We love the people we work with.
2022 was admittedly a tough year. For starters, it felt like the other shoe dropped on our move to Florida. Let's call it growing pains. Then, we lost some special people in the passing of one of my favorite Uncles' Mel Solomon, and my sister's father-in-law, Larry Baus. And third, the economy felt like it came to a full stall. But just when things looked like they were at their worst something amazing happened that made me thankful for all the people I've worked with over the years.
Working with Detroit Piston, Saddiq Bey at the training facility (Detroit, MI).
When we moved to Florida, some 2+ years ago, I thought for sure I'd get kicked out immediately, but to my surprise, we were welcomed in with open arms. For the first 18 months of our time here it was as if we never missed a beat. Then, 2022 hit, and something shifted. It may have been the economy, it may have been me, but for lack of details, things were not moving.
To compensate, we went back to basics. We started knocking on doors, shaking hands, and kissing babies like 2020 never happened. Then, a call came in. Someone had seen our work and that call led to a project capturing the entire 72-mile region of the Space Coast from end to end. Literally, I was driving and filming every little town from where Brevard County starts, in the south, at Sabastine Inlet to where it ends north of Cape Canaveral. Over the period of the 6 weeks of production, we captured time-lapse, met astronauts, and interviewed famed Brevard County Sheriff, Wayne Ivey. It was a blast (watch the video here)!
Photo from our interview with Sheriff Wayne Ivey and county mascot Junny.
While the middle of the year was still slow, we started to see new buds of opportunity popping up. One of our favorites was our growing work with two young entrepreneurs, Ray & Stefanie Catania. We met them both just over a year ago and at that time I started to learn about their start-up product design and development company called, Catania.
Upon our initial meeting, Ray would go on and on about designing water torpedos, top-secret robots, modern Ab sculpting devices, high-tech floral vases, and more. I was sure they were either crazy or gifted. I discovered they were both (lol).
Working with us, we started to tell their stories of having amazing products, that have been on Good Morning America and SharkTank. Through written blogs, social media, and Youtube videos we help bring attention to their brand and work. At the end of 2022, we assisted in helping them raise $10k for the homeless (our Press Release) and closed the year with a great overview video that encompasses all they do (view the video here).
Catania Amaranth Vase on Good Morning America
It was a thrill to see our hard work in Florida start to pay off. We were making friends and the business was starting to pick up, but I have never been one to only do this for business. In fact, if you know me, you know that I started doing this because I love telling stories. In particular, I love documentary stories and one of the best stories of the year came from a friend, NASA engineer, Tim Honeycutt.
Sometime back in August, I got a text from Tim. He was writing to ask me if I wanted to watch the Artemis I launch from the Apollo viewing center on Cape Canaveral. At the time, I had been running around capturing SpaceX launches for fun. Seeing these things leave the ground was thrilling and I was starting to become a junky. Then, I got the text and my mouth dropped. I couldn't respond, yes, fast enough. I was going to watch the launch.
Then, the first attempt came and we waited all night to no avail. Shortly after, the second attempt and with the camera in hand, I captured some beautiful morning timelapse, but no launch. Soon one month became two, and two attempts became three. Finally, after the much-anticipated wait on November, 16th @ 1:04 AM the launch happened and it was a spectacular thing to see (watch the launch on my Facebook).
The Artemis I launch from the Apollo viewing center on Cape Canaveral.
*This marks the start of a new documentary with more details to follow in the future.
At this point, the year had really turned around and the launch was a real highlight, but ironically, the biggest highlight of the year ended up coming from the most unlikely of places.
For those of you who don't know, I used to work in professional sports. My first position was with the NHL Network and the second was with the Detroit Pistons. Working with both of these organizations was some of the most fun I've ever had. It inspired some of the best work of my career and led to some amazing awards. So, as you can imagine, I was thrilled when I reconnect with some former friends and colleagues to start a series of social commercial videos for the brand, Milk.
Kicking off that series, we started work with Lions center Frank Ragnow at their practice facility in Detroit. The day was magical. Frank was great to work with. In the two-hour window, we came up with a piece that I'm very proud to share that harkens back to some of my former work (watch the video here).
Frank Ragnow at the Lions practice facility.
In closing, I am reminded of a few things. The first is the value of staying optimistic in the face of a tough year. The old cliche, when one door closes another door opens, applies here. You just never know what's around the corner. The second would be to never underestimate the value of passion. When times are tough get back to doing what you love. You just never know who it's going to attract. The final learning of 2022 is, friends. Never underestimate the value of being a friend to people. You just never know where those friendships are going to lead.
Photo with former friends and colleagues from the Detroit Pistons.
Thank you to all the amazing people that have been with us through the years. Here's to 2023!