Welcome to our first Q&A installment featuring small-businesses and entrepreneurs in the Reno area. We are actively seeking to highlight those who have taken the brave path of working for themselves and have found success in doing so. We hope to make this a regular feature.
Today, please welcome Tyler Bourns of Bourns Productions.
1. Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Tyler Bourns and I am a Video Producer and Director. I own a company here in Reno — Bourns Productions Inc., which specializes in professional video content creation, such as Narrative Features and Short Films, Documentaries, Music Videos, Corporate Videos, Commercials, and more.
2. What motivated you to work for yourself and start your business?
I’ve always been a very goal oriented person, but it was never in my plan to own/run my own company. I’ve known since High School that being in the video/film industry is where I wanted to be, more specifically in a Producer/Director role. So after graduating from Carson High School, I moved down to Los Angeles with the plan of working my way through the ranks until I reached that goal. After two years and over a hundred different productions under my belt, in roles such as grip, teleprompter, camera op, technical director, etc — everything changed.
I was offered a very interesting opportunity to move back to Northern Nevada and help run an upcoming video studio. At a young age, I saw it as a huge opportunity to accelerate my career aspirations. Unfortunately, things did not go as planned and I was wiped out, left with just my camera and a small light kit — all at the height of the recession.
I was planning on moving back to LA and resuming the path I was previously on, but after a couple months of freelance work, I began to see a real market for high-end and professional video content here in Northern Nevada. Additionally, I really began to fall in love with the area and the people. Everything I do, I go all in, so I said, “Let’s do this,” and founded Bourns Productions Inc.
I felt motivated to provide local companies and residents reliable, professional video production at a great value while using the experiences as a springboard for my own personal career as a Producer and Director. I don’t regret for one second taking the opportunity to be my own boss — I get paid to do what I love.
3. What is your greatest “game-changing” moment (positive or negative)?
I always want to grow with every project that we do. I constantly strive to improve the customer experience and the quality of the final product. So anything I can do to raise the bar on what we do is exciting. Therefore, I really view every new project as my next game changing moment. Having said that, there’s been a few moments that specifically stand out to me because they presented a challenge that we conquered, and hopefully those accomplishments will lead to new opportunities.
One of those moments would be a project that kind of came out of nowhere late last year where we ended up getting the chance to produce four music videos and behind the scenes content for Whitesnake’s latest album, “The Purple Album,” available for pre-order now on Amazon.com (I definitely encourage you to check it out).
I was Producer, Director and Editor on the project. This one was amazing, not just because of the notoriety and history behind the project, but because I was able to work side by side with one of the greatest vocalists of our time, David Coverdale, which was an amazing life experience. Aside from the enormous talent and just being a damn nice guy, he really reinvigorated my passion for the work I do because he has such a contagiously positive energy and enthusiasm for his own work. To see that in someone that has been doing this for over 40 years really re-ignited that fire inside me to be the best I can be on every project.
4. How do you define success?
I define success as fulfillment, and that can only be defined on a personal level. Are you at a place in life where you are happy, doing what you want to do, and not being brought down from outside forces? For me, having the financial freedom/opportunity to be able to do video projects that appeal to me creatively and at the same time impact the viewer on an emotional level, having strong relationships with family and friends that I can lean on, and leading a happy life would is “success.”
5. What tips can you give to others who want to go into business for themselves?
Owning your own business is hard! I had no idea what I was getting into. It requires very long hours, dedication, and a lot of sacrifices in your personal life. But it can also be immensely rewarding. I don’t regret it for a second! So I’d say make sure you go into something that you are passionate about and, most importantly, something you have fun doing. At the end of the day, if you’re not doing something that you love, how can you truly put 110% into it to ensure that it works?
My other tip would be to not get hung up on mistakes you make — they’re going to happen, so learn from them! I went into this with no business degree, so to say I’ve never made a mistake would be a huge lie. It’s the school of hard knocks, and the only way we can improve and get better at what we do is to lead with a positive attitude and not let the little things bring us down.
And lastly, I’d say treat everyone with respect. No matter how big or small, you never know who is going to have a huge impact in your life and your business. It’s a small world and word spreads fast, so take your reputation very seriously and don’t be afraid to do the right thing even if it doesn’t make sense financially.
Some of Tyler’s work:
Whitesnake Music Video – Stormbringer (watch below):
Look Twice Short Film Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WdBodTLjoxc
Ronald McDonald House Story: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uNfHhbffgFg
2014 Narrative Demo Reel : https://vimeo.com/107110575
2014 Corporate Demo Reel: https://vimeo.com/107436365