Telling Your Story with Video
Telling Your Story with Video
In this, The Faces of Business, our guest, Steven Heumann, Owner, Super Heumann Creative and Super Heumann Productions, will be sharing his experience with television video production and talking about using video to help people tell their stories about themselves and their businesses. We discuss how a different approach to video can help share the entire story of businesses and the people in them.
Steven Heumann is one of those people who exactly knows the breath-like importance of interactive storytelling. At five, being a lover of comics, he knew that he was going to be a storyteller. He further explored his passion at the University of Utah where he studied and joined the university radio. Later, he started a full-time job at a production company and worked there for fifteen years. All of the academic and professional ventures revolve around mastering storytelling techniques and enhancing creativity. Of course, his journey was nothing short of challenges. Despite failures, he stuck to one idea: telling the story with video. Now he actually enjoys it when his readers write him and appreciate his creation.
Heumann has got a special interest in geek culture. Not only is he impressed with the realistic costumes of cosplayers, but he also wants to interview them. He explains that maturity and rationality go hand in hand. In a lighter vein, he suggested that Batman must see a therapist because we can do so many good things without beating people.
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According to him, the daily grind of work with limited monetary resources makes us more creative and highly productive. Meeting deadlines and completing challenging tasks force us to go for out-of-the-box solutions.
Huemann loves to connect with people. He listens to their personal stories. He recalls his days when he was filming for The Geek Show and he directly came into contact with a bunch of natives. It was a pleasure to listen to the people and learn about their first-hand, emotional experiences. He added that the effect of personal stories becomes even bigger and wider when these stories are condensed into a video form. Besides letting people open up, it is still a tough job to ask them to perform their customary practices in front of the camera. However, this task becomes easy once you put them at ease and film them in an unnoticed manner.
He concludes the discussion by saying that one must not portray 10,000 pictures where only 100 good-looking pictures serve the purpose. Instead of an 80-minute-long video, only a 20-minute run comprising the defining moments—the crux—will do a superb job. Similarly, when it comes to writing, a single piece must leave a relatable emotional effect on the readers.
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The conversation ended with Damon thanking Steven for his time.
people, books, story, moments, called, talking, writing, producing, business, steve, critique, superhuman, batman, video, interview, ran, feel, creative, put, storytelling
Steve Heumann, Damon Pistulka
Damon Pistulka 00:01
All right, everyone, welcome once again to the faces of business. I’m your host, Damon Pistulka. And yes, I have to move the microphone in front of me. So it sounds good. Wow. I’m happy to be here back from a long holiday weekend. And I’m so happy to have Steve human here with me today from superhuman productions. Steve. Welcome.
Steve Heumann 00:23
Thank you very much, David. I’m very excited to be here.
Damon Pistulka 00:26
Yes, we’re gonna be talking about telling your story with video today, because you are the man when it comes to video. I mean, you got some experience, not only in video, you’ve got experience in writing, production. I mean, just so much stuff. It’s gonna be great to uncover this today.
Steve Heumann 00:43
Yeah, I think we’re going to talk about some storytelling stuff and just why it’s so important. And hopefully I can I can convey that sort of excitement for storytelling, because for me, it’s like, it’s almost like breathing. It’s that important.
Damon Pistulka 00:57
Yeah. That’s cool. That’s cool. Well, let’s start the start. Tell us a little bit about your background. I mean, in what really, you know, your background, what really intrigued you about film, one, video and producing videos, and also a little bit about your writing.
Steve Heumann 01:16
Alright, well, when I look back on my life, even when I was a child, I was always a storyteller. I remember getting my sister’s taped, this is in the early 80s, right? So this is like 8384. And she had her tape deck, and I would put the tape in, and I would record stories, and they would be superhero stories. And, you know, because that’s what I was interested in. And what I’m still interested in, I would literally do that as a four and five year old.
And when I, when I was a teenager, you know, I always wanted to get into some type of storytelling, whether it was writing or film. But I never felt that it was like a possibility. Like, I didn’t grow up in an entrepreneurial home. It was always very safe, you get a job, and, and whatever. So it was always like, well, I can’t do that. You can’t do that. That was what I had in my brain. So I went to college, went to university and studied and thought I would go into radio, because I had a radio show at the University of Utah, where I was studying. And I needed an internship to graduate.
So I was like, Well, I’m going to, I’m going to apply at the radio station, while I was looking up internships, and my wife actually found one of the television production company that I had never heard of. And I was like, okay, sure, why not. It’s an internship. Well, they ended up getting back to me before the radio station did. So I took that internship, and I started at a production company that produced television shows. And their flagship show was an outdoor adventure show. And I started out, you know, just an intern.
And then I got hired on freelance doing writing. And then I got hired full time. And then eventually, after a few years, I was running the show, and I ran that production company for 15 years, just producing a weekly show at least one every single week. And I ran all the teams, and it was just, it was really cool. It’s crushing, because you had so many different shows. But man, it was amazing, was an amazing opportunity that taught me everything about different storytelling techniques and about art and all kinds of stuff. I mean, it was the ultimate sort of petri dish for creativity is what I would say.
Damon Pistulka 03:20
Wow. I bet it was I bet it was. We’ll get back to that a little bit. So you’re also an author? Yeah. And tell us a little bit about that. And, I mean, because a lot of people like writing, but not very many people write books.
Steve Heumann 03:37
Let’s see, I think that everyone wants to write everyone. I think that human beings are storytellers. I think that’s one of our main aspects is that we tell stories, we love to have a good story to tell, when we got people around us, right? You, you want to be able to tell some cool story that happened to you or happened to somebody else to see that look on people’s faces. And so most people just don’t either don’t have the skill or the time, but I know tons of people who want to write books. Well, I have been a storyteller.
I always wanted to write novels. And I wanted to write novels about what I enjoyed, which was you know, science fiction, thrillers, kind of like Twilight Zone, where, you know, it’s about something, but it’s about more than what it’s about. I always gravitated toward that even as a kid. Well, after I’ve been working for this company for 15 years, my wife and I just kind of realized that it wasn’t what I wanted to do anymore. The company wasn’t going in the direction that I felt that it should go. I felt very trapped and stifled creatively. And so we decided, you know, what would be the ultimate thing if I could choose and I would say, Well, I want to do the video work that I enjoy.
And then I want to write my own stories. And so that’s what we decided to do. We took the leap and we started our we started superhuman creative we started the business and I split my time to this day between writing science fiction thriller novels and doing the video work that I enjoy and, and writing the novels has been so freeing. It hasn’t been easy, because you know, they have to be professional, they have to be added, they have to do all that stuff, it’s not like you can just pump it out and send it out into the world, it’s got to go through all the different processes in order to, you know, meet market levels and be good.
But I love that challenge. And, you know, I was secure enough in my storytelling ability that I was like, Okay, let’s just, let’s just do it, I’ll take the critiques, I’ll take the hits, we’ll revise as often as we need to. And then we’ll figure out the business side of it, because it’s a totally different business model than Yeah, that ever worked on, you know, to make money as an author. And so it just took a lot of chest dedication, and, and not giving up.
But I think that you’ll know this as a business owner and entrepreneur, you know, anybody who has been through that, you go through those times, where you just like, geez, this is the most difficult thing I’ve ever done. Why am I doing this, I should just go up, because it was easier. But I think it’s those moments when you can make it through those. And you get a couple of days past that. You’re like, Okay, I’m not freaking out now, everything’s gonna be fine. You know, the more you do that over the first few years of your business, well, then eventually you succeed. I mean, that’s, that’s all there is to it, you just don’t give up long enough to figure it out. And it works.
Damon Pistulka 06:26
I’m gonna write that down, you don’t give up long. That’s, that’s a good one.
Steve Heumann 06:31
Because I remember, I remember those. There were days in that first year and a half, two years where it was, where you just felt like crushed, like, everything you tried just failed. And then you feel like a gigantic failure. And but then you look back, at least that’s what I did is I would look back and see, okay, when we started this, we felt really good about it. And the only way that I can fail is if I now quit. And after that, when that was the funny thing, like when I first started the business, I was very much like, oh, well, if it doesn’t work, I’ll just get another job, you know, no big deal. But after like a year, you’re kind of getting like, well, I don’t want to work for anybody ever again.
Yeah, I don’t want to do that. And so then when you get that mindset, suddenly it’s okay, well, now I can’t because I don’t want to, I want to see this move and succeed. And so when it came to the books and the video, that’s, that’s just what it came down to was kind of taking those lumps, rolling with the punches, and eventually coming out the other side and going, Okay, well, I’ve got this kind of figured out, or I’ve got to figure it out enough that I can see where the river kind of shifts and moves. And that what works today might not work in six months, but I’ve kind of got my hand on the wheel enough that I can, that I can move it.
So it’s been very, very fulfilling, especially when I go to conventions and things and I’m selling books. Every time I sell a book, I get excited every time you know, I’m selling online and, and one of my box sets goes, you know, digital, and I see that it doesn’t matter. It’s like you get this thriller, like, Oh, someone likes it. And then when someone leaves a review, you feel like a million bucks. Just something that I created someone really enjoyed. And that makes me happy. So yeah, it’s been it’s been pretty cool to have that balance between those two sides of the business.
Damon Pistulka 08:15
That is, that is no doubt because I was just talking to somebody yesterday, in fact, they had written a business book. And they were telling me about their promotional schedule. They’re going to go on like an eight month promotional tour around the United States with their book signing books, they’ve got special people going to be at each book signing and there’s a whole business behind promoting your books once your whole processes and things that it’s really, really intriguing. That’s for sure.
Steve Heumann 08:48
Yeah. And it takes it takes more than a lot of people think when they decide to write their book, you know, you I was in that place where I was like, Well, I wrote a book. So that means that everyone’s gonna like it. And once you kind of understand, okay, that’s not the case. Just because I create something a doesn’t mean that it’s good.
And B, it doesn’t mean that anyone’s ever going to read it, even if it is good. And so you have to take that business mindset and go in and say, okay, if I’m going to continue writing, that means I’ve got to make money writing so that I can continue writing. And if you go into it with that mindset, then you’re probably going to be okay. But if you go into it with just like, well, I’ve gotten this book, and I’m gonna put it on Amazon and I’m gonna wait for the royalties to come in. That’s just it’s not gonna happen.
Damon Pistulka 09:31
Yeah, yeah. So when you when you talk about writing a book, what was the most difficult thing that you didn’t anticipate about writing the books?
Steve Heumann 09:45
Probably the critique. Because when you’re no matter what it is that you create, when you create it, you generally most people I mean, obviously there are people who really critique their own stuff really badly. But most of us when we create something, we feel good about it, we’re like, oh, I created it. And it’s awesome. It’s my baby. And then when you put it out there for someone else, especially someone you respect to read, and they come back, and they’re like, no, no, no, no, and it’s all marked up, you feel like you got kind of punched in the stomach a little bit at first.
And you kind of want to vomit. But because you’re like, I, I remember, I wrote my first book. And I finished the first draft the day before this big conference that was going to, and I hit the end. And I remember in my brain going, like, I know, people talk about needing a second draft, but I don’t need it.
This is perfect as it is getting the critiques back and going to throw up because I’m just like, oh my gosh, and then learning all the things that I just didn’t know, there was so many things that I had no idea about, and then spending the next year and a half going to critique groups and learning to love critiques, and learning to love when someone comes back and says, Hey, I’m not getting this part, or this was really beautiful, or seeing when your work inspires people. So I think for me, it was the critique and getting past that point where it stung to where I ate it for breakfast, and was just like, yes, give me what give me whatever the problems are, I need to know because I can’t fix them otherwise.
Damon Pistulka 11:23
Yeah, yeah. Yeah. That’s great. You have to learn to love the critiques. Yeah. Because well, because you’re too close to the information. First of all, you understand the story, because you’re in this story. But you’re trying to convey it to somebody else.
Steve Heumann 11:39
So I think that that, that critique aspect, kind of works in any type of business, you know, if you are open to critique, and you understand that, even though you create a something or you did something, and it may have been to the best of your ability, there’s always room for learning. And if you’re in a safe space, or going to space with people that you respect, and you ask for that critique, and you actually just listen to it, and say, you know, they’re not doing this to hurt me or anything, your end product is going to be so much better. Like I, I always use the example of Pixar.
You know, Pixar, obviously, they produce amazing movies, some of the best movies of the past 30 years, or Pixar movies, but they have a mantra that is fail as fast as you can. And so what that means that when they’re starting a project, and they’re working on it, they have all of their creatives in there. And they’re trying to get past the problems as fast as humanly possible so that they can produce something good. So they just they critique, and they hit like, this isn’t working. And everyone is very open. And they’re challenged. And so then their work comes out better. And obviously with Pixar, it’s proven by what it is that they produced.
Damon Pistulka 12:47
Yeah, yeah. That’s awesome. That’s awesome. Well, I got I got Joseph step. He’s listening. And Joseph is a crazy superhero fan. Now, I have to ask you for Joseph, who is your favorite superhero?
Steve Heumann 13:05
Superman. Don’t even have to think about you can see
Damon Pistulka 13:11
about that, Joseph. Joseph. What Joseph thinks about that, because I think he thought Josef’s got a little different, different. Different attitude about that. Team Batman.
Steve Heumann 13:27
Okay, well, but right here is an entire Batman shelf. So at least I represent. I love Superman and Batman. I love I love all so I have Marvel shelves and I’ve collected comics since I was nine years old. And I’ve collected you know, Superman, Batman, Spider Man X Men. Basically everything you can imagine I’ve collected and have represented in my action figure collection, because I just love that medium.
But yeah, Superman is the number one in fact, I probably shouldn’t say this as Joseph was listening, but the older I get the less I like Batman. Because the point where I’m just like, Dude, get over it, man. Just get some therapy. You have dollars you can do a lot of good with that without beating people. Kill yourself. So it’s like as a kid I’m like Batman’s cool when I was an adult. I’m like, do Batman just go to a therapist? So yeah,
Damon Pistulka 14:22
yeah, that’s funny. So he said he needs to connect with you and show you the Batcave. Oh, that’s
Steve Heumann 14:29
week off it he’s got like a Batman.
Damon Pistulka 14:34
Oh, yeah, he’s got he’s got a Batcave
Steve Heumann 14:37
he’s paid out that is awesome that I want to see it Yes, that sounds Yeah.
Damon Pistulka 14:43
So you guys will have to connect because he’s not kidding. He does have a Batcave and he will have to show you his Batman suit that he uses he had made for Halloween last year. Oh yes. Your Jeremy for
Steve Heumann 14:54
love. It’s often with them and see one of them when I worked in TV. One of the things that we would do we had a geek Show. And we worked with different geek websites and stuff. And so we would go to like New York Comic Con. And we’d be on the floor interviewing, interviewing celebrities. And one of the things every year that we would do is that I would go down, and I would interview cosplayers. And I would try and find the best costumes.
And I’ve been to conventions all over the place. But man, there’s something about New York and the quality of because I guess, in New York, it’s like, you know, geek culture isn’t as big of a big of a thing. And so they take it seriously. So their costumes were amazing. Like, you would not even believe it, the, like the batman costumes that they would have and the Iron Man’s like actual, like Iron Man suits with faces that opened up the whole shebang. So Oh, yeah, I
Damon Pistulka 15:43
love something. That’s something well, you guys will have to connect. Because I know that it’s a passion of Joseph says for sure. So the, the writing in the, the collector, pardon you. And we’re going to talk about growing up, because really you grew up in, in video production, producing television shows because you came out of college, and you’re doing that. So what I mean, it’s a lot different in a production environment like that.
And I mean, production and you got to do a show a week or think it’s a lot different than I’m going to make a documentary on, you know, the history of the world or whatever the heck it is. So what did you really learn in that, where you have that chunk, chunk a chunk, I gotta put a show out every week, that that really taught you things that help you now, for me,
Steve Heumann 16:37
I learned to love the deadline, I learned to look and say, Okay, I’ve got seven days to produce that next half hour show, and then supervise the production of, you know, potentially to other half hour shows. Yeah. And so it taught me a to love that deadline and beat understand that, that creativity, like constraints, time beat a time constraints or money constraints force you to be more creative.
And so if we looked and we had a problem, and we said, Okay, well, it doesn’t matter that the visitors problem crops up, let’s say, you know, it’s a Wednesday, and that show has to be done out by 1pm on Friday. So there’s suddenly a problem on Wednesday, well, I can’t just say, Hey, I can’t Well, it’s just broken or, or a piece, you know, we weren’t able to shoot that we had scheduled it was going to be on that weekend, on that weekend show. I couldn’t just say, Oh, we’re gonna have black in the show, there’s gonna be two minutes of black, you had to find solutions, and you had to be creative about those solutions.
And so when those things would crop up, it would just be like, Okay, well, there is no such thing as failure in this circumstance, we have to find an answer. And we have to be creative. And oftentimes, what we would come up with in those crunch times would be so much better than we had six weeks to figure it out. Somehow, the ideas would be so pure, and the execution, so just like flowing with the creativity, that sometimes those ended up being the most popular pieces that we had ever done.
And so I look at those kinds of constraints, I look at that deadlines. And I look at problems as just creative solutions. You think around it, fix it, and you move on. Because I think too many times, if you’re not in that situation, and you don’t have those constraints, things can sometimes just be less creative, and thus less good. Like I look at I’ve if you’ve ever seen the movie serenity, it’s a Joss Whedon movie based off of the television show Firefly that he did. It’s a really good movie, but I was watching the special features.
And he talked about how they had this big idea of what they were going to do with one of these vehicles that they had. And when they got in, they just didn’t have the budget. They could not create it in real life. And so they had to get very creative very fast. And what they ended up coming up with to fix that problem was so infinitely better than what they originally had in hallmark of the movie. And so I just ended up loving those constraints and realizing that they forced me to be more creative. And when I was forced to be more creative, the end result was better.
Damon Pistulka 19:14
Yeah, that’s cool. That’s cool. Joseph. Joseph agreed. He says that New York and San Diego. Yeah, the funds to go to. Yeah, well, that’s, that’s a that’s a great, it’s a great point. Because, you know, some of the best things are created out of necessity, rather than long plan thought out. Processes, that’s for sure. And the creativity, your force, the force, creativity really comes up with some unique solutions once in a while. Yeah, it does. Yeah. That’s, that’s cool. So as you as you looked at this, what were what were the shows again, that you are producing.
Steve Heumann 19:56
So our primary show is called at your leisure. It’s an outdoor adventure. Go on ABC. Everyone has seen it at least once like Ville have come across it and seen it. But it was all outdoor adventure and focus primarily on the western United States. But we would go all over and do whatever we wanted, you know, it was in the outdoors. And so that was that was very fulfilling. And we also did a public affairs show called county seat that was all about local government.
We did a couple of, of geek culture shows. We did numerous documentaries, we were always just doing different things. So it was a very creative environment was it was really fun for that. But yeah, the main show was at your leisure. And that was the one that I like to focus on more than even the geek shows, because it just, it offered so much opportunity to go out and do cool stuff that most people never get to do.
Damon Pistulka 20:47
Yeah, so let’s talk about that a little bit. Because we you and I have talked off camera about your show low. So I mean, you’ve Western US. What are your top three places where people should see in the Western
Steve Heumann 21:00
US? Oh, Western US? Geez,
Damon Pistulka 21:03
are just Utah, you just want you to do you
Steve Heumann 21:05
use law. Okay, so we’re talking, we’re talking Utah. The wedge is one. Um, it’s kind of like a mini Grand Canyon. When you arrive there. You’re at least I was when I saw the first time I was I was really surprised that it didn’t that I’d never heard of it before. Because it very much does look like the Grand Canyon. This is beautiful spot you can camp right on it. There’s a river at the bottom of it. Very beautiful, beautiful area. So that for sure would be one. whitewater rafting the Colorado River between Moab and height Marina through Cataract Canyon.
That is an experience that I cannot hype up enough. You’re going through some of the nastiest rapids in the western United States. And it is cool. Plus, you’re basically in the Grand Canyon. Because technically in the Grand Canyon doesn’t start until you get to hike, but you’re in these Canyon lands with these massive canyons all around you, as you’re going down this river. It is so cool. It’s such an amazing experience. And third, let me think for a second. But the third one would be probably the San Rafael swell. It’s kind of in the area of the wedge, the wedge is a part of it.
But the swell is basically just an uplift of Red Rock that goes on for like 50 miles. And an area of slick rock canyons and slot canyons. And just I mean, there’s Goblin Valley, if you’ve if you’ve ever heard of Goblin Valley, that is that’s a part of the swell. Just an absolutely spectacular landscape where you can go off. And if you want to ATV or if you want a jeep, or if you want to hike, you can go out and you can find places where you’re the only person within 20 miles or 50 miles. That type of experience and just camp and go and explore. You’ll find archers that you know, maybe you’re the only person in the last five years who have seen it. That
Damon Pistulka 23:10
that’s the thing that I really enjoy about the western United States one Utah, especially because there there’s not a ton of people in Utah, in in the places that you’re talking about. And it is you can go to places where there literally have not been people looking at the same stuff that you’ve looked at, for years and in turn and certain places. And then and the and it’s not that far when you’re talking about these places. What are they out of Salt Lake City,
Steve Heumann 23:41
the Senator Phil swell, like, primary access point leave here to go out of fare and it’s only about two hours from Salt
Damon Pistulka 23:47
Lake. Yeah, see, it’s like you’re not driving 12 hours to get to someplace. So that’s really something. So as your as you’re producing these videos, you’re deciding that the production company, they’re doing their production company thing, they’re going off on their road, and you decided to you’re going to be writing books and you’re going to be doing video work for people now. So what do you think really carried over into the video work that you love doing now and helping people tell their story with video.
Steve Heumann 24:19
For me, what I always loved the most was the personal stories. I loved interviewing people and talking about their stories whether it had to do with the area where we were, you know where we were adventuring. For if it had to do that if we were filming for the geek show, and it had to do with their love of comic books, or whatever it was. It was that personal story that always resonated with me. Because yes, I love movies. Obviously. I’m I love movies, and I love novels, and I love all of that stuff. But all of those are manufacturing.
You know, you create it and you try and create it as well as you can so that you create an emotional experience with people. But there’s something about a story that is real that is that person’s story and only they can until it, that always really just got to me. And helping them tell it in a beautiful way was just, it filled me up. And so when I was like, Okay, I need to leave and start my own thing. That was the part of the video that I wanted to do, I didn’t want to do, you know, just straight up commercials, and the glossy and all of that stuff.
I wanted to sit down with people and I wanted to help them tell their stories, and have me ask the right questions and get them comfortable. So that they could tell an emotional story, then put it together so that it instantly resonates with people, whether it’s a client or a customer, whoever it is. Because just like we’re talking about that first couple of years of being a business owner, and you feel like you’re a failure, and all that stuff, every business owner has been through that, like, maybe they’re 1/10 of 1%, that just everything worked out. And it was wonderful.
They’re like, the other 99.9% of us, we all went through those times where we were like, I’m closing my doors, I don’t know what to do. And we made it through. And when you tell that stories, The Good, the Bad, and The Ugly, that really touches people, because you’re telling something that’s 100% True, and you lived it. And it’s not something that’s second hand, you’re giving it to your customers, you’re giving it to the people that you know, that you want to work with, or that whatever that relationship is,
but you’re able to tell it and then have it be condensed, you know, in a video format, so that it’s told well, but it for me that just it resonates so much it hits people and they’re like, wow, you know, and, and you can have, by the end of one of those videos, someone who has no idea who that person was, and feel that emotion that they’re feeling the emotion going like, wow, I had no idea. But that’s the power of a good story is the power of good storytelling. Being able to know okay, what to cut and what to keep in and what to put together and how to bridge it.
And put together that piece that tells that story in a way that is entertaining, and emotional. And just makes people feel emotional. I love when I’m working with a client. And they get emotional, watching their own story. Because they’re realizing in that moment that their story was worth telling. And I think that’s so, so many of us have that problem, that we don’t feel that our story is worth telling, whether it’s a business story or a personal story.
And in truth, those stories are always worth telling. Because they there they represent our life, they represent our existence. And when we share those, we put them out there, it just makes the world a better place. It makes it a richer place when we share the story. So that’s why I gravitated toward that on the video side is because I loved it. And I felt that that that was more needed than another commercial, you know?
Damon Pistulka 27:57
Yeah. Oh, no doubt. I mean, because you’re, you’re you when you say that, I can’t tell you, I don’t think there’s been ever been a business owner. Or you know, we just put a parent for I don’t care that doesn’t have stories that are worth telling, you know, because you talk about business owners and there’s so many of them that as you said they may seem ultra successful today. But they can go back to a point where they were sitting there and saying I didn’t know if I was going to do it or I was two pennies away from having to say I’m done.
And they did like you said earlier they didn’t give up long enough that it turned around and they made it through but telling those stories you the power of good storytelling and then your skill to take those different pieces of video because you know, we tell these stories and while yes in the entirety they’re good as you want to turn those into a video of that really touches people there’s a lot of art in that to be able to take like you said and splice and bridge and the different things we’re talking about.
Steve Heumann 29:18
Yeah, cuz you’ve got to be able to like let’s say you interview somebody for 45 minutes and you’ve got to get a four minute piece out of that which is pretty standard. Now you’ve got you got 1/10 of you know, that’s actually gonna be seen, but it’s going through and picking the most powerful moments and putting them together and then allowing the story to tell itself by just truncating it like
I my mentor Chad Booth who is the owner of the production company he told me very early on when I was writing stories said the problem with like news like television news is that the reporters tend to always have their eye on you know, the anchors desk they’re always okay I’m this is just a waystation for me to become some You know, and so they tended to take their stories and the interviews that they were doing for those stories, and making themselves the star.
And so they would take the most important quotes for themselves. So for example, if they’re interviewing someone, and the guy said, Oh, the, the fire just started the kitchen and exploded and I ran out, well, the reporter would take that, and the kitchen exploded.
And then it goes to the guy and I ran out, you know, they take the most important part. Yeah, the key to a good story is allowing the subject to have those powerful moments. And then if you’re able to see what those moments are, as we’re going through the video and put those together, well, then you have a really powerful video, that then just makes a the subject look like a really good storyteller. Yeah, it then condenses that and tells a story that just has all of those really exciting moments. Yeah,
Damon Pistulka 30:51
I bet. So as you’re doing this, what are some of the things that that you just really love about being able to do it?
Steve Heumann 31:01
I love sitting down with someone and just going through the interview. And because most of the time, people are somewhat trepidations about being on camera in any way, shape, you know, it is uncomfortable, you feel very naked, because you’re just there you’re on, people can really stare at you and see.
And so people get uncomfortable. So I love sitting down, and helping them get comfortable just through the first few questions and smiling and until they start getting comfortable and realizing that cameras over here. They’re not looking at the camera, they understand, okay, this is a conversation and the cameras to voyeur who’s watching us. And then they start to just loosen up. And then I know what kind of questions to ask. And I listened very intently to what they’re saying. So they can follow up. And when you do that, people just start to, to really share.
And when you get to that moment of sharing, it becomes a very just intimate experience. Because they’re sharing things that sometimes no one on earth knows other than them. And they’re sharing it with me, as I’m sitting across from them. And it’s, it’s really, really cool. Like, about 12 years ago, I decided to do a family documentary just to my family, I come from a large family, we grew up in Southern California. And so I wanted to do this, I had the idea one day, so I interviewed all my siblings and my parents and, and sitting with my dad, you know, you know, your dad, you talk to him, you do all that stuff. But I’m sitting with him just asking these questions.
And just as I would with any other subject, yeah. And I was able to learn things about my dad and about his relationship with his parents that I had never heard that my mom didn’t even know about, that he was opening up and sharing with me in that moment on camera, about where everyone is just like, you know, when we were watching it, once it was done, my family’s like, I had no idea. Like, that’s, and then so that’s just such a wonderful moment when you’re in that interview. And people are opening up and sharing things that they’ve kept locked away, and maybe never would have shared if they hadn’t been in that situation.
Damon Pistulka 33:11
Well, yeah, I mean, some of this stuff is like when you’re doing it with business people. I mean, they don’t I mean, they don’t want to tell their spouse that you know that it’s really this close. They don’t want them to worry, they you know, they there’s just so much that just stays internal. And in the same thing is with your father, I’m sure there was a lot of things that he may have even forgotten about. Yeah, that that hadn’t that didn’t come up until you were asking those questions. And I bet that was but that was really something for your family to be able to experience all that and share that.
Steve Heumann 33:48
Yeah, it was really special. I’m very proud of how it turned out. And it just gave me sort of an excuse to chronicle all of that stuff. And think about my grandparents like my, my grandmother when she was in the second grade, running up on the roof and seeing the Wright Brothers fly by, you know, because she grew up in in the south and, and my grandfather being going into the Navy at the age of 16, because he had run away from home and working on a battleship and was strong enough that he could he could load the big rounds, he could fold one and throw it into the barrel and just do that one after the other.
You know, you hear those sorts of stories where you’re just like, oh my gosh, and they become a part of you because so like my grandpa, my grandpa and I loved him. But now I have those stories that would have died with him that now I have and can be shared. And yeah, so it was really special to be able to go through that.
Damon Pistulka 34:50
You know, you really bring up something because and maybe it’s just because I’m old enough to realize this. But I mean I can remember Are faintly when we got the first television. And that’s not I mean, we lived in the country, we didn’t live in the city. So it was a little different. But, you know, today, with video everywhere, everything, everything’s on video, it’s a completely different situation that it was 50 years ago. Because and two, do you think that because video is so prevalent now and so easy to do that we’re actually capturing more of those things? Or do you think because it’s so common, we still are missing them?
Steve Heumann 35:39
I think we’re still I think it’s a mixture of the two. Because there’s so much it, it tends to sometimes lose its value. It’s like, when we would film stuff for the television show, you know, you’d have a guy who would put a GoPro on top of his helmet and go ride a motorcycle. And you come back and say I filmed the whole thing. And my thought was always like, you’re never ever, ever, ever, ever going to watch that. Because it’s super boring.
It there’s no emotionality to it. And so much of our life becomes that, it just becomes, well, there’s all this noise, there’s all this video that we’ve taken, or photos or whatever, that we never go back. It’s taking all of that stuff, and putting it into something that’s digestible, that you’re gonna go back to again, and again, and again, like with my family documentary, you know, it ended up being an hour and 20 minutes long. So it was long, it was a long documentary. But that’s something that once every five years, someone will be like, Hey, we should watch that, and you pop it in, and there’s encapsulated in that hour and 20 minutes, you know, 60 years of history.
Yeah. And it’s just, you know, the highlights. But that’s one thing that when we get so much volume of video, it tends to lose its meaning, unless we take the things that are really important, and put them together. And then we have something that we can look back on. It’s like having 10,000 photos, you’re not going to look through 10,000 photos. But if you take 100 of those best photos, and you put them into a photo album, you’re going to revisit those. And those photos will then have power and represent more than those other 10,000 photos.
Damon Pistulka 37:18
That’s a great point, it’s a great way to think about it, I believe, too, because it is putting all this into a digestible format that’s impactful. And what you’re helping people do is, is take this, put it into that to really make the emotion and feeling come through.
Steve Heumann 37:40
Yeah, like think of it as a punch, right? If you punch, the force of your punch gets spread all the way through your fist. But imagine if you could focus that just in one little point right here. Well, if you could do that, you would be able to shatter brick with just your punch. And that’s kind of what you’re looking at when it comes to video. If you’re focusing it and putting it in that capsule it will have will be like a bullet that’ll just blow through everything.
Damon Pistulka 38:06
Yeah, yeah. So what’s been one of the most fun projects you’ve done recently that you can talk about, if you can,
Steve Heumann 38:13
um, who I worked on a couple of months ago with a franchise owner that Chick fil A franchisor, the owner of a couple of Chick Fil A’s. And it was a very simple project that we worked on. He wanted to do a couple of videos. But he was one of the ones that really, that really felt impacted by his own story. And it was interesting because he talked about how he had now he you know, he’s an owner of a fast food restaurant. He talked about how he, when he was a teenager, when he first got the job. He thought he was too good for fast food.
It wasn’t what he wanted. And the only reason he took the job was because he was so intimidated by the guy who was taking his interview. That when he said, Okay, can you start Monday? He just said yes. And that’s how he got the job. And that was really, really interesting just to see where he had come from, and how it that one decision had set him on a path kind of like mine, where if I had heard back from the radio station before I hear back from the television station, who knows where I would be because I would have taken it. Yeah.
It’s those little moments. And when you find out about those moments in people’s lives, and you think, wow, what would their life have looked like if they had made that one different choice. And his was so cool, because he had that one moment that had basically defined the rest of his life. And if he had said no, then he would have been completely different. We never would have met. And so that was stuck with me because of that because it was just one of those things. That was a defining moment and he was able to share that. And it made me think in that moment and then I used that as the crux of his of his video and people loved it.
Damon Pistulka 40:04
Yeah. Yeah, that is cool. Because there are those. There are those defining moments. There are those in everyone’s life I really lives I believe in. And when you can share those that that is really cool. Especially like that when it was. It was a almost a chance meeting. Yeah, that that had happened. Yeah. Cool. Very cool. Well, Steven, or Steve, I say, Stephen once in a while, because you use that in your
Steve Heumann 40:34
mom’s listening, you want to go with Steven, but I don’t
Damon Pistulka 40:36
think okay, you Okay, so, what’s, what’s coming up? I mean, you’re, you’re obviously a writer, do you have some more books in the works? You got some books that are out? What do you got going on there?
Steve Heumann 40:48
I do. So I just put out a new book. But I’m working on some publishing deals, so you can only get it through paperback through me, you can’t get it digitally, or anything like that. It’s called Dream foragers. I’m very, very proud of it, I feel that it’s one of probably the most impactful story that I’ve ever written about shared consciousness. And what happens if you know something in a dream state, and people are willing to kill you in the real world in order to get it.
So it’s, it’s very thrilling. It’s consciousness. And I’m very, very pleased with it. So that one you can purchase on paperback through my website at Steven human.com. That’s my author website. And I’m working on the sequel I’ve got, I have three books in that series. So I’m working on the sequel now. And I’m just very excited. And then I can’t What I tried to do is when I’m into a new series, I always try and have whatever my next thing is, so that it can kind of percolate.
And so when I finished the first dream, foragers, I kind of sat down and spent a day going over ideas. And so I’ve got another series after this one that I’ll start. That’s called postmodern prehistory. And it’ll have to do with, so it’ll be a lot of fun. It’s gonna be very fun series. But it’ll deal with time travel, but just in a little bit different, more humorous way. I’m not a big fan of time travel. I think it’s a cheat oftentimes. And so I’ll be coming from that perspective. And it’ll be very, very fun. But yeah, so that’s kind of what the future holds in that regard. That’s
Damon Pistulka 42:23
cool. That’s cool. Because I you know, you’ve I mean, because you’re Gavin Baker series. You’ve got three books in that series. Yeah.
Steve Heumann 42:31
Gavin baller, yeah,
Damon Pistulka 42:33
or Gavin ball, or, excuse me, I couldn’t read my own writing here. But that sounds like a very interesting series to greatest actor busy, biggest disappointment. What was its biggest?
Steve Heumann 42:44
Yeah, he’s the greatest actor in Hollywood. And as awesome as he thinks he is, he discovers he’s, in fact, the biggest disappointment in the universe. And it’s a great galactic adventure. Gavin’s a fun character, the third book in that series I’m incredibly proud of, because for me, if you’re gonna do a trilogy, you know, basically, you’re telling a beginning, middle and end in each works. And then each of those books represents the beginning, the middle and the end. And so the third book is always the most important, or in a case of a movie, the third movies always the most important one.
And I’m very, very proud of that book, because I wanted it to, to get you to a point where it twisted things a little bit. And you realize you may not have been paying attention to the right details throughout the first two books. Oh, man. And so when you get to that point, like I had my editor I have, I’ve had readers that were just like, dude, when that happened, I taught I sat back, I was like, Oh, my gosh, I haven’t been paying attention to the right thing. And it all made sense at that moment, which is what I wanted, I wanted it to be like, oh, you know, I didn’t see the trick until it was too late. And now what’s gonna happen?
So, yeah, I absolutely love that series. And then I have a few stand alones at paper heroes, which is my first that’s a standalone transfused is a standalone, both of those are our sci fi thrillers. And then I have a compilation of my own novellas, and short stories and retooled, which is all dark sci fi retellings of lesser known fairy tales. And so the great thing about owning my own business and owning my author business and publishing everything, myself is that I can concentrate on writing what I want. And then the fans arrive, you know, it’s not like, oh, well, this is what’s popular.
So I have to write this. I can say, you know, this is what I want to write, and this is what I’m excited about. And the people will join me. Yeah, that’s been really fun. And I have a couple of novellas that are about, you know, quarter size novels. You can read them in about four, four hours, but one of them is a vitally heartwarming Christmas carol called and the other and that’s a dark comedy. And then the other one is called station zero Hamlet, which is about war on a space station. So I wanted to be very claustrophobic and yeah, so I just kind of get an idea and run with it. And it’s fun.
Damon Pistulka 45:12
That’s awesome. That’s awesome. Well, I could see that creative side of you has to surely help. I mean, I just, I just, I feel it from you. And I’ve seen some of your finished videos. And they’re really something that how you do really, as you said, you, you know how to take that story and condense it down into the impactful moments and really bridge it together into a heartfelt message.
Steve Heumann 45:38
Being a novelist, they feed into each other. Yes, because one I can just I’m making the world up, basically, you know, it’s, it doesn’t exist, and then it does. And then I’m taking something that does exist. But I’m, I’m using the same principles that I would use for my novels when it comes to Okay, well, I got to worry about pacing. And I’ve got to worry about, you know, if you don’t want anybody to get bored, I’ve got to worry about what the highs and the lows are. And then picking the music so that the music allows follows those highs and lows.
So that because when what you want when someone either was reading a book or watching a video is you want them to leave with an emotion, you want them to have felt something that’s why it was created. And so I want them to feel the emotion that needs to be felt from that piece. If you want them to leave feeling like a million bucks after that piece, well, then that’s what its purpose is. That’s what you do. If you want them to feel sad, or whatever the emotion is, you want them to leave with that and just be like, oh, you know, and if you do that, and you’ve succeeded, you’ve done exactly what you set out to do. And you had an emotional impact on another person. Yeah,
Damon Pistulka 46:45
that’s awesome. I think you summed it up? Well, there, Steve, it, it is really about the difference in you. And the videos that I’ve seen that you produce, is really that emotional reaction that you create with those people that watch the video of finished work. So thanks so much for being here today. I appreciate you stopping by and sharing your collection. You’re talking about writing and the video production. And just sharing your story with us today.
Steve Heumann 47:13
Well, thank you, David, this has been an absolute pleasure. You know, this sort of stuff, talking about it, and helping other people to kind of understand the importance of storytelling. And then as a storyteller, you know, if I would, you know, talk to people and say, You are a storyteller and don’t run away from it. Just because you might think that your story isn’t we’re telling it definitely is. And whether you write it down or you record it or whatever. Take the time to tell those stories, because if we don’t tell them once we’re gone, well, that story goes with us, and no one else is going to be able to tell it. So remember, your story is important. Yeah.
Damon Pistulka 47:57
Steve, that’s an awesome way to lay this out. You don’t have to say that was wonderful. Thank you so much. So we had Steve human here today he was talking about a lot of things but telling your story with video is the topic we were covering. How can people get a hold of you Steve, they want to talk to you.
Steve Heumann 48:15
Best way you can go to my website, superhuman creative.com with the spelt like my last name so human is HEU M A N superhuman creative.com Or a Steven human.com. That’s my author website. Or you can just call me my number is 801-953-6334. Feel free to give me a call. Send me an email at superhuman, again, spelled like my last name superhuman 01 at gmail.com. If you forget the 01, it’s fine.
My wife is superhuman, she got the email before I do. So either it will get to me, but superhuman 01 at gmail.com. We can do a zoom meeting we can talk and just kind of see what it is you want to do what emotion you want your video to kind of portray, and what’s going to be best for your business or for your family. Whatever it is that you know the story you want to tell?
Damon Pistulka 49:16
Yeah, yeah, that’s, that’s awesome. And we had John Pulido in here. And he said he loved the conversation of Josias laughing. He’s gone. But Steve, Steve human here with us today talking about telling your stories video. Thanks, everyone, for joining us today. Thanks, Steve, for being here. We’ll be back again next week. Thanks, everyone. Bye, Steve.
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