Bryan Smith

Port Saint Lucie, Florida

8th Avenue Studios
Personal LinkedIn Profile

What is your company description and what makes your company unique?

8th Avenue Studios is a full service video, film, and photography production company, providing services at a wide range of budget levels anywhere in the world. What makes 8th Avenue Studios unique is its finished product quality in relation to its size. Because of our almost 25 years of experience in just about every imaginable facet of production, we are able to execute at the highest quality while using a small crew. This allows us to service large corporations and agencies as well as smaller businesses that have a more limited budget.

How did you get into entrepreneurship?

I started my career in TV news in the late 90's, but transitioned into teaching. While teaching high school for 15 years, I realized I needed to stay current on trends within the video, film, and broadcast world, so I began freelancing on the side in 2007. After several years of work and building a client base, I created an LLC and 8th Avenue Studios was born. A few years after that, I left teaching to run the company full time.

Why do you do what you do?

In 1997, while at the University of Florida, I had two pivotal moments. First, I started working at WUFT as a studio tech. Second, I shot my first short film. That year I fell in love with lights, cameras, and action. I've never lost that enthusiasm and I continue to thirst for more over two decades later.

What tools, resources or books have you used to start and/or grow your business?

As a person with no business degree (and an artist at that), the business side of things has provided me with the greatest challenge. In joining chambers of commerce and the Economic Development Council of St. Lucie County, I have surrounded myself with entrepreneurs and business executives, and I have picked their brains incessantly. I've found that books, podcasts, and seminars only provide a tiny portion of the knowledge I need to have a successful business. Aligning myself with successful people who aren't looking to make money selling books, but are happy to help me grow has been the biggest game changer.

Why did you choose to locate your business in Florida?

My family moved to Orlando when I was nine months old, I went to college in Gainesville, and now live and work on the Treasure Coast. Although I travel frequently out of state for productions, Florida is my home. I can't imagine basing my business anywhere else.

What advice do you have for other entrepreneurs?

Blaze your own trail! As I said before, there are so many books, podcasts, and coaches out there that are saying the same thing. Although some of them have great insight and advice, nobody knows your business better than you. Don't ever be afraid to take chances and fail. If you love what you're doing, you'll figure it all out and be successful.

How can other entrepreneurs help you?

I love talking to entrepreneurs in other fields. I gain so much valuable information that I can apply to my production company from the most unlikely places. I can't tell you how many men and women from seemingly unrelated industries have given me ideas that I have implemented successfully.


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