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Conversations with Weston Reel

Today we’d like to introduce you to Weston Reel.

Hi Weston, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
I grew up in Temecula California, well before it was a hotspot for winery visits, and started my interest in film production within the local high school, filming morning tv shows and theater productions. I met a local cinematographer though a friend’s mom, who needed help on the weekends filming weddings. After that, I was hooked. It was an amazing feeling to be able to shape people’s stories through a camera lens. I continued that job for many many years, it allowed me to pay my way through film school at Cal State Long Beach and brought along my first taste of travel and networking opportunities. In 2014, I volunteered my services to a friend to film aerials of a professional dancer in the desert outside of Las Vegas on a drone, where I met another individual who completely changed my career. He was a video producer at Vox media, who introduce me to the tech news world, which then quickly grew into a passion and ultimately a huge part of my portfolio. Since then, I have done projects with Honda, Bloomberg, DJI, Reddit, Royal Caribbean, Edwards life sciences… just to name a few. Partnering up with marketing companies and individual directors to create unique stories to help brands and companies to grow. I do still film weddings as well, keeping my plate full of work and making sure my mind is always flexing new skills and techniques to help my career. I’ve also recently married and purchased my first home with my wife Victoria in Costa Mesa. She’s started a new Art Gallery in the area, and I am excited to help her grow her media collection and branding as well.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
Of course not. Starting your own business is never an easy task, but it is one of the most fulfilling things I have ever done. Early on, it wasn’t abnormal to have a full week of work and then not have another phone call for a month. That’s difficult to manage resources while you are trying to purchase gear and just live in Southern California. Luckily I have had a fantastic network of friends and colleges that have really kept me busy over the past seven years. I’m gracious that a lot of them took a risk early on, and I had learned to become so flexible in my roles in the video industry. Wedding work really made me learn how to film and edit, but also how to communicate, relate, and diagnose customer expectations and desires. Don’t get me wrong, I still have struggles, Covid-19 was devastating for our industry, and I literally didn’t work for a solid eight months (luckily, my wife was still at a salaried position at the time), but I went from filming over 100 days, and traveling 50-70,000 miles a year to a stay at home internet consumer pretty quickly. I have realized that I am not good at not doing anything. The half-finished bathroom and scattered garage tools are reminders that even when I have nothing I can do, I can make something to do. Luckily it seems as if we are at the end of the tunnel, and work has started coming back quickly.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I provide video services to marketing firms, real estate agents, news media, corporations, wedding clients and everything in between. Whether it be a social media ad or a full-fledged tv commercial, I am experienced in all aspects of film production and provide quality and genuine storytelling. I don’t have any particular project I am most proud about but am truly humbled by the amount of projects I have worked on and continue to get calls back for.

What sort of changes are you expecting over the next 5-10 years?
The industry is always changing. Media is consumed in so many unique ways that it’s really difficult to see where it may be going. Ten years ago, if anyone said cable companies would be replaced by phone apps and streaming devices, you would be called crazy. Social Media is here to stay I believe, it may be a new version of TikTok or Instagram, but it will always be changing, and the industry is just going to have to change with it. A lot of trends will die, slow motion will be replaced by real-time stories, drones will be shelved for tripods again, and the pendulum will swing back and forth as it always does.

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