Home Grown: Catalyst Video Productions

Home Grown: Catalyst Video Productions

Editor's note: This is one in a weekly series of profiles on locally owned and operated businesses in Southern Oregon.

What do you do and how long have you been doing it? We started the business shooting weddings. We found we could cover weddings the way clients and brides appreciated and thought we could make a living doing this. So we dove in about 10 years ago. We're more or less a fly-on-the-wall instead of setting up scenes and affecting what's going on. We simply want to capture what's going on. Our experience in weddings and live action lent itself to getting into the corporate world, videotaping and doing commercial projects, as well as website video promotion work, incorporating interviews.

How long have you lived in the Rogue Valley? My parents moved up here from Salinas, Calif., when I was in the first grade in 1979.

What inspired you to go into this line of work? I used to work for Campus Life, shooting video for them. I produced video of kids and camps, and showed them on the wall. Kids loved it. I decided to study it in college and got a degree in communications. I saw what I was able to produce created joy and excitement after the fact for people watching it. I liked serving people in this way.

What decision or action would you change if you could do it again? Challenging myself more and not taking on projects I thought at the time were bigger than what I could do. In hindsight, it would have taken my business further. Early on, I was approached by a business or two to produce a commercial, back before videos were easily able to be placed on websites. In hindsight, I could have rented equipment and done whatever it took to produce the commercial for them.

What's the toughest business decision you've made? Weddings are usually on Saturday, and we only have two cameras. My wife helps me sometimes, and I've hired help on an as-needed basis. What I don't like is when someone asks, can we shoot their wedding on June 3, and we can't because we're already booked. We've kept ourselves small so we can best serve our customers. But if we are already booked, we have to turn people away.

Who are your competitors? Sights and Sounds in Grants Pass, but it is apples and oranges in comparing what they do and what I do.

What are your goals? I would love to see us expand and get further into the corporate, promotional and commercial video productions, and see the need to have consistent part-time help. There is a lot of room for expansion during the week. We want to do more stuff that goes to people's websites.

What training or education did you need? I got a bachelor's degree in communications at Southern Oregon University. I learned about cameras at SOU and then worked three years at KTVL. I had a handicam and played with that a lot, experimenting with different camera angles, failing and learning.

What's your advice for budding entrepreneurs? Do what you can for free early on for the experience. Don't be afraid of taking on projects you think are beyond what you can do, to be stretched. The bottom line is that you are serving people. If you put the dollar sign first, you will miss it.

To suggest ideas for this column, about businesses that are at least five years old, email

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