Beau Miller and Kevin DeOliveira are Faction. The two wholly comprise, decide, produce, and direct everything the company unveils, but they are more than a production house. Faction specializes in transcending lifestyle, product, and documentary-based commercial art.
Beau is the executive producer, Kevin is the director and editor. Together they make commercial art that does not abide by the old rules of corporate creative. The pair are truly an odd couple of a creative team that is based in Cleveland and working for clients worldwide, and damned good.
How Kevin and Beau met is, according to Beau, “The most boring part of the story.” The two started working together as an in-house team for a now-defunct agency. After a few years of working together, Beau and Kevin realized they had natural chemistry. Emboldened partly by a changing business environment and the combined knowledge of how the creative process worked, they went out on their own to start Faction around 2013.
“Beyond a love of bourbon, our interests could not be more different,” Beau says.
Kevin and Beau are so not peas in a pod. Kevin is sci-fi, Beau is a thriller. Kevin is a family man. Beau is a hard-and-fast single guy. Kevin has handmade spacesuits from Alien in his basement. Beau wears loafers and an outstanding hat. Strong knowledge of commercial creative is the basis of the friendship that grew into the business.
With two different personalities working in the corporate arena, the standard song and dance of client meetings can take away from what shows up on film. Beau and Kevin only do one pitch. Also, they don’t do meetings about just anything. Faction knows the client relationship is not mired in truth. They aren’t an anti client house, they just want to give them the best option.
“In most meetings, other companies just kind of nod their head, offer up the occasional ‘that’s a great idea.’” Beau says. Faction does everything possible to avoid that.
Beau and Kevin will tell you no. They put everything they have into that one pitch – it’s their best work every time.
“Oftentimes, everyone on the team knows one pitch is bad,” Kevin says. “More often than not, the second one isn’t that great either – I mean, you don’t want to put your soul into it… it’s a commercial. Still, you need to bring all you can to a project.” Especially if that project is for something that Beau would describe as “unsexy.”
You can only wonder what their clients think when they see the duo. A 6-foot-tall bearded Beau with a Brazillian blowout standing shoulder to shoulder with Kevin, who looks like Beau started cheating off him in high school and took it to the next level. When you hear them talk, they seem more like a husband and wife than anything. The two have a visible connection. Kevin is quieter, but not necessarily more reserved. Kevin’s got the directors bag filled with every charger known to man. Beau is at Walmart at 3 a.m. buying all the crew steel toe shoes.
Beau and Kevin do love their work – it shows in the end product. They don’t subscribe to any old sayings when it comes to what they do for a living. They work hard. Some days are harder than others, yet they persevere to create and expound the bounds of what’s possible in commercial artistry.
“The path is not always pretty but you have to do it,” Kevin says. “Just get your hands dirty.”
Two Kent State University grads, one chance meeting at work, and 10 years of friendship. That’s the recipe for what is Faction. Beau and Kevin are ahead of the competition, beyond expectations, and somehow still friends.
Kevin’s Dream Factory
Oh! About that cool Alien spacesuit being in Kevin’s basement – it’s the closest thing possible to the original space suit from Alien. It’s made from the same original casts that were preserved from the movie. All the suits were destroyed, but one cast remained. That’s what one of the highest-level commercial directors and editors does for fun – he builds nerd fantasies that sometimes end up in major motion pictures.
If there are monuments to all that is nerdom, that is, everything that you can imagine that is cool about sci-fi, Kevin likely has tucked deep away from an adoring wife in every man’s safe space – a basement. Kevin always wanted to be a big-time Hollywood director, so his obsession with movie-quality replicas and original pieces is fully understandable.
Kevin, of course, is taking it to a whole new level. His leisure activity has made him become one of the few people in the world that’s involved in the finishing of props and oddities for film studios. The props Kevin makes and collects are used and seen on the silver screen. His basement is a fictional armory. Kevin has what amounts to every worthy sci-fi gun of all time. Working with and collecting props is how Kevin winds down. His hobby is kind of niche, so it turns out there’s a couple of bucks to pick up for some good replica work – which he can use to get more cool sci-fi stuff to add to the collection.