The sun set on Florida's tax incentives while shining brightly on my old Kentucky home. Almost two years ago to the day I was sitting at the Kentucky Center for the Arts as Mayor Greg Fischer introduced the Louisville Film Commission and spoke of the new tax incentives for film-makers. At the same time the state of Florida was having trouble justifying keeping their tax breaks in place. I knew opportunity was around the corner but I didn't know it was coming up from the south.
A friend of mine was wanting to shoot a music video featuring the local watering hole. I couldn't tell you why he wanted his first music video placed there. It didn't seem to be the spot where any career could be launched. The walls were filled with outdated material. The neons signs were tired. Half of the stools were broken... Nevertheless, he decided to ask his cousin visiting from Orlando to shoot his first first video there.
Almost a decade later I started of my career with the same cousin from Orlando. I can't say I was much help on that set some 10 years ago but the relationship I developed with Brandt was solid, definitely strong enough to build a foundation on.
Late last year I received a call from Brandt stating he was going to be visiting my home city. I offered him a room to crash in and he drove up later that week. Once he had arrived, it was easy to tell by his tone that he was ready to make a serious move. (In my mind I was already in Orlando packing his belongings up for him.) You see, I had made him an offer years ago that if he ever decided to move to Louisville that I would start a production company with him. Our personalities are very comparable and our creative tracks always seem to interweave. He has a stunning ability to capture and direct an image. I have an extended background in audio and have spent a significant amount of time behind a camera myself.
The qualities that drive both of us, all three of us when you include audio engineer Adam Koestel, are focus and doing good. As simple as that sounds, we seem to be building a successful company. It is a slow process but I could not be more happy with the time and attention we are placing into Soul Model Media. Shifting our process from simply shooting engaging material to a much more purpose driven mentality has been the pleasure of a lifetime. As I sit down to tackle the ever-growing list, I always have to curb my excitement. The foundation is set and I am ready to build.
That little bar didn't appear to have a lot to offer. However, once you stepped inside and sat down on the broken chair in front of the ugly neon light, you realized that relationships are what makes the experience enjoyable.