Catch Trae Stanley on the #PirateBroadcast™
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Introduction: [00:00:00] Welcome to the #PirateBroadcast™, where we interview #interestingpeople doing #interestingthings. Where you can expand your connections, your community, #kindnessiscool and #smilesarefree. Let’s get this party started.
Russ Johns: [00:00:10] It's a time for a #PirateBroadcast™ and we got Trae in the room. Pirate Trae is joining us from Houston. Morning, Trae, how you doing, man?
Trae Stanley: [00:00:20] I'm great. How are you?
Russ Johns: [00:00:22] Hi, I'm all right. We've been working together on some projects in video and live streaming combination.
Trae Stanley: [00:00:29] We have.
Russ Johns: [00:00:30] Which has been an amazing kind of outcome. And for those that don't know you and haven't met you yet, or, it's like, who's this Trae guy Russ is talking to, give us a backstory on who you are and what you're doing, what you're focused on, what you're excited about.
Trae Stanley: [00:00:45] Yeah. So I met you in the context, I do a lot of video production. I do live events for companies and I do brand storytelling. And so one of the people I started working with a couple of years ago was Mark Lacour from OGGN and...
Russ Johns: [00:01:06] Shout out to Mark.
Trae Stanley: [00:01:07] Shout out to Mark, a great connector, even better human being and probably even better businessman.
Russ Johns: [00:01:15] All the things we like in individuals, right?
Trae Stanley: [00:01:17] Yeah, so I started doing some work for him in, I guess in last November, we started doing planning or I guess last October, September, we started playing for the American Petroleum Institutes Houston chapters livestream event. It was the first one they'd ever done and we killed it. We did a great job and it was awesome. And through that, I got to get to know you and I was like very intrigued and really enjoy talking to you and we've continued our friendship and business ever since.
Russ Johns: [00:01:47] It's funny too, because the unique possibility of doing a small, safe live event and having it captured on camera, just enhances the livestream tenfold. It was really interactive and our friend Warren Spewak and interviewing people around the room and then a panel discussion where we had a slides going up and it was very interactive and a lot of activity there and everybody enjoyed it. Everybody had a great time.
Trae Stanley: [00:02:19] It was a great time. That was November and things hadn't had opened up even less than they had now. But yeah, it was a live event, socially distanced and I think people were just like really excited to go eat lunch with some other people.
Russ Johns: [00:02:33] Yeah. It was really a nice thing to actually put it together. And I want to talk a little bit about how you got into video production, though. What's your origin story cause I love the idea of story and branding and some of the content that you bring to the table. And I want to learn more about how you got started. What was the seed that planted in your head that grew into something that was really phenomenal in terms of video? What was the trigger?
Trae Stanley: [00:02:59] That's a great story. Since I was 18, I think the only other jobs I've had are a bartender, barista and a lifeguard. So I basically have been doing, and those are all part-time jobs. I've been doing this my entire life. But the way I got into it was in middle school or elementary school, my mom worked at a museum in this small town we grew up in called Las Cruces, New Mexico. And I always loved writing and I think that the museum directors partner was a journalist and I wanted to... I was up there all the time, bugging people to entertain me probably. And so hey, let's start a newspaper for kids. And so I started writing more stories in a more like outward facing context. I was always into performing. I always liked my mom to let me go try out for community theater. I was in theater in middle school and high school and I was always in newspaper. I was the newspaper editor in high school. And then in high school, I was like, I don't really like being in charge of everybody. I want to be in charge of the people telling the stories that I like. So then I really focused in on being the features editor for the newspaper for three years or for two years. And yeah, it was great. I love talking to people and through that, I was like, oh, I want to go to college and be a journalist. And then I was like, ah, actually I'd rather go to film school and make videos. Cause you get to write, and then I got into photography at some point and then I combined everything. And so basically since college yeah, I've been making videos off and on. The first short film I made was a couple of friends and the high school I went to was actually where George W. Bush, his kids went. The Bush daughters, the Bush twins, and they were a couple of grades below me, but the guys I made the movie with were in their grade. And that first film we made, the first short film we made, we got the governor George W. Bush to be in the short film. It was about lawn mowers. We filmed part of it at the mansion, and in the movie, he opens the door and he's with the voice that we all know, he's hey, can you go ahead and mow the front and back. Thanks boys. And then he just slammed the on us. Yeah, I dunno. I really love video. So yeah, I went to film school. I worked for a post house in Austin. I worked for a kids show. I worked for another post house and then my wife and I decided we wanted to just do something crazy. And we took a year off of our lives and we went to New Zealand.
Russ Johns: [00:06:04] I always wanted to go to New Zealand.
Trae Stanley: [00:06:06] Yeah, it's beautiful. Everyone should go. We should all be so lucky to go visit New Zealand once in our lives. And I brought a video camera and I shot a documentary about traveling around. I never edited it, which is, I guess that probably happens to a lot of people. And then you spend a lot of time like, oh, I'm going to shoot this. I want to shoot this. And then after that, I went on this pilgrimage in Europe and through France and Spain, the community Santiago.
Russ Johns: [00:06:36] Oh, is that the 500 mile walk or something.
Trae Stanley: [00:06:40] Yeah. It is, it can be longer. I walked a 1200 mile version of it across three months, basically.
Russ Johns: [00:06:48] Red O'Laughlin did that with his wife.
Trae Stanley: [00:06:51] Who did that?
Russ Johns: [00:06:53] Red O'Laughlin, he's another pirate. He's actually there in Houston. He's awesome individual. You should meet. You guys can swap stories.
Trae Stanley: [00:07:00] That'd be cool. Do you drink coffee by the way? Cheers.
Russ Johns: [00:07:03] I do drink coffee. My feed, for some reason, Trae, I don't know if you can see that or if it's going to come into focus or not.
Trae Stanley: [00:07:14] I can make it out. It's a little blurry right now. I don't know why.
Russ Johns: [00:07:17] My feed is. I think I need to reboot my router, technical issues. It looks great on my side, on my computer. Yeah. I'm looking at the feed itself and it's blurry
Trae Stanley: [00:07:31] Oh no. Is that something you can do live?
Russ Johns: [00:07:34] I could let you take over the show and I'll just reboot my router and I'd come back and see if it works. You can tell a story. You can tell the story Trae.
Trae Stanley: [00:07:47] That's really funny. I, because this has happened to me on a couple of live shows where you're like, after the Camino, I ended up working for Lakewood Church and for Joel Osteen over 10 years. And he does essentially a live to tape video show every weekend. So I did hundreds of those, 10 times, 50, 10 times 40. And Holy cow. Yeah, I think we, we didn't often have problems because we had so many backups, but we definitely on two occasions, the audio computer just dropped out. Or the video system one other time, the video system just rebooted in the middle of the show and you're like, what just happened?
Russ Johns: [00:08:29] Yeah. And it happens we did an event where the audio wasn't optimal and it happens, there's technical things that happen in what people realize or may not realize is that okay? We do these things and we've done them so many times that we can make it look easy. However, it's not always easy. It's not always simple. So it's like a duck, underneath the, remove a paddle as fast as we can to make everything as smooth as possible. So it's crazy.
Trae Stanley: [00:09:02] That's true. That's one of the interesting things about video production, I think is it's so easy and accessible now. But I feel like when you are hiring professional people, your pain for us to stay calm under pressure.
Russ Johns: [00:09:16] Yeah. To make sure that everything's beautiful and it's everything's going to work out just fine. It may seem like chaos right now. However, the end result will look like a polished piece of artwork.
Trae Stanley: [00:09:28] Yeah, that's right. Yeah. And the, I feel like the better and better you get and the better people you work with Even when things are totally just go in and totally out of control, you would not probably realize it because everyone's so calm. Okay. Hey, can you reattach that audio? Oh yeah. Okay. Did we try rebooting it? Oh yeah. Okay. Okay.
Russ Johns: [00:09:52] Yeah that's what I really enjoyed, appreciated about you is the fact that you're calm and, you're always easy to be around conversational, and it's just amazing to work with you. So if you're not working with Trae and you need some video, give Trae a call. So I want to give a shout out to a few people that are in the room. You're coming to the end. Hiett ferns and miss my pirate life. Darleen. Thank you so much. I've been working on a lot over. A lot over changes. Ho did you'd be more present again, always. Awesome to have you here. And Angie pirate fan love you, Angie and Tracie producer. Good morning. She jumped in. I think you saw her. You may have seen her jump in and she was trying to see if she could fix my camera. But apparently I think it's the internet connection myself. Cause it's. It's really lagging right now. I see it. Kenneth Dunner, Russ Johns, savor the flavor and the awesomeness in you, sir, from sugar land, Texas, just Southwest of Houston, us. I think you're in that neighborhood.
Trae Stanley: [00:10:59] Aren't you, Trae? Kenneth, we should hang out. I live in Sugarland.
Russ Johns: [00:11:04] Here's another Houston native Hiett Ives. He's another individual that is an awesome individual. Holy cow. Yes, it is blurry. Russ. Bob's spur. What is going on, brother out from Seattle? He's still living in Seattle. Are you still out in Washington? Did you move, did you relocate? Let me know the thing that I love about storytelling, Trae and the way we can capture video is there's so many opportunities you could do. Like a one room story. You could do a movie in a room and tell different stories in different camera angles and lighting and all of these things that can go into it. And so how do you practice? How do you practice these techniques and these skills and just getting better? So you don't have to freak out when something goes wrong?
Trae Stanley: [00:11:57] Yeah, I don't know. They say that like PR. Like doing his practice. Yeah, I I think I've, I, I shoot and make at least one or two videos a week of some kind of, probably more like I'm looking at my, on my other screen over here at premieres open and I have four projects that I'm editing right now or supervising the edit of. And yeah, that's one way. And then also I just really enjoy reading. I enjoy it. And I enjoy watching movies, Last night I finished editing and everyone in my house had gone to bed and I was pretty tired, but I was like, I feel like there's a movie I'd been watching over a couple of days and I was like, I just want to finish watching it. And you think about it and and yeah, like I try and read a book a week and like I really enjoy. Reading. Like I know a lot of people don't like fiction at least. In the business world, they're not necessarily that they don't necessarily see the value of fiction. No. And I disagree. That would make sense. Cause I tell stories, but I love fiction. I love hearing the way and reading the way that people manage to tell essentially the same. Three or four stories in hundreds of different ways, from a hundred, millions of different point of views. I don't know. It's always either a story about love or a story about overcoming, but...
Russ Johns: [00:13:10] the story arc, the famous story arc, the storytelling are, the hero's journey and all of the things that go into that.
Trae Stanley: [00:13:18] For sure.
Russ Johns: [00:13:18] That's fantastic. Is there any particular kind of a genre that you appreciate or lean into a little bit more than others?
Trae Stanley: [00:13:27] I go in waves. I feel like a couple of years ago I was really into romantic comedies. I couldn't watch enough of those or read enough of those, but right now I'm into Saifai again, and I always kinda like supernatural. Saifai I love stories about having and how, and bad choices. And so I guess that would lean towards like supernatural horror, but yeah, I think I like it when people are put in really uncomfortable situations. And I, the, I feel like the story job's story in the Bible. Him having to deal with all of the myriad of temptations and troubles that he was put through is just fat it's scripted. And essentially people make that story over and over again. Yeah. I was watching last night with Scott was a film it's 15 or 16 years old Constantine starting Keanu Reeves. Have you ever seen that?
Russ Johns: [00:14:23] Yeah.
Trae Stanley: [00:14:23] I love that movie, so I was really watching
Russ Johns: [00:14:25] it. Oh, that's awesome. Wendy says, yay, more filmmaker pirates. Welcome Trae. Thrilled to welcome you to the posse. What's the movie. You cannot pass up if you see it pop up, but expected.
Trae Stanley: [00:14:40] Yeah. I have a couple, one is The Big Lebowski. Then I really love I love Mulan like the old Disney film, Mulan. I watch that with my kids all the time. Anytime my kids hey, you want to watch a Disney short? I love those Pixar and Disney shorts that are on Disney plus I'm always like, yes. And then they're really into sitcoms right now. And then, they watch like newer ones, but like they were watching this one called Coop & Cami, and I think it's hilarious. It's just so silly. So that's what I've been after lately. Yeah, I'm not like highbrow, but I'm also, not low brow. I don't know. It's weird.
Russ Johns: [00:15:20] You like diversity in your life? Huh? The funny thing about life in film and how people create, I always liked the Cohen brothers O Brother Where Art Thou, some of those films are quirky and you see the story behind the story and the little nuances of the storytelling process. And it just really fascinates me to see how people... Tarantino is a great one to take scenes from other film and plant them in and use and repurpose them. And Reservoir Dogs was an amazing film that was like that one room film almost that was put out there and just so many different aspects of filmmaking that we can do. Are you a gear junkie or are you are you fairly minimal in your equipment?
Trae Stanley: [00:16:13] No, I wish I was more minimal. I could show you all my gear, it's just laying... Yeah. It's just splayed out. No, I like gear, but also you have to. A lot of the gigs, I would, if on higher end budgets, you can always rent stuff, but yeah, for a lot of corporate stuff where you're like working within people's budgets, it's a lot easier to just buy equipment. That'll serve you well and have that at your house. Cause especially Houston's pretty large. And like for me to go get a bunch of gear to rent is which... I didn't actually have a lot of gear until about, I started buying gear about a year ago because I would just go rent it from people. But then I was like, man, I'm spending a day before a job that I can't invoice for going to get all the gear. Then I'm spending a day afterwards returning it at all. And it was just, it was driving me crazy.
Russ Johns: [00:17:09] And Houston, it could take you an hour just to get across town.
Trae Stanley: [00:17:13] Yeah, for sure. Cause I would go to somebody's house apparently and I'd go to somebody's house in East Houston and I'd go downtown, then I'd go, you're just all over. And I live in Southwest Houston in Sugarland. When I lived in the center of town, it was maybe a little easier cause everything's 30 minutes away, but now everything's except for the center of town is like 45 or an hour away. So yeah, it's a lot of driving.
Russ Johns: [00:17:37] It's been a while since I've been in Houston, I need to get back there and check it out.
Trae Stanley: [00:17:41] It's been a while since we've been anywhere, right?
Russ Johns: [00:17:44] Yeah, no kidding. Ken Attard says, hey Russ, the Maltese just joined the room. He's from Malta. Yeah he's an awesome individual that is another pirate. And Wendy says do you find that watching an experienced producer kind of takes the movie magic out of the experience?
Trae Stanley: [00:18:04] I don't know. I always just think it's so amazing when people can actually make and finish a project. Alone is like movie magic to me.
Russ Johns: [00:18:14] Finishing a project. So do you have any of your projects up on line that people could experience? Go watch.
Trae Stanley: [00:18:23] A lot of the projects I've done the last two years are not projects that I can necessarily share on my own website.
Russ Johns: [00:18:30] So they're corporate projects or client projects.
Trae Stanley: [00:18:34] If you go to my website, www.traeaustinstanley.com, we've got a lot of stuff on there. And then my Vimeo page is I think is linked there, but yeah, I got a bunch of stuff on Vimeo. It's probably who knows. Yeah. I remember once I had Vimeo or I'm on LinkedIn, that's it. That's it. I'm on LinkedIn every day. So if you want to chat or hang out, hit me up on LinkedIn.
Russ Johns: [00:18:59] Another movie maker. Rob, he's doing movies in the wine industry. He'sa sommolier and doing some great work up in there. Happy April Fool's Day. Yeah. It's April Fool's Day. Holy cow. It's yeah, malteser Kansas. Malteser love it. I love it. The thing that I really want to impress people with is the fact that there are people out there doing work like yourself, live streaming people like myself that are actually starting to work together to create amazing new projects. And we had some things, proposals out there that we're going to be working on and doing this hybrid approach of doing a live event that streaming out to the internet so we can actually share it with more people is I think it's I think it's a great concept. And I think a lot of companies, organizations in a Bentley. Creators would probably want to think about that or talk about that.
Trae Stanley: [00:19:59] I think it's for a company. I think it's a great idea because you get people at your space, you get people online in your online space, but then it's really easy because we've captured everything that occurred. If you wanted to go back at it into smaller chunks that you can reshare. Yeah. And I think you can get a lot of mileage. Out of the money that you invest into one of those events. I think you could use that content for six, eight, 10 months if you wanted easily.
Russ Johns: [00:20:29] Absolutely. And then you can take small slices in actually redirect people back to your website, your content, the original content. I think it's really, it's a powerful tool and it's visual. And I noticed that especially on LinkedIn, there's an opportunity where, you know, Lower thirds. And, they're putting in the, the text automatically now over the live streams, they're making some improvements. There still it's a limited release and you can't just go on and create a live just automatically like YouTube or Facebook, but it's systematically going through this process of evaluating what works. Continuing to approve it. And I think a lot of organizations could leverage a live event with camera and a crew like you provide, and then stream it out. It's pretty phenomenal. I'm excited about it.
Trae Stanley: [00:21:22] The other thing that people don't even think about is you can take everything that people say and get the transcripts. And then now you have, I don't know, 10,000 words that you can turn into 20-30 blog posts and you can take, if you get stills at the event, you can throw stills up. And you can do a lot of stuff with this content. So invest in, a little bit of strategy and a little bit of a plan. That's the big thing, right? Is like not just planning the event, but planning what to do with what you get from the event.
Russ Johns: [00:22:02] Or you could just call Trae and have him work it out. Yeah. Yeah. Call us. We'll work for you and we'll put it together for you. So what do you see coming up, porTrae in, in, in some of the things you're doing in the next year, next two years, what's your intention? Trae? What are you looking to expand into films?
Trae Stanley: [00:22:25] Corporate gigs. Yeah. I think I'm really focused on doing so I started a company last year called Listed Media and it was kinda, it's a place for me to put all of my corporate videos and I do a lot of industrial videos into a more polished website. And I think that's going to allow me rather than being a personal brand to grow as a company. And so my goal this year is to hire an editor. For Listed Media. I feel very lucky to have so much business.
Russ Johns: [00:23:02] You're frozen. The internet must be having a problem today.
Trae Stanley: [00:23:08] Yeah. But yeah, so that's expanding my nascent business. That's not my personal brand, but as a company that I can market the live streaming stuff and the corporate storytelling stuff under and just expanding my ability to talk to business people at their level going to film school and then working at a church, essentially, never having to worry about money for 20 years in the sense that it was either art and I was paying for it just on my own or sometimes they're grants, or like at a church, they're like, hey, this is how much money we have and you have to do this. You're like, okay, let's figure out how to do that. And so now I have to go talk to people and be like, hey, this is how much it's going to cost me to do it and I need to make some money. And also I want you to plan for how to use it because one, I don't know if you feel this way, but one of the things that really just brings me down is when you make this awesome video or you do an awesome event, and then you go back and you check out how they've promoted it and how they've gotten it out into the world. And it has seven views and you're like, oh man yeah, come on, let us help you with that part too.
Russ Johns: [00:24:22] Yeah. And that's a huge, that's content for another episode, we could go deep on that one because there's so many opportunities that people I think are not necessarily seeing in the creative process because the creative process is only part of the equation. The development of the relationships and development of the conversation and all of the follow-up and all of the things that can go into it are all opportunities to start a conversation. And a lot of business owners, they get really busy in their business and that they just want the result. They don't necessarily want the work. They don't want to spend the time. So we need to have that conversation and as creators, I think it's smart for any creator to actually add that to their inventory of skills, to be able to promote the creative process as well.
Trae Stanley: [00:25:18] For sure. One thing that as I've grown in my skills, I've noticed some of my friends have moved to New York and to LA and one of them in particular runs this amazing team of people that make some of the best music videos in the world, like he just shot and released three videos for Justin Bieber. And we're doing a couple for Billie Eilish next week. They're amazing. Everyone has seen it as oh my gosh, this is so incredible. But when you go to his office, his creative team is, they're a large office. They have 15 people in the creative team, but they have 150 people in the business side and working to get the metrics and how to get the videos out and how to structure even some of the creative stuff in the videos so that more people will watch it. But, he has, I think 250 million people watched the last video he released.
Russ Johns: [00:26:11] And it's a it's a machine, it's a process.
Trae Stanley: [00:26:13] It's like any other business, every business has the part that is the client facing side and then has all the backend stuff. And people have to realize that that's the same thing with like media, you have the creative in the front end facing stuff, which is the videos on your screen. And then you have all the backend stuff that's still important. You still have to do that.
Russ Johns: [00:26:32] This has been awesome, Trae. I really appreciate you dropping by and joining the #PirateBroadcast™.
Trae Stanley: [00:26:39] Any day of the week. Russ.
Russ Johns: [00:26:41] Thank you so much. I really appreciate it. And I look forward to many more projects, and if you want to have a conversation about live streaming, video production and some these ideas that we've talked about, make sure that you reach out to us, start a conversation on LinkedIn. We're both available on LinkedIn. We'll respond to DMS and make the connection, follow up, introduce yourself and say, hey, I'm a pirate connect with Trae. And let's start this dialogue because 2021 things are going to continue to evolve. And the reality is business is still going to be growing, moving forward and producing results. Trae as always, it's a pleasure. Thank you so much for being here. And I look forward to our next conversation.
Trae Stanley: [00:27:27] All right.
Russ Johns: [00:27:28] And as always,was always everyone, thank you so much for being here. Like, comment, share in all the social things that go on and all the shenanigans in the behind the scenes to promote our content and our media and make things happen in the background because #kindnessiscool and #smilesarefree and you #enjoytheday. Take care of everyone.
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