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Elmer J. Howard: I Have a Passion and a Gift for Telling Stories Through a Visual Medium and Positively Impacting My Audience

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Elmer J. Howard

Elmer J. Howard of Thrive Productions.

Tell us about yourself?

I’m a native of the state of Maine in the US. I’ve had a few different careers in my life; culinary arts, computer/network administrator, customer support/Verified Fulfillment Manager, business administration, accountant, and filmmaker.

My passion is filmmaking and my motto is, “Changing The World One Production At A Time.” I enjoy telling stories through film and making the audience think and discuss topics after the movie and be moved to heal relationships, be better people, etc.

What do you think is the single biggest misconception people have when it comes to startups?

The answer depends on if we’re talking about the people wanting to do a startup or the people looking at others doing startup.

I think the single biggest misconception people have it when it comes to startups for those doing a new startup is the amount of time it takes to invest into the startup and how long it takes for it to be truly profitable.

I think the single biggest misconception people have it when it comes to startups for those on the outside looking in is the opposite to the answer above. They think startups are easy and are quickly profitable.

If you could go back in time to any moment from your journey, and give yourself one tip, what would it be?

The one tip I would give myself earlier on in my journey is to save and invest when cash flow is going well.

Not only is this important to have cash available during slow cash flow periods, having investments and savings early in life allows you to do more of what you want when you’re older.

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What makes you stand out as an entrepreneur?

Most of my experience is in small business administration and startups. I take a different approach to a lot of things in my life because of this.

I have a passion and a gift for telling stories through a visual medium and positively impacting my audience by getting them to think and challenging their beliefs while entertaining them, which fuels my passion.

What are some of the best working habits you’ve gained over the past couple of years?

The best work habits I’ve gained over the past couple of years are to have work/life balance, which is so important to not only avoid burnout and lost relationships, but also helps ensure you keep the joy you get from the work you do. I’ve also recently learned how to have and use workflows.

In the earlier days I could keep everything I needed to do each day in my head, as the business expanded and I expanded into other businesses, I couldn’t keep it all straight in my head. It’s also great when you have employees and being able to manage workflow.

Give us a bit of an insight into the influences behind the company?

Ever since I was a teen I wanted to be involved in movies. At first it was acting, as I got older I realized I wanted more influence over the storytelling and directing became my passion.

My friends and colleagues I work with a lot influence what films I make as well as how I tell the story. I believe filmmaking is a collaborative effort. I get input from my crew, cast, and friends as I tell the story.

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Ultimately I make the final decisions; however, the more I listen to qualified opinions and suggestions, the more information I have to make decisions and that allows us to have the best possible production.

Where do you see your business in five years?

In 5 years I see Thrive Productions producing multiple films, tv shows, and videos. We will have won some prestigious awards for our productions as well.

What do you think the biggest challenge will be for you in getting there?

The biggest challenge is cashflow. Film production isn’t cheap and finding investors can be challenging.

Talk to us about your biggest success story so far?

The biggest success story so far is our latest short film “Kings & Queens.” It’s finishing up it’s festival run and has won 44 awards as well garnered us attention from the local media.

How do clients and customers find you? Are you much of a salesperson for yourself?

This question is geared more towards businesses not in the field of film production. Currently, our audience finds us through YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, our website, film festivals, and on Amazon Prime.

What one tip would you give to fellow startup founders?

No matter what your dream or passion is, don’t let others persuade you not to pursue them. I was told so many times by so many people in my life when I was younger not to try and get into filmmaking. I’m glad I didn’t listen to them.

And finally, what do you hope the future brings both you personally, and your business?

For the future I want to influence and change the world through my productions and for me and the business to be doing that more often than we currently are.

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I want the company to be able to afford to make movies we decide to do through either having the cashflow ourselves, or having investors who are ready and willing to invest in our projects.

Follow Thrive Productions on Twitter or Linkedin.

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