By ROBERT PIERCE
• Leader & Times
John Kubin grew up in the small Stevens County town of Moscow. He began working with his father, who owned a crop-dusting business there, in the summers when he was 14.
Kubin said he was never really interested in the crop-dusting business, and through many random endeavors, he felt drawn to California to pursue only what he identified as “something.”
“Maybe nice weather,” he said via a Facebook interview.
Kubin has always loved music, acting and stand-up comedy.
“Basically, being a professional clown,” he said.
Still Kubin did not find his niche until this last year, and he calls producing his “thing” now.
“In Hollywood, the general mindset is to play the game of waiting around for something to tell you that you can or can’t do something,” he said.
After about three years, Kubin got tired of waiting, and he wanted be his own boss like his dad. He has, therefore, begun writing, producing and directing his own projects, which he has done for some time for various interests, but he said the real money comes in making commercials.
Kubin wrote and produced a commercial last year for Chips Ahoy “just to keep myself busy” and ended up winning a contest for it. He and his best friend and roommate, Jed Williams, then teamed up to keep making commercials and have won contests for companies such as Chips Ahoy, including Pantene Pro-V, Miller Lite, McDonald’s and Virgin America.
“We, basically, come up with an idea that fits the brands mold and compete against other producers and directors to win the job,” Kubin said. “We’ve been at a steady pace for a while, but we are off to the races now and actually getting paid by various brands to go out and shoot their commercials.”
This month alone, Kubin and Williams have booked Olay Soaps, Select Blinds, Post Grains Cereal and Gillette. The duo likewise officially made their own LLC company a couple of weeks ago entitled “Pretty Nifty Productions,” which has at least one of the two excited.
“I finally got to quit my nightclub job, which I couldn’t be more happy about,” Kubin said.
The pair also recently took home the Virgin America Award.
“We sold two commercial 30-second spots that we invested our own money into,” Kubin said. “We also won two free tickets to fly anywhere in the U.S. on Virgin.”
As for where they are going, the Moscow native said the PNP team will likely fly somewhere to shoot another commercial with the tickets. He added prizes such as this are quite common for him.
“Most of the competitions we do, you win a cash prize,” he said.
Kubin is likewise working on lots of projects with friend and business mentor Ben Scantlin from Liberal.
“We teamed up about five years ago and have had a lot of fun working on all sorts of projects together,” Kubin said. “Ben has been a lifesaver for me in a lot of different ways since I’ve been out here. Very awesome guy and another native from Southwest Kansas.”
Kubin said he and Williams both feel blessed to be in the positions they are in.
“Both Jed and I come from families with good morals and hard truths,” Kubin said. “We both call our mothers often to get a humble dose of reality so we don’t get big heads about any of this. It’s definitely a God-given partnership/endeavor, and we aim to keep going and see where this leads.”