ALAINA BOOTH PRODUCTIONS
By Zakiyya Ellington | March 29, 2021
Alaina Booth is a third year entertainment and media studies major with a certificate in entrepreneurship from Roswell, Georgia. As a video producer, she explores the world through video and hopes to inspire other creatives to achieve their dreams.
Name: Alaina Booth
Year and major: Third year, entertainment and media studies major and entrepreneurship certificate
Hometown: Roswell, GA
How would you describe your business?
I would describe myself as a video producer, and my business is the official thing on my back that follows me as an individual. I like to market it as “you’re investing in me as a creative and as a person.” I do full-service videography – pre-production, production, and post-production – for musicians, sororities, weddings, companies, student organizations, and anything that gets thrown my way. They are all these different outlets that I’m able to pour into and learn more about through video.
What inspired you to start your business and how long have you been building it?
I started making videos, just of my life, as a hobby when I was a junior in high school. Throughout freshman year of college, I decided “I’m just going to establish myself as ‘that girl who makes videos.’” I was just putting my work out there and building a portfolio, and from there people saw it and wanted to hire me. Sophomore year I would have maybe a job a month or a job every two months just to build up my confidence and portfolio. This year, November was my big month. From November to now, the pace has not stopped or settled; it’s constant work and constant jobs. I have a lot of clients now and I have to learn which projects I’m going to say no to or hand off.
How do you decide which projects you take and which ones you say no to or hand off?
Now, if it’s not an emphatic yes, it’s a no. I’ve taken on a lot of projects that seemed like the company or the individual felt like they were doing me a favor by helping me build my portfolio without paying me a ton. But now I’m at the point where I can say to myself “I have the room to say no to this.” The work that you do is the work that you keep getting, so I want to do work that I want to keep getting. That’s how I go about it.
How did the Kickstart grant help you?
First of all, I was so excited when I got it! I applied to Kickstart so that I could get a new desktop computer with which I could edit bigger projects, edit drone footage, and be more efficient with the post-production process. It has been the biggest help in being able to ship out deliverables. I can say to clients, “Hey you need this? I can have that done tonight” because of the technology I now have, that I was able to purchase with the Kickstart grant.
The Kickstart grant has also helped me personally. I have a couple bigger projects that I’m working on, such as longer documentaries or things that require a lot of editing time. When I first got the computer, I realized that I had been scared to start those projects. I had been holding off creatively because I knew that the editing on my previous computer was going to be such a terrible experience that I didn’t even want to take them on. Now, I can edit my big projects that I’ve been waiting to pursue. It really took down a creative barrier that I had built up subconsciously, and I now feel that I can take on any job I want or feel creatively inclined to explore.
What growth in your business have you seen since receiving the Kickstart grant?
The number of projects I’m able to take on at once. To start, without this new computer, I would not have had the mental energy to take on the number of clients I now have. More than that, I would not have been able to ship my products out as efficiently, so I would have had to say no. With this computer, I have cut my editing time in half and can get people their products immediately. It has been the biggest push for me to say yes to more things, especially projects that are last minute, because now I can. Additionally, drone footage couldn’t be processed on my previous laptop, so being now able to offer drone footage to brides or businesses has been great for my revenue and margins, allowing me to make more money on a singular video.
What has been your greatest accomplishment or some memorable milestones?
Getting this grant was a huge milestone for me. The word I use is “permission,” – it gives you permission to say “I’m really doing this thing.” Other milestones have been when industry professionals have looked at my work and said “You’ve really got something going there.” But overall, having this business as a baseline from which I can grow, and being able to look back at it later and say “I built that,” is my greatest accomplishment. I don’t want to wait for internships, corporate experience, or approval from others to make it in the industry.
What do you hope that your impact will be?
Again, I love the word “permission.” I think that a huge part of my purpose is to give people permission to dream and to believe that they can succeed. Success isn’t reserved only for people who come from a lot of money or a lot of connections; anyone can decide “I want to change my life today” and do it. Beyond film and my business, I want to give people permission to know that whatever they want to do is valid and they can do it.
What advice would you give to anyone starting a venture?
Do what you can, with who you know, with what you have. In my industry, I see a lot of people go out and buy a lot of expensive gear and then decide they don’t like it and stop. All I had was a camera with no microphone, so I did stuff with that camera with people I thought were cool. Then I met new people and I needed a microphone, so I bought a microphone and did things with the camera and the microphone. Then I needed a gimbal, and so on. Naturally build as you need to rather than try to skip all these steps to try to make something into a business immediately. I did what I could, with who I knew, with what I had. That was the best advice I was given early on.
Where do you see your business in the next few months or year?
I have about $16,000 worth of projects booked for this year (and that’s just what I have booked), which is already more than I made last year! Next year I will probably be graduating in December. I’m going to spend all of 2022 just running my business, not being a student. I think it will be a really great experience to lock in on creating systems of routine so that I can scale. I am also looking into hiring people to do different parts of the business that don’t require me specifically.
In the more distant future, I want to take this business to Hollywood. I want to make feature-length films, whatever that looks like; documentaries are what I like today, tomorrow could be something different. Because I have this foundation that I’ve already built, I’m hoping to get the attention of distributors and be able to sell my content or the work I’ve executive produced. I want to actually make this into my adult life.
What does success look like to you?
My dream is to be an executive producer working on projects that I believe in. Success to me is working in Hollywood, helping other creatives work on projects that they believe in. But also, I want my story to inspire others. Success would be if someone said “Your story inspires me. Because of what you did and what you shared, I did that too and I got here.” There have been a lot of people like that for me.
Visit alainabooth.com and @lainabooth on Instagram. Contact Alaina at email@example.com.