"Live a good life, and in the end, it’s not the years in the life, it’s the life in the years."

Video this

By on June 26, 2021 in Arts with 0 Comments
Jarod Breshears, here surrounded by a roomful of video production gear, travels the country plying his craft but comes home to his streetfront studio on Wenatchee’s Riverside Drive.

Accidental side hustle has grown into production company with sundry collection of clients

By Susan Lagsdin

As a student at the University of Idaho, finishing up two majors in music and one in broadcasting, Jarod Breshears was asked to film a major event for the college when the original producer suddenly had to cancel.

Among his first thoughts was, “I’ll need a name for my company.”

Already envisioning a future career, he chose his dad’s childhood nickname for him, Skeeterbuggins. Cute, but does it inspire confidence? Yes, in the fast paced, get-er-done world of video production, it definitely does.

In 15 years, his business has grown exponentially from what he calls “a side hustle” alongside university assignments to a full-service production company offering broadcast TV and video production, editing and graphics, and anything in between.

And it’s moved from a desk at his home in Colfax to a tidy studio in Wenatchee, where he’s based downtown on Riverside Drive. (Here’s an old-world concept come ’round: his sidewalk-level “shop” fronts a new two-story townhome where he lives with his wife and two young children.)

Though he was almost shut down by pandemic in 2020, his first year here, Jarod used the time wisely to find his footing, build his repertoire and gather his gear. Now he’s just about ready for a mini-grand opening.

Jarod seemed skeptical at first about calling that which he does for a living an art form, but he does assert that “every shoot is a performance” whether it’s a town hall meeting, an opera, a volleyball game or a tractor commercial. Creativity, particularly the problem-solving variety, is essential.

Creativity plus limitless confidence. “There are no scary jobs,” he said. “If I rationally say that I can do a project, I will find a way. I have a network of resources that can make anything happen.” He still does work for the U of I and regularly videos shows like Gonzaga’s theatre and dance productions.

He regularly films shows such as Gonzaga’s theatre and dance productions and U of I’s Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival. 

On one mid-June weekend he was booked solid with a Coeur d’Alene dance recital, a local three-day swim meet, Cashmere’s commencement and two virtual fundraisers. The last is a format he and an auctioneer partner have become adept at — and nonprofits find rewarding — so they are in demand.

Technology allows Jarod to be more than two places at once, within reason, so though he admits it’s a crazy schedule, he’ll manage. 

He’s helped by a new approach to filming performances, like the recent Fabulous Feet dance recital. “It used to be you’d set up two or three cameras, press record for a two-hour show and sit back and watch.” Then he’d spend a solid week at the computer sequencing shots and angles.

Now he directs by headset, in real time, positioning free-lancers with cameras who feed the footage to his computer. The images are already composed, the story already told. To finesse the final copy and add graphics takes time but less of it, and time is money.

(He added some insider information. The televised Broadway hit Hamilton? “You know, that wasn’t all live,” he said. “They had to shut down the show for a day to do all the really intimate shots. No way you could get that close up.”)

Anyone who’s even fumbled a computer file or lost a cell signal knows it’s generally not the content that poses problems, it’s the technology. 

Jarod is a bit of a wizard with all that, but even with some of the most sophisticated gear in the business and good assistants, he said, “The most nerve-wracking time on any shoot is the first minute — that’s when you know how the show will go.”

For Jarod as a kid, fooling around with video was much less stressful. 

His first movie, a collaboration with a buddy who owned a camera, was a just-for-laughs spoof of the Blair Witch Project called The Colfax Goblin Project. They managed to start a little production class at school, mostly with student-created curriculum.

Jarod didn’t consider majoring in film at college, instead thinking of architecture or urban planning and then choosing music composition, but when he saw Digital TV Production in the catalogue one year, he jumped straight into the profession.

When asked if the music degree helped him in this career (maybe soundtracks?) he had a surprising response. “Ironically,” he said, “my biggest life lessons from that time did come from the music department.” 

Then he explained. “I had a jazz percussion instructor whose constant theme was take responsibility for yourself. Always. ‘Trust no one.’”

But in a good way. 

“And Business in the Art World, a six-week class, was indispensable. Everyone I knew in that seminar went on to be successful,” he said.

So, considering that a quarter-million dollar a year business, a realistic projection, would make him and his family comfortable, what’s another measure of success? 

Jarod was clear on this point: “Seeing people happy with the product we create. I did a job two weeks ago; the client booked me right away for 2022. Every time I hear someone wants us back it makes me proud.”

About the Author

About the Author: .


If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *