We had the good fortune of connecting with Chad Weber and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Chad, what matters most to you?

Authenticity.

I think about it both in the documentary films I make and how I interact with others in the industry.

People are drawn to stories with authenticity. Mostly – because so much of our media consumption is formulaic, scripted, and predictable. People are hungry for the realness. Give me the realness.
Not every story has to fit inside a neat box or have a satisfying comfortable ending. Life is messy and unorganized. Storytelling needs some of that too.

People have a BS detector and can tell when they’re being force-fed narratives, steered down expected paths. I like being surprised when watching a documentary…or conflicted about how I feel about a main character. Maybe I was solely rooting for them…now it’s more complicated.

When forming relationships in the film industry – I think it pays off in the long term to be real with people. Be honest about your abilities, your skills, and your experience. If you work hard, are kind, ask questions, and are honest — I think it’s more likely to pay off in the long term and get you more jobs down the line.

The opposite of this method could be the “fake it til you make it” principle. You might get more gigs in the short term. But, for example, I’m not going to hire you again if you’re a good talker…but don’t back it up. I’d rather have someone straightforward about their experience that is willing to learn and work hard. Trust is a big factor.

Finding solid people for your crew isn’t always an easy journey. But once you find them…they’re getting the call every time.

 

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?

The business is mostly about relationships. Forming solid relationships with clients, agencies, and individuals. And keeping those relationships. Never taking them for granted. Working hard and being honest with people.
I try to bring something to the table each project I work on.

I think finding the relationships in the first place — is the hardest part.
It’s not based on talent. There are many people more talented than me that are less successful/busy…and vice versa.
Unfortunately – it probably comes down to luck, privilege, connections, and right-place-right-time.
All you can do is work hard…try to put yourself out there, and take advantage of every opportunity you get.

For me – I’ve been fortunate to be in financial situations that weren’t dire. So if I’m not busy with paid work…I’m creating. I’m making stuff. I’m volunteering to make stuff. And that’s resulted in getting noticed. (and a side result of honing my craft). Getting noticed by agencies and production companies. Then once you have your foot in the door…just try your best.
The relationship is started and goes from there…

Lessons learned…
Not every relationship will work out and that’s OK. I’ve stopped working with agencies and partners because of differences in values or unsustainable work schedules. And sometimes it opens up new opportunities.
The bad things…the hard things…are some of the biggest learning moments. It’s just hard to swallow in the moment because tangibly they usually mean a loss of money.

Don’t learn too much from me I’d say…I’m still learning and wouldn’t pretend to have it figured out.
That’s OK. Gives me something to work on.

But overall – bring your flavor, your secret sauce to the table every time. Never take the opportunity for granted. In the freelance world…there are no guarantees.


If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?

I think I’ve become a cheerleader for Longmont. It’s a great place to live. Spectacular views of mountains. Relaxed and spread out. Salt of the earth people. Country landscape. Awesome breweries. Great live music (or close to it in Fort Collins/Boulder). A bit of a small town vibe at times. I can walk around downtown and often run into several people I know. Friendly. Chill. With that crisp Colorado air.

A couple cool places I’ve been to lately…VisionQuest brewery in Boulder was great.

Louisville has some cool breweries. Crystal Springs were very friendly.

The Fort Collins Music Experiment was really fun. Two days in Fort Collins. Dozens of venues. Hundreds of local bands.
Shoutout to Black Moon Howl and People in General…two new favorite local groups I saw there.

Wibby brewing in Longmont has got the best beer garden in the area. Cool concerts too. Lyrics and Lagers.
Lefthand brewing…always a win.

Just go small.
Go to some small shops. Meet the business owners.
Go to smaller local music shows.
Eat at locally owned restaurants.

It’s not just a “shop local” hashtag. I find the experiences more impactful and richer. I meet more people and get a better sense of place and community.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?

I always thank my parents first and foremost for giving me the opportunities in life. To raise me in a loving household. To give me opportunities to pursue my education and career. And to support and encourage my creative pursuits.

I’ve enjoyed books about Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Stoicism, and Meditation.

Peak Mind by Amishi P Jha
Meditations by Marcus Aurelius
The Feeling Good Handbook by David Burns


Website: filmfreerange.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/chad_j_weber/ https://www.instagram.com/freerange_films/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/chad-weber/

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCs0OUJtHot60OtqAsnqpuEQ

Other: cwebervideo.com

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutColorado is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.