C. Jacqueline Wood, Golden Hour Moving Pictures

Jacqueline Wood is the sole proprietor of Golden Hour Moving Pictures, a video production company with an artistic flair that provides services from content planning to video production.

How did you start your business?
I moved back to Cincinnati last September. I grew up here, moved away for 10 years for school and was living in Ann Arbor working for the Ann Arbor film festival and teaching. When I needed a change, my friend Frannie Kroner told me about SpringBoard.

The day I moved back is the day I started SpringBoard. I knew I was doing it to start a business, but I didn’t know what it was going to be or how long I’d be in Cincinnati. And so Springboard was literally there from the beginning. Today, I’m a one-woman show: I do everything from pre-production—concept and storyboarding, figuring out what the client wants—to shooting and editing.

What have you learned along the way?
I think that Cincinnati is so unique. Specifically with the SpringBoard and Artworks community I entered, people are so excited about what I have to offer. That’s really been the most exciting thing. I don’t advertise, up until now. It’s word of mouth, and people just happen upon my work and they feel the need for it in their life—whether it’s for a nonprofit or their own small business startup. People need video, and I can offer them inexpensive, quality, unique video.

What I’ve learned, really, is the power of the Cincinnati community—how welcoming they’ve been and how excited they are to know what I’ve been doing. People aren’t only recognizing me for my commercial work, but also for my artwork. I have my own art practice; I went to the Art Institute in Chicago for my master’s, so I have an MFA in video.

Any speed bumps along the way?
I think the hardest part is that I’m not a self-promoter. Even with my art, I’m really good at making the work, but I’m too busy making the work to get people there, to advertise it and sell myself. I don’t do that, but then all the sudden I started the business—that’s what you have to do. It’s just a totally different realm. For an art person starting a business, there’s a lot of things to learn, particularly socially and about how you represent yourself.

How do you get the word out?
I’ve just been really lucky with word of mouth and having my videos on Soapbox and other people’s websites. I have a website, and I have some business cards, which are unique because they’re handmade. People really like those, and they remember me because of it.

Also, doing art shows. I just was in a C-Link show for Brazee Street at Memorial Hall. Through my art, people found out that I also have this business.  

What makes you unique as a filmmaker?
My style is very much rooted in the real world, with a documentary aesthetic. It’s really quite simple; my videos don’t get too corporate or too sleek. They take more of an artistic approach. I like using a lot of close-ups and choreography within the frame. I also don’t move my camera too much; I rely on the editing to create rhythm and motion and flow.

I also rely on my gut and my experience—and my artistic background—a lot. There’s nothing wrong with collaboration, but for me, my gut has taken me a long way.

What tips would you give potential clients?
People are a little scared because they think [a video is] going to be really expensive, and they also think that it’s as if you have to hire a Hollywood production crew in order to get a video done. That’s not the case; it can be one woman with a camera and it’s still what you need and want.

My advice is to approach the company and just get information. You don’t necessarily have to know what you want. That’s my job, to help you figure out what you want and how to communicate that. Also, find examples of what you like. If you see a shot in a movie that you think is beautiful and you want the same tone and the same style, that really makes my job easier. But don’t be afraid to approach me and ask for more information; I aim to be approachable personally, and I hope my business is, too.

Interview by Robin Donovan