There is much we can learn from listening to other’s stories, exploring professions and paths different than our own. This Blog post is the first in a series of spotlights on entrepreneurship and small business. This month we spoke with Peter Kelly, entrepreneur of Peter Kelly Media and learned about his career in film and media and the path that led to him starting his current business Peter Kelly Media

Bridging the Gap: Peter Kelly of Peter Kelly Media

What ingredients make a skilled entrepreneur? How big is the gap between being skilled at your trade and having the business sense to push success forward? These two sides of business can be challenging to meld together. If you come across Peter Kelly, entrepreneur and owner of Peter Kelly Media, on social media, he often shares and discusses a business perspective that has a tone of being both savvy and identifiably humanist which is impressive because it is a difficult line to walk. He is a great example of an entrepreneur who has successfully combined business sense and passion and talent for his craft.

Early Career

Nearing the end of high school, it was at first more obvious to others what Peter should be pursuing professionally. He was always choosing film as a medium for class assignments, and when it came time to decide on university programs it was his friend who said the obvious “you are going to study film right?”. It was then when he connected that he could pursue a career in something he was passionate about, work could actually be enjoyable.

Peter spent the bulk of Career in editing. He was attracted to editing because as he describes it, the editing room is the place where the story is made. He explained that from the point of conception of a project to them receiving the footage in the editing room the story can change a lot. Editors have to use a lot in ingenuity to puzzle together footage to shape the story and make it work. When listening to Peter share about projects that he has worked on, his stories often contain pocket stories that demonstrate how he developed his business sense. What stands out is how he observes human behaviour and he adapts these lessons to learning how to push projects forward.

In university he worked on a project where he began with the premise of a documentary drawing on the parallels between the intelligence of wrestling fans and the intelligence of his friends who were wrestling fans. He is proud of how it came together but he describes it as a project that came together much differently than he originally planned. The story was supposed to be lighthearted, unfortunately over the course of filming one of his friends being featured in the documentary unexpectedly became caught up in a breakup and Peter in an interview, ended up making his best friend cry. The moments where he was trying to make his friend feel better was some of the best footage he caught. Peter learned something else, through managing his friend through what could have been a divergent event. It is important to let them cry and work through the moment, but you also have to stay mindful and shift the conversation, so the interview doesn’t end with a sad resolution.

After graduation, he spent many years in the hustle of the freelance nature of the industry, but he describes even jobs that might sound monotonous as important building experiences that help him today. One example is when he took on a job as a negative cutter where he would roll through film cutting it and then gluing it back together. He attributes this experience to teaching him the importance of attention to detail, he was holding the original negatives of multi-million dollar films in his hands and if he screwed up, it was bad news for the films.

For 8 years Peter did find permanent work in the editing room, working for a television station. The company was growing quickly, he was hired as an editor but saw space and made a proposal of how they could reorganize to operate more efficiently. Upper management supported his plan and promoted him, Head of Postproduction. In this role he was able to develop other hats as well, while editing footage he was able to critique how to improve the footage they were producing, they began to let him produce projects and he learned producing was also something he was good at.

Becoming an Entrepreneur

Entrepreneurship and freelance work are very common in his industry that is why it wasn’t an intimidating decision to go into business for himself. He did recognize however his training and experience was highly concentrated in film and media and he could benefit from pursuing business training. He hired a business coach that helped him realize where the gaps were in his skillset and taught him strategies to help him pursue sales and market his products.

Peter Kelly now operates his own business Peter Kelly Media which produces and edits content for businesses. In today’s media-rich world there is a lot a business can benefit from producing video content. Peter Kelly’s knowledge of how to wield a story gives businesses an edge when putting out media whether they are looking to create training videos or create content to showcase their business and products on their website and social media. He works with companies from the point of determining the desired message/goal of the project, writing the script, and everything that goes into physically making it. With the rise of zoom in the pandemic, he is also filling a rising need for coaching businesses on how to look professional on Zoom, he will teach people how to film themselves and then he will edit the footage. Many companies are using this service to put out an “elevator pitch” about their product or business on social media and LinkedIn.

To learn more about Peter Kelly Media you can check out his website and get in contact!


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