Self-Employment Program Helps Videographer Shoot for the Stars

Mike Babott doesn’t believe in sticking a lens in anyone’s face. Whether filming a local health care facility or a metal and wood fabricator, Mike uses his video camera in a non-obtrusive way to capture the essence of what makes an organization or business tick. 

The Armstrong-based videographer and owner of Rhythm Productions says the trick to a good promotional video is for “people to fall in love with your brand even before they reach out to you.”

“It helps when the person behind the camera makes the client feel comfortable.

That’s why I don’t point my video cameras directly into my clients’ faces. I want the moment to accentuate their personality in the most natural way possible,” says Mike. “It’s about telling a story, showing who the person is and what they’re about, being likable, and getting them to trust you. It’s the same thing that applies to sales.”

Full Exposure

Mike worked in industrial sales before starting his own video production business. He sold air compressors as well as pneumatic and hydraulic equipment to the oil sand, potash and mining industries in Western Canada. Then based in Calgary, he and his wife moved to the North Okanagan two years ago when she was offered a job at a health care facility in Vernon.

“When she asked if I’d be interested in moving, I jumped at the opportunity,” says Mike.

After relocating and settling in Armstrong, Mike says he wanted to do something different with his career.

“My passion had started to wane in industrial sales so when we got to the North Okanagan, I decided to give another business a try,” says Mike. “My wife had attended a trade showcase, and she heard about programs offered by WorkBC Vernon, so I thought I’d go pay them a visit.”

With a business idea in mind, Mike entered the WorkBC Self-Employment program in July, 2018. The program helps participants learn how to develop and implement a business plan and gain self-employment skills through a variety of workshops.

“What piqued my interest was the training they give you to do up a full business plan,” says Mike. “The course is unique in that they tackle a different area of starting up a business every week. It was always engaging and relevant to what I wanted to do, and the facilitators and guest presenters always had interesting and informative presentations. They spoke about everything from bookkeeping to social media.”

Depth of Field

What started as a real estate photography business morphed into video production after one of Mike’s fellow Self-Employment program participants asked if he would shoot a video for him.

“I had an authentic moment shooting that first video. I set up my video cameras remotely on the side of the room, and we ended up having a conversation,” says Mike, adding he’s always been interested in video.

“I had a camcorder when I was young and I was also interested in music. I used to shoot videos for the bands I was in,” he recalls.

Since starting Rhythm Productions in Sept. 2018, Babbot has been busy producing videos for several brands around the North Okanagan. Some of his clients include Farmstrong Cider Company, Mountain Goat Metal Works, Armstrong Farmers’ Market, The Hamlets at Vernon, Riverfront Pub and Grill, and the Armstrong Spallumcheen Chamber of Commerce.

“My goal is to highlight small businesses and unearth these hidden gems by bringing them to the world stage,” he explains.

More recently, Mike passed the requirements from Transport Canada to operate a drone and has been filming aerial work to be used for 3D mapping by a real estate developer. He has also become a member of the Armstrong Spallumcheen Chamber of Commerce, and recently won the Rising Star Award at the chamber’s 2019 Business Excellence Awards.

“I became a member when I started my business. Their support has been significant, and has been a great way to network with other businesses,” says Mike, who also continues to receive ongoing support from WorkBC.

 “There is always support when you want it. You can call or email with your questions. I still attend workshops and sessions where I can talk with fellow business owners about the challenges they face. I literally would not be here if it was for the WorkBC Self-Employment program. I encourage anyone thinking about planning a business or who are even in the pre-planning stage that they reach out to them.”

If you have a business idea, the determination to make it a reality, and you meet the eligibility requirements, see how WorkBC’s Self-Employment program can help. Contact the WorkBC Centre in Vernon at 250-545-2215 ext. 233 or visit workbccentre-vernon.ca for more information.