Creative Up-And-Comers: Youvolution Productions

I’ve decided to take a shot at introducing a new section to this blog that focuses on up-and-coming entrepreneurs that I know, have worked with, or otherwise met. These people have all gone the extra mile when it comes to investing in something they believe in, whether that involves time, money, or a little bit of both. Anyone I decide to include in this section has shown me through their work and continuous effort that they have something worthwhile, and I can’t think of anything better than supporting them through some free exposure. So, let’s get started with our first interviewee.

Back in early February, I decided to reach out to a young entrepreneur named Ben Gibson. Starting in 2013, with virtually no funds to speak of and a burning desire to help those that shared creative aspirations similar to his own, he began working on making his ideas into a reality. Little did he know, his transitional voyage from a small, rural West Texas town, to one of the most creative urban centers in the state; Austin, TX would put him on a path to create his brainchild Youvolution Productions.

After moving across the state and going through a brief stint at The Art Institute of Austin, Ben began to realize that there was a shortage of affordable options when it came to renting film equipment, software programs, or even workspaces in the Austin area. This predicament made it very difficult for anyone that didn’t have deep pockets to break into the industry and potentially stopped many creators before they could even get started.

Through this uncertain and undoubtedly stressful time, Ben built a foundation for an affordable production company that catered to those that had limited incomes but big dreams. Not only that, he allowed himself to become personally involved in every project that came his way.

Seeing an opportunity that many people were not addressing, Ben came up with an idea and started investing in it. Feeling that his calling was elsewhere, he decided to leave The Art Institute and began gathering funds for the acquisition of a bus to use as a workspace to accommodate co-workers and customers and to purchase a multitude of cameras, lighting fixtures, software programs, computers, and audio equipment to rent out to creators.

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Through this uncertain and undoubtedly stressful time, Ben built a foundation for an affordable production company that catered to those that had limited incomes but big dreams. Not only that, he allowed himself to become personally involved in every project that came his way.

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He jumped headfirst into whatever work his company was involved in, and that is arguably his most endearing quality. His ability to be someone who not only allows those with an idea to flourish but to also be the person who will be right by their side saying “I believe in you” is invaluable. So, without further ado, I’d like to allow Ben to introduce himself and his company.


So, tell us, what is Youvolution?

Youvolution is a filmmaker space. Our mission is to inspire people to pursue their passion and provide a space with the resources they need to chase the dream.

What demographic is YV geared towards?
 
Right now we serve filmmakers of all kinds: creative directors, documentary filmmakers, and freelance filmmakers who use our platform to make a living. We are the best spot in Austin for a starting filmmaker to have access to the equipment and people they need to get started.

What makes YV unique compared to other businesses?

Well besides being SUPER accessible with our price point and parameters on access (24/7), the space that we hold for filmmakers to collaborate on projects and get to know other filmmakers who are on the same journey they are on does not exist outside of our little space. It’s a place where ideas are appreciated. It’s ok to fail here, get back up, and try again.

“Filmmakers started showing up, and I noticed a common thread– 1. They all needed access to the expensive gear to be able to create and 2. They all wanted and needed like minded people around them to pursue their passion. All of this started taking place in my apartment living room and it finally clicked. We finally had something that could really impact people’s lives.”

 

How has YV changed from the time it was conceived, to now?

I started this big idea with a product line. It’s called the YOUpak and was designed with the hopes I would find a way to inspire people. That was a huge fail. Then from there, we started dabbling in film production more and more. Filmmakers started showing up, and I noticed a common thread– 1. They all needed access to the expensive gear to be able to create and 2. They all wanted and needed like minded people around them to pursue their passion. All of this started taking place in my apartment living room and it finally clicked. We finally had something that could really impact people’s lives.

“I wanted to help dreamers. People who see the world differently. People like myself.”

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YOUpak promotional table

What is your vision for the future of YV?

My dream is for this brand go on and on and on! But, in the next 5 years, I hope to build this brand to include affordable living space (Our land project under way named Novo), a bigger workspace to hold more members and provide more tools and resources, and I really can’t wait to start providing for musicians and visual artists by then.

What inspired you to create YV?

I grew up in good ole West Texas. This was the biggest factor in why I started this idea. 1. I did not have people who understood me and my dreams of doing something outside of working in the oil field. It seems like anything creative in West Texas is stifled by the current culture there. 2. I wanted to help dreamers. People who see the world differently. People like myself.

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That’s a noble cause. What inspires you, in general?

I get a regular dose of inspiration here at our space. I get to see first hand where these filmmakers are in their journey, help them, be a part of their projects, and be there for them when shit get hard! Seeing their growth and progress motivates me more than anything else I have ever done.

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It seems that you really invest in those that you work with. Aside from your desire to create, what else makes you tick? What keeps you moving forward?

Current norms in our society make me tick. I don’t enjoy seeing individuals having to feel like they have to give up on their dreams because of financial pressures.

Do you have any quotes that keep you inspired?

My favorite quote comes from JFK: ‘The problems of the world cannot possibly be solved by skeptics or cynics, whose horizons are limited by the obvious realities. We need men who can dream of things that never were, and ask why not.

“My favorite quote comes from JFK: ‘The problems of the world cannot possibly be solved by skeptics or cynics, whose horizons are limited by the obvious realities. We need men who can dream of things that never were, and ask why not.”

 

Who are your heroes, your mentors?

My all time favorite hero is Walt Disney. I’ve studied his life and his journey more than anyone else in film history. I’m fascinated by his dream of the original EPCOT idea and how he died just a few years before being able to realize something that would have yet again changed the world.

If there is one thing you hope people remember about you, what would that be?

I just hope that when I die people can say: “Ya know, that guy really changed my life.”

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At this time, what do you look forward to?

Looking ahead 20 or 30 years I really hope to have built an organization that is helping thousands of people. I just want to walk into my office and have people come in and out, living out their dreams, and telling me all about them!

What are your major goals for 2017?

I have too many. My top ones are to see our land project (Novo), the Yv space, and our new Un.Incubator program running seamlessly together.

Any future projects you would like to share?

We just kicked off our new Un.Incubator program! It is designed to aid creatives and impact entrepreneurs through the process of: 1. Developing their idea 2. Building and creating their brand 3. Build and test business models to reach financial independence doing the work they love and making an impact in the world doing it.

Anything else you would like to add?

If there is anything I have learned about what we are doing as an organization, it is that we are building a new culture. A culture for people to flourish and do what they have been put here to do. That is the seed of our impact. Now it’s just time to grow it!


There you go, if you’re looking for a place that not only caters to those that have a limited budget but also creates a positive working environment. You can’t do any better than Youvolution Productions.

Ben has not only invested time in supporting those that share his creative desires, he has turned his workplace into a family. There is no vein of work that is considered more important than another and it shows in the time he devotes to each member. More importantly, Ben is nowhere near finished. His partnership with fellow entrepreneur Liz Deering and the recent opening of Project Novo can attest to that. So give them a call, shoot them an email, or just stop by their office. You won’t regret it.

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