ReFocus at InFocus

I shot my first film when I was about 7 or 8 years old. It was a time-traveling crime caper shot on 8mm film. My little brother played a sort of “time bandit,” traveling back and forth in time stealing valuable treasures. We shot on location at Disneyland and Universal Studios (not the actual lot, just the theme park areas). At Disneyland we used the different worlds to represent the different time periods, e.g. Frontierland for the past; Tomorrowland for the future; etc. At the time I did it just for fun. It wouldn’t be until over a quarter of a century later, as an adult, until I’d pursue the business of filmmaking full time.

In the summer of 2002 I left a well-paying job as a business marketing manager for Quicken to start my business. What an amazing time. I was now getting paid to do things I had just done for fun in the past. And I was pretty darn good. My work was praised by my peers, both online and off. I was videographer of the year for two consecutive years for my local PVA (professional videographers association) at the time. Filmmaking was in my blood.

But somewhere along the line, as my company evolved, so did I. I was no longer just a filmmaker. I was an accountant, an HR manager, and most of all, I was a marketing guy. I came up with all sorts of creative and inventive ways to get my work seen by prospective clients. Some people took notice and my wife Tasra and I were blessed with the honor to write a book for Peachpit Press. It got to the point where I was more recognized in my industry for my marketing prowess than my art. I had left a job as a marketing guy to pursue filmmakiing, only to become a marketing guy again. What happened?

Michael Gerber puts it so well in his book the E Myth Revisited. The realities of running a business happened. In the process of doing sales and marketing, administration, and everything else, that which I loved started to fall to the wayside. Do you ever feel like that? Like the thing you got into this business for in the first place is no longer the thing you get to do the most? In fact, sometimes, you kinda hate it. Because you HAVE to do it. Be honest. Don’t you feel like that at times? I know I do.

I want to get back to my first love. My roots as a filmmaker. But, I can’t deny the fact that I still have a business to run. What’s a distraught marketing-guy-turned-filmmaker-turned-marketing-guy-again supposed to do? REFOCUS.



Tasra and I have the honor of being the opening act at this upcoming InFocus event in Austin, TX, January 17-20. Inspired by our book, our presentation ReFocus at InFocus will be designed to inspire you. To light a fire in your heart and soul and pave the way for the masters who will come after us. But first, we want to get your heart right. We want to get you ready to go. We’ll see and discuss inspiring short films. We’ll talk about our evolution in this business and how we’re evolving again. We’ll talk about strategies you can do to help you set your business up in such a way so that you can get back to doing what you love to do—whatever that is. But most of all, we want to inspire you.


You should go to InFocus if…

  • You’re an event filmmaker or corporate video producer looking to learn how to take your shooting and editing to the next level
  • You’re a professional photographer looking to add video to your repertoire of services but don’t know where to start
  • You’re a visual artist looking for inspiration and ideas on how to market and evolve your business
  • You want to network and build friendships with colleagues from around the world


Today is the last day of pre-registration and getting the best price for this awesome event. If you need more convincing, check out some of the very creative short speaker intros. You can see all them here, but below are some of my favorite in terms of giving a broad perspective of what to expect.

Ray Roman: a cop turned award-winning event filmmaker. Oh yeah, and he’s very cool.

Loyd Calomay: if you are a fan of The Longest Day (the first online reality TV show for and about pro photographers), you may remember Loyd as the consultant filmmaker for the winning team, Dane Sander‘s Team A).

The full line-up of incredible speakers includes (in no particular order):

  • Patrick Moreau of StillMotion
  • Ray Roman
  • Loyd Calomay
  • Mark & Trisha VonLanken
  • Steve & Laura Moses
  • Joe Simon
  • William Gaff
  • David Perry
  • Josh Smith
  • Joe Terravella
  • Chris P. Jones
  • and your truly

So what more convincing do you need? Register now and join us for three days of inspiration, education, and just plain old FUN!

Are you ready to ReFocus…at InFocus?