We had the good fortune of connecting with Michael Shyne and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Michael, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
In 2014 I caught what many of us refer to as “the camera bug.” I purchased a Canon T3i, shortly afterwards I went on to film my first event and there was no turning back. Having a background in music production, at some point I thought I realized why this new found art form felt so familiar to me. Was it the art of storytelling and expression that made it feel so familiar? Whether shooting video or still photography, it is the job of the person behind the lens to tell the subject’s story.
In 2018, driven by my passion for watches, I mustered up the courage to launch my own watch brand Shyne & Co. Through all the trials and tribulations of starting a brand, the one thing that I learned immediately was that promotion and proper marketing was equally if not more essential than having a great product. With that in mind, and having used a lot of my own capital for the watch brand, I decided to assert my videography skills and started filming my own marketing ads. Bringing two of things that I loved doing most in this world felt incredible. One day while doing some video editing it dawned on me, why am I not doing this for other brands?
2020 was the year I decided to do just that. In the middle of a pandemic I allowed the desire to help others override my fears. Not only did videography give me purpose in the midst of the helpless times of the pandemic, but it also enabled me to connect and build relationships with other businesses. That is when I realized why this art form felt so familiar and why I loved it so much. It was because it allowed me to help. Help others not only to tell their stories, but also to trust, to be vulnerable and in some cases even accept who they are today. “If you’re not making someone else’s life better, then you’re wasting your time. Your life will become better by making other lives better.” ― Will Smith
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
My work consists of coming up with creative ways of telling a story for your brand. I like to think out of the box but keep it simple. My thought process usually begins with who are we trying to target, who’s attention am I trying to capture, and what message am I trying to convey. After laying the creative foundation, I start scouting locations and planning shots, a habit that you learn to develop early because even the things we love doing the most have their obstacles. Video editing and color grading can be tedious at times, so planning shots ahead of time helps tremendously with the post process. I will say one of my proudest moments was shooting a promotional ad for Modestine Tea and Spoken Black Girl magazine, which later went on to be nominated for best Business Commercial at a Film festival.
We had no intention of submitting that ad to any film festivals, so to have that be nominated was certainly a special moment. As much as I love what I do because of the creative side of it, it is still a business, so I remember to treat it as such by being professional and doing my best to make sure each client is happy. I’ve always been big on good customer service, so I expect nothing less of myself. I can tell you there’s nothing like capturing a moment that literally brings tears to someone’s eyes or allows them to see themselves in a new light.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I’d head to NYC to BBQ’s and hit one of the local comedy clubs. There’s nothing like those big bright lights and a night filled with laughter. Of course I would have to pull out my camera and take advantage of the photo ops, I mean for god sake it is NYC.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I am extremely grateful for my wife and business partner Alyse Shyne for her love and support through it all. There’s nothing like having someone in your corner that believes in you, even when you have that moment of doubt. Thank you to my sister Cleopatra for always being supportive and being honest about my work. A big special thank you to all the businesses who have trusted me with coming up with creative ideas to promote their brands.