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Meet Scott Hoops of Quixotic Pictures in Downtown

Today we’d like to introduce you to Scott Hoops.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Scott. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
The story of our business is the same as most I assume. You have a dream, you put in a lot of hard work, and slowly your dream becomes reality… When I was twelve years old I remember my brother taking me to the opening night of Jurassic Park. The theater had just installed surround sound specifically for the movie because little did I know, Jurassic Park was a big deal!

Looking back, the entire experience – the story and structure, the immersive sound and thematic music, the revolutionary special effects, the audience’s reaction – it all had a profound impact on me. It was then that I knew what I wanted to do with my life, but I had no idea how to get there. After all, I was in a tiny town in mid-Michigan, a long ways from Hollywood…

Not too long after that, my family opened a video rental business. Every night I was able to take home as many movies as I wanted – it was a priceless education in cinema, to say the least. Movies became so ingrained in my everyday life that when a different video rental company opened and quickly put us out of business (after all there’s only room for one in a town of a few hundred people), I went to work for them so that I could continue watching endless movies.

Fast forward a bit – after college, not wanting to take a job in my major of finance, I waited tables a few nights a week and wrote screenplays the rest of the time, hoping to break into the industry that way. It was a hard road with a few small achievements, but along the way, something else happened… The Canon 5D Mark II camera was released and began to reshape the industry – suddenly you could get a somewhat cinematic image at an affordable price.

Jenny, my fiancée at the time (now wife and business partner) encouraged me to start a video production company, and that’s how Quixotic Pictures (and later Quixotic Weddings) was born. We got married, sold almost everything we owned and drove out to San Diego to chase a dream.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Haha – no! And though it hasn’t been a smooth road, that’s okay. While the challenges can be really frustrating in the present, afterward the feeling of accomplishment coupled with the pride of being able to look back at your progress along the way, makes it all worthwhile.

To get more specific, probably our biggest and most consistent challenge along the way has been money. In the early days, there was definitely a moment when all of our credit cards were maxed out and we had fifty dollars to our name. But, we got through it, and our business started to flourish. Even now, with a healthy business that is doing well, it’s the same problem (just less dire). As we figure out how to grow our company and hire employees, as we continue to step into cinema-level quality equipment, and as we get ready to fund our first movies – money is still an obstacle. It really becomes about keeping a healthy perspective while making smart choices and using your available resources in the best way to leverage your position to get to where you want to go.

The good news is this should lessen in time. As technology gets better and more affordable year after year and new distribution channels on the internet take hold, barriers to entry will continue to slowly erode. The flipside, however, is that as more people enter the industry and the quality of work as a whole goes up due to competition, new bars are set and new challenges arise. In the future, as this continues, the name of the game will be creativity. It will be the main distinguishing factor that sets companies apart from the rest. Lucky for us, we feel that this is our strongest, yet most untapped, resource.

Please tell us about Quixotic Pictures.
When we first started our business we were known for unique and highly-edited wedding videos, and to some extent, we still are. But now, in our seventh year of business, Quixotic Pictures is entering a new phase and is transitioning to other endeavors. While I’m sure we will continue to do weddings for a number of years (after all, we love them!), our business is pivoting more toward helping companies of all sizes connect with their audience and communicate their vision in succinct and creative ways.

And, as early as next year we’re going to start making movies, finally. It’s been a long time coming and it will surely be a hard road, as most things worthwhile are. But that’s the fun of life, challenging yourself – pushing yourself to grow and evolve and become who you want to be. I’m still that same kid in awe of Jurassic Park (or Eternal Sunshine, American Beauty, Memento, Primer, Magnolia, Adaptation, etc.) and making movies is why I started this journey in the first place – it’s my passion, what drives me, what excites me – and it’s finally becoming a reality…

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