The single most important thing every filmmaker should know before they start a business. EP #126 - Caleb, Eric and Mark

business filmmaker podcast Oct 22, 2020
 

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Today we have Caleb, Mark, and Eric in the studio. These cool cats are old school friends who teamed up to create a community for filmmakers. Inside this community, they share their expertise and help filmmakers create extra revenue through a recurring membership model. 


Here's a sneak peek at what you'll hear:

  • Mark, Eric, and Caleb each give their two-minute backstory. Their stories have something in common that probably gives them a nice little advantage in the video production industry. (If you're a videographer, chances are you have this in common, too! - starts at 3:00)
     
  • startling realization these three men had while chewing the fat one day that became the impetus for starting a community they creatively named, "The Video Community." Full story at 7:00
     
  • An almost NEVER talked about way to sustain your business and wellbeing at the same time! - 8:00
     
  • The single most important thing every filmmaker should know before they start a business. (Not knowing this can be harmful to both your mental health and bank account. Hear this vitally important information at 12:50)
     
  • Can you have a video production business and stay in your creative genius? Hear Den's insightful answer at 12:40)
     
  • The most powerful (and persuasive) word in business. (Sadly, most business owners are terrified of this word, and it's probably why most business owners are stressed out their mind and have trouble selling their services. - 17:00)
     
  • Den's "6-word sentence" that is perhaps the best business advice you will hear all year. Hear this smoldering hot 6-word sentence at 18:35
     
  • Beware of the dreaded "fear nodule". Many filmmakers have a highly tuned fear nodule that keeps them taking on the wrong types of jobs. Full story at 21:00
     
  • What many filmmakers do when quoting a job that would-be clients absolutely love, however… doing this will backfire on you more times than not. – 24:15
     
  • The idiotic thing many video production guys say about quoting jobs that keep them “a day late and a dollar short.” Don't EVER think or say this moronic thing mentioned at 25:45

 

About The Video Community

 

The Video Community:

Started by three friends who have spent the last decade in various parts of the filmmaking industry, The Video Community is on a mission to empower filmmakers to grow through community with an emphasis on creating their own path. Believing that knowledge is open source, TVC educates filmmakers on how to create and live a life of freedom with their video businesses.

 

Mark Pasternack:

Using his passion for video Mark has built businesses across industries. Recognizing the importance of video content he continues to evolve and grow with the industry.

 

Caleb Noel:

Caleb is the Swiss Army knife of filmmaking. He specializes in creative development and from big picture to detailed adjustments he's built a career as the guy who see's the vision and has the follow through to make it a reality.

 

Eric Irvin:

For Eric, It's all about the eye. His keen sight for cinematography has brought fresh perspective and sharp images to all his clients. His work speaks for itself and takes him across the globe.

 

Connect with Den on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/denlennie/

Connect with Caleb on LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/in/noelcaleb/)

Connect with Eric on LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/in/eric-irvin-54441865/)

Connect with Mark on LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/in/markpasternack/)

Get more great resources over at https://www.denlennie.com/ 

 

Episode Transcription

Den Lennie (0s):
Hey guys, Den Lennie here host of the How to scale a video business podcasts. And on this week's episode, we've got something a little bit different that we got three guests on a shorter day Caleb, Mark and Eric three school friends who went off and build their own careers over the last 10 years in video production, everything from Creative to running full blown production agencies and have come together to create a community for filmmakers who are looking to break into the industry and get to that first six figures. And I met these guys and whilst reaching out LinkedIn we got really great conversation going and excited to get them on the show to share their insight and their journeys, how they come together to create this new opportunity for young and upcoming filmmakers.

Den Lennie (46s):
So as always really appreciate it. If you could leave us a review on your platform of choice, and please tell people about this podcast really helps us to spread the word. We didn't have sponsors. We just did this to really get great value and hope you get some value from this episode. So please do enjoy it. Let's get started with the show. Yeah, well guys, it's great to have you on the show. This is the first time I've had three guests simultaneously on the How to Scale a Video Business Podcast so we've got Mark, Caleb and Eric. I guess best thing to do, first of all is let's start with you mark tell us a bit about your business journey as a video producer, as a production company.

Den Lennie (1m 30s):
And we'll go through each one in turn to kind of give us a two minute summary if you will.

Mark Pasternack (1m 34s):
Yeah, certainly. So I started at an audio actually and ah, it was working at a music venue where we were live streaming fans and shows that came through it. So it was like me and five other video people. So they taught me video and I thought them audio, but then I quickly realized, you know, I could, I could do video and audio together and that can kind of be like a powerhouse combination. And so I quickly then found like local businesses and that midsize businesses and you know, some larger businesses and started doing video as a one man band. And then from there I grew an agency for the first five years and had a whole bunch of employees we're in multiple States and that kind of hit a wall with my business and it was like, Hey, you know, similar, I'm sure to what you teach in your community.

Mark Pasternack (2m 22s):
Like I had all this overhead and was like, what am I, what am I actually doing? And I kind of lost touch with actually working with clients and actually doing my passion. So I made the decision to shut that all down and be way more of a producer director. A really for corporate filmmaking is it is how I describe it. So you know, I had to everything from a recruitment videos to a learning management system, like training videos, some brand videos, For like middle level clients. But you know, now I just use a, a, a network of other contractors, other freelancers, and that's really worked out well because you can pull in different skill sets and really start utilizing the gifts that other people have rather than just trying to sell, sell, sell, sell, sell, so you can pay overhead and get the doors open.

Den Lennie (3m 14s):
Right. Caleb, what about you?

Caleb Noel (3m 16s):
Yeah, so actually my origin story, I started in theater performance and a, the first thing I'd picked a camera. It was in late high school and I fell in love with that. So I actually went to college for theater, but all throughout that, I was like, I had bought a camera and I was recording stuff and I was teaching myself and the art, a film making. And then when it came to graduate and in school with this performance background in what I learned in the film and that's when I started making short films and then that graduated to make it a couple of features. One of which Eric actually was a part of, he was the director of photography and that was, that was a blast and going building teams and just like making art for better or for worse, you know, and ah, going down that road.

Caleb Noel (4m 5s):
And then over the last couple of years, I've been exploring it a bit of a different route, like going more into that, a commercial corporate realm. But since we started the Video community, it's like, there's this part of it. It still wants to be this, this creative director. So I'd been returning back to those roots and been working on building some other short film type projects and actually definitely in the animation and, and scaling out and different ways and trying out new mediums.

Den Lennie (4m 31s):
Awesome. And what about you? Eric

Eric Irvin (4m 34s):
All right. Well, I just want to touch on some first of these two guys didn't mention is that we all three went to high school together and a lot of, and I actually started shooting video together back then. That's kinda where I started first dabbling in it, not seriously, but more have more of as a hobby. I was actually a musician and Mark he mentioned he was an audio engineer. So he would record all of my band's music and whatnot in college. I really focused into a graphic design at first and then I did sorta get a degree in video production, but really didn't learn all that much. It was still all very self-taught.

Eric Irvin (5m 16s):
I got a, a job out of college as a graphic designer at a independent record label. And through that several months in, we started shooting Video just after showing some skills that I already had and a slowly transitioned into more and more video with that record label and started really shooting more music videos. So my career really started in the music video world and since a 2016 started on my own gig with my wife and we started working with local businesses and medium sized businesses, shooting brand videos, more for Web a 30 to 60 seconds and high energy videos and what not.

Eric Irvin (6m 3s):
And since we have just been keeping it small like that, but a, you know, getting or finding all the fun work, you know.

Den Lennie (6m 14s):
I see, it's so interesting, you know, that the number of film makers who also have a background in music, I don't know, a single film maker played instrument or is in a band, its always very aligned. Let's talk a little about your kind of business journey. So you have all been doing this for about a decade. You tell me about why you came back together with the Video community.

Caleb Noel (6m 37s):
Yeah. I think what had happened was since we were friends and we kept in touch a little bit over the years, you know, like even like Mark in his agency, like Eric and I will come on and like we, we would be a part of that process here and there. And I was just kinda like this sporadic thing. And then, umm, just a couple years ago we kinda like rekindled and get back together and we were just sitting and chatting about the industry and how it was changing and evolving and just freelancing. And what, what was that life like? And the journey that we had been on after that point and what we would come to realize is that it can be really lonely. The filmmaking attorney can be really, really lonely.

Caleb Noel (7m 20s):
And what we realized is how lucky we were to have each other, where are you going on in this process? And we didn't even realize how much we lean on each other with these years, even if was just in small ways and coming to this realization and the loneliness, we were like, we need to fix this right now. So that was the birth of The Video Community was like we were each other's community and we would talk to other filmmakers and it was a common thing about how lonely the business was and how it can be really isolating. And so we wanted to build a place where filmmakers can come together and realize that are not alone, that all of the struggles they have are not unique to them, but many people go through them and to help people were further along the journey to reach back and help uplift.

Caleb Noel (8m 4s):
Those are just starting on the way.

Mark Pasternack (8m 5s):
Yeah, yeah. Right. Yeah. And I like to second hymn, it's like, no matter what stage you you are, if you're, you know, a one man band or if you've got a whole agency and, and you know, eight or nine employees like Community is, is vital to sustaining your business. And I, I kinda really realized that after I shut my agency down because like I had a community inside of my company, but there wasn't much community of, especially for me, like people at the level that I was at and running the business, not necessarily producing. So its like whether your, a film, like whether your, your a camera up or a DP or a producer, you know, or an owner of an agency that just that idea of intentional community was so important.

Den Lennie (8m 57s):
And I love to talk about that because you know, it's so many filmmakers when they're starting out there, the dream there, a goal that, that our Vashon of success is, and I've had this conversation with literally hundreds of filmmakers is like, what do you want to achieve their like, well, and a few years time at like an office with the team. So I can, you know, just to create a project. So Mark this question as to you, because I'm guessing that maybe had been one of your motivation's who are you fast forward, five years and talk about the reality of what that looks like.

Mark Pasternack (9m 30s):
Yeah, certainly. So like it started out as a passion, you know, I think as all businesses do, like, it was like, this is sweet. Having a lot of fun were just like creating videos, trying new techniques. And then I took on one or two employees and that was fine. And then we started three, four, five, then we started at a second office and then we eventually launched a third office. And then all of a sudden I found myself in like a purely sales and CFO role of like, I just need to sell more and I need to make sure that my books or even, and profitable. So all of a sudden, without me even realizing it, I exited my creative passion and just became more worried about, wow, I've got $30,000 of overhead every month and I need to make sure that every single month, not only are we selling enough to be profitable, but that, that the money's actually coming in enough to pay all the bills.

Mark Pasternack (10m 35s):
Right. And you know, I think I came to terms with that a little too late in it and it it's just like, where am I? Like I wasn't intentional about like, yeah, I wanted to Video business. I wanted to grow and be as big as possible. But I didn't, I didn't know what that looked like until I not.

Den Lennie (10m 52s):
Yeah. The other guys that are, that clearly hasn't been in the pathway is, has March journey being kind of like a, like an antidote to that. Have you can, I've seen him go from this Creative guy to just being a kind of a business guy, what he does know creativity and going well, banks, buddy, we won't bother with that will just kind of stick to being kind of, you know, I don't want to say smaller, but leaner. Tell me about, tell me about how that's inspired. You guys hear me feel good if you've got someone to say, you wanna start with that. Sarah was going to say, Oh yeah, Mark actually called the two of us the night that he kind of wrapped that whole business in fire Caleb and I, we were in Chicago shooting 48 hour film festival.

Den Lennie (11m 38s):
And like that night when we got that call from Mark and you know, he was letting us know that he had made that decision and that was your birthday, wasn't it? Mark.

Mark Pasternack (11m 49s):
Yeah. And I made the decision in my birthday and in two days later, right here we go. Okay. Yeah.

Eric Irvin (11m 55s):
But ah, you know, I had to say, I did notice somewhat at the time, the kind of move into that, you know, losing the Creative rule and not really actually shooting as much video and stuff, but you know, only a little bit, I didn't really notice it until after she had made that decision, how much he had been missing that, you know, part of his life. And he certainly like ever since has been so much more happy, you know, even after that, to, you know, Mark and speak on a morgue, he was kind of in a low spot trying to figure out like, what am I going to do after this?

Eric Irvin (12m 35s):
You know, how do I find this creative side and my again? And, but he certainly ever sense has been much happier because we had,

Den Lennie (12m 44s):
Yeah. And then you can have it all. You can have a great business. Yes. We pick the thing. I think that is so critical for any film maker who's coming into the business to understand is that you cannot just be creative all the time and not have to do what we don't want to do. Or, you know, so many conversations are how people were like, well, you know, don't really want to do the corporate. I just want to do the creative, but they are incredibly naive cars. If you are providing a business service, you have to Savage your clients. But I always say to people, if you did 80% corporate and it was high profit, you can invest 20% of the rest of the time and making Creative.

Den Lennie (13m 24s):
How do you feel about that? And I guess, I guess Mark, you are the obvious one is, comes up. I'll come to you in a second, but Caleb for you and Eric who have a guest pursued more of a creative road. How do you balance that with making money? Because lets face it, you have to make profits in a business to, because that's the purposes of a business is to acquire customer and keep a customer and make the shareholders profit. How do you guys rationalize that as perhaps more of the creative side of your you're kind of your trilogy of, of businesses?

Caleb Noel (13m 58s):
Honestly, I've used my Creative origin as a, as a strength when acquiring clients, I tell them like I come from a storytelling background and if you want to work with me, this is what I bring to the table. I want to find your story. And that's what I wanted to tell. And you know, depending on or their budget and, and what their available resources are, is like, like how far we can go down that path or what exactly that looks a lot. Like, but I think that the two do not have to be mutually exclusive and that's something I had to learn. I'm not going to lie to you. It's like, you know, coming out of college, you've got this bright eyed, bushy tail, like just going to make movies the rest of my life, you know, and like in, yeah, sure.

Caleb Noel (14m 38s):
That's possible. Whatever. But like, it's just, like you said, if you are going to keep it lean and mean you do have to make money. And I don't think that you have to sacrifice Creative its about adapting Creative to a corporate culture. If that's route you are gonna go

Eric Irvin (14m 53s):
Nice. And would I be you Eric yeah, I would definitely agree with that. Umm, I will say that, you know, I should have taken gigs that I weren't as interested in, but I will also say with that, I have said no to plenty of projects that didn't feel right at the same time. So, you know, I, I think I made more of a attempt at keeping it small. I always wanted it to just be me and my wife making videos together. So I really never had an interest in growing into an agency or anything and definitely married at a point of keeping it that way and finding the right clients that wanted to use my kind of team small team.

Eric Irvin (15m 45s):
And you know, it was, it was just more have a choice in that realm. Isn't know the most powerful words in film making. And yet the world that most filmmakers are scared of Mark you must've heard the word? No, he said, yeah,

Mark Pasternack (16m 4s):
Yeah. You know I got, I got a good story for that because I think Eric and Caleb Del, so I had had two employees, they were like kinda one and a half or one full time working part time. And ah, it was like, all right guys, you know, we are going to wrap this up, take us to the next level. Cause I've always been kind of have that like left and right brain like business minded, but also creative. And so I hired two business developers in one year. Right? Not understanding really what that means because when you're a solo, you sell it however you really want to sell it. And I was always about systems and processes, but when it came to sales, it was like, it was a new ballgame.

Mark Pasternack (16m 45s):
So in that year we went from like 12 clients, 220. But after that year and a whole team was so stressed because I would, I bet probably like 80 or 90 of those clients or like one to 3000 and other projects that, and do so much stress on every one. And we're the neediest clients'. Yeah. And then I had just taught me the lesson that like, everybody is not your target. And if you don't niche down and understand like not just what's your niche, like, you know, I'm incorporate more so in like recruiting and training and education in some brand videos. But even further than that, I would say personality wise, cause were all people like you're selling, you're selling you.

Mark Pasternack (17m 30s):
Yeah. So you are selling ROI. You've got to figure out their business profit. Like they are going to work with you and you are going to work with them and I've got a family, I've got three kids now in like for me, it comes down to, is this client going to give me more life in a more energy and more enjoyment that I can come home, my family and be there and be present? Or am I going to be so stressed that, you know, six to 10, 12 hours I'm working? I did. I come home and I'm just dead beat and I get burnt out. It's such an important point on it. It's so good to hear this. I mean, I guess in many ways, Marc, you have the, if you look back on it, those five years of tough building a business and then making the decision to shut at dome is probably what's going to save your marriage and your kids because you know it, I think there's a, a shift.

Mark Pasternack (18m 24s):
I mean, I've been in this business 27 years. I've seen a lot of shifts, but less is more, there are so much work available. There is an endless supply of work, an endless supply of clients. But what I see to my listeners and my members is pick your lane and go deep, become the expert, become the authority because you cannot serve everyone. And yet, and I'm curious to hear your experience with kind of a guest fresher, fresh a business. Owner's like a lot of film makers just think that you've got to be all things to all people who do you find that at as new members coming into your community, what are some of the challenges that they face that you help them overcome?

Caleb Noel (19m 8s):
Oh man, that's the next, I'm so glad you brought that up. So we, so we actually made a course called six figure video business. And we, we actually have a whole section where we go through with these filmmakers about like finding their interest in a strength as a filmmaker and finding what niche can they serve and fully maximize those gifts that they have inherently and those strengths, because we believe that is where they will maximize themselves as a filmmaker and be the happiest and make the most money. Because if you enjoy what you're doing and your really good at it, your just going to naturally wanna keep going deeper. So that's something that we try to invest in them early in the process.

Caleb Noel (19m 49s):
So they can get thinking about that as they go through.

Mark Pasternack (19m 53s):
Right. You know, and kind of piggyback off that. I, I think in my case, you know, I would, I dare say it like a lot of peoples cases starting out its, its what you talked about, Den of like scarcity versus abundance. You know, it's hard to create that thick skin and that mindset or to callous your mind to understand when you're starting out and you're not making any money or very little money. Sometimes you gotta say yes, two gigs that you don't want to take. However that's going to bite you longterm. And so getting them to understand like, no don't take that $300 a wedding. Like how is that? Or if you take it, how is that serving you long term?

Mark Pasternack (20m 34s):
How is that going to get you like your next five clients? Because if $300 can multiply it to 30,000, great take that $300 project. But if its not, then why are you doing that? It's just to distract you from really your end goal.

Den Lennie (20m 52s):
I think what happens is a lot of filmmakers have a very, very active fear nodule in their brain. And the fear nodule says, Oh eight. Someone's like, if it's a kind of mixture of fear and adulation, it's like, Hey, someone wants me or, but they're the kind of, they don't have much budget, but they are a really nice couple or are we the nice people? And I just want to help them. And then at working for free are worse than a free And and you know, I've never, ever I ever met anyone. Who's taking the chief job with the promise, have more work who has ended up with more water at a higher rate. It just never happens. Yeah.

Mark Pasternack (21m 31s):
Ah, you know, we got something that we call brand building.

Den Lennie (21m 35s):
Yeah. That's that's that's

Mark Pasternack (21m 37s):
You could say on paper is kind of similar, but it's the complete opposite were like ever since I should shut down in my agency, like we kind of got into at, towards the end, but like, like a Krispy Kreme donuts. I think their like global, everybody knows, for example, I was trying to win them over and it was a pitch between me and three other agencies. So I was the only kind of self branded independent filmmaker. Like I went above and beyond by creating different videos, different concepts in my pitch. So is that free work? Like technically sure. But like I know the potential of what it is and it was on my terms and it was proactive and it was something that I wanted to do that I could use for future pitches.

Mark Pasternack (22m 20s):
So it was more about like, how am I building my own content that I can use regardless if they take it or not, but also show them that like, Hey, this is the initiative. But I think like Eric always, he does a good job on, on the invoice piece of it is like, if you're going to pitch somebody a project and like, Hey, here's a new idea. You tell them exactly how much it's gonna cost and you'd give that to him. And then even if your like, you know, I had hell, I'll just say, I'll just do it for you because I believe in what were doing, but this is going to cost $15,000. I've had like, that's kinda the only sense of what we call a brand building or, you know, I hate to use the word free work because its not because people get into that trap and there are just like, Oh the 200 bucks are a cool or like what's your budget?

Mark Pasternack (23m 12s):
Whereas like, no I approach. It was like, no, this is how much I cost. And if you look like it or not

Den Lennie (23m 19s):
In what you're saying is then at that point when you discount, it might be given if your going to do it for free. Yeah. You discounted it a hundred percent. That's what I'm sure believe in very much that we have value attached to the work. Yeah. And I find it, I see a lot. And, and, and, and, and I've never done this as people say, Oh, well your not put it this pitch together and did all this work. And if we didn't win the gig at it's the number of people who are spending time, giving away ideas in IP without being paid. And, and I think it's just down to confidence, they just feel like the client's in control. And when you, when you build the confidence and get the right support to understand going in to a client and saying, actually I'll do the thing.

Den Lennie (24m 5s):
This is for us, the number of minutes come back. And that it was a Sony recently just did a film for the Sony on the air seven S three. And I turn them down at first and said, this is not, will have some not, they're probably doing production anymore, guys. I'm a, I'm a business coach really in that space. I haven't shot anything for three or four years. And they were like, no, no, we want you to do this. How much will it cost? And I said, look, you know, why don't you tell me what you've got and what you want. And I'll let you know if I can help. They came up with a figure at white. So I said, OK, we can do this. They were like, sure, no problem. Everyone is happy, but that's a one off.

Den Lennie (24m 44s):
But like, I, I was happy to say no to say is I don't care who their client is. I don't care how big this celebrity is, what opportunities might be because at the end of the day, you know, I know what my value is. And if they want me, this is the price. I think that's pretty a bunch of you, you guys are saying, right? Yeah, absolutely. Yeah.

Caleb Noel (25m 3s):
Yeah. It has control. Absolutely. It's a controlled, because we were talking about his it's like, you get to choose that its not, I'm going to do this for free. Its like I and the client, whatever his controlling, how are you going to do it? It's like I will do this. But then like you maintain control is like pivoting yourself from a service provider. We always say it's pivoting from a service provider to a video expert. You've come in there and you're like, this is how its going to look. And if it is gonna be brand building, as we call it, then it's like, then you have maintained control all of that project. You invoice, just like we talked about, you give them that discount, but they know full on what your worth, how do you work? Yeah. And if they want you in the future, they know exactly how much you cost.

Den Lennie (25m 44s):
An always get money out front. I mean, I, I can't believe it fits me. All the client will get me a 50% up front b******t or should ever do a job with him. And that won't do it. And you know what? I did a job for Sony. I got half the money up front and three days, there's always a way to make it work. And I just make it an, an absolute prerequisite that we do not share a frame or create a storyboard until the money has been paid. I absolutely. Why do you think that that so many film makers struggle with that?

Mark Pasternack (26m 17s):
The scarcity man, they think, Oh, if I'm bowled to them, their not going to like me because I've been married at the beginning of my career. Like you should, I do you want to like, let them control me? And then I realized like I'm just their employee then I'm just not on their payroll. And it's a terrible place to be terrible place. First is like, Hey, you want them to work with you because of who you are and what your brand or the presents.

Caleb Noel (26m 48s):
Yeah. And honestly it's stating what can we just call it? What it is like getting clients it's like dating, you've got to maintain your value. Cause if you don't maintain your value, they're not going too. So you have to come in and be like, if respect is not being served, I will not sit at this table. And I think there is this fear scarcity mindset where people will just sit anyway and then they'll get walked over. And then that bitter the regretful that's when you get people with so much talent quitting and going to other things we've known, people was so much talent who had given up because they couldn't find their way out of this. And really one of the core kernels is maintaining your value.

Caleb Noel (27m 32s):
Yeah, no matter what

Mark Pasternack (27m 33s):
The positioning, but that being the alpha male, you're an alpha positioning your authority. And the fact that you are someone who understands the space intrinsically intimately and will provide value and a for that, there is a cost, a cost exchange. It's always about exchange of value. I mean, I love that you brought that up because something I've implemented in the last, probably a year and a half or two years EVER proposal, I create a custom video of just like myself on my couch professionally done. Let's super simple. Let them know like, Hey, here are the values, like passion, purpose, service, and integrity. That's how I run my business. And if that sounds good to you, like every, every client I have starts on those four values.

Mark Pasternack (28m 20s):
And if you can, if you can establish that and if we don't have that trust, then I respect that, but we're not going to be a good fit and I don't want to work with you. But to the thing that's awesome about that. Mark as you know, how, how few businesses who are selling Video, who are trying to get their client the hand over thousands of dollars to make a video. Cause there, the film makers say, Hey, because you've got to use the video because it's what everyone is using. And he don't use video of themselves. Like it it's so incongruent, like get over yourself, get on camera. And Connect as a person using the medium, you're trying to sell to get that person to understand that you are a real human being.

Mark Pasternack (29m 0s):
I love that. You know, I think it's funny because I feel like my journey into filmmaking has been very nontraditional. I didn't go to school for it. You know, I know a lot of people didn't, but a lot of the people that I'm meeting now, they either went to school or there in more of that, like traditional West coast, Hollywood multilayered, you gotta be in one position in one niche. And that just doesn't lend itself to growing your own business and using your own talents to produce more work.

Mark Pasternack (29m 42s):
Right. So

Den Lennie (29m 42s):
Guys, we're kind of coming to the end of our time does a minute, I wanna understand a bit more about The Video Community because in the spirit of abundance, you know, there are hundreds of thousands of filmmakers around the world who need help and support. And some of them I can't help and some of them you can help and vice versa. So why don't you share with me what the Video Community is, why you started at and who it's for.

Mark Pasternack (30m 9s):
Yeah, certainly. So its a community to empower filmmakers' to grow their business, like planning, simple, you know, that's what it is. And just as any business it's evolved over the last year and a half, two starting a, a course that was an eight week accelerator to get people, just the blueprint of like, what are the nuts and bolts to set up your business so that you can scale to six figures and beyond. And then we started a coaching program with the three of us of coaching these, you know, newer filmmakers into give them that, that support because it's one thing to take an online course, but it doesn't give you feedback, you know, you can't engage with it.

Den Lennie (30m 49s):
Yeah. The learning versus an active skill building.

Mark Pasternack (30m 52s):
Exactly. And then we started talking too, we, we shifted our podcast and just film makers. So we started talking to more and more filmmakers who were probably five to 10 years in their career and you know, the whole conversation we were like, well, how could I get back to my Community I've got this Online network. And so now we've done is really built a A you know, a, a system of a process to partner with these more veteran filmmakers who we share the same values with to help them launch their own self branded coaching program where we take off all the load of the admin and the marketing, the brand and the customer service, you know, no up front costs for them, but were there support systems to help them launch and another service, ya know, alongside their video production, something that is reoccurring revenue, but really is something that's too give back to the industry to really change the next generation of how filmmakers grow up, you know, and how filmmakers learn learned the industry because we're only three guys.

Mark Pasternack (31m 57s):
That's what we've realized. Like were only three guys and that's such a small percent of the entire global industry. And so, you know, we just believe that the more, the more experienced and the more people and the more knowledge shared that we can pull together to share open source with people, the greater that were going to leave, we are going to leave this industry when were done with it.

Den Lennie (32m 20s):
I agree. And I think this industry has always been one of sharing and I, what I've particularly enjoyed in the last five or so years is there are more people like us sharing insights in how to grow in scale of business. And, and I think that that's just good for the industry, regardless of sales and, and, and an opportunity. The conversation is moving more and more towards how do you take this passion and turn it into a business. And, and I said to you, before we come in the coal, you know, someone has said to me recently, or are you sure you want to do this? And to the end, all these guys are competitors. And like, no, not really. We're all kind of, we are all, we're all looking to support filmmakers at different stages of the journey to get to that next level.

Den Lennie (33m 7s):
And, and the next level was always a very overused saying, but you know, let's see that it zero, you want to get it to a hundred grand, my guy's or at two 50, I, when I got into 500 or at a million, and there are a different things along that journey, but actually putting revenue a site, I want people to have time and freedom. And, and that is, that is value. That is success. I know plenty of people doing a million bucks a year and other industry is going, I've got a million dollar business, but they don't make any money. And they're working a hundred hours a week. That is not freedom. I'd love to get from each of you, just one kind of parting statement about where, where you want to see the industry, or where do you want to see the member's you worked with Gore.

Den Lennie (33m 49s):
What, what shifts or are you seeing just to kind of get some, to summarize that for me, if you will.

Caleb Noel (33m 54s):
I know for me, it's how people learn. I think that the traditional ways of learning are not serving the best majority of our community. And I think it's actually failing them on a grand scale. And I think that there are more adaptive, intuitive, and more innovative ways for people to enter the film industry. I never went to film school, but I'm doing just fine. And I just think this is an important message that I want to pass on, that you can learn. You can grow this as an industry that you can break into through non mainstream avenues. And that's just, that's okay. That's it doesn't matter how you get in its that you come in with the drive and the ambition and the willingness to learn.

Caleb Noel (34m 38s):
Yeah.

Den Lennie (34m 38s):
I love that. Eric Robert, you make it.

Eric Irvin (34m 41s):
I think what's important for me to leave behind this industry is to encourage everyone to really find their value and accept their value and know their value. And that's something I struggle with early on. So it's something I hold dear, but you know, just understanding where your value is and in line with your clients and knowing how to give that value and, and ask for their value in return.

Den Lennie (35m 15s):
I love that Mark was, will finish up with you as the, kind of the granddaddy of growing a big business and, and letting it go because it wasn't serving, you know?

Eric Irvin (35m 24s):
Yeah. You know, I think for me, everything

Den Lennie (35m 27s):
That was personal, but like I've always wanted a successful business and a successful family and its been really hard to find good examples of that. And that was my goal. And it seems like in the world we live today, those are, those are very competing factors when they don't have to be. And no matter what kind of lifestyle you want to live, I mean, you've said it like it's the life of freedom, but really a like a life of a of balance have like, you know, some weeks we have to work 120 hours and other weeks you, you work five, you know, but understanding and getting people to really understand like what, what is it that, that they want?

Den Lennie (36m 10s):
What does success actually mean to you? And then how do you build the community around you to keep you accountable and to help you not just get there, but then sustain it there because like I got there, but it wasn't a, it wasn't like climbing at mountain. It, it was like, you get to the top of your life. This is this it, you know, like it wasn't sustainable. So, you know, really, I really wanna leave a legacy with other film makers where they understand how to, how do you have a sustainable Hapi career? Aye. You know what, one of the biggest lessons I will share over the last 11 years that I've been running this business, we started in 2009 with that stop the Academy selling DVDs and the how to shoot with a five day Mark to where were the first and has changed every single year.

Den Lennie (36m 59s):
Since, you know, by 2012, we couldn't give them away the industry, the platform's, the mechanism's have changed dramatically. And I think the piece of advice I wanted to leave every film maker listening to this is that do not come into a business, thinking that once you've nailed your marketing, that said is going to stay sustained. If you would never stopped moving the needle. If the biggest lesson learned was we had phenomenal first year in Business and I was like, EASI, we'll be at a million bucks in know time. And then the next year something else changed. We, we were making DVDs in selling them for $139 each the next year we were selling them for digital downloads. The year after there were so much pirated stuff and they were all in YouTube we could, we couldn't make any money.

Den Lennie (37m 45s):
So, be aware that the marketplace has always changing. The technology has always changing and who you are always changing. So guys it's been such a pleasure to have you on, I will link to your resources beneath this and thanks so much Hey guys. Thanks for watching. I hope you've got a huge amount of value from that episode. If your looking for additional support or resources to support your business journey and head over to denlennie.com, where you can get a whole heap of other resources, free downloads and access all the other episodes in the series, be sure to subscribe and I'll see you next time.

 

 
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