, maybe your local syndication, maybe four or 530 minute shows or hour long show syndication, whatever that was it and then you had that maybe the radio or an album. That's, that's essentially all the media we had access to then VHS showed up. And then now that opened up doors, and then it kept growing and growing. And then all of a sudden, it wasn't just one show, or one thing, it's 1000 things. And now, we literally have more media, in a day than we can consume created in a day that we can consume in a lifetime. So there's so much media coming at us. Where before, you know, if you watched two or three shows a night, and it was on normal network television or on PBS, you didn't really have to think about consuming content, because it was really just, you know, whatever. It's not that much. But now, it's so much so many different ways. So out there sometimes, and you know, some of the stuff on YouTube, it mean, the whole q&a thing, and how that whole world just, you just destroyed people's minds. These conspiracy theories, all this that's toxic, you know, flat earthers. I mean, sorry, if anyone's listening who thinks the earth is flat? I apologize. But I'm sorry. You know, that's, it's not a thing. You know, you want to be contrarian, but that's not a thing. So you have to look inside yourself to really monitor the media that's coming in. And I don't think anyone's really been educated in that. That's not something that teachers
Kia Kiso 21:35
know, that's nothing, no, no media literacy. nobody's talking about that. nobody's talking about a media diet. nobody's saying you are what you watch, you know, when they should be, they should be. And, you know, in some ways, it's, you know, we're already talking about how it's a bit hard to be a filmmaker, and we're, you know, you get bit by it, and you can't really do anything else but it well, then consider that conscious media is even more Nish in the fact that it's, it's a bit harder to get funded. It's harder to get distributed, because the decision makers don't believe that the audience is out there, even though anecdotally I know they are. And I know by proxy markets, they are I mean, look at self help or look at, you know, look at how many yoga mats they are, those are purchased and whatever you've got to assume somebody is buying a yoga mat is also probably interested in something a little bit more than just a Godzilla and you
Alex Ferrari 22:33
ever wanted it so King Kong Vs Godzilla. kiya comma.
Kia Kiso 22:38
Okay, yeah, got it. And then, but, you know, so we want to make more content like this, I want to make more content like that. But we have some people are like, they really, they really care. And it's the listeners of your podcast that need to say, yeah, that's what we want, like, dishes, put something on our dish that we want to eat, we want to consume, we want to watch. So you know, and I want to get to the point. And it's really funny that you, you know, you're like come on the podcast. And of course, I love you and support you. You know, we support each other in so many ways. And I'm like, is that even conscious media anymore? Can we just call it media and I'll be focused on making the world a better place. And so I'm just like, it's about creating awareness.
Alex Ferrari 23:23
Right now. I wanted to also bring up a very pivotal part of your life, something happened to you, that kind of changed the trajectory of your life. Can you share with the audience what that was?
Kia Kiso 23:36
Yeah. Last September, when this is now whatever end of April, last September, I had a freak accident almost. Well, it was a near death experiment. near death experience, it was experiment, I almost died. There was a 40 foot oak tree in Malibu, California, and a very Sunday day, sunny day, it just decided it's time was done. And it felt right around me. And I'm so grateful to be here in this moment. Because had I been one centimeter to the left, or to the right or forward or backwards. I would not be here right now. I would be sending you messages from the ether I would be writing them and lipstick on your mirror like four
Alex Ferrari 24:26
which would which would be obviously very creepy. And I appreciate the message. I appreciate anybody on the other side, please don't do that. That's there's email, email work time.
Kia Kiso 24:38
So but it was it's, I don't know if anybody of your listeners have ever seen the Buster Keaton movie, steamboat bill Jr. Very old, you know, use a Charlie Chaplin, you know, sort of pier and there's this big front of this house that falls on a bit and he's standing right where the window of the house was, and he's completely under hatched. That's kind of what happened to me there was a big huge trunk and a branch that had beard off. And I fit perfectly in the why of this tree. And that's why and even the firefighters that came said that I was extremely lucky that I almost wouldn't have made it
Alex Ferrari 25:18
wasn't your time just wasn't your time.
Kia Kiso 25:21
It wasn't my time. And you know, it was really fun to drive around in Los Angeles after that, because I was a bit of a reckless driver, because I know it wasn't my time.
Alex Ferrari 25:28
Like, I'm good. Good.
Kia Kiso 25:34
But you know, what was really interesting to me, you know, there was a process that they had to put a staple in my head, and but no bones were broken, which was amazing. Like, I seriously should have had bad injuries. And I didn't, it was like, I was protected in a way. And you can't just walk away from something like that going, like, Oh, that was just something you have to go, what is the the message behind this? Why did this happen? And what a couple things came really clear to me one was, I would have been really mad, that if that would have been my day to go, I would have been really pretty pissed off. Because I felt like I had a lot of other things to do. But I have a feeling that a lot of people would feel that way. And should I tell you my analogy. Sure, like, so. My analogy was, I felt like at the moment, nothing else mattered. But of course, what was most important to me, and I suspect it's like that for everybody. And so I came up with this analogy of life is like going to Disneyland, you're outside Disneyland and somebody gives you a free pass. And they say, hey, Alex, go to Disneyland, have a good day, do whatever you want to do. But at some point, during this day, I'm going to tap you on the shoulder, you're going to have to leave, I might come in an hour, I might come at closing time who knows when I'm coming, but you'll have to leave with me. That's life, right? We're born, that means we're going into Disneyland. But ultimately, how you do your date, disneyland is up to you. You can do the rides, and you can eat the cotton candy and you can get the mouse ears and you can go and do even have Splash Mountain anymore, I heard they were getting rid of certain things. So you can go do all those things. Or you can sit on the bench and you can watch other people go by. And I've called that the settle bench. Right You can settle for life and or times of life and watch it pass you by because you don't feel like you deserve it. Or you don't have a right to it or you're not entitled to it. Or somebody else wants you to be there because they're comfortable with you being in there, they're benefiting by it. Or maybe you even have a job. That's like a subtle job because you're afraid of reaching out, you know, striving, doing something that's part of your zone of genius. I don't know if he knows the big leap. But at the end of the day, you're going to get tapped on the shoulder and you're going to have to leave and you're going to review your life. And hopefully it's not when a tree almost kills you. You'd be like, Did I do Disneyland? Right? Did I do Disneyland the way I wanted to do it not the way anybody else wanted me to do it or the way I thought I should have done it, or didn't play it safe. Like you really I think when you get tapped on the shoulder, you're not going to be like, I didn't go full out. And maybe your Disneyland isn't rides all day, maybe your Disneyland is I don't know doing whatever. It's a small world after all over and over and over again. Maybe that's your idea. But like, Did you do it your way? And so now I asked myself, like, Am I on the subtle bench? Did that person just put me on a subtle bench? It's not the rescue bench that's different. There's different you can do on the resting bench. But it's like, are you living your day? Because you're not once it's over? It's kind of over and it was up to you?
Alex Ferrari 29:01
Yeah, no, I love, love. Love that analogy. And I will steal it now I apologize ahead of time, but I will steal it. It is a great analogy. You're right, because you just sit down. And it's not even it's not even if if you want to go down the full analogy route is like sometimes you like, are you on a ride because someone else told you to get on that ride. And you're forced to ride that ride like you like my Hell is to be on small world again and again. And again. That's my L literally, I
Kia Kiso 29:29
think that's to hell for a lot of people. As beautiful as it might be. You know, again and again and again, it has to be held. But that is the hell that most of most of society most of humanity is in they're doing things that they don't want to do. They're doing things out of survival. And you can never love or you're partnered with wants to do the ride and you do it because you love them or you want to please them but ultimately, it's your day Disneyland. They're gonna come and tap you on the shoulder. Now there's my saying
Alex Ferrari 29:59
and they're in there. It is time to sacrifice and there is time to do something for someone you love and, and, you know, for your kids and your family and things like that. But in the grand scheme of things, you know, I'm talking about, like working in a cubicle, you know, you know, for me, it was post production. Like, at a certain point, I got tired of editing other people's work I got tired of dealing with the politics I got tired of, and it was it was a complete false sense of power, because of like, well, it's my company. So I could choose whatever client I want to work with. And I'm like, but the way it was, is like when something showed up, I'm like, I need the money. And, and I'll do it. And sometimes it was a little money. Sometimes it was good for good money, but it just got so exhausting. And then, and I've said this on the show before my whole life changed. The moment I started to give back to society to start give back to people, I wind up with my multiple podcasts and businesses start building online. And my entire world changed from that moment on to the point where I felt I could finally quit that and do Disneyland the way I want to. And I am now doing Disneyland. It's taken me 40 odd years. So it was probably the first four or five hours of the time at Disneyland that I had in the day, right? But I'm now riding the ride the way I do in the park the way I want to do it. And now once you get a taste of that you can't go back
Kia Kiso 31:19
like you know, you can't, you can't. And it was really obvious to me too, that it's not so much time, like where am I putting my time to me? That became sort of a nebulous idea after the tree. I was like, because I was like, how do I make sure I'm not on the federal bench? Right? So I was using time as an analogy is is a good use of my time. But that was too too nebulous. So me now focusing on my energy, and my focus was the best way for me to gauge something is this way I'm spending this moment, this hour this day, the best use of my energy and focus. And sometimes is crystal clear to me like, Oh, nope, this isn't it. Or you know, love talking to sorry, mom love talking to you. But I was kind of done with this phone call 15 minutes ago, I'll call you tomorrow. You know, it's just like getting a sense of what works for me what doesn't work for me what's important and not important to me. And I actually show up as a better wife and daughter and co worker and everything when I'm feeling more at peace with myself and that I'm on point, right? Wouldn't you rather have me show up fully because I want to be there and it feels like it's my Disneyland. It's a great direction of my energy and focus versus me feeling like I'm settled. benching.
Alex Ferrari 32:37
Yeah, I get I get you 100%. Now, do you have some universal truths? Some things that for you are, you know, the bedrock of your, of your time here?
Kia Kiso 32:51
Yeah, my universal truths are that the universe loves me, supports me and nurtures me and wants me to win. And as my co producer in life, and that I can call on my co producer at any time and say, hey, let's create this, let's generate this. And not only was a universal truth, but I've actually put this in the laboratory of my life and tested it. And it works for me. So when I focus on things, when I vision board them out, when I make lists of them, they seem to come into my reality. And this isn't just a car house, or it's just the you know, peace of mind or a better relationship with somebody. And focusing on that connection with what I call divine source is and sort of the truth of who I am and what I am. is the foundation for everything. Do I practice it all the time? No, that's the challenge.
Alex Ferrari 33:59
Yeah, we're, we're human, we can't be no one's perfect all the time. That's why we're here. You know, going through this experience right now is to learn as much as we can. Now do you do you feel that people two ways on both sides of the fence, the consumer and the Creator, there should be an intent involved with creating the media that they create. Now, it could be an intent of hurting people propaganda, it could be that kind of intent, or it could be intent of entertaining, escapism, whatever that petition, should creators. Think about what they're putting out there and how people can react to it. And as consumers, should there be an intent on how they consume media?
Kia Kiso 34:46
Yes, I think people and I mean, that's different. That's sort of a different play on the term conscious media, right? It's like, are you conscious about the way you're creating it?
Alex Ferrari 34:58
Kia Kiso 34:59
you know, even I feel like when I feed my crews, well, that shows up on screen. I feel like when I get my crews together in the morning, we do a gratitude, you know, little circle, and we appreciate ourselves and the people around us. And we set the intention for the day. I feel like that shows up on screen that's being part of being a conscious filmmaker. But it's also what is the intent with the story? How do I want it to feel or teacher just show it shine, light, shine light, you know, you always want to make sure you're not doing propaganda, but are you trying to shine light in a positive way? And then I think people that are watching media should have more consciousness around, what is their intent? What do they what is their intention for watching something? Do they? What do they want to walk away with? And, you know, just being a little bit more conscious and mindful about that? Now, do
Alex Ferrari 35:51
you believe that? The, the SEC, I lost my train of thought, because I had a senior moment. So please forgive me. Oh, that's I got it. So with my podcast and with whatever, all the content that I create on a daily basis, which is obscene amount. The morning I know, it's it's an obscene amount of stuff, with, with all of with all of the stuff I do. That's conscious media to me. That is because my intent was to help was to serve. And it wasn't about like, oh, how much money can I make? And because nobody in 2015 was starting a podcast going, this is the ticket. This is what's gonna make, this is what's gonna get me, baby, like no one thought that I started it because I wanted to help. That's why I started the whole thing. Sure, there was a business aspect. Sure, I wanted to make money with it. But it wasn't my intention. My intention wasn't like I'm just gonna get get in there quick and get the cash out. Because our audience, the filmmaking audiences, it's not known for being the the most wealthy of audiences. They're generally broke artists trying to make a living. So again, that's also another niche that wasn't a very, very lucrative niche. So it wasn't about that it was about being conscious about it. And I think that word conscious, it's not that everything that you put out has to be, you know, rah, rah, rah, feel good, you know, blindside kind of content. That's great. But what is the intention behind it? I think is it I feel, and I would love to hear you what you think, is a better definition of conscious media. Because if you're making a horror movie to entertain, and the people who are watching it are being entertained, and the endorphins are being released, and they're having a good time, because they're getting a scare, or they're, you know, it's like a roller coaster ride. That is, I feel conscious media. And but if you're making a movie, to literally terrify somebody and get into their psychology and make sure that they never sleep again, with that attention, and there might be a couple like me, the extra sister is I think it's I think it's Spielberg who's yet he's never seen it. He says it's evil. Yeah, I hear I hear I heard that man
Kia Kiso 38:06
that made jaws right. The man That's right, prevented hundreds of 1000s of people from swimming. I still have trouble just going into open water lake. That's funny. That's, you know, it's just, and I think it's about fear. And I think there are some filmmakers that are happy to peddle fear. Well, also newscasters that you know, podcasters and social media, you know? Yeah, but you bet peddle fear, that's just a line, I will not cross. Now, however, will I show a character going through difficulties and struggles and so forth? Yes, because that's the human condition. And we learn through story. From the dawn of time, humans have learned from story and they love seeing their struggle being reflected in the stories that they're watching, because then they think it'll happen for me too. Oh, ventually, when, you know, but are you peddling fear? And I've never seen you do that with any of your content. That's what I would call it conscious. Can you be conscious if you're peddling fear? Yes. But then are you having a positive impact, which is the second part of my definition, you're creating awareness and having a positive impact? I'm just not going to go with the negative impact part and make money. But
Alex Ferrari 39:22
yeah, exactly. And I heard I heard someone say this the other day, he said, You talk about money and people always chasing money, and it's all about the material things in life and like, Oh, God, yeah, I mean, so many, so much blood has been spilled over material stuff. It's honestly kind of ludicrous, because one of my other guests said, and I told him, I was gonna steal this because it was so brilliant. He's like, Did you ever see a u haul on the back of a hearse?
Kia Kiso 39:51
so brilliant. so brilliant. Have a comment, because that's how we think in life. We're thinking about grabbing more stuff, more things more grabbing things and it completely clouds what we're here to do take your Mickey Mouse ears with you, you they're gonna you're gonna have to leave everything behind at the park.
Alex Ferrari 40:10
Sorry, everything you're gonna have to come in make it the same way you left. You got to come you have to leave the same way you came in, make it alone. I you know, I hate to be a downer. But that's generally the way it works for us, you come in alone. Yeah, leave alone.
Kia Kiso 40:25
But that's also just a really good awareness. And that's what hit me when the train hit me is that my wife just got just, um, is this life is my life. At the end of the day, I'm a bit and it wasn't scary at all to be like, but I'm alone. Like, I really need to live my life the way I want to, because I'm going to answer to myself at the end of the day, and am I going to be like, good job, you did well on that one, or Oh, shoot, I didn't do it the way I wanted to. Now I have to start all over again. And I believe in reincarnation, because I grew up in a haunted house. But I was like, oh, shoot, I was just getting started. I'm gonna have to start all over again. How am I gonna find my husband? Again? How am I gonna Oh, I have to do middle school again. Like I was just like, Nah, just stick with this life, and make it as good as I can but just really focus my efforts and my energies. No, absolutely. And
Alex Ferrari 41:17
I mean, again, I've said this so many times on my other shows that, you know, the moment I changed my perspective on being a service to people is when just doors I mean, you've seen the people, I mean, you you've been listening to my show for a long time. And you've seen it grow from when I had you on which it was so wonderful and blessed to have, you know, to come on my show to talk about one of your other projects, too, in the last four months talking to some of the most legendary people ever. And being humbled by that. That is, there's I mean, there's a reason for that. And it's I it's not i'm not egocentric enough to believe it's me, it's about what I'm doing what I'm trying to do, the energy I'm putting out there is starting to come back and it actually started to come back, it was weird with with it almost instantly. The second I started putting it out there, it started to come pretty quickly. And then it's just kind of grown and grown and grown over the years, where I think that's where a lot of other podcasters other people in the space that I'm in. They don't see that they, there's jealousy, there's anger, there's other stuff that that you're trying to chase the money. And I'm not, I'm not doing
Kia Kiso 42:36
well. But it's interesting. It's like if you if you focus on sort of like what you think the trappings are of prosperity, you're going to be constantly chasing the stuff. But if you're trusting the bigger picture of you're trusting that, you know, your needs are going to be met, and you're just going to have a prosperous life, then you listen for the next intuition, right? You just listen for that next guiding force. And you're like, Well, why don't I call this person today? Maybe they'll be interested in be on the podcast, or what if I create this website to like, you just follow the steps. And that's what it is, when I say I co create with divine sources, I put an idea out there. And I make and I always say this or better, especially if it's like I want this specific thing I want that or better. And then I just opened and I listened. And some people told me that I'm clear audience I don't know just sometimes I feel like I just get an you know, an idea in my head. And I just start going down that direction, right? You got to start putting your car into at least first year with an idea of where you want to head and then you just be willing to tack along the way. But that's what you did. It sounds like you trusted you will be taken care of right? You weren't like crunching the numbers of I need this many people in order to get this much add fundraise you know, funds for in order for me to survive for six months, like you just started diving in out of service
Alex Ferrari 43:55
I started doing that and then things things started to change. And it you know, it's it's pretty remarkable and even with this show, which is you know, fairly young show, you know, I'm back at the beginning, which is hilarious because I've been working six years on my other shows which are extremely popular in their own world. But in this space, I'm I'm just starting out again. And which was so funny The moment I launched the show guests that honestly, I have no business getting shot is showing up. You connected to me with a few. I started another friend connecting me with a few I reached out to one and they just said sure I'll do that and another one like it. I'm like I have no business having that caliber of guests on the show and yourself and these kind of people that are coming on the show. You know, I'm a young brand new podcast brand new in your opinion
Kia Kiso 44:48
of service with what your gift is right? I think everybody has their own gifts, right has their own inclinations. I can't help do anything but organize things right. Put budget And spreadsheets together and bring people together and talk about post production. So that's mine, right? Everybody has their particular gifts, the people that are listening, they all have their different gifts and people, you know, most people, I think, know, when they really listen deep inside, they know what their Disneyland is, right. And I believe if you just start to focus just a little steps every day, every other day one a week towards that feeding it just a little bit. But in being open, right, but being sort of like having an open mind to it, it always helps build, it also helps for me to like, do a little vision board or list out sort of what that looks like
Alex Ferrari 45:39
visualization, absolutely. visualization or putting the intent out there. You know, it's, it's just, it's just remarkable how we, how we just walk through life, sometimes I think that if we, if you're constantly in a survival mode, if you're constantly only worried about surviving, that's what you're going to do. And trust me, I was in that mode, you know, everyone listening, I was in that mode for a long, long, long time, where I was constantly like, how am I going to pay the rent? How am I going to do this? How am I going to get to that place, and you get into survival mode, you can't open yourself up to anything else. So it's really hard to get out of that. If you're in it, if you're in the drama, oh, here are role models for getting out of that. That's the thing. So the the key is, and this is the thing is, and I know it's difficult to hear this. But I've been there, you know, as a 46 year old man, who moved to LA 13 years ago without basically any money selling DVDs to pay the rent. When I first got here, no new one other person in LA and was able to build what I've been able to build over the course of the last dozen years or so the moment I had the faith that wholeheartedly had the faith that I'm going to be taken care of things started to change. And then when and I'm not saying look, I'm not saying I'm gonna quit my job and just, you know, fight like no, there has to be a balance, but you have to start making the shift, even if it's slowly like you're saying do a little something that feeds that that part of the Disneyland ride a little bit of day on the side, and start building that up and building that up a little
Kia Kiso 47:17
bit. visualize it for four minutes, like I'm really big into just set a timer for four minutes, think of something in the future that you would love to experience. And sort of be like, this is what it looks like, smells like touch, what am I doing and even sort of write a little scene, you know, and I've had scenes where it's like, I show up to the new building of this, you know, blah, blah, blah, and I'm cutting the ribbon and there's a big party. You know, I just visualize that for four minutes. And at the end of four minutes, I feel a little better. That, you know, we all have tools that work for us. begin searching for me EFT tapping works really well, when I feel like I'm just too stuck in an emotion or something like that I get too scared about how is this going to work out. Sometimes you just need to disable your, you know, your nervous system a little bit. And so I do some tapping, visualization, some meditation, sometimes it helps to talk to somebody, you know, I watch their work for me personally, because I felt like I was just sort of rehashing and bringing it up over again. But yeah, find a good movie to just watch. Just get yourself out of gratitude lists, gratitude, like find somebody to share 10 things you're happy, you're grateful for a day or write it down. Like it really gets you out of that.
Alex Ferrari 48:31
That energy really does change things. You are grateful for stuff that the gratitude, the gratitude, energy of gratitude is so remarkable as well. And I know a lot of people listening might be like, Well, yeah, that's nice for you guys. But I'm not in the place you were I'm like, Yeah, but I was I was in your place. I was in that dark place. I'm sure you were to hear.
Kia Kiso 48:50
Yeah, let's do a whole episode on the dark places, man. It's like, there's no way you know, like no poster child for great things. It's just,
Alex Ferrari 48:57
it's Look, this whole experience this whole experience of being human and going through life and walking and enjoying the good things and the bad things and challenging yourself and there's obstacles and all of these things that happened to you in your life. This is tough. This is not easy. This is this is a a really challenging experience. But it doesn't have to be completely paralyzing.
Kia Kiso 49:25
Well, and I will tell you, I believe that good use Trudy health, love light. Those are our natural setpoint correct. our birthright. Anything that is unlike that is I say like anything I'm like that is not the knowingness of God and actually takes more energy and effort to continue up. Right? So if you can find yourself somehow in the stream of your divine birthright, your inherent good, you'll actually have more support behind you. Right, you can't turn darkness on in a bright room. It's the other way around. You know, like it, but sometimes we can have too much sort of in the way or built up or a history of pattern of thinking over time, you have to do pattern interrupts you have to figure out, what can I do to get myself out of that, you know, I've had, I've actually put rubber bands on my wrist before. And I'm like, every single time I think that negative thought, I'm going to snap it. And I'd be like, I'm thinking of a lot. And so I would visualize, there was a year I was disabled. And every single time I was in horrible pain, and I would get so stressed about it, I'd snap it. And I just remember, I would just imagine I was at a cocktail party going like, the symptoms went away. They wanted me to get neck surgery, but I just knew I'd find the right way. And the symptoms are gone. I don't know. Yeah, I could still have the same condition. And now I can tell you that that's true. I didn't have to have the neck surgery. So pattern interrupts
Alex Ferrari 50:50
now I'm going to ask you a couple questions. That kind of like rapid come on to see what the first thing that comes to your mind is, why are we here? creation to create to create theaters. Yeah. for creative expression. And why is your soul What is your souls mission?
Kia Kiso 51:10
To be a filmmaker to tell stories and you know, heal people and uplevel the world through through media?
Alex Ferrari 51:19
Yeah, it has been a pleasure having you on the show. Thank you so much for coming on. Our humble, humble little podcast. That's just starting out. So I do, you win. But thank you so much. Now, this
Kia Kiso 51:35
is great. You had told me about the podcast A while ago and I you know, what are your biggest cheerleaders. So thank you again.
Alex Ferrari 51:41
I appreciate it.
Links and Resources
- Kia Kiso – Linkedin
- Conscious Media Visionaries – Website
- Zaza productions – Website
- Squint Direct – Website
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