Liquid Luck Over the Years
Ian and I were sitting at Camp Bow Wow's corporate offices yesterday, having a regular marketing strategies and distribution meeting. We were talking over the construction noise of their new offices, exchanging commercial ideas excitedly. We were very grateful that CBW liked our past work enough that they're considering us to start releasing quarterly videos. The CBW team is young and ambitious, they aren't afraid to be bold with their marketing tactics. I mean, their wifi name alone should tell you how great they are! Overall it was a warm and positive meeting. We left on a high, exchanging ideas for funny commercials all the way home.
I am grateful for how far we've come with Liquid Luck. Looking back, we've had a lot of struggles as a small business trying to grow. Being a couple and running your own business is always hard. People seem to not take you as seriously if you're working with your soon-to-be-husband. Because of this reason, we've felt that we've had to hide that image from our clients. But one of our New Year's Resolutions with Liquid Luck was to become more personable and upfront about who we are. And we wouldn't be the company we are today without the obstacles we had to face.
A group of filmmakers and actors that we knew from high school and college (plus a teacher and dad). We made countless films together, helping on each other's projects till all hours of the night.
Get That Education!
Our school years were the foundation for everything we do today. We were lucky enough to have a high school that not only had 5 levels of film classes, but a weekly television broadcasting class, short film club and district film festival also! All of this set us much further ahead in college, we got those years of messing around with a camera already out of the way. College was a little bit of a hit and miss for us. On one end, we had some of the most motivated teachers and classmates. The sheer number of films we had to create was so necessary in growing our skills! On the other hand, some of our teachers were caught up in politics and hadn't been in the industry themselves. Because we were so far ahead coming into college, a lot of the information was repetitive to us. Looking back, we wish we would've went to school in LA, but we weren't even sure then if pursuing film could be a permanent job! Because of school, however, we received numerous awards, added lots of videos to our portfolio, and got hands on practice with working for clients.
So You Want to Start a Business?
Technically, Liquid Luck was founded halfway through our college career (2011) and we had a few paid jobs (mostly for family members). It was once we both graduated by 2014 that Liquid Luck really started. Our first two years were about getting any job, no matter how low the price! I think we created a whole video for $200 once! Our biggest challenge at one point was just to be able to have our own website and business cards. We knew that we had limited experience, limited equipment, and lots of competitors to compete with. We didn't have contracts and we slowly learned from all the times we were taken advantage of. I think this was because we were afraid to be firm and ask for what we needed. We were slowly building our portfolio, equipment reserve and we were gaining new clients. There was just one problem: money.
Taking A Break
If there was a dark ages to Liquid Luck, it would've been mid 2015-mid 2016. We knew that we couldn't keep working as filmmakers if we kept charging the prices we did. We knew we had to stick up for ourselves and raise our prices. We also thought that we needed to find clients with lots of money, basically confining ourselves to really boring commercial work only. We even took graduation pictures at one point! (What?!) We were very unhappy with the films we were making, and it showed. I found myself burning bridges, doubting my skills, and questioning if we could do this long term. Basically, we lost sight of who we were as Liquid Luck Productions. We knew we were in a rut and we decided to take a break. Ian turned to freelance work mid 2016 and me, a full time editing position, until the end of 2016.
New Year's Resolution
Sometimes you need to try everything that doesn't work before you see what does work. After 6 months of taking a breather, we re-assessed. We knew we wanted to work together and for ourselves. We knew we deserved to be paid for what we cost. And we knew we wanted to work on films that motivated us. And for some simple reason, that's all it took to find our focus again. Our new motto is passion and story come first, and the money will follow. We want to work on films that create change. We are focused on our craft and love of filmmaking which is the most motivating for us. We set a resolution to grow and bring on new filmmakers this year as well as rethink our marketing tactics.
Our meeting with Camp Bow Wow yesterday gave me the feeling of coming full circle. We're back doing what we love with people we love working with who are willing to invest in who we are. It was a moment where you realize all your hard work came to fruition and your back in that groove. I wanted to write this to just basically say I love working at Liquid Luck!
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