Brenda Klemme is the owner and CEO of K-Tek (www.ktekpro.com) a family-owned business, located in Southern California. With an innate appreciation for the industry, she has worked both in front of and behind the camera and has devoted much of her life to advancing K-Tek products. Under her savvy guidance, K-Tek remains dedicated to manufacturing superior products that help sound professionals working in features, documentaries, news, television and new media.
Q Don’t I recognize you from “Slither”?
A Yes! I played Brenda Gutierrez in the James Gunn-written and-directed cult classic. My character grew up to the size of a barn and blew up, allowing my slither babies to take over the world. It was my final “good-bye” to acting after I’d spent many years in front of the camera. I reoccurred on “Stargate Atlantis”, an MTV show about a boy band called “2gether” as well as guesting on “Outer Limits,” “The Practice,” “The Dead Zone”, and worked on feature films and a ton of commercials in the ‘80s.
Q How did you get started in this business?
A I took over K-Tek the day after I wrapped “Slither.” I literally flew out the night of my last shot to make it for NAB. I’d grown up around sound and filmmaking. K-Tek was my father’s business. He was ill and needed help so I thought it would be a good opportunity to help out and to settle down since I was a new mom. Once we found out my dad had cancer, it was natural for me to take over the business and I have been running it for almost 15 years.
Q What makes a great boom pole?
A Boom Poles aren’t as simple as they seem. The K-Tek Klassic pole, which earned my dad an Academy Technical Achievement Award, was designed to be lightweight and durable, with a trustworthy locking system for each section, and quiet. They are almost like bomber jackets in that the more you use them the better they get. The graphite is hand burnished to help protect the sound from handling noise. There are also different environments that require different features. K-Tek specializes in having options whether you are recording an interview, a feature, news-gathering or in extreme environments like documentaries or reality TV.
Q What is your observation about Sound Mixers and Boom Ops?
A My dad always called the sound department the “unsung heroes” and when you see a boom operator swing a 20’ Boom over your head while standing on a ladder behind a wall with an array of lights pointing in different directions—you see why. As I grew to understand the idiosyncrasies of sound, I learned to respect them even more.
Q Why do you choose to manufacture in California?
A I have a unique perspective when I work on new products. I’ve always enjoyed working with the sound department and my original goal was to take the engineering elegance my dad began and design products that not only improve the work environment for our customers but also looks really good.
Q What products are you highlighting at NAB?
A This year we have made some changes to our Klassic pole. We have new collars, an upgraded coil cable with better shielding, options with removable headpieces so you can remove the cable easily and add a transmitter to the top of the pole with our handy Squid transmitter holder. We also have in our Stingray line of audio bags, a revolutionary way to carry your audio gear on airplanes, up mountains, on subways, etc. The new Stingray Back Pack has a docking station for a fully loaded audio mixer bag. I am also proud of our Harness that keeps the weight of the audio gear off the sound mixer’s shoulders and onto their waist (something I learned was essential when I demo’d Steadicams in the 1990’s.)
One product designed especially for the Sound Utility in mind is our new Stingray Hip Pack. It’s a holster style carry-all bag for all the gack that Utility carries on set with the ability to not have to put anything down and to use both hands. The Hip Pack can also function in other departments on set as well as for photographers and videographers.
We also have our entry-level line of products, Airo by K-Tek, that includes a budget conscious boom pole, shock mount and windscreen.
Q Where can attendees find you at NAB Show?
A Booth C7933