Peter Koeppen is the executive producer and founder of Continuum Video, a video production company based in Frederick, MD that offers high quality filmmaking services to organizations of all sizes. A brief look at his past awards (Addy Gold, Communicator Gold Award of Excellence, Communicator Silver Award of Distinction, Telly Bronze) speaks to the quality one can expect when working with Peter.
As a self-professed lifelong learner Peter has found a way to combine his passion for the visual arts with his innate curiosity. Whether he is producing engaging science television series or helping small business owners tell their unique stories with digital media, Peter is always looking for new ways to grow his understanding of people and the world.
Born and raised in Annapolis, Peter began exploring the visual arts at an early age. In high school he could frequently be found drawing pictures or taking photographs of his fellow skateboarding friends. His interest in art and an entrepreneurial spirit is not surprising considering his father’s early success as a business owner in the computing world followed by a career shift to professional painting and illustration.
Despite his early fascination with the arts, Peter did not go to college with the intention of studying filmmaking. He pursued a bachelor’s degree in history at McDaniel College. As a naturally curious person Peter thought studying history would provide him with plenty of opportunities to learn about the world. It was not until after graduating that he began to seriously consider pursuing photography and filmmaking as a profession.
Peter’s first big job after graduating from McDaniel was working for a landscaping company that served the DC area. What began as a job in their sales department quickly transitioned into photographing finished jobs for the company. But as much as he enjoyed the work, Peter felt that there was an element of storytelling missing from his photographs. After careful research he enrolled in an intensive one year filmmaking program in Sante Fe, NM that focused on documentary films.
After completing the program Peter moved to LA to gain as much experience in the filmmaking industry as possible. He spent a decade out west taking on a combination of freelance and long term projects like PBS’s science series “The Infinite Voyage.” While living in LA Peter met his future wife, Penney, who was pursuing a career as a scientist. Interestingly enough, the two of them were both originally from Annapolis. Penney’s parents were friends of Peter’s parents and had given her his phone number when she moved out west. One phone call from her, and Peter says that the rest is history.
While Peter was based in LA, some of the projects on which he worked gave him the opportunity to travel. He spent a summer in Jackson Hole, WY creating films for the tourist bureau. The area was a hotspot for outdoor sports, and the crew went all over the area documenting everything from rodeos to windsurfing to kayaking. The shoot provided the crew unique chances to enjoy the outdoors, too. It was on one of these excursions that Peter got his first taste of mountain biking. Despite his initial reluctance Peter decided to embrace the opportunity for a new experience. That first trip out was transformative, and he was instantly hooked. As soon as he returned to LA Peter bought his own mountain bike and cycling quickly turned into a passion.
After ten years out west Peter and Penney were ready to move back to Maryland. Peter had the chance to work with the Discovery channel, which had just started up in Bethesda. He worked for the network on projects that aired on the Discovery channel, Animal Planet, and TLC. His work on a documentary covering Afghanistan during this time earned him a National News and Documentary Emmy nomination. When TLC pivoted from producing learning programs to lifestyle reality programs Peter helped developed the car makeover show “Overhaulin’” that was on the air for 15 years.
With his growing experience in lifestyle programming and with a former boss’ encouragement in 2004 Peter began working for Scripps, an owner of the HGTV channel. The job change required a move to Knoxville, TN where the company was based, but the new position gave Peter a chance to gain experience in program development. He still did some production work, but most of his focus was on generating new program concepts.
Always on the lookout for ways to develop as a filmmaker, Peter saw a huge opportunity for growth with digital media and the introduction of Youtube. And as much as he had enjoyed working behind the scenes at the network, he was ready to get back into video production. Peter transitioned from program development to producing, and eventually running, Scripps’s online video content.
In 2015 Peter and Penney once again felt the urge to return to Maryland with their two daughters, Isabel (14) and Emma (19). He briefly worked for Viva Creative, a marketing company based in Rockville, before deciding to start his own digital video production business.
As an entrepreneur, it quickly became clear to Peter that being a part of a coworking community would make the home/work life balance easier, and Peter began searching for local cowork spaces. He picked Cowork Frederick because of its great atmosphere and affordability. Peter quickly discovered having a diverse group of experts in their respective fields was an invaluable resource to his new business. Fellow members expanded his understanding of the legal side of establishing a business, helped him develop a website and company logo, and offered support.
Peter has a big vision for Continuum Video, but at its heart his business is centered on the belief that no matter what your budget is every company should be able to afford high quality video that will make their business look its best. He has already partnered with some great local businesses creating digital content that is shared on their websites and on social media platforms like Facebook. And as a result of his extensive background in both production and development, Peter has found himself to have the flexible skillset that many small business owners need in a media specialist.
When asked to describe himself Peter has a great motto: Physically active and mentally curious. His passion for continually developing his understanding of people and the way things work is a big part of what fuels his creative drive with filmmaking. Every new project is another chance to learn something new, and getting to share that knowledge with the rest of the world is an added benefit.