I would like you to know about my history as a content creator and how I started my business. When I was just a kid, my cousins and I created dorky YouTube videos. These were all comedy skits that were mostly inspired by our mutual love for The Office. Eventually, we grew up and became aware of how these embarrassing videos could hinder our “social game” so we stopped, but that was just the beginning of my growing interest in film-making.
In high school, I took three film-making courses and I absolutely loved it! I’ll admit, I was my teacher’s favorite because I had a real passion for film-making and being creative in this space. That’s when I realized that I wanted to work in this industry… I just had no idea how to make it happen. After some time, I graduated from high school having learned a lot about creating films, however, I felt it wasn’t enough and I got my teacher to recommend me to an internship at Hamilton Studio in Spokane, WA. This was a summer internship and I spent about 20 hours a week at the studio, soaking in as much information as I could. I can honestly say that this is where I learned the majority of the skills I possess today.
Later that year I started going to school at Spokane Falls Community College in their film-making program. The first few courses I took were all photography-based, which was to learn the basics of cameras, and how light works. I started working with programs like Photoshop and Lightroom, which became incredibly useful in my career. I am not the most passionate guy in regard to school, so I didn’t take schooling very seriously. I started working in local delivery while still in school, which reflected on my grades. I eventually dropped out of college and continued to work full-time while also continuing to learn about film-making. I had absolutely no idea how I was supposed to make money doing this but I knew I would figure it out somehow. I started small, for example, making a highlight reel edit of my absolute best friend David’s bachelor party. About a month later this same friend of mine asked me to edit his wedding video. This experience allowed me to land all sorts of odd-jobs for videography in the local area.
Some time later, I found an online course that went in-depth in videography. It was called Fulltime Filmmaker and was selling for only $800, while promising that I could take those skills and grow a successful business with my camera. I bought the course, flew through it and learned about how much money there really is in the film industry. I started telling more and more people about my goals and began doing work for free to grow my portfolio. I filmed weddings, small business advertisements, YouTube videos, and real estate videos.
Fast-forward to today, four years later, and I was able to quit my day job to go full-time into my video business. Now I am working with the most successful real estate team in the Spokane and North Idaho area. I am helping a client create a “kids” YouTube channel. I am a video contractor for Complete Weddings and Events, on top of filming 12 of my own weddings per year. I create cinematic corporate videos for local businesses. I film music videos for local artists. And I have a YouTube channel dedicated to documenting the skills I’m learning where I can help other young videographers learn new skills!
With all that I’ve shared with you, above all, I am indebted to God for blessing me beyond my worth. Without Him, none of this would be possible for me to achieve. Through tears, pain, and incredible levels of stress, He has granted me the strength and wisdom to get where I am today.
Thank you for reading my story. I hope you find inspiration through this journey of mine to take control of your life and to make something happen today!
- Russ F.