Pivoting in a Pandemic
I don’t think I ever anticipated writing a blog post quite like this one.
Moving to Australia was a hard decision to make, and even harder to make happen. I thought that if I made a list of what I needed to do, and ticked all those boxes off, that everything would operate smoothly.
I went through all the steps of setting up my business in a new country – I got a tax file number, which involved printing forms, going to the post office for an ‘interview’, and waiting weeks to finally receive a number. Which, I then took and applied for an ABN (an Australian business license). Once I had my ABN, I made sure all my websites were up to date, spelling changed to reflect our new country of residence, and began running ads. I had several responses to ads that I ran between December – March, but never actually got anything booked. It’s been deflating.
My main priorities were weddings and my film series, Hello Baby!. I had a brief interest from Screen Australia in my Hello Baby! series, but they needed someone to back me financially. Which didn’t happen as I’m just one person with not the right connections in the right moment. It’s fine – it was a long shot anyway. Here's the Sizzle Reel I put together to promote the Hello Baby! series:
What my ultimate goal is with Hello Baby!, was to actually be able to GIVE it to families, like I did back in the US. The four families I filmed in 2019 were all volunteers, and to me, that made the content more authentic. The dream here (in Sydney) would have been giving the Hello Baby! series to another ten families – maybe families who would love and appreciate what goes into the series, but might not necessarily have been able to afford the price tag. Those were people I would have loved to give this to and work with.
The problem with that, is that I can’t feed my own family when I work for free. And it’s a lot of work to produce the Hello Baby! series. Hours and hours spent with families throughout their pregnancy, anywhere from one to forty-eight hours with them during delivery, and then the edits. The edits of photos from the delivery and the newborn session, as well as the video editing. We’re talking over 100 hours, per family. It’s my passion and my dream work, but I can’t do it for free (even though it’s all I want to do).
Throw in a pandemic that cancels weddings and only allows one support person in the delivery room and I find myself sitting here thinking, well what the **** do I do now?
I haven’t given up on my dreams of running Hello Baby! for families in need, but I’ve had to table it for now. Until I can come up with some kind of financial backing (seriously, how do people figure this stuff out!?), and until the pandemic is over, I can’t produce this series.
However, what I have learned to do is pivot.
I have begun to produce book trailers and poetry films for authors. This is something that had never before been on my radar, but fell into my lap (huge shoutout to my mom + her partner for thinking of this!).
This is work that I can do remotely for authors around the world.
This work is putting food on my table. The paid invoices I receive, I literally go and spend at the grocery store to feed my family. This is what supporting a small business looks like.
I’ve included some examples in this blog post, of some of the work I’ve been doing. From book trailers to poetry films to small business promotions to my own creative productions – these are projects that are helping others, and helping me. Authors who have hired me to produce book trailers are using these trailers to help seek publication.
If you know anyone who could benefit from any type of visual production, please don’t hesitate to try and forge a connection with me. I’m trying to keep my small business alive, and in this time of so many unknowns and questions and uncertainty, I am really leaning on my people here.
So while this isn’t so much a cry for help, it is a cry for awareness (my own, selfishly). I love the work that I do, and I put everything into my edits for my clients. If you know anyone who needs creative video production, in any format, please reach out!