The Beggar Kings Manifesto
The practice of letter writing is a bit of a lost art. For millennia it was the primary way for one human to communicate with another, friend to friend, when not physically present. Please permit me to use this old, decidedly low-tech art form here.
What I’d like to do is, with as much pomp and circumstance as necessary but as little as possible, share with you a little of how I, and consequently, Beggar Kings Entertainment approach this beast called Show Business.
Beggar Kings Entertainment is a modern, award winning production company based in Los Angeles and founded by RD Delgado. It is a company birthed in and built for the modern media landscape.
I founded Beggar Kings Entertainment because I wanted to tell moving, meaningful stories of the highest production value, and because I wanted to build a successful company that would create value for audiences, brands, clients, and consumers alike. As an unabashed realistic idealist, I began with the idea that anything is possible. I believe it even more now, a decade into this dance.
The following little introductory document is part Manifesto, part Thesis, and part Exploration. It’s a way to force myself to identify and articulate principles that guide me as an Entrepreneur, as a Producer, and as a Human. I have strong opinions and a firm perspective about many things; but this Manifesto, like me and my company, is a work in progress. And it’s an explicit effort to connect with others who may share some of these ideas, who may challenge and improve them, and who may build upon them.
Thanks for giving it a read.
There are 3 touchstones that guide our work at Beggar Kings:
Lead with Beauty
1 - The Non-Negotiables: Professionalism, Diversity & Excellence
We take Professionalism, Diversity, and Excellence very seriously. That means that everyone from the Boss’s Boss to the Part-Time Cleaning Crew is treated exactly the same: as a Person. Sounds a bit boring, doesn’t it? A bit obvious? Sometimes the obvious needs to be said.
For example, it is a rare and beautiful thing when a call is returned promptly, when a “quick no” is given instead of an endless “maybe,” and when an invoice is paid on time. SHOCK AND AWE, I know. Simple PROFESSIONALISM goes a long way.
Furthermore, we held ourselves to a high standard of DIVERSITY (the standard referred to in the Inclusion Rider even before it had a name) because we believe that diversity is not only valuable—it doesn’t take a PhD in Anthropology to tell you that—but essential. We make a point, on all of our projects, to have our cast and crew reflect the simple reality and beautiful diversity of the real world around us. This applies to our Directors, Cinematographers, Editors, Actors, the Subjects of our Documentaries and more. We believe that Creativity is a communal experience that flourishes best when all humans are included and respected.
Lastly: Excellence. Excellence is simply doing the best one can with what one has been given. For us, that means striving to produce content of the highest caliber: Oscar, Emmy, and Cannes Lions. A commitment to excellence is non-negotiable.
Professionalism, Diversity & Excellence are non-negotiable.
2 - Reality Wins
REALITY WINS is our way of saying that we want to—we choose to—reflect reality in every aspect of our work.
We’re not afraid to tell stories about the hard truths of life: radical hunger (Generation Hope), societal stereotypes (Terminal 3, The Badlands Girl), drug addition (Promises), the challenges of the modern education system (Little Things, Detroit Drone Drop), and more. Rather, we look for the light in those dark places.
Another way we reflect reality is our use of tools. We’re fascinated by technology, by the fact that we carry super-computers in our pockets that have more computing power than NASA used to send someone to the Moon and back. What a time to be alive! As evidenced in this decidedly low-tech letter that I am writing to you—we embrace both the old and the new and we think the magic happens especially in combining the two: the old method of letter writing that is bounced off of satellites in space until it reaches its destination.
We fully embrace the radical power that technology gives us. And yet we know that technology for its own sake is not the answer to all of our problems. Just like throwing money at a project will not solve all of its problems, so, too, tech upon tech will not help the client reach the consumer in a more meaningful way.
Rather: human-centered storytelling, human-centered design, human-centered campaigns. Make us feel. Make us think. Teach us something about the world, about each other—about ourselves. That—that fleeting moment of floating in raw reality—is what gets our hearts pounding. And makes us come back for more. We create compelling content that does exactly that.
In other words: when Reality Wins, Everyone Wins.
3 - Lead With Beauty
LEAD WITH BEAUTY is perhaps the most important.
Beauty is like love: hard to define, but easy to recognize. We take great care in partnering with true artists, especially those who are responsible for the creation of the image. We hold ourselves to the highest standards of beauty—and we expect our Writers, our Directors, our Cinematographers, our Production Designers—and so many others to bring their A-Game or don’t come at all. We have not been disappointed yet.
This includes our partners who are not “artists” in the traditional sense: account executives, brand ambassadors, analytically-focused people, the “Client” and more. Artistry doesn’t always require a physical brush. Artistry can be expressed in the creativity of problem solving, in the ease with which one can manage everyone’s expectations, in the efficient management of finances, and so many more ways.
Beauty is everywhere. It’s a unique joy to discover that beauty with our partners.
WE ARE IDEALISTIC REALISTS
We believe in the inherent goodness of human beings. We are optimists. We believe the best is yet to come for this strange creature called Human.
And yet we don’t live with our head in the clouds. Tough decisions need to be made and dirty diapers have to be changed. Such is life. We’re all beggars and we’re all kings. We just don’t know it yet.
We’re not afraid of telling tough stories—whether those challenges come from content, logistics, timeline, or otherwise—because we believe that the most compelling stories acknowledge the rain but don’t stop looking for the rainbow.
At Beggar Kings, we’re immersed in the modern world of storytelling. And in that world, we live at the intersection of story, business, and technology. At that intersection stands humanity. We tell stories to that human because in many ways and on the best of days, we are able to tell the stories we want to hear.
At our core, Beggar Kings is about Storytelling. It’s about telling stories that communicate, connect, and inspire. It’s about listening to our muses and marshaling every single major art form: the written word (scripts, plays, creative briefs), the spoken word (acting), the sung word (music), the visualized word (Cinematography, Animation, Production Design), the augmented word - VR/AR/XR/MR—and bringing the art and the artists together in a compelling, cohesive, and harmonious whole.
In other words, it’s Show Business.