Today we’d like to introduce you to Courtney Williams.
Courtney, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I am 29, a husband to a beautiful wife, and a father to an extraordinary 4-year-old daughter.
I was born in Europe as a result of being a military dependent growing up and spent the bulk of my life until the age of ten overseas. Seeing the world through that window will forever be appreciated and contributes a pretty solid, well-rounded perspective on life. With that, my mother has always driven my mindset on humility, and my father kindled the fire to my hustle. Following his retirement, while I was still young, he always emphasized the freedoms and gratifications of living life while earning an income from something you have built, while also re-iterating the good old saying “You have to pay the cost to be the boss”, which is true in many more ways than just monetary sacrifices. My wife continues to support me in being sure my foot is on the gas. Both my parents have always fed into my views on spirituality.
My dad, who currently runs his own business, totally sold me on the idea of working for myself. In high school, I found myself fortunate enough to be able to take film courses, admittedly, just for fun at the time and loved it enough to pursue it as a major in college. Alongside film in both high school and college, my parents gave me some sound advice on how the future is shifting to a very tech-driven world, as it is now, and I graduated from Ridge View High School in Columbia, SC with computer certifications and graduated from The University of Alabama with a degree in media production with an emphasis on television & film alongside a minor in computer science.
I played high school sports and after being accepted into the University of Alabama, I walked onto the football team where, due to eligibility discrepancies, I was faced with having to transfer to a smaller school and return if I wanted to continue playing football for The University of Alabama. I ultimately decided to let football go and channel my energy toward film. I loved the gratification of making something awesome from nothing while creating films for classes, and with college friends in film and theatre. While in film school, I knocked on plenty of professors’ doors to get overrides into all the cool film classes before I was technically allowed to take them (Shoutout to a few of my former film professors Rachel Raimist, Dwight Cammeron, and Adam Shwartz). While still in school, I decided I would take what I’m learning, venture out, and offer film and video services professionally.
I’ve also since obtained valuable skills with employers Crimson Tide Productions, ESPN, The High Museum Of Art, NFL Films, The Tuscaloosa Amphitheater, and The Mercedes-Benz Stadium production crew.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Struggles and obstacles along the way were, and still are, figuring out how to run a business most effectively and correctly. There’s so much more to business that goes on behind the curtain. I know my trade like the back of my hand and continue to stay up to date on my skills in that aspect, but learning the business side is a new monster. There’s so much involved! So I continue to seek resources such as various SCORE mentors with different strengths, The Chamber of Commerce and attorney services to fill in the gaps where I am not the most knowledgeable or feel apprehensive. One thing I wished more trade programs included in their curriculum is “how to run a business”. Today I persistently seek books, mentors, Facebook groups, etc. to get inside and take notes on the clues others leave on their success.
I have gone through a number of transitions, namely moving to a new city, becoming a father, and purchasing my first home. I’ve certainly had seasons that required me to set my business aside temporarily and work full time to ensure the family is financially secure. Running a business can easily become money hemorrhaging, so finding that balance has been a challenge. In short, don’t feel like a failure if you need to temporarily pivot to keep things afloat. Being a business owner demands your time, energy, and your wallet.
Working for others was not all bad by any means, though. I learned a ton and met a lot of great people while employed with The High Museum of Art Atlanta as their Media Production Specialist, and as a camera operator for Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta.
As of late, the pandemic can be added to the list of obstacles, but things are slowly bouncing back, and due to some persistent research and effective use of the “downtime”, things are legitimately coming back into place better than before. I also used that downtime to begin developing an app that will address a few holes I’ve found in the convenience of being a media professional. It is currently in the pre-seed phase. It will be called Gimbl™!
Hyperion Productions, LLC – what should we know? What do you do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
While I, myself, have been in practice for about a decade, Hyperion Productions, LLC is very much in its infancy. Plans for Hyperion are for it to grow into a major full-service production company.
Hyperion’s pipeline of work consists of mainly music video production and content for both local and major businesses. We humbly have a lot of work to be proud of so I’ll highlight the latest major project. It is a music video in collaboration with artists Seiyah (@seiyahthe7th) and Doc Todd (@therealdoctodd) for their track “Sammy” which is a powerful social injustice piece that is very relevant in today’s political, racial and social environment. I highly recommend taking a peek at it.
What sets Hyperion apart from others is that we are a true partner to our client’s from project to project. Our goal is to understand your needs and deliver impactful visual content that tells an exciting story. Some clients are hesitant about hiring a video service provider because they don’t know where to start, but we help our clients picture their unique value and materialize that vision on the screen. We start with collaborating with you to help plan and fine-tune your content to ensure smooth production shoots and produce crisply edited videos. We make it easy on you!
What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
The proudest moment in my career, in all honesty, was the tipping point where the business started becoming lucrative. It was when I began to consistently win projects and at desirable price points for my time and effort and bills became a non-issue with a side of a formidable disposable income. It felt worth it. While I love to create and would also love to say my proudest moment was “this deep thing that happened during ‘XYZ’ project, it was really the moment of “I’m doing it, it’s working, and I have no doubts about continuing.”
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Hyperion Productions, LLC