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Conversations with Dennis Healy

Today we’d like to introduce you to Dennis Healy.

Hi Dennis, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?
As a kid, I loved to play with my mom’s video camera. I would record myself doing magic tricks using different camera tricks to make it look like I was doing magic anyways. I also really liked music in fact, I loved music. All through school, I played in the school band. The drums were my instrument of choice. As time went on and I grew, I lost touch with my video side and continued to play drums. I eventually left high school had my kids and then I was just working a full-time job and focusing on my family. I worked in a family-owned fuel station for about fifteen years.

The longer I stayed there, the more I wanted a change in career. I was beginning to get tired of my job. I had worked myself into management and became an assistant manager of the store, however even then, I was still growing more tired of it. During my time there for many years, I would think about how I really would like to pursue a career in something I could see myself doing for a lifetime and enjoy immensely.

I began to think about my childhood and how I would play with my mom’s camera all the time. I thought about how I used to play the drums. I then started thinking about becoming a film and video producer so I started looking into how I could make that happen. I first reached out to a local independent film producer in Idaho where I lived and asked them if I could come out to one of their sets. I wanted to learn from them and see how they work together. The producer brought me onto the set. I had a blast being there and seeing how they bring these films to life.

It made me want to experience filmmaking more and more. At that moment, I realized that video production is what I was meant to do. I started studying filmmaking and videography. I would watch as much content about making films and videos online as I could. I began taking some free online film courses that I would find by searching keywords. I watched videos on lighting, exposure, using a green screen, camera angles for certain situations and much more. Over time I gained the knowledge I use now.

I started purchasing professional video and audio equipment and learning how to use it. I then started trying to network with other film and video makers and create content to put out. For about ten years, I bought film equipment a little bit at a time and practiced using it. I spent a long time trying to get a single paying client and at times thought about quitting. I had bought equipment for ten years and studied videography a lot during that ten years. I still had a hard time getting clients however a local motorcycle club hired me to film some content to try to help promote the club. It did come with some pay and at my skill level at the time, I was not trying to charge a lot. This gave me an opportunity to practice producing content on my own.

I then learned about drones and took an online course to get my part 107 license (commercial drone license) and I got the license. I purchased a drone and started offering aerial services in hopes it would help jumpstart my business. It didn’t do much good and I still struggled to get clients other than the motorcycle club. I ended up leaving my job at the fuel station and became an insurance agent. This gave me more time to focus on producing some kind of content I could at least use to show potential clients. At the same time a local music artist named TK Crazy was trying to build his business as a music producer and performer. It turns out TK Crazy and I used to go to school together and we both shared a mutual friend.

TK Crazy and I did not really know each other on a personal level and had not seen each other since high school. TK Crazy told our mutual friend that he would like a music video. Our mutual friend told TK Crazy that I made videos. I was not aware of this however one day, I just get a message from TK Crazy asking if I can produce a music video for him. Him and I came to an agreement on pay and I received my first music video client. I was excited to get the opportunity and couldn’t wait to get it done. TK Crazy and I started filming the music video and working together.

While TK and I were in the process of filming the music video, TK had a tour across Idaho with Afroman coming up called the Afroman Loves Idaho Tour and he went into a meeting with the promoter of the tour. During their meeting Afroman requested a videographer and TK Crazy threw me out there. I’m sitting on my couch on a Sunday and I get a call from TK Crazy. TK Crazy asked me if I would be Afroman’s videographer for the tour and of course, being a fan of Afroman since the 90’s, I accepted the job.

Touring with Afroman was an amazing experience. I got to meet a lot of great performers and film them all. The coolest part was being Afroman’s videographer and I felt like I was in a dream. After the tour, I began releasing content. I released TK Crazy’s music video and then I started releasing video’s of different performers I filmed on tour. I also bean to be contacted by client. Yes by paying clients who want my work and it was the most satisfying and amazing feeling in the world. I have began to feel like my hard work is beginning to pay off.

I am now booked up for a few months with paying clients and I am having a hard time waiting to be filming something again. I am going to work hard at keeping the work coming and hope this turns into more and more work so I can finally really grow my company. Hopefully, I can quit my day job as soon as possible and generate enough income to be a full-time producer. At this time, TK Crazy and I have began to set up our own concerts and it’s just such an amazing feeling.

I can say I am where I am now because I followed my dream. I kept trying to produce content and eventually, someone who wanted content was told I make it. If I had not continued for ten years and quit, this never would have happened. My advice to anyone else is to never stop believing in yourself or what we as people are capable of. Chase your dreams and don’t give up. The end results may shock you and you will live up to becoming the best possible version of you.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
As I mentioned, I had a very hard time getting clients. In the beginning, it was because I was undervaluing myself, I believe. I would try to gain clients by offering a lower than average price for videography in hopes they would give me a shot to show them what I can do. I eventually learned that was a bad idea because it made me look desperate and definitely showed I was an amateur. I then started trying to gain clients by looking up real estate agents trying to get into real estate video and photography. I learned fairly fast that most real estate agents are not very friendly and will never hire me. I spoke to many agents who acted interested however they would never contact me to actually market a home for them. I realized I was wasting my time.

Another reason I had a hard time gaining clients was because I was struggling to get much content created to show to potential clients. I only had work I created by filming random things around town with my drone and camera. It’s not easy to make a shot of crops in a farmers field done with a drone attract paying clients. I really needed some kind of commercial work I could show. The bottom line was at this time, I needed to be more creative to get something professional enough to attract clients done.

Finances also in the film industry are important because producing video content can be very expensive. In the very beginning, I struggled to get started on having the ability to create content. Only because I was not wealthy and I have two children so I wasn’t able to buy all the equipment to start filming professional quality content. It took me a long time just to get a small production set up purchased so I could crate content. Not to mention every time you fill a hard drive it costs money to buy more storage space for footage.

Time was really a struggle also. Raising kids and working full time doesn’t give you a lot of time to create content. Time management was definitely a struggle in the beginning while I worked at the store. After leaving the store, it has really helped free up more time to produce content because the shifts I work are much better now.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
I am the owner of DMH Digital Media which is what I market myself under. I want to grow DMH Digital Media into a successful company. I specialize in video production for marketing and advertisements. I also want to produce full feature films in the future. I am known for creating music videos and promotions. I film concerts for promoters and musicians mostly but I also film some motocross. My wife and I also recently started a podcast called Our Stories Podcast on Spotify. We currently have four episodes out. We hope to continue this and grow into one of the best. I am most proud of my family however with my business, I am most proud of how I have not given up even when I thought about it. I am proud that my dreams of producing content has now become a reality because I stayed consistent with chasing my dream. What sets me apart from others is that I have true passion and love for what I do. When I am behind a camera, I feel free. I feel like my problems disappear and it’s just me and my dream. I want to produce content mostly to leave a piece of me behind that will live forever. Once I am gone, I want Dennis Healy and my family to be remembered forever. I want to leave a legacy behind and a mark on our planet. I would also love more than anything to leave an Empire behind to my children if they want it.

In terms of your work and the industry, what are some of the changes you are expecting to see over the next five to ten years?
The media industry is very strong and over time has only gotten stronger in most ways. Other than changes to the way media is being delivered there is not a whole lot of doubt in my mind that this industry will only grow. People around the world live and breathe media every day. There may be a lot of changes that will impact me over time like better resolutions and more advanced ways of doing things however those will be irrelevant as long as I grow within the industry and adapt. The media industry in the next 5 – 10 years will only grow and I will be proud to be a part of it. Again, I hope to grow with it and eventually, I hope DMH Digital Media will be known worldwide.

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Image Credits

Spice 1, TK Crazy, Derrty Shirt

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