S3E13: Mike Compton, Three Chairs Productions (#42 BONUS EPISODE)

Storytelling with Video Producer Mike Compton

Mike Compton, co-founder of the video production company Three Chairs Productions, tells stories professionally and personally. His journey starts in the Mitten State.

Before co-founding Three Chairs Productions with his partner George, Mike was a communications/media production graduate from Michigan State University – a fellow Michigander! As a senior at MSU Mike was able to get his first producing experience with Red Bull Energy Drink, producing their “Lawn Shorts” student film festival. He produced the festival and along with 5 other students, winning the chance to produce a film within the festival. For Mike, that was “all she wrote.” He knew what his calling was.

Mike left his Michigan home base in 2001 to start a multimedia career in Tampa, Florida. Now he and George help Tampa-based businesses, marketing agencies and others, transform their business communications through creative video storytelling.

“I failed a test, turned around to the next guy and said ‘Dang that’s hard,’ and [he] walked me to my next internship… It’s all about timing and meeting the right people. I produced a film festival for Red Bull.“ - Mike Compton on getting started

Storytelling: It can be on of many hats you wear

When I asked Mike if he considers himself a storyteller, I could tell he slightly bristled at it - not negatively, but he paused and chuckled. He called storytelling “the sexy part” of what he does. But he wears many hats.

This tells me that many of us can consider ourselves a teller of stories - both personally and professionally - even when we wear many other hats. Storytellers can work in just about any area of a business, because story is what connects us. And relationships are vital in the world.

“You could call me a storyteller, but I’m more of a facilitator, or project manager, or an entrepreneur at heart. Storytelling happens to be the medium I’m selling.” - Mike Compton on the many hats a storyteller wears

What goes into video storytelling

Using video to tell a great story is much more than simply grabbing a camera and shooting some footage. For those that don’t know, the preparation that goes into a video story before the shoot is called pre-production. This can include everything from storyboarding to researching website availability.

Mike says pre-production is vital in creating a great video story. He works with a team to get it done, but even if you’re a solo storyteller, prep work is vital.

“To tell the right story to the right audience, there is always pre-production. The research can dive as deep as you want, but at least check and see what the competitors are doing. Check and see if the URL is taken.“ -Mike Compton on preparing for a video story

Connect with Mike and Three Chairs Productions:

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