In this podcast, listen to James Short as he tells us how he chose telling stories, which he loves, over the usual corporate track. James founded Inwood Road Films in 2016 with his brother, John, with whom he has invested in and/or produced five independent films. He has spent most of his 20-year career as an entrepreneur in the digital media and advertising technology industries, leading sales and business development teams for four different companies.
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(1:09) – James tells us something interesting about himself
- When he turned 40 he changed careers, which is not normal for someone at that age
- He saved all of his money, took a leap of faith and decided to dive into the film industry
(4:45) – James shares about his company, Inwood Row Films???
- Started the business in 2016 with his brother John Short, who had been in the business for 10 years at the time
- Started becoming investors in films
- They use their own capital to invest in films and try to collaborate and learn with the filmmakers when they can to one day be full-time producers themselves
- They try to focus on smaller films with domestic audiences
(11:40) – James’ journey in becoming an entrepreneur
- Not taking that leap of faith delayed their success
- Starting out there was a lot of self-doubt and many false starts
- Movies that fell through and scripts that didn’t come to fruition but took a lot of work
- Rock Bottom: Still had a full-time job and was trying to work on the side but couldn’t get enough momentum while doing both and eventually quit his full-time job to focus on his new business
(14:10) Don’t wait anymore to take the leap yourself! Visit: mikeolivas.com
(15:30) – Has technology affected James’ business?
- Some highly recognized directors directors are showing the industry now that it doesn’t cost as much as it did before- but that doesn’t make it a better quality film
- The technology now affects the entry level barrier, people even film movies on their phones now!
(20:00) – In order to really succeed- the risk is necessary
- Take calculated risks, it’s ok to keep a side job for a time, but eventually the risk is necessary for success
(21:30) – Why do entrepreneurs give up?
- They get distracted with something else or they’re in it for the wrong reasons
- Some people do fail, and it’s ok. Get up and learn from it but don’t stop having a passion for something
(25:00) – Learning to prioritize is important
- Taking care of your mental and physical health make a world of difference
- Make time for the things that matter, like working out and eating healthy
(28:50) Discuss your goals at mikeolivas.com and take that leap of faith now!
(30:35) What James is looking forward to in his business
- In the final stages of editing and selling a horror film called the Dark and the Wicked by Bryan Bertino
- Horror films are the best chance of being successful financially in the production industry
- In the process of producing a documentary a pro women’s football team in the 1970s
- An upcoming TV series called Columbia
(39:30) – the endgame for James
- Their endgame is to find their own niche rather than having a lot of irons in the fire
- Is interested in doing more with documentaries “shining a light on an untold story” is the most appealing aspect
- Loves the creative aspect working on the script and working with the director
- Enjoys the creative aspect more than dealmaking
(44:00) Parting advice for listeners
- If you are unsatisfied with what you’re doing in life- take time to figure out what you do want
- Don’t spend time worrying about the uncertain aspects of starting a business
- Focus on what’s right in front of you