Welcome to Episode 19!
Our guest for STIMY Episode 19 is Patricia Kelikani.
Patricia Kelikani is an award-winning filmmaker and videographer. Having spent 12 years working at Loma Linda University where she became Director of Advancement Films, she is also the producer, director, and cinematographer of the 12-time Emmy award-winning TV documentary series, “Life on the Line”, narrated by Lisa Ling.
In 2014, Patricia became a freelancer and founded Kelikani Films & Kelikani Consulting, where she teaches people how to make lucrative videos from home.
Who is Patricia Kelikani?
Growing up, Patricia wanted to be one of the Doublemint twins in their ad commercials with her twin sister.
While that didn’t pan out, she loved storytelling and decided to become a TV news reporter when she was 14. This led to her running her own column in her high school newspaper, winning the Journalism Award, and even scoring a competitive internship at NBC in LA and Sacramento!
Pacific Union College
From 1997-2001, Patricia pursued a degree in Broadcast Journalism & Political Science. Her path in life seemed set, until a couple of months before graduation, she went mountain biking:
Eventually, she did end up spending a year as a student missionary and when she came up, she ended up obtaining employment as a special projects editor with Loma Linda University Health.
Loma Linda University
While at Loma Linda, her boss, Richard Weismeyer, sent her to cover a mission trip in Albania which subsequently opened her eyes to her love of being a documentary filmmaker. We also talked about:
- Why the Albania trip was a turning point in her career;
- How she learned to edit videos herself back in 2003, before YouTube even existed!;
- Why her trip to Ethiopia – which raised over $1 million – was so impactful;
- An unfortunate filming incident involving Ryan Reynolds & Matthew Perry;
- Producing “ Loma Linda 360”, which eventually turned into “Life on the Line” – the 12-time Emmy award winning documentary focusing on the resilience of mankind;
- What it was like filming some of the episodes for Life on the Line, including the San Bernardino shooting;
- How Lisa Ling became involved in the documentary;
- What it was like winning the Emmys;
- Why she decided to quit & become a freelancer;
- How she built her freelance video production company; and
- How COVID has impacted her life & career since.
If you’re looking for more inspirational stories on STIMY, check out:
- Austen Allred: Co-Founder & CEO of Lambda School – a coding school that lets you attend for FREE using the Income Sharing Agreement (ISA) scheme, where you have to pay back only after earning above $50k/year. Graduates of this Y Combinator backed startup have gone on to work in Fortune 500 companies like Facebook, Google & IBM
- Kendrick Nguyen: Co-Founder of Republic – one of the top 3 equity crowdfunding platforms in the US
- David Grief: Senior Clerk of Essex Court Chambers – has nurtured the careers of many judges sitting at the UK Supreme Court, ICC & ECHR in Strasbourg (including the former Chief Justice of England & Wales)
- Guy Kawasaki: Chief Evangelist of Canva & Apple
- Sarah Chen – Co-Founder of Beyond the Billion: a global consortium of over 80 VCs that have collectively pledged over $1 billion in funding in female-founded companies
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Some of the things we talked about in this STIMY Episode can be found below:
- Patricia Kelikani: Website, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube
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Ep 19: Patricia Kelikani - Multiple Emmy Award-Winning Documentary Filmmaker & Christian Entrepreneur
Patricia Kelikani: And so one day I was mountain biking and I remember just praying, like I'm so excited to graduate and live my dream. Like, please help me to find a job as a TV news reporter.
And then I just felt God told me, almost like everything was in slow motion. I want you to be a student missionary in Prague, with your sister and my best friend, Heather.
I literally said, no. I was like, no, I'm going to pursue my dream.
Ling Yah: Hey, everyone. Welcome to episode 19 of the So This Is My Why Podcast.
I'm your host and producer, Ling Yah, and today's guest is Patricia Kelikani, a multiple Emmy award winning documentary filmmaker and photographer, who also runs her own freelance business teaching people how to make their own lucrative videos.
However, Patricia didn't always know she wanted to be a documentary filmmaker. In fact, she grew up wanting to be one of the Doublemint twins with her twin sister and studied broadcast journalism and political science at university.
However, God had other plans for her and she ended up spending a year in Prague as a Christian missionary. Upon her return, she joined a nonprofit where she ended up producing a multiple Emmy award winning show, "Life On The Line", documenting the resilience of humankind from talking about child abuse to featuring victims of the unfortunate San Bernardino shooting.
I loved Patricia's story of faith and how she accidentally found her calling as a documentary filmmaker. And I'm sure you will too.
Are you ready?
So I thought I could start off with this fact I found out about you, which is that you have a twin sister and you want it to be one of the double mint twins growing up.
Patricia Kelikani: Yes. Oh my goodness. We did.
So I think probably from the day I first saw one of those double mint commercials. So basically it's a commercial for gum. And the gum is called double mint and it was these two twins who were always in these commercials and my twin sister and I were like, oh my goodness. That would be so cool to be on one of those commercials.
And it never happened. Yet, at least.
Ling Yah: Did you try?
Patricia Kelikani: Well, we actually did, there was an audition. Then we happened to take an acting class from one of the former double men twins, like wow. One of the ladies that we grew up watching, which is kind of cool.
Ling Yah: And what was that like, learning from her?
Patricia Kelikani: It was fun. It was kind of surreal, like, oh my goodness.
It's so crazy. We Loved seeing the commercial and then actually being in the same room as her and all that stuff. It's really cool.
Ling Yah: So it was acting something that you always left since young?
Patricia Kelikani: Yeah, which is kind of funny. Cause I was actually a super shy child, like ultra shy, like socially awkward shy.
Ling Yah: Really?
Patricia Kelikani: Yeah. Oh yeah. The two of you. Well, both of us. Yeah. if someone said hi, I would turn my face and hide my face into my mom's but thankfully I got out of that shell.
Ling Yah: And I got the impression that you were also quite driven as a child because you were writing a column in your high school newspaper. You also shadowed someone at the LA TV station and got a competitive internship at NBA.
So all these things suggest that you were really geared towards that industry. Is that right?
Patricia Kelikani: Yeah, as a kid too, I loved story time. When it was story time in school, like that was probably my favorite time when we had a read out loud in class and practiced reading, I loved reading out loud and then telling stories as I got older was also something that I love to do.
So it was kind of a natural path that I just followed along, even though I didn't want to be a TV news reporter until I was maybe like 14, but yeah, once I decided that that's what I wanted to do then I was pretty driven towards that.
Ling Yah: So what was it about being a TV news reporter that drew you in?
Patricia Kelikani: So telling stories, but also the adventure, like every day it would be a different story or going on location and just being able to travel if you got to as a reporter. My desire was really to tell stories that would have a positive impact on others.
Ling Yah: And I think he wants it to be Lois Lane as well, right?
Patricia Kelikani: Yeah. Oh my goodness. Which is kind of embarrassing to admit right now. Cause it's like everyone, at least to my age always said that, oh, they desire to be like Oprah Winfrey, who's this real life woman and I to be a character out of a comic book, but she had Superman, right?
Ling Yah: Yeah. She had, I mean, who else has it right?
So you end up pursuing broadcast journalism and political science at Pacific Union College from 1997 to 2001. I was wondering, how did you decide to go there to study that particular course?
Patricia Kelikani: So it's kind of an easy answer. My older brother went there and loved it. And so it was just natural path.
We loved it too. So my sister went there as well, and we had a blast.
Ling Yah: And I think that there was a particular incident just before you graduated that changed your life, right? Could you share what that was?
Patricia Kelikani: So my sister and our best friend, decided that after graduation, they would go to the Czech Republic and teach English and help out with a church. And they told me like, hey, you should come with us. It's gonna be awesome. And I was like, no, like. I am going to live my dream.
I've had this dream to be a TV news reporter for oh my goodness so many years. And I was so ready to just graduate and start working and start living this dream of mine. And what was nice about the college that I went to is it is in the mountains. So like just filled with beautiful pine trees and a lot of time, I would go mountain biking.
That was like my escape. And so one day I was mountain biking and oftentimes too, I would just pray. Like in mountain biking and just like, feel God's presence and talk to him. I remember just praying, like I'm so excited to graduate and live my dream. Like, please help me to find a job as a TV news reporter.
And then I just felt God told me, almost like everything was in slow motion. And I heard the words. I want you to be a student missionary in Prague, which is a capital city of the Czech Republic with your sister and my best friend, Heather.
I literally said, no. I was like, no, I'm going to pursue my dream.
And he told me again, no, I want you to be a student missionary with your sister and Heather.
Ling Yah: Was it like a loud voice?
Patricia Kelikani: No it wasn't. It was- it was just, it wasn't? I know it's really hard to express, but it was just kind of like this inner voice in my head. Like it wasn't like physically out there, it was just kind of this voice I heard in my head, I guess. I was just like, Oh my goodness, what is happening?
No, I'm not going to. So we graduated. This is a couple of months later we graduated. I sent out my resume tapes. And all of that stuff to different TV news stations, like really small town TV news stations to where it's easier to get a job.
Ling Yah: Is that literally it right? Because at the time you didn't have digital.
Patricia Kelikani: Yeah. So there are DVDs. I'm pretty sure. This is 2001. Ok it might have been VHs but definitely not digital. And pretty much for the same thing over and over again: you look too young, your hair is too long and your voice is too high pitched.
And I was so heartbroken. I was just like, oh my goodness, what is going on?
Cause I knew I was a good journalist. I won like the Journalism Major Of The Year award. I scored these competitive internships in college. Oh man. It put me in this really low state of anxiety. I think I even had a panic attack. What am I gonna do with my life?
In the meantime, my sister and best friend, they fly for their one year adventure to the Czech Republic. And I'm getting all these emails from my sister about all the cool things they're seeing and doing. And then two weeks later after she's there, there's an email and it says, hey, our director at the school says she needs another teacher. She has more students than she thought she was going to have. Do you want to come here and teach?
And I was just like, Oh my goodness. Yes, like this is what I'm supposed to do. This is what God wants me to do. And he's given me a second chance. And so I immediately of course wrote back and was like, yes, I am in and got my passport.
I don't even think I had a passport. I had to like apply you for one and rushed to get it, to the, whatever it's called, pai extra to get a visa, all that stuff. And actually within just a couple of weeks, I was on a flight over there. It was awesome. It was my first time traveling outside of the US. The United States, outside of Mexico, cause we're like driving distance to Mexico so we'd go there a couple times.
But yeah definitely my first time across an ocean. The Atlantic Ocean. And got to help out at the church there and teach English and on our breaks that we had, we got to travel Europe for a little bit and just had an awesome time.
Ling Yah: And I wanted to go back a little to what you said, that, your voice was too high pitch hair was too long. Do you never feel that you wanted to conform to what they expected? Like, were there other women that you knew they wanted you to fit the mold for?
Patricia Kelikani: So, yeah, the long hair part wasn't a surprise to me because everyone told me you need to cut your hair.
Nowadays, I feel like it's different.
Ling Yah: But why though? That's such a strange thing.
Patricia Kelikani: Yeah, I know it like only weather girls back then had long hair . Like people won't take you seriously, if you have long hair. If your voice is too high pitched, you don't sound credible.
That type of a thing. If you look too young, you don't look credible and as a reporter, you need to be believable and all that stuff. So yeah. It's really, really interesting.
Ling Yah: Did you never feel that you wanted to change that and speak lower? Cut your hair?
Patricia Kelikani: Well, I tried to speak lower. It wasn't low enough.
I mean, now that I'm older, my voice has gotten a little bit lower, which is nice. And to cut my hair, I didn't, I had, no, I didn't want to cut my hair. It's kind of funny. My mom has short hair. She always wanted my sister and I to have short hair too, because like, when we were little kids, it would just get tangled all the time and would hurt us and it would drive her crazy.
And there was one time, we were seven. She told her friend who is a hairstylist, just cut their hair above their shoulders. Oh my goodness, we bawled our eyes. We cried. ever since I was like, I'm never going to get short hair again. Anyways, it's kind of, yeah, don't ask me why, but it's like a weird thing.
Ling Yah: So let's just skip to Prague. Was a particular incident that happened while you were teaching that really had an impact on you.
Patricia Kelikani: Well, a couple of things.
One, the Czech Republic is a former communist country and our students and even friends at the church, friends that I made there, like when they were children just a few years prior to me going there, no one could speak about God publicly.
And to me, it was just really sad to hear that because a lot of them were just hearing about God for the first time, like as adults and stuff. So that was pretty impactful. And, just being able to help out with the church and stuff, it's pretty meaningful.
And then the second thing was, it was awesome to get experience traveling outside of being at home. And so that was just incredible too. Feeling like the world is a lot smaller than it felt like before. Like before I left California, the world just seemed so huge. Starting to travel just made me realize that the world is actually a lot smaller. It's just, you just have to hop on a plane and obviously pay for your plane ticket, but.
Ling Yah: So after that one year, where did you think you were going to go?
Patricia Kelikani: My plan was to apply for TV news reporting jobs again. I ended up applying for a job. That actually Heather, my best friend who was in the Czech Republic, it was actually a job she got, but she turned down. Oh.
Because she lived in Texas and she's like ah I think I want to stay in Texas for now. This was a job in California. So she was like hey I think you should apply for the job. So I applied for it and I got it and I thought, I think I should probably take this job. And it was for a non-profit where I primarily was a photojournalist. but it was in the public relations department, but my duties were to take photographs and write stories for the most part.
That was really great. I had an awesome boss, who knew that I had this desire to be a TV news reporter.
Ling Yah: How did he know? You told him that.
Patricia Kelikani: I told him that, in fact, I told him it's so crazy. I do not suggest anyone doing this, but during the job interview, they asked the question. So what's your career goal? And I told them, I want to be a TV news reporter.
And they said, okay, well, if you get the job. Yeah, we would like you to work here for at least two years. How do you feel about that? In my response, which I do not recommend saying, I said, how about one year? And he's still offered me a job. w
What that turned into is actually a boy, 12 years. And I still work there, but as a contractor, through my own business.
But through, out that time though, which was really cool is my boss who was amazing, knew that I had this love for video, even though I didn't know how to make a video, because back in that day, the only people who learned how to make videos were film students, not journalism majors, which is completely different than what it is in today's world.
But anyway, he walked into my office one day and he said, Hey, I want to send you on assignment to Albania. And I think you should take a video camera , just see what happens.
So I did and had no idea how to use that video camera other than I knew the red button was to push the record. So I took a five minute crash course from an audio visual guy, an older gentleman. And flew to Albania and captured video along with taking photographs and writing a story.
And what was supposed to happen was another department's, so the audio visual person was supposed to edit the video, but they were always too busy. So I was like, man, I should just learn how to edit.
So I took money out of my savings and bought my own Macbook Pro, because the computer at work was a super, super old iMac and wasn't able to edit video. Like it just wasn't powerful enough. And then I learned how to use iMovie on my own. This is before YouTube existed.
Ling Yah: Wow. So you just experimented the whole way and figured out how to do it.
Patricia Kelikani: Yeah, experimented. I think they probably have like PDF guides. Yeah. So, yeah, I know. Very interesting. And then, yeah, I ended up editing the video. I showed it to my boss.
He then after watching it calls up the president of the organization, the president came down, watched the video and the next thing I knew, they were sending me on assignment all over the world to tell these amazing stories and create documentary films.
And that is when I realized, Oh man, this is my love. Like, this is what I'm passionate about. It's not to be a TV news reporter, but to be a documentary filmmaker. And it was just amazing to see like, looking back how God had that, , in his plan and how, even though I thought the end of it, the result was going to look one way.
It actually looked a different way, but yet it was like so much more fulfilling. So.
Ling Yah: And so like they've really scientists do I think really interesting places, right? Like Afghanistan, Ethiopia, China. What were the couple of projects that really stood out for you.
Patricia Kelikani: For me I would say Ethiopia.
So that was one of my first documentaries. It's probably like the third video I made. But that was so eye opening for me because I had never been to a country where the people lived in such poverty.
You know they would literally sleep on like dirt floors and stuff like that. They still had this just light in their life and just, I don't know, just exuded, like such love to you.
And yeah, it was very eye opening and I think I realized because their health conditions too weren't very good. So a lot of them were getting sick or would get different infections and stuff like that.
And I realized that for those of us who are able to help others, that's kind of our duty to be able to help others and for them to be able to live a healthier, better life. It was really meaningful to be able to make a documentary film and to be able to help the people over there.
Ling Yah: So what were you going over there to capture?
Patricia Kelikani: Specifically, it was basically telling stories based at one of the hospitals in this village and the work that they were doing and also the local stories, stuff like that. So the impact that that hospital was making on the lives of the people who lived in it was actually Gimby in Ethiopia.
And it was awesome that that film helped to raise over a million dollars, which was like the most that the nonprofit had ever raised for that particular program. Yes. It's really awesome.
Ling Yah: What'd you think about that video that really resonates with people, leading them to give so much?
Patricia Kelikani: You know, I think it was, and this is what a lot of people would tell me after they watched it, is they felt like they were right there with those people and it made them realize too, like, Oh man, like I have the means to be able to help them and it made viewers feel like they were just really close to this story and an experience the way that life was like over there.
Ling Yah: Was it a challenge for you to get all this footage? Like, was there a trust barrier, language barrier?
Patricia Kelikani: I would say the biggest challenge was just- it was me and my health, because it was pretty exhausting. I had also recovered from pneumonia, like a couple months earlier and apparently towards the end of the trip, I caught pneumonia again.
It was a struggle, but I really wanted to capture these different stories. So I just pushed myself to get out of bed and pushed that record button. So I'd say that was probably the biggest struggle..
Ling Yah: Did you feel pressure as well? Because I think like there was also opposition from people sending you to do all these interesting work, but Dr Richard Hart was on your side saying that, support her. I know she can do it. Like, did you feel that?
Patricia Kelikani: Yeah. You know. Okay. So I actually didn't know that people were against me going . So they were against me going because they felt like I wouldn't be able to do a good job. I didn't know that until afterwards which makes me glad. I mean I think if I would have known, it might've been pushing me to do a better job.
I don't know. I don't know if I could have done it. I try to always do my best work.
So it meant a lot to me hearing that afterwards, that. Dr. Hart really trusted me and believed in me, even though others didn't.
It's so funny whenever he sees me he's like you know, I still remember that day when I questioned Dr Hart about sending you to Ethiopia
Wow they would just tell you that.
Oh yeah. But Patricia you did such a great job. I'm so proud of you so it's like ah thank you. so it's like a nice reminder.
Ling Yah: Do you feel that doors opened more and you were given more challenging projects after once you did the one with Ethiopia?
Patricia Kelikani: Yeah, definitely because there were other people too, who didn't feel like I was ready yet to do like the bigger projects and stuff for the nonprofit. Cause they still hired out video projects back then and paid a lot of money to other companies. but within three or four years.
And this was after we also grew the video department. Then they quit hiring outside and just use us, which meant a lot to
Ling Yah: Was this the point when you created your own department?
Patricia Kelikani: Yeah. Yeah. Honestly, I forgot. I think Mr. Wise Meyer, my boss just came in and was like, Hey, I think we should start a video department.
And so we hired one position starting out. And then I was promoted to head that department up. And now that department is seven people. So since then we've grown quite, and I'm not the director anymore. So I resigned once I had my first baby, which was six years ago. I resigned from that position, started my own business.
And thankfully they hired me as a contractor and became one of my biggest clients.
Ling Yah: And I read that you once did an interview with Ryan Reynolds and Matthew Perry?
Patricia Kelikani: Oh my goodness, yes.
Ling Yah: How did that come about? Like what happened?
Patricia Kelikani: Okay. So Ryan Reynolds and Matthew Perry were part of this benefit, an acting show in Hollywood and all the ticket sales were going to benefit the nonprofit that I worked at, which was Loma Linda university, specifically the children's hospital.
So Loma Linda university children's hospital.
And so my team and I recorded the event and beforehand we interviewed some of the stars, the celebrities that were a part of this event, including Ryan Reynolds and Matthew Perry.
And I was asking the questions and they were like, hilarious and all that stuff. Then we had a rush off and switched memory cards out of the cameras to get ready to record the main show. So we did that. I put in a new memory card, and then I erased it because I knew that I had backed up that memory card earlier, already from some other thing, like probably, I don't know, a few days earlier we had filmed.
It turns out I got mixed up and I put the same memory card back into the camera that we had just filmed Ryan Reynolds and Matthew Perry and I totally reset footage. Oh my goodness. Yes.
Ling Yah: Did you get to redo it?
Patricia Kelikani: No, I was like, there's no way I'm going to ask them if I could interview them again. Plus the show was starting. So there was like no time. I tell people who are starting out, give yourself grace. You will make a mistake. And most likely those mistakes won't happen again.
Ling Yah: You will forever remember it. So I read that in 2013, you ended up doing the Loma Linda 360, which changed to life on the line.
Can you share what that's all about?
Patricia Kelikani: Yeah. So Loma Linda 360 was a TV show, a local television show that we created, based out of the stories and the documentaries that we were making. And, it aired locally, in Southern California. Once we started getting like accolades and just improving the quality of the show.
Ling Yah: I think you got an Emmy, right? For that.
Patricia Kelikani: Yeah. Yeah, we did. Which was super awesome. Then we decided she tried to make this a new show and make it a national TV show on PBS. Rebranding it kind of gives new concepts to it. And so, yeah, so with life, when the line is a TV documentary series and we work with Lisa Ling.
What was nice was someone I knew who had connections at Loma Linda, where I worked, he was family, friends with Lisa Ling's family. And so I was like, Hey, what do you think? Like, we think it'd awesome. If Lisa Ling narrated the show.
So that's how it all started. It was just contacting one of her friends.
Ling Yah: It would've been quite challenged, right? Because for those who don't know, Loma Linda consists of six hospitals and eight professional schools, 800 physicians, 14,000 faculty and staff. It's a huge amount of people and places physically.
So how do you come up with each episode? Like what are you going to feature? Because your episodes are quite short. It's like six episodes per season. So it's not that many.
Patricia Kelikani: Yeah. It's a mini series. And for Life On The Line, each episode is like one story.
Basically, what we do is for me as a showrunner and producer, I'll get story ideas, people will contact me about story ideas.
I'll contact other people to see if you know they have any good stories and that's pretty much how it happened. And then from there we think about, okay, is this particular story going to resonate with our viewers. This was maybe one story that was like a global news story in the year prior or something like that.
Or by the time it airs, it would be like the year prior so that would be when it would probably make the list because people in general would be interested in that topic. So, yeah, that's kind of how we do it. And then also the characters.
If we follow, for example, this patient, are they going to be able to be captivating enough?
Are they going to be open enough on video to keep viewers attention and be able to share ? Are they gonna be able to share what they're experiencing and stuff like that?
Was it hard to get consent from people to show? Because some of the things that you show are very vulnerable, like the San Bernardino shooting, the newborn fighting a heart disease, they're like really, really personal.
Yeah, they are. You know surprisingly, most people, I would say , 99, probably percent of the people that we ask, if they would be willing to share their story and their journey with us, they say yes. And it's because they know that through their story, they're going to inspire others and they're going to help others who are going through similar situation.
And so, yeah, it gives their challenging life event that they're going through, it gives them meaning to be able to help others through it.
Ling Yah: Do you find it tricky to do all your filming, but not get in the way of like the doctors doing their job, for instance?
Patricia Kelikani: No, like in the operating room or something, we know we can just zoom in, but we're still far away . It's actually pretty easy and the doctors are like super cool to you about it. As long as we communicate with them beforehand and plan it out then.
Yeah. Everything is smooth sailing.
Ling Yah: So what do you think were the biggest challenges for you doing this?
Patricia Kelikani: Boy. That's a good question. I've been doing it for so long that it's-
Ling Yah: Yeah because you have so many roles as well. You're like the director, producer, cinematographer, so many roles.
Patricia Kelikani: Yeah. on the team we'll switch roles because we all have our own strengths, but we also know how to do everything else too. Like, I am not the best cinematographer. We have better cinematographers, but I can still obviously film and do all that.
But I would say the biggest challenge probably in the editing. Like making sure that as we edit, as we tell this story where we're doing it justice, we're telling it in a way that will make them the most positive impact and be inspiring.
Ling Yah: And you mentioned your team earlier. Could you give us a sense of how many people are in that team and how you all work together?
Patricia Kelikani: Yeah, so, okay. There are basically seven of us, who work pretty closely. And we have all the rules there. So like cinematographers, director of photography, like I'm the main producer, like directors, we pretty much will assign roles.
This person's going to direct this one, this one will direct this one, that type of a thing. We all are editors, but we'll also hire out some of that too. And then they're part of the team as well, but we don't see them as often as the core team. But yeah, we'll hire out editing sometimes.
And in fact, a lot of the people that we hire out to used to be on the team full time, but then they moved away or something like that.
Ling Yah: Could you share, what were some of the biggest moments for you or things that impacted you while filming this?
Patricia Kelikani: I think, so San Bernardino is strong. That was an episode of documentary we created and made based on the terrorist attacks that happened in San Bernardino, where a husband and wife open gunfire at a Christmas party and killed, I think it was about 15 people and injured, like a lot more.
So that one was obviously very impactful to me because it happened in our community. And I think too, just being able to tell Julie's stories. So she is the main person whose story we're telling and just seeing how she was able to rise above it, even though she has permanent physical damage and obviously just trauma emotionally and all of that too, but how she was able to just get through that and be able to tell her story to others was just really awesome.
Ling Yah: And clearly, all of this work has really resonated with people because you end up earning, I think nine Emmy awards, which is so incredible.
Patricia Kelikani: Yeah. I think it's like 12 or something, but it kind of, yeah, but I kind of lost count but-
Ling Yah: it doesn't matter anymore.
Can you share with us the experience of, like, just going to the Emmys and getting recognition for these incredible work?
Patricia Kelikani: Oh man. it's awesome. It's funny because like, it's kind of the glamour part of the job, like the only glam part of the job. Cause most of the time, you're behind the camera.
You look like just not always put together For some of these projects you're completely exhausted, for example, like pneumonia, right. And so, yeah, it's hilarious. Just how much of a contrast it is being on stage to get the Emmy and what you really look like when you're doing the job.
Ling Yah: Maybe you could share one thing that we probably wouldn't know since we haven't been to the Emmys?
Patricia Kelikani: Well, so there are different Emmy awards.
Like for example, the ones that we always see on TV, or like the primetime Emmys with like modern family TV shows and stuff like that, like for the ones that I go to, it's awesome. We're just surrounded by other amazing people who work in the same field as you.
And it's awesome just to be in the same room and have everyone there looking their best.
Ling Yah: Wow. And so, you got married in 2012 and you had your first son in 2014, and that's when you decided that you wanted to take a step back from Loma Linda?
Patricia Kelikani: So I always wanted to be able to have more flexibility as a mom.
And so that's when I resigned from my director position, I'm heading up the department there at work. And started my own business and basically worked part time so that I could spend more time with my son. And now I have two boys. So yeah, it's been really nice to be able to do that.
Ling Yah: Was it a difficult decision to resign?
Patricia Kelikani: No, I had always wanted to do that. Like ever since I can remember, that was like my plan.
So like when before we started school, my twin sister and I, my mom was able to be at home with us, which was really awesome.
But then what was sad is when I was seven, my parents got a divorce and so life completely changed. My mom was no longer a stay at home mom. She had to work like two, three jobs. We weren't picked up at school when school ended. We were like the last kids to be picked up. So it was very life changing.
And that was just something that I wanted to make sure that when I was a mom that I would be able to pick up my kids from school that would be able to, , always be able to spend quality time with them and not have to worry about having to work two three jobs, that type of a thing.
Ling Yah: And so when you resigned, did you already have a work lined up, that you knew you were going to get? Like how did you balance having a newborn and being so committed as a mother, but also being able to run your company?
So thankfully before I officially resigned, I talked with my employer and basically proposed this plan to them. And told them too that you know I've just always had this desire to be able to spend more time with my kids once I do have kids. So they were really supportive and thankfully six years later they're still one of my biggest clients, which is nice.
And you also run your own course now, teaching people how to use video in your business. So how did that come about?
Patricia Kelikani: So as I started my own business, I would also meet with potential clients. And some of these were small business owners who wanted to add video to their marketing, but unfortunately didn't have the budget.
I realized, well If they had the skills and the know how they could actually make their own videos and still get great results. and I had a business coach who actually encouraged me too. And she's actually the one who first gave me the initial idea to make an online course.
I'm not sure, are you familiar with Kristi Wright of the business boutique? So she's the one who first inspired me to do that. And I was like, Oh my goodness. I would love to do that. So yeah, that's how it all started. So now I also help entrepreneurs grow their businesses with video.
Ling Yah: So how was the response and how did you grow it?
Patricia Kelikani: It's been good. So I started a YouTube channel before I even had the online course and just to test it out, see what the response would be, and got really good feedback.
And then from there, I worked on my online course and then launched it. Growing my email list did all of that online business stuff. It's awesome. It's really fun too, because for those who are in my course, we'll have monthly group coaching calls over zoom. So I'm able to see them and help them pretty closely, , I'll do one-on-one coaching as well, so yeah, it's so rewarding and I love it.
Ling Yah: And how has COVID impacted your life and your work?
Patricia Kelikani: So March, April and May, there was like no work. And so it was crazy and I was completely stressing about it. Thankfully in like June things started to pick up and I've had like one of the highest revenue quarters, , probably in my business.
But yeah, it's funny. Cause it looking back, it made me realize like during those stressful moments, I just shouldn't stress so much, you know? Cause like everything will work out, right? Like God has a way. He's gonna help me out. But it's crazy. It's hard not to stress, but looking back, I just try to remind myself if something like a crisis happens again.
Just try not to stress out so much.
Ling Yah: And I think one of the questions people normally post to Christians, as you know, especially for you, you see all these pain, child abuse and then they will go, well, where was God in all this? So do you ever feel like your faith was shaken by what you've seen?
Patricia Kelikani: You know, It's interesting. So someone I interviewed cause we have made a documentary on child abuse actually. It's also an educational type film to help those who have been through it.
But working on another documentary I actually asked someone a similar question. So he was a police officer and he was rushing to a call because one of his fellow officers needed help, assistance. I think there were guns and all that involved. So he was rushing off and speeding. I had to help his fellow police officer and then a dog ran right in front of him and unfortunately, he swerved to not hit the dog, but he flipped, got in a car accident and became paralyzed.
Yeah, which is awful. And when I asked him that question of like what? Cause he was, he was a man of God and his wife, he was actually engaged when that happened, but they still got married, which was awesome. Amazing, amazing couple.
His wife actually answered, God promises to always be with you during those bad times. Like he's still with you and will be with you like afterwards and all of that. And God has been with us.
So you know the fact of the matter is, is that bad things happen in this world because of sin, right. And God is still there and will help us through those bad things. So, yeah, that's kind of, I guess my answer is.
Ling Yah: Wow, thank you for sharing.
And I was wondering for those who are interested in entering into this field, what kind of advice would you give them?
Patricia Kelikani: Just start. So nowadays, most phones have video cameras, so yeah, I just start recording and telling stories.
The main thing with telling a story is you need to have a problem. And then you need to show how that problem is going to try to be solved, right? So that's the main same thing.
Oh no, this happened now how are they going to get through this? That's kind of a common story plot. But yeah, just start with your phone and you can, at least over here you can buy a microphone and stuff for pretty inexpensive. And a tripod, but yeah, that's my advice.
Ling Yah: And if you could go back and redo one thing in your life, what would that be?
Patricia Kelikani: I think not to worry as much , knowing that things are gonna work out .
Even thinking back to when I got rejected from all of those job applications, like it worked out. And I think it's hard because we always want to know well what's going to happen? Like, I at least know I need t o sit back, relax, and know that life is in God's hands.
Ling Yah: Well, thank you Patricia, for your time. I've really enjoyed this. I normally end my interviews with these questions. The first one is, do you feel like you have found your, why.
Patricia Kelikani: Yes. Yeah. I feel like my purpose in life is to basically try to inspire others through video and help others do the same.
Ling Yah: And what kind of legacy do you want to leave behind?
Patricia Kelikani: Oh man, that's a deep question. I think I'm just living life to the fullest, making a positive impact in their world and inspiring others to do that.
Ling Yah: And what'd you think are the most important qualities of presence you have to be X successful as you?
Patricia Kelikani: Well, I think having the courage and by courage, I mean, even though you're scared to do something, you do it anyway, because you think about the opportunities that it can give you.
So having the courage to do something, even when you are scared.
Ling Yah: And where can people go to connect with you and find out more about what you're doing?
Patricia Kelikani: They can follow me on YouTube, which is just my name, Patricia Kelikani and Instagram is also my name. Patricia Kelikani.
Ling Yah: And that was the end of episode 19. The show notes can be found at www.sothisismywhy.com/19
This includes the transcript and links to everything we just talked about.
If you have enjoyed this episode, tag me at @sothisismywhy and let me know!
And stay tuned for next Sunday, because we will be meeting a Singapore actress, well loved for her role in Phua Chu Kang, one of Singapore's most popular 1990 sitcoms even to this day. And who also appeared in Crazy Rich Asians.
Where we talked about how she first discovered her love of acting, how she kept that love alive while maintaining a corporate job and how the age of 30, she pivoted into becoming a full time actress.
A path that has now led her to Hollywood at the age of 57. At a time that she feels couldn't have been more perfect for her.
It is a fantastic episode. And I can't wait to share it with you next Sunday.