Follow Your Passion & Invest in Yourself
So my question's kind of get a start on funding these things, finding investors when you don't have connections and publishing when you don't have, again, those connections, all the parts that allow you to tell the story.
Well, actually, that's a great question, this idea of investing in yourself. A lot of the work that we have done and we continue to do this, but certainly when we were getting started, we would invest our own time and money and energy to create things without a client or any outlet that was interested. So that's why it's so important. And I know it's easy to say this. I understand that not everybody has the time, the money to do it, but that's also why you would maybe pick something that isn't too costly to do that you could fit in to your life, the situation you're in. But I think that is they key, is to invest in yourself, find something you care about, and then dive in. And I guarantee you that if you really follow through, you will produce something that will cr...
eate something good out of it for you. And what I found is you never know. It could be that you make this film, and it's great, and nobody ever publishes it, but someone sees it, and then they say, hey man, I'd like to give you an assignment to do something, right? Or you might get it published and make some money off of it. But nothing will happen unless you create something. And I know it's so easy to say that, and it's hard if you have a full time job and this is something you dream of doing, but where do you find the time, or you're a parent, or whatever your circumstance is, but that's the only way to really answer that question and to move forward. And then you build on it. You do one, maybe it's only a three minute film. Maybe it's like a really cool one minute film. The length of time isn't so important, but it's something that really you knock it out of the park, and then you just build on that. So you have to be patient. You have to be committed.
And the reality is nobody is going to take a chance on you until you have something to show for your abilities. So the reality is if you've never made a film before, nobody should take a chance on you unless it's your best buddy and he's like, what the hell, I've got some money to burn at my office and whatever. Unlikely that's going to happen. So you have to invest in yourself first, and we do put our money behind our projects. Sometimes in the early days it was just to get started, and if you create even what I showed you from the film that didn't get off the ground, I can then use that to apply for grants. I could use that to try to get creative and find agencies in the city of Newark that would have put some money up, and I'm sure I could have. But I had to take that first step, and thankfully, I'm the cheapest person for me to hire, right? I come really cheap to myself. So that helps, and we never wait for permission to work. Now on the other hand, if you are looking to make a living out of this and you want to get hired to do it, you've got to build up a portfolio, so you still have to invest in yourself. But once you have a few things to show and you can have that little piece of real estate on your website that says hey, 'cause I wouldn't take a chance if I can't go to your links. So you've gotta have something up there, and that's your opportunity to also hone your craft so you really are ready to be paid to do what you want to do. Now, if you want to find clients and you don't have the resource or you're trying to make a living out of this, then the question is doing that kind of research to see first of all where's your sweet spot. So you've done a couple of pieces that have to do with urban renewal, I'd be hitting up every organization that is in that sector and ideally ones that don't already have good videos. And you start there where you're selling them, again, if this is about creating something from nothing, it's about saying hey, I looked at your website, it looks like there's a great opportunity for you to be showing a few videos. Or I look at who has recently received grants. You guys are in Seattle. There is so much money being given to organizations in Seattle through the philanthropy from here, so I'd be looking at, well, who just got a big grant? Because maybe they would like to tell the story of what that grant's going to pay for. You've got to really be thinking entrepreneurially, because there is a huge market out there to make these films.
Huge market. As someone coming from a market that's shrinking, the world of photojournalism is still photography. It's a huge market. And remember, people want to find new talent.