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  • Meg Cuthbert

2017 - A Work Year In Review

2017 was a hard and fast year for us. When we first moved back to Vancouver Island a year and a half ago, which is also when Daniel and I both started freelancing together full-time, I remember reading that entrepreneurs work 100 hours a week. "Pffffft. We both work for ourselves and we don't work 100 hours combined." I thought charmingly.

Needless to say our first summer back on the island was one of bliss and luxury, we camped and hiked, we traveled to Australia and we returned home in October utterly broke. This was six months after we officially started working for ourselves, but I see October 2016 as when we actually started the business.

So 2017 was a year of work, we produced a lot of videos, we learned a lot about clients and contract, and that running your own business means you are always working. Luckily our business is video production, which is super fun, so working all the time isn't the hassle it sounds like it is (except for when it is). This year we were able to get right into the tourism world, we produced videos for Tourism Cowichan, we shot Tania Miller's retirement performance with the Victoria Symphony (a six camera operation), we shot for government, music festivals, musicians and small business. We've surprised a few people (including ourselves) with how productive we ended up being last year.

With all those videos here are my Top 5 Client Videos we produced in 2017:

1. Tourism Cowichan - Experience Ship to Shore Dining

We shot this entire video in a day. The turnaround time for the whole project from approval to completion was 11 days. It was crazy and fun, and we are so lucky that Angie let us use her boat!

2. Merridale Cidery & Distillery - Merridale Distillery

This year I learned a lot of craft cider and spirits, as I had the pleasure of working with Merridale Cidery & Distillery. We produced several videos for them, and I did some communications writing for them. I got deep and got to learn all about their business, their values and how they make their products. In this video, Rick talks about the history and production of Merridale's craft spirits. I just love it.

3. Downtown Duncan Business Improvement Area - Downtown Duncan BIA

You wouldn't know it from driving through Duncan, but downtown is actually really cool. The core of Downtown Duncan is full of locally owned shops and restaurants in a compact area that's perfect for walking. Every five years the BIA needs to renew their standing with the local landowners, this video was created for their renewal presentation. As you can see, there's a lot of love for Downtown Duncan.

4. Dirty Mountain - The Love That I Let Go

Last April, Dirty Mountain had the privilege of being the first band in our brand new studio space. All things considered, the day was smoother than chunky peanut butter. The band was great and patient, the song is lovely, the audio sounds good and the video looks pretty darn'd nice. Not too bad for a first session if I do say so myself.

5. Tourism Cowichan 2018 Vision

At the end of the year, we put together the AGM video for Tourism Cowichan. We basically got to cherry pick all our favourite shots from the entire year and placed them in the Tourism Cowichan narrative. Going through our shots was fun and nostalgic, but for this project, we also interviewed two of my favourite women Karen Elgersma and Janet Docherty. Karen is my mutually-agreed upon "work mom" and I've been working with her since I first started my video career at ShawTV Victoria, she is now the Executive Director of Tourism Cowichan. I also spoke at the AGM and when discussing with Karen about what I should say she said, "just be inspirational." Which is such a hilariously Karen thing to say as she breathes inspiration. Janet Docherty is the President of Tourism Cowichan and an owner of Merridale Cidery. She took a chance on me last year and was one of my biggest advocates throughout 2017. Janet is a powerhouse. At the end of the year to be able to put together a video of these two women and all our best footage was an incredibly wonderful and cathartic experience.

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