Ford Gunter, Easy Morning Media
Ford Gunter is the founder of Easy Morning Media, a video production company based in Houston, Texas. Since a young age, Ford was interested in print media, even creating a neighborhood newspaper when he was a child. While he was working as a journalist in print media, a friend approached him about making a documentary. From there, he fell in love with video production and Easy Morning Media was born.
Episode 3 – Ford Gunter, Easy Morning Media
[00:00:55] Sanjay Parekh: Today's guest is Ford Gunter, the founder of Easy Morning Media, a full-service video production company based in Houston, Texas. With a background in print media and filmmaking, Ford founded Easy Morning Media in 2015. Ford, welcome to the show.
[00:01:10] Ford Gunter: Thanks. Thanks for having me.
[00:01:12] Sanjay Parekh: So, I'm excited to have you on because, I don't often get to talk to people that also do the same things that we do with this podcast. I'm sure you'll tell me like all the things that we're doing wrong, with this video, but we'll, leave that for the end, the advice that you have for us. But before we get into all of that, give us like a two-minute background on you and how you got to where you are right now.
[00:01:35] Ford Gunter: Yeah. So, Houston native born and raised, I lived elsewhere for college and my twenties, came back. I had a good friend, my best friend, who would always kind of say, let's make a movie. We should make a movie. He was into filmmaking, and I wasn't. I was in print journalism, after a while, I found my way to print journalism. And then one day after enough beers, I was like, all right, fine, let's make a movie. What do you got? And so, we started making a documentary together. And it was a fantastic experience. We actually started in 2008, making some shorts and then we started a documentary, a feature length documentary, which took us like two, two and a half years. It came out officially in 2012. And during that time, I quit my print journalism job to focus on the documentary. And then when that was all over, I acquired some skills and some equipment and I did not want to go back to journalism and we had been just getting offers like, hey, can you guys shoot this? Or can you edit that? And I worked my way into freelance video from that. The project actually burned out my buddy and he was like, I'm getting the hell away from video. Which he's back now, just FYI, he is back. So, I started doing my own stuff on the side, probably 2010-ish and, I incorporated in 2015, about, so I became official, but I've been doing it full time, since then.
[00:03:04] Sanjay Parekh: Yeah. So, is this the first time that you've done anything entrepreneurial or as a kid, did you do anything hustling, entrepreneurial? You're laughing. So, I think the answer is yes.
[00:03:14] Ford Gunter: My mom would be upset if I didn't. I started a neighborhood newspaper when I was like eight, and it was called the Stanmore standard. Cause we lived on Stanmore, and I sold printed copies, where you like rip off the sides of the printer paper. It was like a monthly, I think. And it was just like the neighborhood news, who had a baby, who moved, all that, who got a new dog. And, we'd go door to door, me and my buddy, and we'd knock, and we'd sell subscriptions. And then we'd go deliver the papers like once a month. But other than that, no.
[00:03:46] Sanjay Parekh: So, for listeners that don't know the ripping off the side paper, that's dot matrix printers, from a very, very long time ago that were very painful, I'm sure most of our listeners, the ones that know it are like glad that those are gone. The ones that don't are, what is that?
[00:04:01] Ford Gunter: What is the noise that it would make as we were like printing off our five-page newspaper for 25 houses.
[00:04:10] Sanjay Parekh: So, I got to ask, what was a subscription cost? Do you remember?
[00:04:14] Ford Gunter: I don't remember what the subscription cost was, but it was 25 cents an issue. We had a pretty healthy profit margin on that, considering we had no overhead; our parents bought all the stuff, or they already had the stuff.
[00:04:26] Sanjay Parekh: They bought the paper, the printer.
[00:04:28] Ford Gunter: Yeah, the Apple 2E was already in the house.
[00:04:31] Sanjay Parekh: What was it? An Apple 2E? Wow. Nice. Yeah. I, my first computer was a TI 99 4A, but my second was an Apple 2C. So yeah, I remember those days quite well. Yeah, I love it. and I think that probably just, predicted that you were going to go into print journalism there too, right?
[00:04:55] Ford Gunter: Yeah, yeah. That was when I went back. So, I went back to grad school, several years after graduating and, to UT to study journalism. I'd been freelance writing for a while, but yeah, when I went back, my parents were like, obviously, you've been wanting to do this your whole life. And I loved it. It was a great experience. I did find, over time, that I just really did not like working for, there were a lot of things about working for someone else or working for a big company that I did not like. That I found frustrating, and I butted up against. And so, it, I think my buddy actually with the ‘come make a movie with me’ really threw me a lifeline to get out of it. Cause I don't know if I would have just done it on my own.
[00:05:39] Sanjay Parekh: Yeah. Was there anybody in the family that was an entrepreneur or a journalist? Like, where did you get, I don't know a lot of kids that are like, I'm going to start a newspaper when they were that young. So where did that come from?
[00:05:53] Ford Gunter: Yeah, it's a good question. I don't know. I was a voracious reader when I was a kid. Loved, loved books. I loved reading the Sunday funnies and then later, like the whole newspaper. I had a weird FOMO, I felt like if I didn't read the whole newspaper, or at least, acknowledge what every story was about, then I was going to be missing something.
So, yeah, I don't know, I didn't see it coming, I didn't study it in undergrad. I didn't take to it in high school. I wasn't like in the yearbook or the school newspaper or anything like that.
[00:06:30] Sanjay Parekh: That's so funny. That's so funny.
[00:06:33] Ford Gunter: I think it was basically telling stories, which dovetailed nicely into to the video work. I just love stories and I loved listening to see, receiving stories and giving them.
[00:06:46] Sanjay Parekh: Yeah. So, let's switch gears, since you mentioned that, into that. So, in starting the business. First time really starting a company, it sounds like. Nobody in the family had started companies before?
[00:06:58] Ford Gunter: No. My dad worked for the same company his entire adult life. He got a job out of law school, and he worked for the same law firm his entire life.
[00:07:07] Sanjay Parekh: Wow. That is incredible too. Like you don't see that often nowadays. Okay. So, was there anything that made you nervous about starting a company? Were there things that you didn't know that you figured out? Like, how did you manage your way through all of that?
[00:07:22] Ford Gunter: Oh, there were definitely a lot of things I didn't know. Most of the stuff I didn't know. And I'm still learning. But no, not really, because it's like one of those things where it was a jumping in the deep end, and you just got to swim. You don't really have time to get nervous. You just got to swim. And I think that if I hadn't really severed my lifeline to a nine-to-five life, I don't know if I would have been able to do it.
So, it was, early 2010, 2011. We were still working on the movie, So, I had energy to put elsewhere. But the movie was over and like the festival, the promotion and all that stuff was over, I was like, I've got to start earning money. I need to do something. And I do have my same friend, also he's had a business on the side. It was kind of in trouble. It was mismanaged for a while and he was like, if you're not doing anything, like I can pay you this base amount, which was pretty base, but just come in and help me with this. So, I did have a little bit of a safety net, which was really nice. And I also had the freedom to then take my time building my own business and I didn't need to get jobs like every day or every week. The nice thing about the film business, which I'm sure you know, is if you get a job, because the costs are, the day rates are decent, if you get a job, one job a week, you can pay the bills on one job a week. And you can also do a lot of it in your spare time, your free time. That worked well with my schedule at the time. It was a lot of really good, fortuitous timing. And now I'm a partner in the other business that I mentioned, with my friend. So, I've learned a lot from him and from my work with him and his work before I arrived in that situation, with building my own thing.
[00:09:23] Sanjay Parekh: Yeah. I forgot to ask earlier, what happened with that documentary then, that ended up launching you into this.
[00:09:30] Ford Gunter: We finished it, which was great. Apparently, there's some statistic that like 95 percent of films that start never finish. So, we finished it. We didn't have the success festival-wise that we were hoping for, which I think is probably another 95% statistic, but we're very proud of it. It was on some streamers for a while. We did get a note like a year ago, that, hey, we're removing these from our platform. You have full rights back and all that stuff, but it was on Amazon Prime and Apple and all that stuff for a while. So, it was available for download. The people we made it about were very happy with it. It was about a Houston art scene. And, so, yeah, we're very happy with it.
I'd love to do another one at some point. Been kicking the tires on some, but it's interesting with the streaming now and the explosion of content, every story that could be a documentary, somebody already owns the rights to. And there's like these clearinghouses that just snap up all the rights and buy all the rights. Like Texas Monthly Magazine, for example, has an exclusive deal with one production company that's, we get first look at everything that comes out of your magazine. So, anything that's in Texas Monthly is off limits for anyone like me. And it's like that across the board. Self-published books on Amazon, anything. It’s frustrating.
[00:10:52] Sanjay Parekh: That’s so interesting. Do you think they do that because they get revenue obviously for giving those first looks. Is that because it's just the way the print business is, and they need these sources of revenue or why is it that they're doing that?
[00:11:07] Ford Gunter: Yeah, I don't think they have anything to lose. It's oh, if, HBO Max or if their documentary wing wants to pay us a retainer basically to have a first look at anything. And then maybe we get one movie produced every two years. With Texas Monthly, they get more because they churn out some great stuff, then it's like a no lose for them. It elevates their profile. It gives them some extra cash that they didn't have. It's a brand-new element of their business.
[00:11:37] Sanjay Parekh: Interesting. I've never heard about this kind of aspect of journalism or media that's happening.
[00:11:44] Ford Gunter: I chased a story that I first found on the podcast, and he goes, every story we do, the rights are already spoken for.
[00:11:53] Sanjay Parekh: Wow. Fascinating. And this is why I love talking to entrepreneurs because you learn about so many things that you would never know about.
[00:12:03] Adam Walker: Support for this podcast comes from Hiscox, committed to helping small businesses protect their dreams since 1901. Quotes and information on customized insurance for specific risks are available at Hiscox.com. Hiscox, the business insurance experts.
[00:12:23] Sanjay Parekh: Okay, so let's switch gears a little bit and talk about, the stress of owning a business. Your business is just you. So, you're the whole kit and caboodle. And life, and I know you've had some life changes recently. So, talk about that.
[00:12:41] Ford Gunter: Yeah, there's a lot of stress involved. I want to reiterate that like it, it really works well for me and my personality. So, I've been happy the whole way. I've been very satisfied the whole way. I think also, so, the life change you mentioned is my wife and I just had our first child, seven weeks ago. We have both, my wife has a full-time job, but she's been working at home since the pandemic and then, as she was pregnant and now, she's on maternity leave. Our schedules both work very well with raising an infant in the house right now, but I do still get called away on work and it's, a stressful, a couple hours. I had to go to Arizona when the baby was like, less than a month old and I was gone for 3 days and that was, that's a lot for a first-time new mom to handle.
[00:13:35] Sanjay Parekh: And at that point, it's 10 percent of the kid’s life. It's 3 days out of 30.
[00:13:40] Ford Gunter: I know, it's crazy. I felt like I missed out on a lot. But I have a teammate at home. I have a support system at home that is there basically all the time, to help me if I need to like to be somewhere or I need to do something or if I just need some time to record a podcast interview or something like that, so it's been nice. I am by myself in the business, but we do act like a family business. She helps me on stuff. She takes looks at edits and I keep begging her to do my social media stuff. But I'm alone officially, as far as the IRS is concerned. I also have a really good friend of mine that I've worked with for a long, long time, who edits a lot of the stuff and shoots a lot of the stuff with me. He's not an employee. I pay him as a freelance contractor, but we've known each other and worked together for 15 years. So, I feel like I have people I can trust that are in support.
[00:14:41] Sanjay Parekh: Yeah. And I think that's a common thread with a lot of entrepreneurs. You might be alone technically in the business. But you always have help, be it a spouse, a family member, a friend, kids, sometimes my kids have gotten involved in my ventures as well. And they still remember to this day, some of the things that they've done for me, crazy things that I just needed to get done.
[00:15:03] Ford Gunter: I look forward to that.
[00:15:05] Sanjay Parekh: Yeah. Yeah. It's good. If I knew then what I know now about how useful kids are in getting other things done, especially offloading for me, the IT tech support that I have to do for family members, man, I would have had kids way earlier. It's just, it's incredible.
[00:15:22] Ford Gunter: You must be the go to guy for like, how do I get my phone to do this or something?
[00:15:28] Sanjay Parekh: I am a lot of times, but honestly, the kids are now a little bit, not a little bit, a lot better than I am. I've been purely Android. I've been non-Apple my entire life. And the kids, even though they only have Androids, they understand Apple and they know how to do things on their own. I don't, you just gave me like a big block of nothing. I can't do anything with these iPhones. It's just fascinating. You can just see how obsolete you're getting over time when you have kids.
[00:15:57] Ford Gunter: I’m sure. Now more than ever.
[00:15:59] Sanjay Parekh: Yeah, exactly. Okay, let's talk about the balance, work life balance as well. We talked about stress. You've got the support system. How do you think about that work life balance? Because the things that we do very easily could consume all of it. Like, all the time, waking, sleeping, everything. It can't really when you have kids that have demands. They don't care about your work. How do you think about that and how do you manage that and juggle that for yourself?
[00:16:32] Ford Gunter: I don't think I'm like a typical entrepreneur in the sense that you're just driven to succeed at all costs. I love not working, I love hanging out with my family and I'm very close to my family.
I'm close to my brother. I've got a big group of friends. I love to travel and so I'm not just chained or tethered to success and maximizing, and that's to my detriment in a lot of ways, but it definitely helps as far as the work life balance is concerned. I can stay sane, and I can stay satisfied, without trying to be the biggest and the best and the strongest and the richest.
[00:17:31] Sanjay Parekh: Right. But I imagine that approach probably makes you a better vendor for the people that you're working with, because you're focused on that and not the next big thing, right?
[00:17:44] Ford Gunter: Yeah, to be perfectly honest with you, I think most of my business, I know most of my business comes from referrals and word of mouth. And I think that I'm easy to work with. I get told all the time that we provide like a very relaxed, laid-back atmosphere, during pre-production, production and post. And, it's a huge deal as far as like a small business where you're relying on a bunch of different clients who hire you as a contractor, if you can just be nice and pleasant and easy to work with. And not be a pain in anybody's rear, then I think that just goes such a long way for you.
My wife will laugh. I get called laid back all the time. I've been called laid back my whole life. She's like, I've realized now you're not exactly as laid back as everybody thinks. But, under my own house, under my own roof. But yeah, I think that I wouldn't say I'm not type A, but I'm not the classic type A. And I think that provides something that the clients appreciate.
[00:18:57] Sanjay Parekh: Yeah. Detail oriented, going to get it done, but not going to be a stress to them about it. I think there's a lesson in there because I think that's the kind of person that we all want to work with. I know it's going to be good, but I know it's not going to be a stress on me.
[00:19:14] Ford Gunter: And also, with what I do, we're putting people on camera and almost always, or a lot of the times, especially with new clients, it's people who aren't used to being on camera. So, if you can provide a relaxed atmosphere where they feel good about their experience and they feel good about themselves afterwards, which we hear all the time, that is huge. My biggest client over the years who I've fortunately, as their people have spread out to other companies, I've gone with them. So, I don't do as much work for this particular client. But she's on Shark Tank and she's in front of, she's used to all of this glitz and glam, but like early on when I started working with her, they just liked the way that we operated. She liked the way we ran the set and it made everybody feel comfortable. And they've stuck with us because of that. They could certainly afford flashier and bigger production houses to do their stuff.
[00:20:16] Sanjay Parekh: Right! There's something to be said about building those relationships and making people feel comfortable. There's going to be problems. There's always problems and nothing's ever perfect but it's how you handle all of that stuff that I think builds that relationship and that trust going forward. So, let's talk about an area that I know is probably going to be tough, maybe. Sleep, and wellness. Like, how do you manage that? Especially with a newborn in the house.
[00:20:50] Ford Gunter: Before the baby I was pretty good at cranking out edits late at night. I could work into the night if I needed to. I don't prefer to, but I could. Post baby, I've been able to shift some of the work schedule around to where I'm not super busy, but then there's other times where I'm like, I got to take this job. I need to do it and we got to keep earning. So, really, it's the support. It's my wife. It's the tag team. She's on maternity leave. She's still doing some work for her company, but she's home. We have in laws on both sides that are in town, which is a huge help. So, sleep wise, I've learned to take naps. I have gotten really good at going back to sleep when I wake up in the middle of night.
I've been a poor sleeper for a long time and I've gotten back to being a good sleeper, which is pretty remarkable. So, typically I wake up about four or five with the baby, we both do. And then I wake up again like eight with the baby. and I'm able to go back down, like that. And I also, when my wife wakes up to pump or to breastfeed, to pump, on not those time slots, I don't even budge. I don't hear her. I've gotten used to that. Things to go bump in the night don't really bother me anymore.
[00:22:23] Sanjay Parekh: Yeah, it's amazing what, and I was like you, but it’s amazing what baby induced, sleep deprivation will change and fix in your sleeping habits. I'm definitely more of a restful sleeper now, and it's been many, years now since we've been in that zone that you're in right now.
[00:22:43] Ford Gunter: It's a different kind of exhaustion.
[00:22:44] Sanjay Parekh: And it's an exhaustion that you appreciate afterwards. You don't necessarily appreciate when you're in it. But you look back fondly, many years later. Just trust me, it'll come for you at some point.
[00:22:57] Ford Gunter: I'll hold you to that. We'll come back in season 12 and discuss.
[00:23:04] Sanjay Parekh: So, let's talk about something that's kind of related to this, exercise routine. Do you have an exercise routine? Do you still have an exercise routine?
[00:23:11] Ford Gunter: I don't. I don't anymore. Yoga and tennis are my two real outlets. I love playing tennis. I love the one on one and I love the competitive outlet. I need that. It's hard, and with anybody who exercises, once you drop off, it's just, you feel terrible getting back in because you feel like you've lost so much ground. And the other thing is, with a baby, I was never a big drinker, as far as every day of the week. And, now it's like, ooh, that was a tough day. I could have some Mescal while I watched the Astros or something like that. And it's I never used to do that. And now I'm like, at least a drink a day. And that makes it even harder to get back into the exercise. I'm still playing some tennis. I haven't gotten back into the yoga yet, but I will at some point, hopefully pretty soon. We had a, I'm sure you guys heard, but just an unbearably hot summer in Texas, which helped with the not missing exercise as much. But I'm carrying around some winter weight that I'd like to get rid of before the winter.
[00:24:26] Sanjay Parekh: Yeah. No thoughts on taking up pickleball if you're doing tennis?
[00:24:31] Ford Gunter: Gosh, I've played a fair amount of pickleball. There's some courts like near where my mom lives that have a lot of casual pickup games. It's great for like casual pickup games. I'm not ever going to get serious about it. And I can't help but laugh at some of the tennis first pickleball memes that I come across.
[00:24:55] Sanjay Parekh: They are pretty funny. I personally, I do play every now and again, pickleball.
[00:25:00] Ford Gunter: It's fun. It's a great, it's a great equalizer because, tennis, if somebody is not near you in skill level, it's not fun. It's not productive and it's not worth getting sweaty over. But pickleball, you can really play with an advanced player, a beginner and two intermediates and have a great time. So, I get it. I'm not anti-pickleball by any means.
[00:25:23] Sanjay Parekh: Yeah, I'm definitely in the negative skill arena for tennis. So that puts me in the somewhat neutral for pickleball. So pickleball ends up being a little bit more fun for me because I don't feel like every ball is going outside of the court, not just outside of the court, but over the fence, outside of the court.
[00:25:42] Ford Gunter: With the way the ball is weighted, like there can be some fantastic points, just like stabs and slams. And then, you look around and the other courts saw that point and it can be really fun. You don't get that in tennis unless it's two very equal players.
[00:25:58] Sanjay Parekh: Exactly. Okay, let's, get back to business talk, otherwise people are going to think that this is the tennis versus pickleball, podcast, which it is not. It could be though. So, thinking about like your time in starting and doing all of this, is there something that you think about, if I could go back in time, this is the thing that I would do differently.
[00:26:24] Ford Gunter: I would probably just try to do what I did faster. I would probably just acknowledge that I am now a freelance videographer. And roll with that, because I did, I actually maintained a freelance writing. I did freelance writing for a while afterwards as well, just for income. My progression was a little bit slow because you do have to procure some equipment. I had some leftover from the documentary, but you're always upgrading your equipment. And so, it can be expensive. You got to buy a new computer every couple of years and got to keep up with the cameras and all the technology. So, I was somewhat limited by how fast I could jump in, but I think just accepting that, this is what I'm going to do. This is how I want to build my business. And then just doing it. Rather than just floating with the tide of where my life was generally going.
[00:27:24] Sanjay Parekh: So capital obviously was a constraint to making you go faster. But what was the other thing? Was it just your mentality or the acceptance of it? What was holding you back on that side?
[00:27:36] Ford Gunter: That's where I should be more Type A, or I would be better served to be more Type A. It was just my own complacency. And I think it was a cover for fear. Shoot, I don't know if this is really what I want to do. Just a lot of like hand wringing and stuff when I was already doing it. I should have just accepted it and I should have just moved in with it and, really gone gung ho. And I think that with that, I would have been better at selling myself, which probably would have opened up my client book a little bit earlier.
[00:28:15] Sanjay Parekh: Yeah. Do you feel, like, ever falling into that trap again of being afraid or doubting yourself or doing any of those things? And if so, how do you handle that now?
[00:28:28] Ford Gunter: Sure. I have those fears every time I sit down to edit something I've shot or every time we like wrap on a shoot, I'm like, oh my God, do we get it? How is it going to look, is there going to be any technical problems? But I do love telling stories and I love it when a story comes together. And every project, especially the ones that I edit, there's like a moment where everything starts to fall into place, and you can see the puzzle coming together. And then I pick up the momentum, and I love that, and I'm like, oh, this thing is really clicking. So the work reinforces it, the work runs counter to the natural insecurities and the product ends up, I like everything I turn out. There's not one thing. There's like aspects of things that I've put out that I'm like, yeah, that could have been better. And early on its like, ooh, that camera's rough, but like just the crafting of the story and the narrative.
I specialize in corporate video, for a lack of a better term. And everything we do is like a mini documentary. It's like a 2 to 7 to 8-minute documentary on some story, some company story, some person in the company story, some venture that the company is partaking in there, that story. And we shoot them documentary style, they come out and they're just, little miniature stories.
And I just, I love it. And if I can make a senior housing development in Austin look like an exciting and cool place to be where I'm like, that's, really cool. They have got pickleball courts for people. Because a lot of my clients aren't the most exciting or interesting things in the world, but everybody's got something interesting. I just really get off on helping get that part out.
[00:30:25] Sanjay Parekh: Thinking back to all the times where you've done these stories and you're like, man, that could have been better. Have clients ever pointed to that same thing and said, oh, that could have been better, or is that only you?
[00:30:37] Ford Gunter: Not to me in particular. That's not to say that they haven't thought that, and I've had one-time clients, I've had clients that I know will never come back. Not every experience has been a great experience. And I know that I've had clients that have left unsatisfied. Now, those are also the projects that I have left unsatisfied from. And I've been like, I wouldn't take that call again because we didn't have a good working experience. Their system didn't jive with my system. But really, I've been fortunate with that. Most of my clients come back. I'm really only thinking of one in particular that I know we'll never see again, nor do I want to. You can tell by what we promote, what I put on the website, what I put on Instagram. Those are the ones I'm proud of. Those are the ones I love, and I need to be better about it, but I do end up trying to put something from every client out there every time we do something.
[00:31:39] Sanjay Parekh: Yeah. And I think equally important is knowing that you've got clients that are coming back is knowing the clients that you're not a good fit with. That you don't want back as well. Firing clients feels like a strange thing to ever talk about as a founder and you're trying to start up and everything, but firing clients is a good thing sometimes. It’s not that they're a bad client. They're just not a good fit, with you. And they just need to find somebody else that they're a better fit with.
[00:32:02] Ford Gunter: And I've put out proposals to where, somebody has asked me for a bit, and I put out a proposal. I'm like, I'm not going to be torn up if they don't follow up.
[00:32:12] Sanjay Parekh: Yeah, that's good. That's good. Okay. Two questions, two last questions for you. One, what would you tell somebody who was thinking about taking that leap like you did? Starting a side hustle-ish thing that you did and making it into full time venture. That's the first question.
[00:32:34] Ford Gunter: So, for the side hustle, like starting one and then transitioning it into your full-time gig. The biggest thing I would say is to keep that safety net as long as you possibly can. But then when it's time to cut it, it's time to cut it. You got to just, you got to take the leap at some point. You can teeter out and, tiptoe out on the edge of the cliff for as long as possible. Keep your 9 to 5 income coming as long as possible. Keep that health insurance coming as long as possible. But eventually you're going to have to jump. And nobody can really tell you when that is. You'll figure it out for yourself, and you probably won't do it at the exact right time, but there will be a time where you just have to make the commitment that this is it for me, and this is what I'm going to do.
[00:33:23] Sanjay Parekh: Yeah. I love that. That is great advice. Okay. The most important question that I talked about at the beginning of the episode. What advice do you have for folks that are trying to shoot video or tell stories and the things that you see them mess up? And is there just one or two things that they could do if they just fix those things, man, people would be making just much better video and stories out there?
[00:33:49] Ford Gunter: I don't know. I might want to keep that to myself. No. No, the truth is people are making great stuff all the time with social media and with Instagram reels and things like that. There's stuff on there, that, when I see it, I'm like, oh, gosh, is this what I'm competing against? Is this the pond I'm swimming in?
But I think that, if you're going to be a storyteller of any kind, you got to tell a story in your own way. And I know it's kind of cliche, but there's a million and a half storytellers within three square miles of where I sit right now. And you in Atlanta, there's with Marvel Studios in town, there's storytellers out there. So, you have to find a voice and you got to figure out a way to make your voice come through and hope that your voice finds its audience.
We have a style. I have a kind of a vibe and the projects that are frustrating and that don't really work out the way I'm as proud of as the other ones are the ones where, for whatever reason, my vibe and my voice isn't able to come through. It's stifled. And sometimes maybe that's my fault and pre-production. Sometimes it's just look, my friend needs help and I got to help him with this and we're just going to do it and we're going to hope for the best. But if you got to find your voice, you got to tell the story in your voice. You got to have your own style because there's so many other people out there doing the same thing.
[00:35:27] Sanjay Parekh: Yeah. Yeah. That is great advice. I think you're right. A lot of people try to be a fake, be like somebody else instead of their own. And you can tell that, in authenticity, if that's the word.
[00:35:40] Ford Gunter: Yeah. Yeah. For whatever, for all the other ways that our society is careening toward the abyss, our BS detectors, I think as far as like authenticity, and it sounds weird even coming out of my mouth for a lot of reasons, but I do think that to some degree, people are so quick to be like, no, that's not authentic.
And that's not for me.
[00:36:03] Sanjay Parekh: Yeah. Yeah. Ford, this has been fantastic. Where can our listeners find and connect with you online?
[00:36:10] Ford Gunter: So, easymorningmedia.com is the website. My Instagram is @easymorningmedia and @Fgun, the letter F as in Ford and then G U N first three letters of my last name. I do a little bit of cross promotion on that. And that's it. No Facebook. Oh, and LinkedIn. I'm on LinkedIn. I think you can find me under Ford Gunner. But yeah, no Facebook and minimal Twitter. Our Twitter is still the documentary handle, Art Car: The Movie. So, if you want to go find out about that, we can mail you a DVD.
[00:36:49] Sanjay Parekh: Awesome. Thanks so much for coming on today.
[00:36:52] Ford Gunter: Thanks for having me. It was really nice to meet you.
[00:36:57] Sanjay Parekh: Thanks for listening to this week's episode of the Side Hustle to Small Business podcast powered by Hiscox. To learn more about how Hiscox can help protect your small business through intelligent insurance solutions, visit Hiscox. com. And if you have a story you want to hear on this podcast, please visit hiscox.com/share your story. I'm your host, Sanjay Parekh. You can find out more about me at my website, sanjaypakreh.com.
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