Me: Hello, my name is Donovan, and I am a… (lowers voice for dramatic, “radio announcer” effect) Casual Professional.
Them: Hi Donovan!

I love that I can call TV and Radio stations and ask for the owners and managers by first name. The receptionists’ slightly skeptical (and completely normal) response is often, “Um, what’s this regarding?”, then I tell them who I am, what’s up and get right through. Not a brag really, just evidence that I’ve earned a reputation for being reliable and creative, plus I’m so comfortable with people from all walks of life, that I don’t make any pretense about an imaginary hierarchy. Respect and courtesy are two-way streets, and I aim to work with others as equals. I’m VERY thankful that the people I work with in Oregon are down to earth, caring and helpful. On the rare occasions that they’re not, it’s fun to mess with them a little (but always with good humor and a humbly-wise teaching style, of course hehe).

I met a TV station owner the other day in a busy restaurant. He was super-nice, but I couldn’t hear him when he said his name, cuz the place was noisy. My response was a quizzical “Whoozy-What’s-It?!?”, then we laughed and he repeated what he said with a smile. I like that. I wouldn’t have been that comfortable in the past, and the people sitting next to him laughed as well. It’s nice to lighten things up for business folk at their lunch meeting, and I was just passing by 🙂

I remember sitting in office meetings (before my work in broadcasting) with people who were afraid to speak up, or who played roles according to their assigned “pecking order”. I completely understand the fear of losing your job/home/etc., but it wasn’t cool for me. I don’t mean to sound judgemental, it’s just not something I can deal with very well since I’ve learned to speak up (I gotta big mouth sometimes, but my intentions are good!). I have a hard time being quiet when people are mistreated and talked down to in meetings; in life.

So, I’m very thankful that I left my regular job in 1998. It wasn’t planned. I had a major anxiety attack on the way to work one morning, and decided I need to “get out”. I gave my two-week notice that day. I quickly lost my apartment and scrambled to find very basic shelter. I lived in a 200-square foot space with a bathroom/shower down the hall for 11-years; by choice. It was a very inexpensive way to live, and it helped me to slow down and do my life on purpose. It gave me the time and energy to perform in (and promote) TONS of local theater and music. I prioritized learning, spiritual growth, being authentic and creative, instead of auto-pilot-responding to the exhausting, unfulfilling “need” to make more money and acquire stuff (I’m still living really basic to this day. Ah, freedom) 🙂

Soon after my early unpaid “retirement”, I started out on my own by producing commercials for six local non-profit theaters on the Southern Oregon Coast. They needed advertising help, so I knocked on doors and made phone calls to solicit sponsorships from local businesses. These sponsors got a nice mention at the end of the commercials, and the theater got tons of advertising for free, or at very little cost. I produced TV and Radio commercials for 45-theatrical productions (now I’m definitely bragging lol). Over a few years, I applied for, and received, four separate grants to support the arts in the area. The grant money was used for promotion, new theater lighting, video production equipment and more. I also made great connections with account executives from cable and broadcast stations, who helped me enter the business side of video production. I became an independent producer, with my work running on Comcast Cable TV and local networks (Fox, CBS, NBC and ABC).

All of this was on faith, and I couldn’t have planned some of the amazing opportunities that came my way. Plus, I did all of this with (sometimes paralyzing) anxiety. Why? How? Cuz I was doing what I loved and money was not the priority. It wasn’t easy, and I keep thinking of that poem about the “path less taken”, but I’m glad I listened to my instincts, because everything fell into place so perfectly. (Hint: I believe this applies to everyone).

Anywho, I’m very thankful for the freedom I gained by taking some courageous and illogical (to some) steps in the past. And I couldn’t have done it without some amazing people in the local media and businesses 🙂

Have a great day,

Donovan’s Trip to the NAB Conference in April 2013

Update: Thanks to the generosity of Clients, Family and Friends I’m going to the NAB Conference in April!

I want to go to the NAB (National Association of Broadcasters) Conference in Las Vegas in April this year. Technology is changing fast and I want to be able to keep up. Donovan Productions strives to give our business clients, and non-profit groups, the very best in video production service, content delivery and fair prices.

Our mission is to promote others with creative, attention grabbing commercials and long-format video, so that they can serve the community and have businesses that flourish. Everyone knows how tough the economy has become, and we aim to help people stay employed, by helping keep business open. Can we do that with creative video production and advertising ideas? Yep, we’ve proven it over and over! I went to the NAB Conference in 2009 and it was fantastic! I learned so much about new technology, video/audio equipment, advertising trends and creative software that it really helped me serve our clients and help grow their businesses.

I am raising money for the cost of the trip, and admission fees for the NAB Conference. As hard as we work, we never get very far ahead because we’re always purchasing better video/audio equipment, computer hardware and software, and giving our video production services at fair prices so people can afford to advertise. I’m requesting donations to help me with the cost of this trip to the conference in Las Vegas. My goal is to raise $1,000 (We’re 80% there!). That includes the admission price for the conference, classes, airline tickets, an inexpensive hotel room, and money for food (while the conference is in Las Vegas, don’t worry, I don’t gamble lol).

If you’d like to help me raise money for the trip to the NAB Conference, please click on the “Donate” button below.

Donations can be made if you have a PayPal account.
There is an option to click if you don’t have a PayPal account and just want to use your credit card
(Click on “Continue” to the left of the PayPal log in on the donation web page).

If I’ve given you good service, made your day a little brighter, helped your doors stay open at your business, or promoted your non-profit group, please consider making a donation. It will come back to you in the form of even better service, and lots of gratitude 🙂

Click Here for more information About NAB 2013

Click Here to read Comments from a few of our Happy Clients

Thank You Very Much,

Hip to Be Square

With a title like “Hip to Be Square” you may flash back on the frenetic 80’s music video by Huey Lewis & the News, but I’m talking about an even cooler way to be “square”. You know…now that I think about it,  I may not be cool enough to pull off this “clever” intro with such intricate word-play, so I will get straight to the point lol.

We found a very cool product/service called “Square”. It’s a tiny square-ish device (pictured at left) that you plug into your Android or iPhone. Square enables you to accept credit/debit card payments anywhere you have a phone signal. It’s super-fast, easy, paperless billing.

I’m a tech-junkie who loves gadgets, so I had to get this little thing. Amazingly enough, the device is free. No strings or wires attached. After downloading the free “Square” application to your smart phone, you simply enter the amount of payment, slide a credit card through the slot and hit “Charge”. It even gives you options to enter a description, take a picture of the item being purchased and send a receipt to the customer who signs for the transaction on the phone’s touch screen!

Of course there’s a small fee (around 3%) per transaction, but imagine being able to get paid on the spot for your work. Whether you’re an aspiring musician who just played a gig at a local pub, a plumber, or a much loved video producer (see “About Me”), this item could help you get paid a lot faster.

I’m not getting paid to endorse this product (although I won’t refuse mysterious bundles of unmarked bills under our doormat) I just thought it was a brilliant idea that could help a lot of small businesses. Getting paid for your work, and dealing with billing can be frustrating for any business owner. Most of the time, it’s fine and people pay as promised, but having to chase down someone to pay what they owe is stressful.

So, this is our official announcement that you can now pay for our production services on the spot with a credit/debit card. We also accept online payments through PayPal. Learn more about Square at  their website and take another step into the future (cue old “Star Trek” music). Beam me up!

Watch a Square Video on YouTube

Work/Fun Traveling

A few months ago, I decided that I wanted to do some video work that involved traveling and shooting some outdoor footage. I set the goal (mostly just made the statement that I wanted to do it) and then kind of just let it go to see what would happen.

Since then, we’ve traveled to Bandon and shot the gorgeous beaches there, as well as lions, tigers and bears at the West Coast Game Park Safari. We also spent the night in one of the luxurious Jacuzzi Suites at the Inn at Face Rock, in Bandon, and were treated to a deliciously huge lobster and prime rib dinner (we had shot the food for commercial footage, and SOMEBODY had to eat it lol). Christy and Tasha rode horses in the surf while I got some great shots. It was a lot of fun. We produced a commercial for them that’s on our Portfolio page and had a wonderful time staying there two nights.

My next travel adventure was in North Klamath County shooting outdoor footage for Discover Klamath. We saw some of the most beautiful Oregon scenery including lakes, rivers, lush forests and snow capped mountains. I got to stay in my own little cabin at Crescent Lake Resort and enjoyed the two days of meeting campers, boaters and the friendly local residents. I got a shot of a bald eagle soaring in a perfect blue sky, and some great footage of fun outdoor activities.

I spent yesterday afternoon at Osprey Point RV Resort and shot video for their commercial. People were excited to be in a commercial and I got some great footage of a couple on a wave-runner doing stunts about 10 feet from the dock I was standing on. Somehow my camera stayed dry! The food in the resort’s pub was really good. We needed pizza for a shot and, again, I helped out by eating some after the scene was done 🙂 (very generous of me huh?).  I got shots of campers having family barbecues, the resort amenities, boats passing by, travelers enjoying the sun, and a quick shot of a hovering osprey. It was a lot of fun and everyone was nice and helpful.

So, I’ve been able to travel and do some outdoor shooting in the last few months. I had set the goal, but not really taken any action to make it happen. I didn’t take any specific action anyway, no knocking on doors or calling around, but I have a good reputation for shooting and reliability, so that helps. The point I’m trying to make is that the act of stating a goal, or desired situation, with the faith/hope that you really want it to happen is very powerful stuff. Once you set your mind on something (positive or negative) you’ll find it presented nicely in your lap.

Food for thought…mmm pizza…drool.

Have a wonderful holiday weekend! Donovan