We had the good fortune of connecting with Ben Fout and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ben, as a parent, what do you feel is the most meaningful thing you’ve done for them?
I am now a soon-to-be dad so I’m working on my jokes. Side note; please send your best parent joke to instagram @trucemedia_. I hope the ideals and purpose of what I do today will impact our little one as much as the larger Film and TV community, and I have a lot of confidence it will.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
The thought process for starting Truce Media Collective was simple. Something needed to change within the Film and TV production world. Crews are paid scapes as the owner of that content takes home the bacon. We needed to create a member owned Film & Television Digital Media Studio and disrupt the “traditional studio system”, buckle down with good people and make awesome content. Truce.Media is starting small, but we have big dreams. Simply put, we help people achieve their vision. It takes hard work and sometimes a lot of sacrifice to create something valuable. But if we’re not doing that, what are we doing? I always say; you can be a little scared of big work, but you can’t be big scared of a little work. In the grand scheme of things, we aren’t big scared of impacting the Colorado film community in a big way.
Business people say this all the time; you’ve got to quit what you’re doing now in order to do what you really want in the future. It’s risky to stop doing something that works for you and puts food on the table. But if you’re never uncomfortable, how will you learn to overcome anything in life? In Colorado we have a lot of film and video community, but we’re all siloed and independent. If we can just come together and help one another, we can collaborate in a huge way. I know it feels risky to put all your eggs in one basket, but in a way that’s what we’ve all been doing. Until now. We spent a whole year building out our studio, an it was risky literally putting all my time and money into this idea, but this relatively small risk has payed off in a huge way. I’m now creating original content like it’s my job, oh wait, it is!
For me, success is doing what you believe in, the best way you know how. We believe in a few things here at Truce. Doing things the right way the first time impacts our community in a positive way. Member based ownership in infrastructure and content creates crews not just invested in our business, but also aligned with our mission. In turn this should create a sustainable future in Colorado for creatives. Fair-Trade Filmmaking is a lofty idea, but when we land even close, I feel that is success. Oh yeah, and a lot of hard work goes a long way!
I was taught that giving up is never an option. In fact I believe that nothing is impossible until you give up. It may seem cheesy but creating original content has always been what I do and how I want to spend my time. It’s not the easiest thing to do but it’s the most rewarding thing for me. I keep going no matter what, I always seem to find the energy and focus I need when things get tough. I often hear comments about my energy, stamina or “work ethic”. I call it doing what I love. And if you’re doing that, you can certainly work consecutive seventeen-hour hard manual-labor days no problem. Thinking about it now, I actually probably learned that from my parents, some of the hardest working people I know.
From day one I knew I didn’t want to be just a businessperson. I was taught it was never about the money and I was supported to do something that I actually wanted to do. My parents and my mentors through both my pre-and-college learning really pushed me in that same direction so there was never a backup plan and there was never another direction to go. For me and everyone around me, it’s always been about figuring out how to create.
I’ve been thinking a lot about work life balance lately and the balance for me is not between work and life, but business and passion. As creatives we’re always so passionate about what we do for business, we can get caught up in that. If I separate my passion from my business, even though they are intertwined so tightly sometimes, I feel like I can operate on both a creative and business path simultaneously, but very separately. The business of creating original content can be tricky, but Truce is figuring this process out very quickly and things are starting to balance out.
Helping people is what makes me the happiest. So, doing my work with Truce.Media helps people at so many levels. The crews, the young filmmaker community, the creative economy and our content audiences. I was raised to always be helpful and I guess that’s why it makes me so happy.
Success is not about the things you have or the things you think you want. It’s about what you really need. The things that may not be “things” at all. The experiences, the friends and the achievements that make you feel whole. The trick is to keep going, to never give up and to work hard enough to attain that.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
For me it’s all about music. If you got good music you’ve got a great time. And live music is starting to come back. If you can’t make it up to red rocks you gotta get some of the best small venues in Denver and if you can keep it local that’s all the better. Check out the oriental theater on 44th and Tennyson. SoFar Sounds does secret shows so plan ahead but check out some great local and traveling artist at a SoFar Show. The least you can do is listen to indie 102.3 to catch some locals rocking the airwaves. Santa fe neighborhood is where we started our Truce.Media Studio and although the pandemic got in the way it’s a great spot to grab a coffee and window shop some great art! Colorado is all about getting out and into the wild. Get on a hike or even go camping if you can. Check out Rocky Mountain Camper Vans and rent a sweet VW or sprinter and get out there!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Kim and Rick AKA the Fouts are my incredible parents and they’ve literally taught me everything I know. My mom helps people, mostly teaching kids through school, and then mentors them through their lives. My dad builds things, mostly complex custom staircases and beams, and is the most hard working person I know. They’ve been my biggest influences, mentors and overall heroes in my life. Almost everything I do is because of how they raised me and how they taught me to move through any situation with good ideals and a focus on doing what I love.
Other: Studio: 8th and Wyandot
@chrisbouke, @willsull, @foutography