How Mike Jones (WHO? Mike Jones!) Made Me An Entrepreneur
(Brandon and Mike Jones Backstage in 2014)
Recently our Co-Founder and Creative Director, Brandon, opened up about what led him to pursuing a career as an entrepreneur. Read his story below...
It was a Friday afternoon in Muncie, IN and I had just finished my last class of the week when my phone rang. On the line was a buddy who was studying at Purdue University at the time. He had found himself working with a group of friends booking shows for a local EDM (electronic music) group gaining prominence around university campuses. After the initial small talk, he asked me if I remembered who Mike Jones was. Being a regular TRL viewer as a kid there was no way in hell I could ever forget the name Mike Jones. In the mid 2000's, Mike Jones was a highly successful artist, his voice and face were plastered all over MTV. Chances are if you're aged between 24-35 you probably remember Mike's phone number, 281-330-8004.
It turned out they had booked Mike to headline a show they were hosting that night in West Lafayette and they thought it would be a good idea to have someone film the entire experience. About 20 minutes after getting off the phone, my 1999 Toyota Corolla was packed with my Canon T3i, stock lens, a couple SD cards and a change of clothes.I arrived in West Lafayette and met with the rest of the group backstage waiting on Mike's arrival. After a brief delay, due to a snowstorm making it's way into the area, a blacked out SUV pulls up to the alleyway behind the venue and out steps Mike. From the moment my camera first appeared in his face he was nothing short of a walking advertisement, taking every opportunity possible to shout out his name, label or project he was working on. It was my first experience being around someone from show business and I already understood exactly why they coined the term "show" business. While hanging out with Mike backstage being sure to capture his every move, it was apparent he had no shame in self promotion. He was in full character, the night was about him and he didn't change his tune for a second. When the time came, Mike made his way on stage in front of a few hundred, neon wearing, molly tripping, Purdue students and put on a carefully crafted show mixing in all his old hits with tracks from his upcoming mixtape.
(Jump to 2:46 in my video to see Mike come in)
At the conclusion of the show, he left the stage and was out the door. The following day I drove back to Muncie in the midst of an awful snowstorm and surprisingly made it without ending up in a ditch. Since I was trying to stay alive on my drive home, I wasn't able to fully take in the experience until I popped the SD card into my iMac and started plugging away on my editor. I ended up piecing together a couple short promotional videos, uploaded them to youtube and shared them with my buddy back at Purdue, the work was well received and it felt great. It was the first time my work was being used to market a brand. Little did I know, in a few short years my professional life would revolve around doing exactly this.In the upcoming year, the project ended up landing me gigs with artists like Zeds Dead, Juicy J, many locals and a startup social media company (see videos below).
The work and momentum from these projects eventually led me to starting my own company focused on providing video content for artists and labels.After a few years down this path I decided it was time to switch gears and pursue a new business model focused on working with brands outside the music industry. After compiling resources, I began freelancing for manufacturing companies that year. Shortly after, the stars aligned; my brother seeing the opportunity at hand quit his desk job in corporate America and joined me in forming Lofthouse Films.I may not spend my days filming popular artists anymore, but I have grown to work with brands in many different industries throughout the Midwest and it's been an incredible ride to this point. Looking at where I stand now it's easy to point out many key moments in my adult life that have led me to where I am today but when I have to pinpoint one exclusive experience that got me started, I owe my thanks to who? Mike Jones!