Ok. No one likes a blog. Least of all me. In fact I spend most of my time creating Vlogs [video logs] on YouTube through the Laurel Tree YouTube channel. The whole world has decided not to read anymore. This is proven every day through the success of Youtube and Audible as well as how many amazing foreign films go unwatched because of subtitles.
So why am I writing this blog? Well, the short answer is I’ve been told to. 10 years into owning a video production and marketing company and I’ve finally decided to get serious about my website and how I advertise. Word of mouth is no longer an acceptable source of clients for me. I can see that I’m being beaten out of projects for concepts and products that I myself have created by videographers near me.
Laurel Tree Productions has rested on its laurels for far too long and now it’s time to suck it up and start making a solid claim in our industry. That industry being video production and what I am now calling YouTube production.
This company kind of started in the basement of a split level house in Greenville, South Carolina. Do you call the bottom floor of a split level house a basement? I grew up in a cul-de-sac on Laurel Tree Lane (Yes, relation), where I was right in the middle of the camcorder boom in America. So, naturally when my parents upgraded their camera they handed down their old one to me. What came next was a myriad of videos of my friends and I wrestling, skateboarding, or whatever else we decided to film.
Fast forward a few years, now I’m 19, living with a couple of guys in an apartment. I’m working in a warehouse full time, but at night we are again making short films with a JVC camera I bought from Best Buy. A few years, later I’m in Portland, Oregon and I’m looking for a place to live. I’m seeing all these photo slide shows online of listings. They’re terrible. I think, I can do this better, so I reach out to a few real estate agents, and finally a couple of them agree to let me come out and film their listings. This works. I start building more and more real estate clients who want video of their listings. Well, now I need a name for this business I’ve created. Naturally I think back to the cul-de-sac and land on Laurel Tree Productions.
So, my start in professional video production was in real estate. First filming listings for agents. Then filming commercials and documentaries for them. Next thing I know I’m traveling around the country filming for the top agents and top real estate firms in the country. I know this is a very common them with most video production companies, but honestly, when I was doing it there were maybe 5 other companies in the country doing real estate video. Seriously! I was known as the real estate video guy, across the country with realtors in companies like Keller Williams, Remax, Century 21.
I had a brief year where I move the company outside of Los Angeles. There I picked up an award for cinematography on a web series I was hired on as director of photography. I also had a documentary and short film that I wrote, directed, filmed, edited, color graded, slaved over that circulate through a few film festivals as well.
This eventually leads me back to Greenville, South Carolina where I live today. When I got back to Greenville, at the time, there wasn’t a strong Greenville Video Production market. There definitely weren’t any real estate agents in Greenville doing real estate video. I immediately got clients doing that. Like all things, word got out that I was making a name for myself and making a good living doing real estate video in Greenville. So, naturally, a lot of other video production companies either started doing real estate video or basically started because they saw our success. I not only created a name for Laurel Tree in Greenville real estate but also created competitors.
I do still travel for work, spending 2 days in Atlanta and surrounding areas a week as well as various other cities in America. We now cover a little more than real estate. We cover a variety of needs from script writing, to storyboarding, obviously filming/cinematography, directing, color grading and post production editing.
We shoot commercials, short films, documentaries, marketing videos, and now we are helping people and companies build their brand through YouTube. More on that later.
It’s been a long journey in cinematography and directing that not only started in Greenville but has now landed back in Greenville. Now the Laurel Tree team and I are trying to make a name for ourselves in the Greenville market and help brands and companies with their video production needs!
Ok, so how did I do? Remember, this is my first vlog. But I’m open to suggestions. Check out our site, or our YouTube page and email me and tell me what you think. Or, if you’d like to talk more about video production in Greenville and how we may be able to work together I’d love that as well!
Founder, Laurel Tree