“They Really Do Give Away The Money!”
The financial crisis that decimated the land in 2008 wiped out a lot of businesses, including many video production companies; it was tenuous for Visual Thinking Northwest. Most of our ongoing productions were cancelled, as clients suddenly had no funds. The Olympics was over and so was our network shooting show. Complicating things, a lot of what Bend had going for it was tourism and real estate- both at the top of the hardest hit list. While we still had a small but loyal group of regular local clients, it wasn’t enough to pay the freight on all this cool (and expensive!) HD gear. The main reason Visual Thinking was still in business was that we had great gear and the skills to employ it- we’d always been good at telling our clients’ story. Seemed like all we had to do was let more people know about it! At the same time, large out-of-area organizations, looking to conserve budgets, began hiring Oregon video production companies to do the work they needed here, often sending only talent or a producer to handle on-location shoots. We built our web presence, pursued every opportunity and became a preferred Oregon Camera crew. We started working regularly throughout the Northwest for clients like Golf Channel, Anderson Cooper, 21st Century Business, PBS and Publishers Clearing House. We, like many people, thought PCH was sketchy until they flew in from New York and met us in Medford. Yep, it was the Full Monte: the distinguished grey haired guy, the gorgeous lady with balloons and the big check. They rented a van and Visual Thinking Northwest for the day, and we shocked a guy in a trailer park with a check for $5,000 a month, FOREVER! When they handed him the check, he passed out. After 25 years in the video business, that still is the most amazing shoot we’ve ever done. And we did it again in PDX two years later!