Are you ready to meet another amazing entrepreneur in the Triad?? For today’s Entrepreneur in the Triad, I interviewed Chris Hudson. He is a local filmmaker who wrote, produced, and directed The Mayberry Effect. He shares, “This humorous and inspiring film explores how The Andy Griffith Show has influenced individuals and audiences over many generations.”
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
“I knew at six-years-old that I wanted to work in television and film. I remember watching Rick Steves’ Europe Through the Backdoor show on PBS and wanted to do a travelogue like his. I’ve always studied television, films, documentaries, and travelogues and I can’t say that I’ve ever watched them out of pure enjoyment. I’ve always studied and paid attention to how scripts were written, what kind of shots were used and always wondered as a kid how they put a logo over footage.”
What is your favorite part about being an entrepreneur?
“It’s hard to say what my favorite part about being an entrepreneur is. I like having control of my own schedule, relying on my own creativity to make a living and life for me and my family, and seeing an idea on paper become a feature-length documentary that people can watch and interact with. My documentary The Mayberry Effect was in production for over 4 years and did a year-long film festival circuit before Gravitas Ventures picked it up. I have been developing my LLC centered around the documentary for five years and finally have a product that people can buy and rent online on over 100 transactional platforms. And, following its online premiere, The Mayberry Effect will also be on DVD, a streaming service and eventually broadcasted across the country. To create a film and product like this is exciting because of the opportunities that it could create in the future. Having the flexibility to develop a feature film like this has been paramount; however, many will never know and see the hard work and long hours it has taken to get the film to where it is today.”
How is writing important in your business or as an entrepreneur?
“As a filmmaker every film starts with a story, or an idea and writing is the only way to flush out your idea in order to make your film come to life on screen. Even after the film is completed, filmmakers and producers are constantly writing about their film in order to engage with audiences and get them to come see the film either in theaters or online. So, for me as a filmmaker, writing is the most important foundation in order to move forward in production.”
How do you overcome obstacles that being an entrepreneur throws at you?
“I have learned that most of the obstacles that I have faced while being an entrepreneurial-minded filmmaker aren’t as permanent nor grandiose in real life as they might be in my own mind. As a creative thinker who has spent a lot of time daydreaming and questioning whether or not something is actually possible, I have realized that actually doing the work involved in making a documentary versus only conceptualizing it, that many of the preconceived obstacles were mere speed bumps and not actual roadblocks. Some obstacles I had to approach more slowly and methodically while others I simply drove right through them. You just have to realize that not all obstacles or walls in front of you are permanent. Many walls can be overcome by either walking around them, scaling the wall in front of you, or simply blasting through it. If you make mistakes through the process, that’s okay. It’s part of being an entrepreneur. And most importantly, knowing and believing in your product will help you push through any obstacle.”
What is one piece of advice you would give future entrepreneurs?
“Know your audience and become 100% focused on delivering the best product you can based on your audience’s needs! In my case, my documentary The Mayberry Effect is my product and before I even began production, I knew that there were over 2 million fans of The Andy Griffith Show on Facebook. I also knew that the audience who watched The Andy Griffith Show since 1960 not only reached across all 50 states of the U.S. but also in other countries as well. Knowing those statistics made it easier to move forward in trying to produce a film that those casual fans and superfans of The Andy Griffith Show would enjoy. So, I would say to all future entrepreneurs is to do the research first to find your audience and customers that will buy your product.”
How do you manage to wear all the hats an entrepreneur is required to wear? Do you have tips for staying organized?
“Over the years I have learned to partition my work into certain segments. As a filmmaker, some days I concentrate only on producing. Other days are focused on filming and other days are focused on working on the script or editing. It’s close to impossible to do everything in one day. I’ve realized over the years that I need to concentrate and stay within one box to be successful at all. Sticking to a schedule and to-do list for the day helps but I have realized that I typically can get five to six things done well each day. So as long as I’m comfortable with that rate of success each day, I know by the end of the week that I have completed 25 to 30 different tasks. Finally, I know that I can’t do everything and there are many times when I hire someone who is much more talented in their field and can take over some of my tasks relieving some of the stress and anxiety that I face on a daily basis when working on an independent film.”
What educational experiences helped when becoming an entrepreneur?
“In college, at Queens University of Charlotte, I majored in communications and minored in theater. As an entrepreneur learning how to write in college as well as perform in front of an audience was crucial in owning and running a business and creating a documentary around an LLC. The skills I learned in college and during my internship at WTVI, Charlotte’s Public Broadcasting Station, allowed me to learn how to interview people on camera and stand in front of a crowd in order to pitch TV show/documentary ideas. Plus, the technical skills I learned at WTVI were vital in being able to go out on my own and start to create videos, commercials, and documentaries for clients and viewing audiences. In graduate school at Wake Forest University, I spent three years in the Documentary Film Program which helped me to produce documentaries at a much higher level.”
Learn more about Chris Hudson and The Mayberry Effect
Ready to learn more about Chris’s amazing film, The Mayberry Effect?
If you have a recommendation for an entrepreneur that I should consider featuring, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.