I started out as “interesting”. My parent’s motto was “Give a child an interesting name (or spelling, in my case), and they will grow into an interesting person.” When the ink dried on my birth certificate, I was Stepheny. My spell check just underlined my name in red. I believe it to be phonetically incorrect, and I can’t find this spelling in even the most “new age” baby name book. This “ENY” proclaimed my inherent need to stand out. This was also the reason that I named my production company “Black Sheep”.
Back to my family. I come from a long line of entrepreneurs and artists. One of my earliest memories is sitting in my Mother’s sunflower garden, pulling carpet and paint swatches off of my Dad’s interior design color boards to “help” . I was moved up from Kindergarten to first grade when we were asked our favorite color on the first day of class, and I replied “Magenta.” Being surrounded by color, texture and the jaw-dropping beauty of the Tucson desert has greatly influenced me. To this day, my Mother (who happens to be one of the top realtors in Tucson for the past 30+years) will call me to “Take the kids and go look at the sunset tonight!”. I guess I was pre-programmed to appreciate aesthetics, and mix them with great business sense.
After graduating from the University of Arizona with a BFA in Media Arts, I set out to conquer the film industry in L.A. I worked on some independent films, but struggled to make a living. I was too young, everyone had a script in their hand, and knew “someone”. I knew no one, and came back to Tucson to go to law school. I then met the love of my life, my gorgeous Englishman, my Alex. He said “You’d be a terrible lawyer (gotta love that brutal honesty!), why don’t you start your own video production company?” So I did. I was only 24, but I knew I could do it. Tucson was ripe for a production company that wasn’t CHEESY. Hence, Black Sheep Video Productions was born. My goal was a boutique company that would create high end films for corporations and individuals. I kept it small in order to maintain the best customer service possible. I contract only 25 events a year, and about the same for my commercial productions. For me, the beauty is in the details. Whether it’s a full blown glossy web commercial, or an intimate wedding for close family and friends, I will be there. I will know you when you call. Black sheep filmworks is a successful company because of this. My being a perfectionist and a bit of a control freak also helps to maintain the quality.
My amazing, intelligent, funny, beautiful (I could go on all day…) children Alexa and Aidan also inspire me daily. From finding the perfect font for the science project, to cut-throat karaoke roulette contests, they bring something new to the table every day. I have always run my studio from my home, so that I could be near them. You will often find me at 5:00 am at my Mac, editing, coffee and my Aussie cattle dog Tucker by my side. You may also find me here at 2:00 am, editing, alone. But I have the privilege of taking them to school, going to their games, just being there when they need me.
Black sheep video recently became Black Sheep Filmworks. I have fought the stigma of the obnoxious videographer from day one. You know… an obtrusive individual with a gigantic camcorder sporting blinding lights? That is NOT Black Sheep Filmworks. My narrative, image quality and style has always been evocative of Hollywood films. Therefore earlier this year I ditched the video and the bad juju that went with it. Filmworks is what I strive for–modern, innovative documentaries of the best moments life has to offer. That is what I love about my job. Being there for people on their best days. Capturing it all in a low-key style, and producing films that remind all of us that life is good. Even if your parents misspelled your name on purpose.
Thanks for reading about me and Black Sheep Filmworks, and remember…Stand out from the flock!