We talked to Joanie Burton Wynn of Bayside Entertainment about video projects and COVID-19.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Joanie Burton Wynn: It has been strange, but we have been so fortunate that none of us has contracted the virus. We have quite an age gap in our family. My mom-in-law is 91, and my son is 17, so it is tricky to juggle safety with such a difference. Fortunately, we live outside of Seattle, so our exposure has been lessened.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Bayside Entertainment.
Joanie Burton Wynn: My husband Steve Wynn and I started Bayside Entertainment over 20 years ago. We both had careers in video production and broadcast, so it made sense to combine forces. He leads our creative efforts and shoots and edits our projects. I handle client communications, administration, and producing duties. Over the years, we have produced videos for various corporate clientele, including Sony, Disney, EA Games, and Boy Scouts of America.
How does Bayside Entertainment innovate?
Joanie Burton Wynn: During Covid-19, our production work dried up. We decided to use our video production & storytelling skills to launch a pro bono video series, “American Companies Give Back.” We tell stories of companies that make giving back a priority – during Covid-19 and all the time. Our host is Emmy and Peabody award-winning TV personality Ken Bastida. We have just wrapped season 1 and hope to find production funding to produce a second series in early 2021. We have received fantastic feedback from our viewers, who love the positivity of each segment. As a producer, I was so happy to have something upbeat and inspiring to work on at this time. We’ve done segments on startups like Wag! and Credo Beauty and more established companies like Numi Tea and Flir. We also profiled a few non-profits who have maximized their relationships with corporate partners to achieve great success in their missions.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Joanie Burton Wynn: So much of our business relies on location shooting, which has been difficult. We have not done any field production since the pandemic began. Fortunately, we can still do remote post production with our in-house editing suite. We are starting to see some of those opportunities coming back now.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Joanie Burton Wynn: The choice to focus our energies and talents on something positive has been a life-saver. It is so easy to feel hopeless with everything going on. This has been our salve and our savior.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety, how do you project yourself and Bayside Entertainment in the future?
Joanie Burton Wynn: This has been a great opportunity to experiment with virtual production techniques – which I think will continue to be an important production trend in the future. It was challenging and rewarding to develop a new production workflow with Zoom interviews and the gathering of digital assets to support the storytelling. At its core, video storytelling hasn’t changed. The goal is always to inform and inspire. We were fortunate to have a wonderful host, great interview subjects from the companies, and terrific stories of companies who make giving back a priority – in everything from animal rescue to dehydration relief.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Joanie Burton Wynn: Many of our competitors specialize in producing live virtual events, so they have pivoted to virtual production as well.
Your final thoughts?
Joanie Burton Wynn: Covid-19 has been a huge challenge for many businesses across the US and around the world. I think entrepreneurs and startups have been especially hard hit because they may not have the deep pockets & reserves that more established companies have. On the other hand, being small and scrappy can be an advantage. You can pivot more easily and develop new ideas to keep afloat.
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