Importance of Teams (ft. Black & White Media) | Creatives Grab Coffee 17

Welcome to Creatives Grab Coffee, a podcast on the business of video production, hosted by Dario Nouri and Kyrill Lazarov from Lapse Productions.

Our goal is to make the video production industry smaller by creating a sense of community. Whether you are a creative, an entrepreneur, or a professional there is knowledge for you to learn. Join us as we have industry professionals from around the world come on the show and share their insights on the industry and business. Welcome to Creatives Grab Coffee. Welcome to Video Production.

This weeks guest is Judah Hernandez from Black & White Media. Black & White media is an award winning video production company and video marketing company. They create visuals that impact and connect their clients target audiences.

YouTube video

Timestamps

Here are some of the main topics we discussed in this episode:

  • 00:00:00-00:00:42 – Intro
  • 00:00:42-00:02:44 – How 2022 is going so far (Jan/Feb)
  • 00:02:45-00:05:20 – How do you deal with big projects getting canceled?
  • 00:05:21-00:09:19 – Working on your business when times are slow
  • 00:09:20-00:10:08 – Size of your team?
  • 00:10:09-00:13:20 – Having people around you that you can trust
  • 00:13:21-00:14:45 – LAPSE background
  • 00:14:46-00:16:03 – If 2021 had no restrictions
  • 00:16:04-00:18:59 – Adding live streaming services
  • 00:19:00-00:20:25 – Discovering challenges clients face
  • 00:20:26-00:22:48 – When clients object your solution
  • 00:22:49-00:27:05 – Tolerating resistance and stamping your authority
  • 00:27:06-00:29:58 – How Judah got started
  • 00:29:59-00:32:17 – Soccer talk break
  • 00:32:18-00:33:31 – Team structure
  • 00:33:32-00:41:12 – Adding partners to a business + working with your team
  • 00:41:13-00:49:09 – Accepting crypto payments
  • 00:49:10-00:50:57 – Biggest challenge an entrepreneur faces
  • 00:50:58-00:52:51 – Successful entrepreneurs say yes and then figure it out
  • 00:52:52-00:55:41 – Sometimes you have to look backwards to see how far you’ve come
  • 00:55:42-00:59:12 – What was your turning point
  • 00:59:13-01:02:00 – What was your turning point pt2 (proposals)
  • 01:02:01-01:06:54 – Educating clients on the video process
  • 01:06:55-01:09:45 – Future challenges
  • 01:09:46-01:10:59 – How he came up with the name
  • 01:11:00 – Ending

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Produced by LAPSE PRODUCTIONSwww.LapseProductions.com

Transcript

00:00:00:05 – 00:00:27:03
Kyrill Lazarov
Welcome to Creatives Grab Coffee, a podcast where we talk about the business of video production all. Judith. Thank you for joining us on Creatives Gab, Coffee and all. As I mentioned, you are our second guests for the 2022 season and trying to see how has everything been with you. How was the year kicked off so far.

00:00:27:17 – 00:00:39:01
Judah Hernandez
Honestly, I’m just getting introduced to you guys and this is a really cool idea. I don’t know. Where are you located? Are you in Canada or are you in the US where you guys?

00:00:39:07 – 00:00:42:15
Dario Nouri
We’re in Toronto where we’re close to Yeah.

00:00:43:00 – 00:01:09:17
Judah Hernandez
Been weird, man. We had like probably the biggest January on books is in December. And then everything got canceled, like, oh, really? And everything got canceled. Oh, wow. And new lockdowns. Without mentioning some of the clients, like they were some pretty cool and that we were working on for almost a year and a bit to get these sort of deals and stuff down.

00:01:09:17 – 00:01:29:20
Judah Hernandez
So I’ll be honest with you, It was frustrating and annoying because that’s two years in a row where that sort of happened. And although that happened, I mean, I got to be grateful I’ve got a great team around me that even though with the lockdowns and everything, we still had, you know, every year increasing and growing almost by double.

00:01:30:15 – 00:01:38:12
Judah Hernandez
So even though it was a frustrating January, you know, I can see some things already moving forward down the pipeline, stuff.

00:01:39:11 – 00:01:59:10
Dario Nouri
That sucks to hear like we actually did were in the post production process right now for a pretty big project that took up like all of our January. But us to like like we weren’t sure. December, we were like, oh my God, I don’t think it’s going to go through because they were announcing the lockdowns. We’re like, okay, it’s not have to have it.

00:01:59:10 – 00:02:00:02
Dario Nouri
This sucks.

00:02:00:13 – 00:02:09:23
Kyrill Lazarov
And then I was skeptical till up until even even on the first day of shooting, I’m like, why is it still happening? I know we’re here filming, but is it happening or yeah.

00:02:10:18 – 00:02:38:15
Judah Hernandez
You know, we had some great projects that we filmed in like November, December that we, you know, are still kind of working on the post-production for me. But you know how it is in the film industry. It’s in the pipeline, right? It’s a conveyor belt. If that conveyor belt stops, it’s like you create this huge gap and now it’s time to do the whole catch up dance again, where we should actually formally name the catch up next year or Hinds or something.

00:02:39:20 – 00:02:42:02
Kyrill Lazarov
Oh, yeah. A new marketing idea for them. Right.

00:02:45:02 – 00:03:01:00
Dario Nouri
How do you handle like that happening to you? How do you, like, keep your your positive energy up? Because, I mean, if we didn’t get if our project for January then and go through, I’m not going to lie would have been a pretty big downer. Yes. So I’m just curious how you would have dealt with it.

00:03:02:18 – 00:03:27:08
Judah Hernandez
You know, I personally believe that the best policy is transparency. I’m not here to give you an Instagram account of the life where it’s like all the good things. Man, it was rough. It was an emotional rollercoaster. These are things, like I said, we were working on for almost a year and a half to to lock in. And then at the snap of a finger, it’s like, now all done.

00:03:27:12 – 00:03:59:03
Judah Hernandez
We can’t do this. And, man, just my whole team, I had I had other teams lined up because it was a big project to come in and do this as well. This is not just food on my table like sinking or rising tide raises all ships. So but that being said, you know, once you do go through that emotion, one thing I believe of myself is that, you know, quality and persistence equals success.

00:03:59:21 – 00:04:27:15
Judah Hernandez
You do things with quality and you do them consistently. It’s almost guaranteed that you will have success. So, you know, fine, it’s done. Let’s get back to what made things work in the first place. Just continue to talk to people connect, create quality, and then things will pick up by themselves and are seeing that right now. In fact, you know, I had an opportunity 20, 20 at the end of 20, 21.

00:04:27:15 – 00:04:56:12
Judah Hernandez
It was probably the busiest time I’ve ever had in my career. Ten years, which is a blessing but you know, I was like, Man, I’m going to need a break pretty soon. And then I got it and now I’m complaining about it. So I did take that time to sit down with the team and really think about what our next steps moving forward, which is something we wanted to do for a long time and just we just never had time to sit down and we came up with a plan.

00:04:56:12 – 00:05:18:20
Judah Hernandez
Now we have a way to move forward and we can see the next five years kind of unfolding. And and that was that’s great. So, you know, in every cloud, there’s a silver lining, just not to be too cliche, but it’s really about perspective. How can you use things to create opportunities rather than sulking and sitting back and saying, oh, we didn’t get what we wanted?

00:05:20:01 – 00:05:44:18
Dario Nouri
We went through something similar at the beginning of the pandemic is from. Yeah, I remember March till June. Our books were like empty, right? And I remember for three months were just sitting around not doing anything. And I know a lot of the other guests we’ve spoken to were in the exact same spot. Yeah. So that that’s actually what prompted us to kind of sit down and do a complete audit of our business and try to restructure it from like the ground up.

00:05:44:18 – 00:05:45:03
Dario Nouri
Right.

00:05:45:15 – 00:06:10:07
Kyrill Lazarov
The one thing that kind of like kept us afloat and kind of getting back into the rhythm and, you know, keeping sane was doing our own content and that’s one thing that we notice that you also do. Like, we took a look at some of the blog posts that you’ve written on black and white media, and you feel like whenever you have those slow moments, you know, like especially now that you kind of fall back on to the hours, like, oh, how can I work on myself?

00:06:10:07 – 00:06:15:11
Kyrill Lazarov
How can I work on my business and development? Is that kind of like a little bit of what you do when that happens?

00:06:16:07 – 00:06:49:01
Judah Hernandez
Yeah, it’s it’s a good thing to continually push your limits and push your bar and you know, when you’re doing client work, that’s not usually the best time to really try new things and, and, and really push yourself. You want to make sure that you can give them what they’re looking for and give them the quality. So, yeah, it is a great opportunity to really not just work on, you know, yourself in the business, but really push yourself to a new level, see where you can take it.

00:06:50:00 – 00:07:14:09
Judah Hernandez
You’re asking me about the beginning of COVID, but this was this was the thing. That’s why you have a good team around you. So we sat down like two weeks before the first lockdown, and we saw what was kind of going down on a global scale. And it was before the lockdown. We actually created a new website that was dedicated to live streaming because we saw it.

00:07:14:09 – 00:07:34:01
Judah Hernandez
We were like, you know, this is coming. And we didn’t know exactly how long. It was like nobody did how long it would be. What was going to take. But as like, okay, we have skills in cinematography. We had we have the sort of artistic eye, but not a lot of people understand the technical components of what it takes to do a live broadcast.

00:07:34:16 – 00:08:13:08
Judah Hernandez
Even through something like Zoom with my background and I’ve done television production, my partner has done productions from all over the world with like Google and New York Fashion Week and stuff like that. And we combine those things to create this really cool new brand where it wasn’t just about giving livestream experience, it was about creating a cinematic live shooting experience and something that wasn’t just, you know, webcams pointed, but thinking about the set design, thinking about the lighting, thinking about you know, what’s the vision for this?

00:08:14:00 – 00:08:38:10
Judah Hernandez
And a lot of people appreciated that. A lot of people couldn’t understand at the beginning Why do I need this? I can just do a zoom call. But pretty quickly they realized, Oh, you know, having 50 people on a zoom call may not be the best solution here to do a presentation. But yeah, that’s how that’s how we kind of fill in some of that gap in 2020.

00:08:39:02 – 00:08:45:11
Kyrill Lazarov
Is this like is this part of black and white meet or is it kind of independent of of the business.

00:08:46:04 – 00:09:18:11
Judah Hernandez
So how we do how is structured that is it’s another company call on the DOT studios and it’s with the same team. But we wanted to compartmentalize those two things because they’re not necessarily the same but it’s sort of this umbrella where there’s black and white media and then underneath that we we do marketing as well so like video marketing specifically but then we also have this on the dot where it is geared towards live streaming and, and you know, video virtual conferencing things.

00:09:19:08 – 00:09:33:21
Dario Nouri
So you guys do the cinematic live stream, you have the video marketing and you also have the video production. Yes. Like, how do you how do you handle like that’s a lot of endeavors, right? Like how big is your team? Like how do you how do you handle all this?

00:09:34:08 – 00:09:59:10
Judah Hernandez
So we have three key roles. Obviously, we have a head producer myself director, and I run a lot of the business components. And then I have a cinematographer who is sort of a genius at everything technical. And when it comes to camera gear lighting and all that. And then we do have people that we subcontract, depending on the scale of the project, to handle certain things at different times.

00:10:01:03 – 00:10:21:24
Judah Hernandez
We also have Ed as drone pilots and then again all depending on scale of projects. But one thing that is important is having people around you that you can trust, that you can ask, Hey, I need this done, can you do it? And if they say, yes, you can put your hands up and say and trust that it’s going to get done.

00:10:22:19 – 00:10:33:19
Judah Hernandez
Whether that’s a small team, a big team, even the contractors that you work with, you want to you want these people in your circle And, you know, luckily I’ve been able to build that yeah.

00:10:33:20 – 00:10:49:15
Dario Nouri
Have it. Having the right people around you is is so important. And it’s like it’s kind of hard to find at times, really like being able to find a right editor that you’re like, okay, this guy’s reliable. Any time I got a big project, I can always like, I can just call them up and there they’re good for me.

00:10:49:15 – 00:11:01:07
Dario Nouri
Like, it’s so hard to build that. How long have you would you say they can you to build a roster of creatives that you can reliably, like bring on to a project?

00:11:02:08 – 00:11:07:10
Judah Hernandez
Is it’s constantly evolving and it’s I don’t, I would never say it’s ever built.

00:11:08:12 – 00:11:08:21
Kyrill Lazarov
Yeah.

00:11:09:07 – 00:11:34:10
Judah Hernandez
You know, people, people come and go but again, not, not to toot my horn. I had a coach playing soccer back in the day. I had a coach that told me a great player isn’t somebody who can do all the tricks or even score all the goals. A great player, somebody who knows their strengths and their weaknesses. And they play to their strengths and build their weaknesses.

00:11:34:11 – 00:11:57:15
Judah Hernandez
So for me, a great strength is understanding people, and it works well as a director as well. When you’re trying to get emotions, when you’re trying to really get people to bring out their best, that is a skill and it’s the same skill required to find the right people to work with. If I can say I don’t know if I can sniff out the bullshit, right?

00:11:57:18 – 00:12:13:11
Judah Hernandez
There’s a lot of people who talk to talk and walk the walk and walk the walk or you know, they’re just they’re just bad people. So we don’t want that around. I don’t think anybody does. Yeah. So, yeah.

00:12:13:22 – 00:12:42:15
Kyrill Lazarov
Positive energy is so key and it’s it definitely is a hard thing to kind of find nowadays. Luckily, it’s if you know what you’re looking for, it’s very easy to spot, as you mentioned, you know, when there are like certain red flags, a pop up, you know, like this is not just with people you work with, but also, you know, like the potential people that you encountered down the road, you know, who you interact with, who you, you know, grow with and yeah, it’s just it’s is pretty crazy.

00:12:43:06 – 00:12:52:13
Judah Hernandez
Yeah. I forget who said it, but, you know, my dad used to Joe, listen to me. Says show me your friends and I’ll show you your life. And yeah, yeah.

00:12:52:23 – 00:13:11:18
Kyrill Lazarov
There’s a saying. There’s like, I think there’s like that specific thing where it’s like, who you are as a person is also determined by, like, the people you surround yourself with. So that is always a very good, clean indicator of, you know, people’s personalities and the type of people that they hang out with. Right. And same thing in the business world, you know, who you work with.

00:13:11:18 – 00:13:20:04
Kyrill Lazarov
It’s like that is a style of work that you have. You know, it’s like almost like a a smaller brand that you kind of see spread throughout the people yeah.

00:13:20:11 – 00:13:23:21
Judah Hernandez
Yeah. Are you guys I’m I’m asking you questions now.

00:13:23:21 – 00:13:24:23
Kyrill Lazarov
Yeah, yeah. Go for it.

00:13:24:23 – 00:13:28:24
Judah Hernandez
A lot of partners in your business or. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

00:13:29:09 – 00:13:47:24
Dario Nouri
Our partnership, we always started doing videos together for the student groups at Ryerson, and that was that was going really well. And we were both part of the business program, right? So I was doing business in module, was doing marketing. And then once we graduated, we’re like, I don’t know, let’s go to let’s give it a shot for like a year.

00:13:47:24 – 00:13:53:05
Dario Nouri
Let’s see where it goes. And so it happens. Yeah, those are about, what, six, seven years ago now too.

00:13:53:09 – 00:14:05:12
Kyrill Lazarov
Yeah, about yeah. It’s, it’s, it’s pretty crazy kind of where it’s come and, you know, we mentioned like in some of our previous episodes that like the first few years, it was almost like as if we were two freelancers that work together a lot.

00:14:05:23 – 00:14:10:01
Dario Nouri
And then up until I would say up until 20, 20.

00:14:10:10 – 00:14:34:13
Kyrill Lazarov
Well yeah, up until COVID hit basically when COVID hit, it basically forced us to reevaluate everything, basically tear down the business and rebuild it right back up again, you know, and that that’s when, you know, like when we mentioned the first few months when nothing was happening, we were this like talking a lot thinking a lot, trying to figure out what what to do and what could we expect, you know, with everything being so uncertain.

00:14:34:13 – 00:14:44:09
Kyrill Lazarov
Right. And, you know, like, like you 20, 21 was our most successful year to date and which is kind of crazy to think considering, you know, with all the restrictions that there have been. Right.

00:14:44:21 – 00:15:10:02
Judah Hernandez
Yeah. Can you one of the things and I don’t like to dwell on what ifs and what could have been, but can you imagine how cool it would have been if 20, 21 had no restrictions and there is nothing going on like how. Yeah. Would it have been for so many companies I talked to they still had a great year but it’s like, it’s like trying to do a Olympic race with, with a capstone you like.

00:15:12:21 – 00:15:28:17
Dario Nouri
I feel like for us it’s actually been, I think the lockdowns kind of helped us just because of the particular situation we were in where it’s like, okay, 20, 20. We finally spoke to a lot of people in the industry. We were like, Okay, if we’re going to restart this, this is kind of like the right way to go about it.

00:15:28:24 – 00:15:39:22
Dario Nouri
And then 20, 21 was just kind of like, okay, focus on it. Like slowly develop it. And then but 20, 22 without lockdowns and restrictions will be very good for us.

00:15:39:24 – 00:15:41:15
Judah Hernandez
Yeah, that’s amazing.

00:15:43:01 – 00:15:48:17
Dario Nouri
I can only imagine for other businesses how bad it’s been like or how restraining it’s been an mandatory.

00:15:49:08 – 00:16:03:03
Judah Hernandez
We still technically were allowed to work. But you know, I have a lot of friends who own restaurants who, you know, who were areas where it was just completely shut down and yeah, they, they’re struggling so.

00:16:03:18 – 00:16:26:21
Dario Nouri
Yeah the you mentioned the I should you’re really smart for saying where we’re where we were heading and like starting up the cinematic live streaming live streaming element of your business. We actually had another guest the previous the first guest for this year, Bridget from the video productions. She actually also did something similar where she pivoted more so into animation work.

00:16:27:17 – 00:16:36:14
Dario Nouri
Yeah. And now she’s like mostly doing that. So she went from there was like 90% live action live give 10% animation. And now it’s the opposite way.

00:16:36:23 – 00:16:37:09
Judah Hernandez
Yes.

00:16:37:17 – 00:16:51:16
Dario Nouri
I wonder if is have you kind of done the same in a way, or is it just like another like part of it that you offer like has a as a grown to the point where it’s more than what you were doing before or just kind of like an extra additional thing.

00:16:52:06 – 00:16:55:02
Judah Hernandez
Yeah. I mean I’ve always offered animation.

00:16:56:06 – 00:16:58:22
Dario Nouri
Not animation, but the cinematic live streaming the live.

00:16:58:22 – 00:17:25:15
Judah Hernandez
Stream, you know, it’s still still today the production is, you know, the bread and butter. Yeah. We have we do have some amazing claims in the live stream. We actually helped a bank this year. We built them a studio inside their bank. And in that we were doing live streams because they go out to be and they do like global financial economic forums.

00:17:25:22 – 00:17:49:08
Judah Hernandez
And so they actually saw the benefit of not just showing up on a webcam with crappy audio. So we built them a studio in their bank and helped them operate it, which is so smart so smart. And the CEO, anytime he has important meetings, everyone comments on how amazing he looks and how clear his sound is. And that alone for me is is a success.

00:17:50:07 – 00:18:11:04
Kyrill Lazarov
It’s almost surprising that that’s not like the standard with a lot of these bigger organizations where they have they have the capital to fund this and I don’t know what necessarily could be, but like like that should be the standard at that point. They should be like setting the example, especially when they’re interacting with so many different clients, networks, everything.

00:18:11:04 – 00:18:11:11
Kyrill Lazarov
You know.

00:18:12:08 – 00:18:27:13
Judah Hernandez
You know, now that it’s built, it’s super easy. We built it so you push a button, it’s everything you turn on and you hit go live and it’s done. But it still looks really good. So I this is a battle that I’ve had many times.

00:18:28:03 – 00:18:38:13
Kyrill Lazarov
The question, though, because you’ve built now that that whole setup for them, do you at least continue to do work with them, though? Okay. You do. Okay. That’s good.

00:18:38:13 – 00:18:58:13
Judah Hernandez
Because back then I’m going in there next week again. And we’ve spent about half of building this space and the relationship has only gotten stronger and they’ve seen different ways that we can be helpful not just with this one thing. So and that’s it for me, this, this whole business is relationships.

00:18:59:00 – 00:19:27:14
Kyrill Lazarov
Yeah. We like the one thing we’ve noticed is that essentially we’ve all we’re not only just like providing a service, we’re actually solving problems for our clients. And I feel like the more and more problems and challenges that we solve for them, the stronger the relationships kind of grow. And you know, as a result, like, I’m just curious, like how do you typically go about, you know, like finding out the big challenges that a lot of your clients are typically facing when they come to you with, you know, we’re trying to do this, we think this is what we need to do.

00:19:28:07 – 00:19:34:16
Kyrill Lazarov
Do you dove further into that and kind of see if that is what they need fixed, or is it kind of something else that you’re trying to do?

00:19:35:12 – 00:20:06:16
Judah Hernandez
Yeah, often video is just the gateway into what the real issues are. So we have a really extensive interview consultation portion where we we give our clients questionnaires. We really dig deep to understand what the pain points are because, you know, if we if we make this great looking video and it’s cinematic and beautiful, but it solves absolutely nothing, then it’s it’s a waste of time and money and it looks bad on us.

00:20:07:04 – 00:20:24:05
Judah Hernandez
So, ah, for me, the actual production, which you know, is the sexy part of filmmaking, is the tip of the iceberg, the planning, the pre-production, getting to know your clients, building that relationship. That to me is where the work is that and then the post-production as well.

00:20:24:16 – 00:20:48:22
Dario Nouri
Read deal with the like. Okay, because that I agree with 100% what you said and it’s something that we’ve been also trying to integrate into our business. But I feel like a lot of times we’re hitting this resistance where like they just want to know we just need there’s like one video like I get, yeah, there’s a bigger problem, but you know, maybe we don’t want to deal with it or the money for it.

00:20:48:22 – 00:20:51:04
Kyrill Lazarov
So how do you at least occasionally, like occasionally.

00:20:51:06 – 00:20:58:06
Dario Nouri
But not always, not with every client. But yeah, I’m, I’m sure that’s a big obstacle that you probably have to face yourself, right?

00:20:59:06 – 00:21:28:01
Judah Hernandez
Yes and no. So again, with the skill of being able to communicate with people and people you have to know who you’re talking to. And there have been times where I’ve used this tactic where I’ve also used on my kids not that they’ve ever done this, but just as an example, my kid, I see her about to touch the stove and I say, don’t touch that.

00:21:28:01 – 00:21:52:03
Judah Hernandez
That’s hot. And she looks at me and says, Okay, and then I see your hand going slick. At that point, I wouldn’t do anything. I would almost let her touch it just so she understands what why I say no. And it’s the same idea in with certain clients when I can see they think this is what they want and I say, That’s not what you want.

00:21:52:14 – 00:22:15:12
Judah Hernandez
And then they go do it anyway. I have had so many people who come back to me after and said, Okay, now I get it. When they’ve done a project and fails. So I’d rather work with a client that understands why we do what we do and why we’re the experts. If they’re coming at us. And, and, you know, they, they’ve solved all their problems already according to them.

00:22:16:11 – 00:22:39:00
Judah Hernandez
Then then why do you hire an expert? Just, just go do it so, you know, sometimes it’s better to let them make the mistake and, and figure out, okay, this is why we need these people. And other times depending on, you know, how the relationship is, you can gently suggest, hey, if you really want to solve this problem, this is the solution we think is going to work best.

00:22:40:00 – 00:22:47:24
Judah Hernandez
And if that trust is there, that relationship has been built, they’ll say, okay, let’s how can we do that? What how do we explore that options.

00:22:48:14 – 00:23:12:11
Kyrill Lazarov
Is there like a limit also in terms of how much resistance you’re willing to kind of tolerate with some people because like for like, as you said, you can give them the suggestion, they go make the mistake. They can come back because there have been times where at least with some leads where we’ve had, you know, exploratory calls like this on Zoom where we’ve talked to them really trying to dove deep and understand their business.

00:23:12:11 – 00:23:29:18
Kyrill Lazarov
And they’re explaining it to us. And we’re trying to kind of but they’re not explaining it to the point where we can understand it. And we’re trying to figure out what the problem is when you start getting these this resistance of like, oh, why do you need to know so much about this? And this is like, this has nothing to do with what we asked you for.

00:23:29:18 – 00:23:49:22
Kyrill Lazarov
And then we’re trying to say, like, we’re trying to figure out what’s the right position for you. But then we realized clearly they’re not really either not serious or not really understanding everything. So we just decided no. Okay. You know, clearly you guys need something a little different from what we provide so we kind of like went our separate ways, like, do you feel like that happens occasionally with you as well?

00:23:50:18 – 00:24:20:22
Judah Hernandez
Yeah, absolutely. There have been times where we’ve had to walk away because we knew we’d end up being a bad situation. There are other times where I feel it’s appropriate to stamp my authority on a conversation Oh, okay. And you know, that sounds bad, but sometimes in the business world, especially when you’re dealing with high level CEOs, C-level people who are normally the ones giving the instructions and they’re the ones who are telling other people what to do.

00:24:20:22 – 00:24:39:13
Judah Hernandez
So, you know, I’ve had this experience where someone has contacted me, you know, they’re used to being, you know, telling people what to do. And I’m like, listen, you know, call somebody else if you want to if you want to tell them what to do. If you’re calling me, it’s because my team is the expert and you need the help.

00:24:40:00 – 00:25:01:11
Judah Hernandez
And if you want to and if you want to work in that dynamic, I’m happy to help you. If not. But let’s part ways and that sort of walk them up a little bit and they’re like, okay, I’m sorry, how can how can we do this and then like soften up to ask questions again? That’s that’s a huge gamble, but it is you’re talking to and and then you can have that mutual respect.

00:25:01:23 – 00:25:24:11
Kyrill Lazarov
I was, I was going to say, like, that’s, that’s a great tactic. I’m just curious because that’s not exactly something that casually comes up in conversation is like just just to let you know, you know, this is how it is for for us, right? Like is there something that you kind of like look for typically with them, you know, where like you’re noticing this behavior, you feel like they would be potentially open because like you said, it’s a gamble to go with that approach.

00:25:24:11 – 00:25:25:12
Kyrill Lazarov
But is there something that you can.

00:25:25:16 – 00:25:43:13
Dario Nouri
To fill them out, Carol? Right. And like, you have to know how to react. So you have you I think you obviously get a vibe where it’s like, okay, this person willing to listen as long as I saw myself, like they’ll be willing to accept kind of what I’m saying versus like there’s some people where you just talk to and you’re like, yeah, they’re just stubborn at this point.

00:25:43:13 – 00:25:45:08
Kyrill Lazarov
Exactly. A fair enough.

00:25:45:24 – 00:26:09:05
Judah Hernandez
There’s a bit of pride involved in that as well. Yeah. You know, if if you’re going outside for some help, it’s almost like some people feel like if they’re asking for help, they’re failing. But that’s not the case. I’m not a dentist. If I try to pull my own tooth out and I fail at it, it’s that’s not what I’m supposed to be doing.

00:26:09:13 – 00:26:32:24
Judah Hernandez
I go see a dentist. He’s the expert. I can’t tell him how to do his job. So you know, that’s the that’s the kind of relationship that I’m looking for at the beginning. Are you looking for an expert or are you looking for somebody that you can control and tell them what to do for the most part. Now, again, with the balance, I want my clients and my customers input.

00:26:32:24 – 00:26:50:23
Judah Hernandez
I want to be collaborative with them so that we work together toward the common goal. But we don’t want to end up fighting at every decision and every creative piece that for something that, you know, that should be decided just like that. Yeah, it never works for anyone.

00:26:51:08 – 00:27:03:21
Kyrill Lazarov
It’s a mutual respect, essentially, that what we’re always looking for, as you hit it right on the head, we’re looking for that collaborative kind of partnership where we’re working towards a common goal. You know, we’re not here to combat each other. That’s not the goal.

00:27:04:09 – 00:27:04:20
Judah Hernandez
That’s right.

00:27:05:03 – 00:27:11:18
Dario Nouri
But you don’t you give us a little background on like how you got started in the business. As you said, you’ve been doing this for, what, ten years now?

00:27:12:15 – 00:27:21:09
Judah Hernandez
Yeah, been in the film industry for about ten years, man. How do I make this story? Sure. I when we see the clip.

00:27:21:09 – 00:27:22:01
Dario Nouri
That’s version.

00:27:23:02 – 00:27:23:24
Kyrill Lazarov
Left notes yeah.

00:27:24:13 – 00:27:52:02
Judah Hernandez
So I actually grew up in the US and Florida is where I was at last. And in the United States we have these programs in high school called magnet programs. You can go to a specific school, you can apply to a school outside of your district if you want to go to that school for a skill. So if you’re in drama and a school has a drama, really good drama program, you can apply to go there for sciences.

00:27:52:02 – 00:28:16:11
Judah Hernandez
All the different things I happen to go to school, so I didn’t apply that had a TV production program, and so they had their own studio show, they had their own channel, and this was their sort of magnet program. And I ended up going to the school and I happened into a class where one of the teachers so I was a great communicator and he said, Hey, why don’t you come in and try being an anchor on one of our shows?

00:28:17:20 – 00:28:40:19
Judah Hernandez
I give it a try. It went over like, like butter. It was so smooth and then I just fell into like the whole creative process of creating film and creating art and TV shows and things like that was beautiful. Now, at the time, I was also like a high level of sucker. Like I was with the US United States Youth Soccer Program.

00:28:42:12 – 00:29:12:15
Judah Hernandez
I went to university on a full scholarship to soccer. I end up leaving to go play professionally in Belgium. Well, the film kind of was a back burner thing. I, I didn’t know what was going on with that but through circumstances and injuries and whatnot, I ended up back here in Canada where my wife is from, from Mississauga and I always thought I was going to end up back in the UK, so I was living in London, London, London’s my heart home and we ended up here to figure out what was next.

00:29:12:23 – 00:29:41:10
Judah Hernandez
And in the meantime, I was figuring out as I Hey there, there’s a lot of production going on here. Let me just go into a movie set and see what’s going on. So I started volunteering on movie sets, doing some background work. I got a couple of small parts and commercials and whatnot, and I started noticing that, you know, I had zero say on what was happening creatively, even though I had a ton of ideas but nobody wanted to hear what I had to say.

00:29:41:21 – 00:29:57:19
Judah Hernandez
Like, you know, I got to start my own thing if I want to have any creative sake. And that’s when I started Black and White Media almost ten years ago. It’ll be ten years in 20, 23 and slowly build up to what it is today.

00:29:59:00 – 00:30:07:11
Dario Nouri
You through the girls begin to soccer. So when you saw that you did some work for TFC on your way. Yeah, just seeing how big as I got.

00:30:07:13 – 00:30:09:18
Kyrill Lazarov
Here, I’m like All right. I’m like, I got questions.

00:30:10:10 – 00:30:10:17
Judah Hernandez
Yeah.

00:30:10:24 – 00:30:12:06
Dario Nouri
Well, that’s cool though.

00:30:12:14 – 00:30:16:12
Judah Hernandez
When I first came to kind of end up playing with TFC, so I still had some connections and.

00:30:16:14 – 00:30:17:00
Kyrill Lazarov
All nice.

00:30:17:08 – 00:30:21:19
Judah Hernandez
And that’s how, that’s how that happened. So yeah, that’s good.

00:30:22:10 – 00:30:27:19
Kyrill Lazarov
You said you went to Belgium. Was it the, the Belgian won league? Like, which team are you playing for there yeah.

00:30:27:19 – 00:30:38:08
Judah Hernandez
I was playing with a club called Western Law and actually for a while while I was over there and like I said, lots of injuries naive.

00:30:38:08 – 00:30:38:16
Kyrill Lazarov
Yeah.

00:30:39:16 – 00:30:41:18
Judah Hernandez
It was a life experience.

00:30:42:11 – 00:30:56:04
Kyrill Lazarov
Yeah. That’s, that’s always been the big risk when, when it comes to soccer, like I used to play when I was younger, as well. But not to that level obviously. But you know, I still have that same kind of passion. I completely understand what it is. You know, even with the injuries, you just try to keep pushing, right?

00:30:56:13 – 00:30:59:20
Judah Hernandez
Yes. That’s it. Was your team then. This is a big question.

00:30:59:20 – 00:31:06:12
Kyrill Lazarov
Oh, no, I didn’t I didn’t want to get to that. You said you’re from London, so I’m I’m I feel like I have to guess which which club you were.

00:31:06:12 – 00:31:08:00
Judah Hernandez
I see. I want to know what your team.

00:31:08:21 – 00:31:10:20
Kyrill Lazarov
Should we do same time or is that it or what?

00:31:11:04 – 00:31:11:23
Judah Hernandez
Okay. All right.

00:31:12:11 – 00:31:15:15
Kyrill Lazarov
All right. Three, three, two, one. United, man.

00:31:15:15 – 00:31:20:15
Judah Hernandez
United my man.

00:31:21:05 – 00:31:24:07
Kyrill Lazarov
Where we go? I was expecting a London team.

00:31:24:22 – 00:31:34:04
Judah Hernandez
I lived in London, but, you know, I’m originally from Trinidad, and, yeah, by default, because of Dwight Yorke being on Man United, just like you had to be a man United.

00:31:34:08 – 00:31:41:21
Kyrill Lazarov
All right, all right. Yep, yep. I got it. For me, it was Dimitar Berbatov because he’s Bulgarian. That’s my background.

00:31:42:01 – 00:31:43:24
Judah Hernandez
So Berbatov is class one.

00:31:44:18 – 00:31:46:12
Kyrill Lazarov
The touch of a god. You know, that’s.

00:31:46:14 – 00:31:46:18
Judah Hernandez
The.

00:31:47:05 – 00:31:48:00
Kyrill Lazarov
Touch of a God.

00:31:49:09 – 00:31:50:14
Dario Nouri
What do they say of a God?

00:31:51:04 – 00:32:07:07
Kyrill Lazarov
Because his first touch was the most insane first touch you will ever see. Where, like, the ball could be flying at, like, ridiculous speeds. And he would just very casually stop it, as if it was as if he was, like, just grabbing something off the table. Yeah, I’ll show you some. I’ll show you some highlights later. Dial, but.

00:32:07:17 – 00:32:08:04
Kyrill Lazarov
Okay.

00:32:08:09 – 00:32:12:17
Judah Hernandez
Okay. Yeah. Elegant elegance in motion. Yeah.

00:32:13:07 – 00:32:21:04
Dario Nouri
Is it just going back to the video stuff? Yeah. Are you the only one that runs a company or do you have any partners.

00:32:22:00 – 00:32:22:20
Kyrill Lazarov
Or you say has one?

00:32:23:22 – 00:32:32:15
Judah Hernandez
Yeah, we have we have three of us. And, oh, the producer myself and the cinematographer are the three key people in the partnership.

00:32:33:03 – 00:32:34:21
Dario Nouri
Did you guys all start at the same time?

00:32:35:03 – 00:33:06:05
Judah Hernandez
No, no. I was I was solo pretty much until we started this this project with on the DOT Studios, the live event, and you know, working with a team on that closed level, it can either work or it can go up in flames pretty quickly. So yeah, seeing that it was working, we like we got a we got to put this together and another say, I’m full of cliches, guys.

00:33:06:05 – 00:33:07:12
Judah Hernandez
This just accept.

00:33:07:15 – 00:33:13:08
Dario Nouri
But I like meeting them down. You have some really good ones or classics like that. Actually, they’re actually kind of nice.

00:33:13:19 – 00:33:20:19
Judah Hernandez
So the thing is, if you want to go fast, go by yourself. If you want to go far, you go together. So yeah.

00:33:21:18 – 00:33:21:24
Dario Nouri
Like.

00:33:22:17 – 00:33:30:06
Judah Hernandez
Yeah, I like working with a team for a common goal and all going in the same direction. It’s, it’s really cool.

00:33:31:01 – 00:33:31:13
Kyrill Lazarov
Yeah.

00:33:31:22 – 00:33:33:23
Dario Nouri
That was. Oh, sorry. Go ahead. No.

00:33:34:05 – 00:33:34:18
Kyrill Lazarov
You’re good.

00:33:35:03 – 00:33:58:02
Dario Nouri
I was. I was going to say, like, that’s like a guy you did almost a decade by yourself, right? I mean, obviously you have a team and everything, but not partner level, right? And then now, like, now you have like two extra partners, right? Like, was that like like, did you how did you how did you just decide, like, okay, I’m I’m done being by myself.

00:33:58:02 – 00:34:10:11
Dario Nouri
I want to add more people. Like, weren’t you scared maybe of like, okay, if I do this, this could go bad because I think statistically, that’s usually what ends of business, right? So it’s not like a light casual decision, right?

00:34:10:16 – 00:34:39:12
Judah Hernandez
Yes. Yes. And, you know, no matter how nice somebody is, you are going to butt heads when you’re working in or living or in any sort of close proximity, you’re never going to agree on everything. Mm hmm. What would I look for in anyone that I work with from partners down to like a PR is how do you deal with criticism how do you deal with like hard issues?

00:34:40:04 – 00:35:03:08
Judah Hernandez
Because, you know, we live in this fake world where everybody seems nice. They got the Instagram life, but you put a man under pressure and that’s when you see the real qualities come out and on films that let me tell you something, there is pressure and you can see people’s true character mistakes come out. So it doesn’t take very long to learn who people truly are.

00:35:04:14 – 00:35:28:08
Judah Hernandez
I happen to work with some people who thrive under pressure, who can take criticism, who are able to learn from mistakes and not dwell on on you know, people other people making mistakes as well. Those kind of characters, you cannot pay for the things that are just gold, honestly.

00:35:29:10 – 00:35:40:02
Dario Nouri
So do you find it’s you you guys still maintain that collaborative aspect? Have you guys butted heads now that you guys are all at the same same level, but you guys are able to work through it pretty easily, right?

00:35:40:16 – 00:35:59:12
Judah Hernandez
I would say what you know, we don’t get into the politics, but the first day I work with these guys, we’re we’re doing a project for Shopify out in Ottawa. And we were it was a two day event staying in a hotel. We’re having dinner and for the first time working with them one of the guys said, How do you feel about Donald Trump?

00:35:59:12 – 00:36:00:11
Judah Hernandez
I’m a good guy.

00:36:03:07 – 00:36:32:10
Judah Hernandez
We got into like the craziest debates on the first night. And, you know, that’s how for me, I, I know that I can work with people because you are always going to have different opinions. Yeah, but if, if still you can love that person and think of them and respect that person and respect their differences. That’s a great way to live life not just working in a company.

00:36:33:16 – 00:36:45:00
Judah Hernandez
So I took that to heart. We we challenge each other. We butt heads all the time, but I think it makes you better. I don’t like working around people who are excellent.

00:36:45:11 – 00:37:08:03
Kyrill Lazarov
Yeah, like, that’s the whole reason you get into a partnership with anyone or you work with certain people. You want to work with people that are different or provide another skill set that you potentially don’t have because you’re never going to find another you. You’re like that never happens. And even if you did, you may not like them, you know, or you might but even more heads with them if they’re exactly like, you’re right.

00:37:09:14 – 00:37:28:01
Kyrill Lazarov
And like you said, you don’t want yes men. And like, I remember when Dario and I first started working together, it was like one of those very similar situations where I was just kind of like, you know, we were just starting out. But like you know, like we noticed that even though we have a lot of the same interests, you know, but we’re also very like also very different in a lot of other ways.

00:37:28:01 – 00:37:42:02
Kyrill Lazarov
And I’m like, okay, there’s potential for this to grow into something bigger down the road. Let’s see. Kind of like where it goes. At least that’s how I saw it. And, you know, like you said, you go fast by yourself or you what was it? The the second part.

00:37:42:07 – 00:37:46:06
Judah Hernandez
You want to go fast, you go by yourself. But if you want to go far, you go together.

00:37:46:11 – 00:37:57:23
Kyrill Lazarov
Exactly. Yeah. And like maybe like it was like a slower burn in the beginning because it was the two of us trying to figure things out together. But now it’s starting to go even further than probably what we expected originally.

00:37:58:05 – 00:38:22:15
Dario Nouri
Yeah, because at the beginning we were still like we were friends, but friends students were still learning the tricks of the trade. And then we’re also now working together, which is, which is weird at first. And we had to learn each other’s work relationship. Right, because it’s different when you’re friends versus when you’re working together. Right? But then like, you know, the I guess we clicked pretty well with that.

00:38:22:15 – 00:38:36:24
Dario Nouri
And like even now, if we both know each other’s strengths and weaknesses and we use that to our advantage, so it works out pretty smoothly at the end of that. Like, sure, we butt heads at the end of the day, but as long as we throw like a Sopranos reference at the end of that, like get together, you know.

00:38:37:07 – 00:39:03:17
Judah Hernandez
It alleviates the transparency too. Like one thing I appreciate is that we don’t let anything fester among our team. Yeah. A lot of people just let things fast and it turns into resentment that’s when that’s when they can burn down the walls of a relationship and the business. So we always practice a policy, but if somebody has to grievances, just bring them to the table and let’s figure it out.

00:39:04:05 – 00:39:20:02
Kyrill Lazarov
Yeah, always important to squash that right away because like you said, that’s going to like that negativity that those grievances are going to translate into the work, into the way they communicate with other people. And the business can suffer as well. Not only the relationships Yes.

00:39:20:14 – 00:39:20:23
Judah Hernandez
Yes.

00:39:22:06 – 00:39:28:19
Dario Nouri
And luckily we’ve always been pretty upfront with each other. So any time it’s like I don’t think we’ve ever let something go, like, okay.

00:39:29:15 – 00:39:39:15
Kyrill Lazarov
No, like the most. Yeah. It’s like you give it like an hour to like sleep on it or something, you know, or you know, it’s like cool down. It’s like, this is what happened. Let’s, let’s figure this out right now, right?

00:39:39:23 – 00:40:02:00
Judah Hernandez
I think this was probably the best lesson I’ve taken away from soccer is that in a team setting, you know, I would have coaches yelling and screaming and saying the worst thing in the world. But, you know, after that passes through, after that passes, you realize they they want the best for you. They’re trying to pull the best out of you.

00:40:02:10 – 00:40:11:03
Judah Hernandez
And still, despite how they say the things that they do, you got to just, you know, take the criticism, what can I take out of this? And then and then build on it.

00:40:11:05 – 00:40:12:20
Kyrill Lazarov
So I wonder if.

00:40:12:20 – 00:40:31:05
Dario Nouri
You as I was going to say, it makes so much sense that he went from soccer to like yeah. Like video production because it’s like you’re dealing with the same thing, except instead of kicking a ball around, you’re creating a video. Right. But it’s still teamwork. Yes. It’s still leadership. It’s though still a lot of those elements.

00:40:31:12 – 00:40:32:06
Kyrill Lazarov
That’s like you.

00:40:32:07 – 00:40:33:11
Dario Nouri
Trained for this.

00:40:33:21 – 00:40:52:24
Kyrill Lazarov
Yeah. That’s that’s part of the beauty of the of the sport of soccer as well as or any team sport is because a lot of the life lessons and a lot of the relationships that you build are like how you build relationships, how you work with other people. You know, translate into other parts of your life. And everyone has a role.

00:40:52:24 – 00:41:12:02
Kyrill Lazarov
You know, you’re brought on to a team. Everybody has a certain job. You have to excel in it, but you also have to work as a unit with the rest, you know, and that’s how a film set is. That’s how a production set is. You know, you have the camera ops, the audio ops, the makeup, the editors, the producers, the works you know, like everybody has a job, but it’s all a team that has to mesh together.

00:41:12:14 – 00:41:13:21
Judah Hernandez
Yeah, that’s great.

00:41:15:18 – 00:41:33:07
Dario Nouri
I saw another thing. I saw a thing on your LinkedIn and what you said earlier, kind of connecting the dots for me because I remember early on you’re like you saw what was coming with the pandemic’s that live streaming and I just saw the other day on LinkedIn that you’re also now accepting crypto as payment. Right? Do you want to tell us a bit about that?

00:41:33:23 – 00:41:55:03
Judah Hernandez
Yeah, I’m very interested, if I can say it mildly, in sort of the global economic state, especially after COVID. So I listen to a lot of experts in finance there as a weird hobby.

00:41:56:10 – 00:41:58:24
Dario Nouri
What’s what’s what are like the top two. You like to listen.

00:41:58:24 – 00:42:32:15
Judah Hernandez
To Robert Kiyosaki and who’s the other one. So this podcast, Jordan Harbinger, The Door and having your podcast, Heartburn Harbinger. Yeah. He actually frequently has guests on that talk about not just cryptocurrency, but what it means on sort of global scale. So he talks about all the kind of different relevant topics, but very much is dialed in to the world economic state we’re in right now.

00:42:33:00 – 00:42:36:05
Judah Hernandez
So I appreciate those to listening to them very much.

00:42:38:24 – 00:43:03:05
Judah Hernandez
I’m trying to think who another one might be. In any case, they’re all of the belief that the future is going to be in cryptocurrencies. Now, that’s going to take a long time, and there are going to be a ton of ups and downs to get to a place where this is sort of a globally recognized use, but it is headed in that direction.

00:43:03:18 – 00:43:35:10
Judah Hernandez
And the people who are going to benefit the most are maybe or maybe lose the most. But definitely those who will benefit are those who are the early adopters and people who are, you know, creating new ways to use this this method of payment. So I have another friend who owns a software company and they hired an entire team of software developers in Iran, and they pay them in cryptocurrency.

00:43:35:21 – 00:43:57:21
Judah Hernandez
And so then they’ve never actually had to put money in. They bought cryptocurrency when it was at its lowest. And even now that it’s gone down they’re still making money from that and paying people out of it. So, you know, do your research, know what you’re getting into I’m not advising anybody. I want to.

00:43:57:21 – 00:43:59:20
Kyrill Lazarov
Disclaimer do your research.

00:44:01:07 – 00:44:11:09
Judah Hernandez
But for me, if people like Robert Kiyosaki are investing or at least diversifying into cryptocurrencies, then, you know, it’s worth it for me to attempt to do that as well.

00:44:11:20 – 00:44:40:06
Dario Nouri
How are you like because we got into crypto like early September. I wish, I wish we got into it in July because. Oh, yeah. Oh, my God. I’m telling you, I do fantasize about it going the bank there was a lot of us. There would be more opportunities. Oh, yeah, I know. But July Dip was particularly spectacular. So we got into it and I’d say early September and yeah, this for personal investing stuff just to learn it.

00:44:40:17 – 00:45:00:13
Dario Nouri
Yeah, we were actually we’re actually just going to start it for our company to accept crypto. I was wondering, how are you accepting? Are you doing it through? Because we like, we like Crypto.com and I know they have like a function there where you could actually send out invoices and accept it through their system and actually signed us up for that and all they are you doing it through them?

00:45:00:14 – 00:45:01:10
Dario Nouri
Are you accepting?

00:45:01:10 – 00:45:06:07
Judah Hernandez
No, I, although I do trade in Crypto.com as well as I use three different things and.

00:45:06:07 – 00:45:11:12
Dario Nouri
Oh wait, wait a minute, before you go further, which card do you have? You have the Ruby Sapphire. What are you at.

00:45:11:21 – 00:45:13:17
Judah Hernandez
I I’m not using a card of their.

00:45:13:19 – 00:45:15:14
Dario Nouri
Oh you know, I use it. Okay.

00:45:16:13 – 00:45:38:17
Judah Hernandez
So for me I invest in crypto for the long term. I keep putting money in there. I’ve never taken, taken anything out so far. So I don’t want access to it, I don’t want to have it close by, I want to leave it in there for three years. That being said, for accepting money, I had to set up a whole different thing.

00:45:38:17 – 00:46:02:11
Judah Hernandez
So this is where I use Coinbase. And Coinbase allows you to set up a wallet. And so I have a wallet for both Bitcoin and Ethereum, depending on businesses choose to use whichever one they want. Yeah. And then in my invoice from now moving forward in my invoices, I’ll have that wallet QR code scannable in the invoice so that people can pay the whether it whether they want it or not.

00:46:02:11 – 00:46:07:13
Judah Hernandez
The QR code for the wallet is there and they can choose to use that option if they like.

00:46:07:24 – 00:46:19:17
Dario Nouri
I Oh, okay. Okay, interesting. I would like another option. Yeah. Are you what are you accepting is payment like obviously Bitcoin at the area, are there other ones?

00:46:19:19 – 00:46:34:07
Judah Hernandez
Just those two for now. Those are, you know, the most stable at this time. Yeah. So you know, if we get into all the little, little options, it can get pretty complicated but just those two for now.

00:46:35:00 – 00:46:50:03
Dario Nouri
Yeah. I think crypto I can also release it’s not their own wallet, but they’re doing it in participation with another company like the the they’re selling cold wallets now, but. Okay, interesting. So anything else you don’t, you don’t have money still with you.

00:46:50:09 – 00:47:02:00
Judah Hernandez
It’s more of a guarantee out of the, you know, how many thousands of transactions a year I might get one person. They’ll do it as a novelty, but it’s more of a publicity stunt. Yeah.

00:47:02:00 – 00:47:04:17
Kyrill Lazarov
Now that’s what we figure. Now.

00:47:05:00 – 00:47:31:13
Judah Hernandez
For now, I think, you know, as things unfold, especially, we are turning it, we are going to turn this black white media into an international company setting up shop down in Florida as well. Then I think there will be way more use for that trade, trading of that currency without the international bank fees without. Oh, yeah, moving money back and forth.

00:47:31:13 – 00:47:33:22
Judah Hernandez
I think that’s where it would really come in handy.

00:47:34:08 – 00:47:53:19
Dario Nouri
If you’re going to do it. Florida is the best place they’re open for crypto. But funny, funny story about that. We had a project for this company called The Irish was a name of Tendermint, right? This was like in July before we got into crypto and they’re like, Yeah, we’re like a crypto company. We’re like this blockchain, blah, blah, blah, blah.

00:47:54:06 – 00:48:07:24
Dario Nouri
We’re like, I don’t, I don’t know what that means, but okay, I can do your video, right? So we went to radio two months later we finally got into it. I was like, Oh, my God, Carol, these guys are huge. Like, they’re part of the Adam Adam Network.

00:48:07:24 – 00:48:08:11
Kyrill Lazarov
Yeah.

00:48:08:21 – 00:48:11:02
Dario Nouri
Because these guys are huge. Like, Holy shit. Like.

00:48:11:09 – 00:48:20:19
Kyrill Lazarov
Yeah, it was, it was like a little Easter egg thing. And we were and then we were even jokingly thinking I was like, Oh, we should be creating crypto. Back then, we would have doubled the money by now.

00:48:21:04 – 00:48:21:22
Judah Hernandez
Oh, my gosh.

00:48:23:07 – 00:48:39:22
Kyrill Lazarov
You know, that’s, that’s the one curious thing is like, if you accept payment from a client, you know, like, save for sake of argument, it was like a $10,000 project. Would you have to time it when they pay you? Because what if they accidentally pay you on it when it’s on a high at ten K and it just drops down to like five is.

00:48:39:22 – 00:48:42:07
Dario Nouri
Like but is it for the long term? Yeah, I know, I know.

00:48:42:07 – 00:49:08:13
Judah Hernandez
But it’s yeah, it is a gamble and you know, like I said, it’s more of a publicity stunt but yeah, yeah, I feel and so many experts that I’ve been listening to think that Bitcoin over the next decade could hit a million. Could hit $1,000,000. Yeah. Brooklyn and if that’s the case, a $10,000 project to hit a million is better not too bad for me.

00:49:09:11 – 00:49:09:16
Judah Hernandez
Yeah.

00:49:10:01 – 00:49:25:20
Dario Nouri
Judah, you’re coming up on your ten year anniversary. So tell us a little bit about some of the challenge, some of the, some of the bigger challenges you faced up until this point and maybe some of the challenges you foresee yourself facing maybe in the next couple of years.

00:49:26:12 – 00:49:54:00
Judah Hernandez
Sure. The biggest challenge that I faced in my ten years as an entrepreneur is myself. There is no challenge like the challenge from yourself when you’re when you’re paddling, can I do this is it’s the right decision. You’re always second guessing and questioning yourself. And I, I imagine that’s not, that’s not over. That’s never going to be completely over.

00:49:54:00 – 00:50:23:08
Judah Hernandez
However, you know, winning those small battles every day builds confidence. Your mind that I can do this. I am in the right position. It was never a matter of creativity. You as a matter of, you know, how do I talk to clients? How do I do this, how to do that and better there are lots of books on entrepreneurial endeavors and how to do things, but you can’t understand it until you’re in it.

00:50:23:18 – 00:50:24:02
Kyrill Lazarov
Yep.

00:50:24:12 – 00:50:57:11
Judah Hernandez
It’s just like books on parenting. They talk about all the things you can do tricks to help parent. It doesn’t matter what book you read, when your kid comes out, all that goes out the window and you have to be in it to understand it. Yeah. So over the past ten years, the battle with myself, not, not any one telling me anything, not any particular client it’s just a state of mind that you have to try to get to to get to the next step.

00:50:58:07 – 00:51:06:08
Judah Hernandez
I’ll never forget my first sort of for me at the time was the big project for like a thousand bucks, right? Yeah.

00:51:07:12 – 00:51:08:09
Dario Nouri
We remember those days.

00:51:09:10 – 00:51:34:21
Judah Hernandez
There a friend of mine had a clothing company of sport clothing company, and he asked me, Hey, can you do this project? We just need some photos. At the time, I was doing the whole thing photos, website, you know, everything I could get my hands on asked me to do this project which I had no business doing. I’ll tell you right now, just I had no idea what I was doing.

00:51:35:15 – 00:52:02:10
Judah Hernandez
Yeah, sure. Oh, I’ll do that. It’s easy, man. You should have seen me on YouTube tutorials all day at night, and then I show up at the place. I did the job, made a few mistakes, but, you know, you got it done. And for me, when I look at successful entrepreneurs, business people, they say, yes, and sometimes they say yes and then figure it out.

00:52:02:23 – 00:52:16:02
Judah Hernandez
But the people who say, I can’t do it until I know how to do it, those are the people that will fall and will fail you. You’ve got to take the risk. You got to take the chance, say yes and figure it out along the way.

00:52:16:22 – 00:52:35:12
Kyrill Lazarov
Yeah. I mean, we completely agree. You know, like when you’re starting out, you don’t know anyone who started out. Didn’t know the blueprint. Right. You know, Steve Jobs didn’t know what it was like with Apple you know, like that it was going to become the next big thing. He just kind of went with it even more. I mean, granted, though, like he was promising things that weren’t actually working at the time.

00:52:35:13 – 00:52:51:02
Kyrill Lazarov
So, I mean, we got to there was a line to be drawn from it. But yeah, but when it comes to like, you know, like if you have to film something with within a certain style, you could do the research and then figure out how to kind of replicate that, you know, as an example and things like that.

00:52:51:02 – 00:53:09:22
Kyrill Lazarov
And, you know, it’s funny when whenever when you mentioned like the first big job where you get like the most like a lot of money for what it is like, I, I feel like we all remember that one thing and it’s just like when they finally say yes and they want to take you on for that budget it’s just like I could actually make this much money doing it.

00:53:10:03 – 00:53:20:14
Kyrill Lazarov
They didn’t feel like it was almost like a cheat code, you know, that you just kind of entered it. That was, that was how I felt when I made my first thousand bucks off of one job. They did not expect that.

00:53:21:04 – 00:53:29:00
Judah Hernandez
Yes. You know, we’ve all we’ve all been there. And, you know, I that’s my kids home from school here screaming.

00:53:29:06 – 00:53:29:20
Kyrill Lazarov
That’s all good.

00:53:31:09 – 00:53:53:22
Judah Hernandez
I often say this. I’m on social media platforms, but you often have to look backward to see where you came from, to remember, you know, how far you’ve come. You know, we can get caught up on a I’m not here. I haven’t reached this goal or I haven’t done this. But all you have to do is look where you started and see how far you’ve come.

00:53:53:22 – 00:54:03:08
Judah Hernandez
And you’re like, okay, I’m getting somewhere may not be exactly where you want to be, but, you know, quality and persistence will create success.

00:54:03:15 – 00:54:10:01
Dario Nouri
Yeah. Because have one as long as you’re farther ahead than you were yesterday, you’re on a good path, you know.

00:54:10:01 – 00:54:22:10
Kyrill Lazarov
That people don’t realize that growth is a slow burn and you get caught up in it. You know, where it’s just like, okay, you know, like it’s been, you know, the last few months, it feels like, you know, it’s been like kind of like a slow growth. And like you said, you may always feel like nothing’s really changed.

00:54:22:10 – 00:54:49:21
Kyrill Lazarov
But in reality, if you look back, then it’s like, whoa, it actually has changed quite drastically from there because I feel like we all have an ideal kind of like position we want to be in, you know, or at least the type of work that we want to be doing, the type of projects we want to kind of like be like, for example, I want to do a little bit more work, you know, more in the sports and the documentary side of things, you know, and then it’s just like, okay, I’m not there yet, you know, like when when will, when will we get there as, as a business?

00:54:49:21 – 00:55:00:12
Kyrill Lazarov
And then it’s like, oh, wait, we’ve also done all this, which we’ll, uh, which will lend itself to that when we get there. You know, it’s, it’s crazy how much growth is a slow burn.

00:55:00:21 – 00:55:25:03
Judah Hernandez
Mm hmm. Absolutely. You know, it’s great, though, that you know what you want. A lot of people just continue doing things and and let the river take them wherever it may. But for those people who know what they want, they can forge their own path. You know, you want to do sports and, you know you want to do more documentary.

00:55:25:16 – 00:55:40:14
Judah Hernandez
Yeah. Find those clients. Yeah, things get out. I’m preaching to the choir here, but you know what I’m saying? Once you know what you want, that’s the hardest thing to figure out what you want and then go after it. So that’s great, man.

00:55:41:21 – 00:55:45:05
Dario Nouri
There’s two more things I want to touch on before we end this, but.

00:55:46:13 – 00:55:48:20
Judah Hernandez
I’ll be quick. I’m giving long winded answer.

00:55:48:20 – 00:55:50:01
Dario Nouri
No, no, no. I love.

00:55:50:01 – 00:56:05:06
Kyrill Lazarov
It. This is like, to be honest, like, we’re we’re willing to keep it going as long as you know, because these are just great conversations to just to even have between the three of us. Right. But, you know, like, we also want to be respectful of your time, you know, and not take too much. Right. It’s I think we’ve already hit the one our marketing.

00:56:05:21 – 00:56:17:18
Dario Nouri
Going our but the first one I want to hit on is we asked this to all the guests. It’s what was that one moment in your career that kind of got you to where you are today?

00:56:19:11 – 00:56:20:06
Kyrill Lazarov
It’s like a turning point.

00:56:20:14 – 00:56:25:09
Dario Nouri
Because everyone’s had that one turning point. It’s always interesting to hear other people’s turning points.

00:56:26:03 – 00:56:56:05
Judah Hernandez
Yeah, it’s funny. I tried to do a short film and I still haven’t released it. That’s terrible. But it was almost like I wanted to blend commercial and filmmaking and to kind of blur those lines, kind of giving a story of black and white media. It’s just sitting on the shelf. I should do something with this. But the turning point for me I captured in this film was when I moved to Canada.

00:56:56:21 – 00:57:18:11
Judah Hernandez
I was a professional soccer player, but I had to work. I had to do something in the meantime before I figured out what was happening next. I just took a job at an Apple store, good with technology and whatnot. Always have been and act. I guess I was like 24 or 25 years old. They were like 18 year olds and 19 year olds around.

00:57:18:17 – 00:57:43:06
Judah Hernandez
One of the managers was like 23 years old, and here I am sweeping the floor in an Apple store like this is, this is terrible. And then they’re sitting behind the bar laughing like, Look at this guy’s the oldest one here sweeping the floor. And the manager is like, Hey, you didn’t sweep the corner. So I dropped the broom and pretty much walked out and I’m like, This is not happening.

00:57:43:16 – 00:58:09:21
Judah Hernandez
And so I think a month later I started black. My media and at that time, I wasn’t getting paid. Jack at that time, I knew I couldn’t be sweeping floors. So instead, I and I also another turning point was when I dropped out of film school. So I was going to for Sheridan for film. But right I knew that I already understood.

00:58:09:21 – 00:58:28:10
Judah Hernandez
I, I could get, I could learn how to do film techniques. What I wasn’t getting was how to run a business how to communicate. How did you like the business of film? And I know there are courses for that, but I said, Listen, I can pay $20,000 a year for four years to, to learn how to do this.

00:58:28:23 – 00:58:53:03
Judah Hernandez
Or I can try to start something and maybe not make that much money at the beginning. But I won’t be in a I won’t be in debt and I can figure this out. So that’s exactly what I did. And, you know, the funny thing is, after after what those four years, I started hiring some of my friends who came out of film school.

00:58:53:10 – 00:59:12:02
Judah Hernandez
They obviously were better at me technically. But I was running a business. It was already it was already in motion. And so I feel like I have a have a head start in that regard. Maybe I don’t even count the first four years that business. But by the time I understood what was going on, man, things just start taking off.

00:59:13:04 – 00:59:30:00
Dario Nouri
So why would you say like it was like as soon as you started black and white media, it’s just been like that. Or was there like a specific moment? Because what we’re curious about is like after you started the company and like what was that one moment that kind of skyrocketed? The business where you guys are today.

00:59:32:12 – 00:59:34:16
Judah Hernandez
Let me see what a one moment.

00:59:36:06 – 00:59:44:01
Kyrill Lazarov
Could be a series to, you know, like, you know, like something led to this, you know, and doesn’t necessarily have to be that one specific one as well.

00:59:45:19 – 01:00:13:17
Judah Hernandez
So as a film company, we were seeing success because I would pick up the phone and talk to people and I could I can convince people this is what you need, but where the real success happened was when I started changing the way we did proposals, the way we the way we did proposals was simply like listing what we would do and here’s what it would cost and then sending it off.

01:00:14:10 – 01:00:38:07
Judah Hernandez
But what I started to do was think, listen, we’re a visual company. This is a great opportunity not just to show numbers, but give an idea of who we are. What’s it going to look like for the creative side as well? And so we started putting building these packages in film. They call it like a mood board in the film industry.

01:00:41:03 – 01:01:05:23
Judah Hernandez
We started combining the mood board with the estimate and putting videos and like live images and creating a presentation rather than just here’s some numbers. And Matt, I tell you that for me was probably one of the biggest turnarounds that I’ve seen. And now with those type of thing, we’re seeing 80, 90% conversion rates when people are already interested.

01:01:05:23 – 01:01:37:14
Judah Hernandez
We’ve already had that conversation. And they get, they get to understand that we care about their business because then this in this pitch, in this document, thank you in this document, we’re showing them how their business should look. Where we dove deep on their website, we take pictures from their own website we take, you know, mottos and things like that.

01:01:37:14 – 01:01:57:11
Judah Hernandez
And we put it together in a package. So they’re like, oh, these people understand us. They get what they get, what we’re about. I think we started doing that in 20, 18. And the one that I do for like my super big clients is actually give them one of those. But I also do a video pitch as well.

01:01:57:24 – 01:02:21:24
Judah Hernandez
I’m like, we’re, we’re selling something here and we’re not even using our own product to sell it. So I started making video pitches that go, that work with the PDF or the slide show that they get and they can follow along. And man, that was people like, okay, this is impressive. We like it. So it’s like these things.

01:02:22:09 – 01:02:45:14
Kyrill Lazarov
You basically created the black and white media experience and given it to them in a way, right? And something that they can show to other people within their organization. Because it’s one thing to pitch in front of one or two people, but then it’s like a game of telephone. You know, when you’re, when you’re pitching to people, you know, you may say you may give the presentation then they go and tell the higher ups there.

01:02:46:10 – 01:02:55:23
Kyrill Lazarov
But you know, they didn’t the hires didn’t talk to you at that point, you know, but you’ve essentially solidified it so that they can kind of show it to whoever needs to. So it’s a very, very good strategy. Very nice.

01:02:56:05 – 01:03:19:05
Dario Nouri
Very smart. Yeah. We though we did something similar, not a similar not on the proposal end of things, but for like our our blog posts, we started making the video equivalent and then putting it in the blog post. And we think that’s a really good resource for us to just inform clients of certain things. Like we’ll just link the video because I remember I was going to kill them.

01:03:19:05 – 01:03:37:10
Dario Nouri
Like, look, we’re video production company, but we’re doing like text only text and images for the blog post. But if we just do a video that would just like we should be able to do proper content for ourselves because the only other people we could do for ourselves now, so we did something similar on that end just for the blog videos.

01:03:37:10 – 01:03:58:10
Dario Nouri
We’re like, okay, like, well we’ll, we’ll do ones. We’re like, how is a video made like how much does a video? Cause it’s like we’ve, we’ve simple things, simple stuff like that. But they’ve actually come in really handy because whenever we do have someone reaching out that, you know, it’s the first time making a video, we’ll usually send those two videos and like, it kind of explains the whole process, right?

01:03:58:17 – 01:04:24:06
Judah Hernandez
Yes, yes. I actually just did a LinkedIn live for the first time where I was teaching both filmmakers who tuned in and also a ton of my friends and clients tuned in and I was explaining how the process of filmmaking works so they can understand why videos cost what they do and let them think about, Okay, this is where this is where my money’s going.

01:04:24:12 – 01:04:46:11
Judah Hernandez
Because a lot of people who do video for the first time don’t understand what goes into it. They they just see this video and, you know, when they’re almost trying to sell you on how easy it is to do their video. Yeah. No, no, no, no. Are you looking for quality or are you looking for crap? I mean, we’re not we’re not putting crap out there.

01:04:46:13 – 01:05:09:16
Judah Hernandez
Yeah. And the cool one is have you ever seen that triangle before? People of a lot of people have seen this on the Internet. So you, you have this triangle and at the top is it is quality on this oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. You can’t. You can’t. Okay. And this corner is cost. Yeah. And I share this with them and I say, okay, pick two.

01:05:10:06 – 01:05:17:12
Judah Hernandez
And this really gets them to think, okay, all right. So I can make it fast and I can make it cheap, but it’s not going to be good. Yeah.

01:05:19:02 – 01:05:22:14
Kyrill Lazarov
You know, sometimes yeah. No, no, no. Sorry, sorry.

01:05:22:23 – 01:05:36:06
Judah Hernandez
I was going to say little tools like that are helpful in sort of these pitch conversations, but that LinkedIn live was it was great. Got some good feedback from people who didn’t really understand the video process.

01:05:36:22 – 01:05:55:14
Kyrill Lazarov
Yeah. So some, a lot of the time, even um, what kind of goes into that where they, they think things are so easy is also because of past experiences that they’ve had. You know, like sometimes it’s almost better to have people who have never done video before so they don’t know the process because then we can teach them the right way to do it.

01:05:55:22 – 01:06:15:10
Kyrill Lazarov
Yeah. There have been times where DIYer and I have been pitching to leads where they, they had like a videographer. They came in and did it very simple. Clearly they weren’t happy with it because that’s why they were looking for more but still, in their mind, they’re, they’re thinking it’s as easy as that, you know, they just have to go to someone else.

01:06:15:10 – 01:06:21:12
Kyrill Lazarov
But it’s like, no, it’s not like one person showing up with a camera and then it’s and that’s it, you know, it’s not as simple.

01:06:21:23 – 01:06:43:09
Judah Hernandez
Yeah. People underestimate the power of a good script and a good storyboard, and that’s a thing that I really have to teach my clients. So whatever scale, let’s plan this out properly so that on the day of production, they are no surprise is that we know what we’re doing that that everybody’s on the same page.

01:06:44:03 – 01:06:51:17
Kyrill Lazarov
Yeah, production should be the easiest part of the entire phase, should be the absolute easiest, not the most complicated.

01:06:52:01 – 01:06:53:09
Judah Hernandez
Exactly. Yes.

01:06:53:12 – 01:07:03:18
Dario Nouri
Let’s see how much time we have. Maybe, maybe two. My last question is really easy. What what challenges do you foresee yourself facing in the next couple of years?

01:07:05:21 – 01:07:32:09
Judah Hernandez
Yeah, so like I said, I’m aiming to bring the company internationally, so try and set up shop in Florida this year. That’s going to be a huge challenge because, you know, my team is going to stay here and and do everything here and I do anticipate I’ll be going back and forth. We already have some pretty big bookings for the you know, for the rest of the year.

01:07:34:14 – 01:07:59:24
Judah Hernandez
The other challenge that I’ve never even mentioned is that I started a film festival here in Oakville. It’s called the Oakville Festival’s Film in Art. And that’s been going on for about this is our ninth year now. Oh, wow. Those do things at the same time. Oh, I’ve been the creative director, executive director and sort of scaling back my role in that company.

01:08:00:14 – 01:08:09:13
Judah Hernandez
But to have somebody help them find somebody to fill that role as I move forward. And in the United States, it’s going to be.

01:08:09:13 – 01:08:15:07
Dario Nouri
But you started a film festival the same like pretty much around the same time you started your own company.

01:08:15:11 – 01:08:16:06
Judah Hernandez
Yeah, yeah, yeah.

01:08:16:06 – 01:08:16:19
Kyrill Lazarov
Wow.

01:08:17:10 – 01:08:18:05
Dario Nouri
Yeah. Like, how.

01:08:20:08 – 01:08:35:10
Judah Hernandez
Crazy when you when you’re young, you can do some pretty amazing things, but you might get no kids, but it’s amazing what you can do with no. I love my kids. But yet the.

01:08:36:10 – 01:08:39:01
Dario Nouri
Main lesson of the video, I don’t have kids until later. Well.

01:08:39:24 – 01:08:58:13
Judah Hernandez
No, I mean, listen, I’m thinking about it. I wish I had my kids when I was younger, to be fair. Like, now that I’m in my thirties and I have a bit more wisdom to run the business, I can be focusing a little bit more on the business because I have young kids and I want to I really do want to parent them.

01:08:59:00 – 01:09:10:13
Judah Hernandez
So that’s where my focus is at right now. And I think, you know, over the next decade or so, I it’s going to be kind of trying to balance those things.

01:09:10:16 – 01:09:33:06
Kyrill Lazarov
Yeah. So to be I feel like it would be a challenge no matter when you have kids, you know, like twenties or when you’re trying to grow your career throws or when you’re really honing in on it, you know, there’s really no perfect time. You know, it’s yeah, you can’t you can’t in business week apply and everything personal I’ve like to the most extent, but like at the same time, it’s not it’s not an absolute right.

01:09:33:17 – 01:09:36:20
Judah Hernandez
Yes. If you want to make God laugh, you tell me your plans.

01:09:40:02 – 01:09:44:06
Kyrill Lazarov
I like that. I like that. That’s such a good it’s a funny piece of wisdom right there.

01:09:45:00 – 01:09:49:05
Dario Nouri
Okay, dude, I want to end off on how you got the name for your company.

01:09:50:15 – 01:09:53:03
Judah Hernandez
This is ridiculous.

01:09:55:04 – 01:09:57:03
Judah Hernandez
My wife is white and I am black.

01:10:00:04 – 01:10:00:24
Kyrill Lazarov
That’s simple.

01:10:02:17 – 01:10:59:00
Judah Hernandez
So this is the funny thing. The motto is actually funnier than than the name. Because people I never I tell that story. People say the exact same thing. It can’t be that dude.

01:10:59:00 – 01:11:19:20
Kyrill Lazarov
Honestly, man, like, I feel like such great ideas and insights were shared, you know? And I think you’ve had such a unique experience, you know, like kind of jumping into this industry, you know, like, that’s the one thing Darren I love about doing this podcast is hearing everyone else’s origin story in a way and how how they’ve navigated the space so thanks again for joining us.

01:11:20:12 – 01:11:33:22
Judah Hernandez
Yeah, absolute pleasure, guys. Honestly, at this stage of my career, if I can help other filmmakers and maybe be a mentor, I love doing that. So thanks for inviting me on. It’s been wonderful chatting with you.

01:11:34:19 – 01:11:35:20
Kyrill Lazarov
Amazing. Thank you.

01:11:36:02 – 01:11:38:14
Dario Nouri
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