Meet Michael Bruce Thompson
What’s better than a serial entrepreneur whose got a serious knack for creativity and music endeavors? A firefighting, business owning, video-creating, tattoo wielding wizard named Michael Bruce Thompson, that’s who.
Michael moved to Prescott from Southern California at the age of 15 thinking that he wanted to be a doctor without borders, bringing medical services to third-world countries who didn’t have access to health care. Though he did find a way to continue helping people, something tugged him in a different direction.
At the tender age of 20, Michael worked for the renowned lifestyle brand, Volcom. His role was in marketing, but he had a very special task – and that was to build Volcom’s record label. During his 6 years working with Volcom, Michael signed popular bands like Pepper and CKY. But this was just the beginning of a very diverse, exciting resume.
After moving back to Prescott, Michael began diversifying his work experience in multiple industries. He has worked with cellular giants like AT&T and Sprint, focusing on marketing, customer service, sales, and even helped build out Prescott’s network for cellular reception back in 2005. He’s worked for local TV shows. He’s part of a growing podcast called, “Old Bones & Tales of Tattoos” on iTunes. He’s even helped with the wildland firefighters to keep communities alerted about fire dangers. And it gets even better.
His passion for supporting firefighters runs deep. Michael has sat on the board of the Wildland Firefighter Foundation in Boise, ID to help families of injured and deceased firefighters. The W.F.F. help do things like: arrange flights, funerals, and raise money for families of fallen or injured firefighters. As if that’s not enough, Michael is certified in stress management and psychological first aid for firefighters. His role is to counsel and talk to firefighters who have experienced traumatic circumstances.
We did say Michael has quite the eclectic background, did we not? Yeah, he’s also an entrepreneur! About 10 years ago, Michael and his wife stumbled across a business opportunity that was hard to pass up. They bought a property management company, helping people invest in real estate to use their property as income. Today? They now manage a whopping half billion dollars in assets.
So why on earth does he work for Craf2m?
“I like being busy, and I have to be creative,” he says. “My goal is to grow Craf2M into the ‘go-to’ marketing agency for the United States. I want to land a big account for CRAF2M, help people achieve ROI on marketing dollars, and exceed those goals,” he continues. Aww, thanks Michael.
Michael’s creative spirit, undying work ethic, and commitment to his community, friends, and family has made him an invaluable asset to the Craf2M team. We’re not entirely sure how he does it all. Community champion, business owner, marketing guru, dad of two, National Park explorer, and goat dad of two. (When asked what the purpose of his goats were, and if he planned on eating them, he responded, horrified, “No! They’re great landscaping pets. They’re part of the family.”)
Well, we’re glad to have you anyway, Michael.
Meet Cavan Barry
The name’s Barry. Cavan Barry. Artiste, punk music snob, and Craf2M’s graphic design extraordinaire.
Starting his career in the world of architecture, Cavan realized he had a plethora of creativity that wasn’t being used to its fullest potential. His craving for a creative outlet paired with his raw talents were the makings to spark a change in careers.
“Ever since I was a teenager, I’d sketch out company logos. I loved typography, and it still carries over to this day,” Cavan reminisces. That’s when he enrolled into Yavapai College for Graphic Design. After obtaining his degree, he began to freelance, and as fate would have it, found out about an opportunity to join the (super awesome) Craf2M team.
When we asked him what keeps him going in this creative field, he admits that he’s got a soft spot for startup companies. The branding for any company is crucial, but it’s especially important for startups – and he loves being a part of a company from the get-go. It’s a pivotal moment in a business’s life.
Staying this creative and fueling the passion for the arts doesn’t take a whole lot for Cavan. He’s a huge music buff, and on any given weekend, you might find him headbangin’ in a mosh pit of a punk rock concert. And if you’re thinking about giving that extra concert ticket to him, you’re outta luck. He prefers to fly solo. Why? “I like to do my own thing. I find that I enjoy the show way more when I’m able to run around, and sing my heart out without worrying what anyone thinks,” he gushes. This sparks the question – what does Mr. Barry look like at a punk concert? We may never know.
While you may not be able to mosh with him, he’s always up for karaoke. He loves being around big groups of people and going to events, and even hosting parties where he’s the head chef. “I’m terrible at portion control, but when I have a party, I have more people to eat my what would be leftovers! It’s a win-win,” Cavan laughs.
Though he might seem like a social butterfly, he’s a bit of an introvert. (Yeah, we’re still talking about the same guy who’s the Gatsby of the ball.) He enjoys his alone time with his 15 pound Bengal cat, Tyrion, kicking back with some pizza, while watching Game of Thrones or New Girl.
When we asked him about his goals, he took a second to think about it. “That’s tough,” he says. “I’d like to live in Oregon. I love the rainy weather. It’s so relaxing, smells clean, and looks fresh. Then, I’d like to just get lost in Europe for a month or two. Paris, Scandinavia – somewhere around that part of Europe.” he decides.
Vouloir, c’est pouvoir, Cavan.
Meet Steve Hollingsworth
Badass drummer. Photography genius. Creative videographer. Proud cat dad of three. These are only the few things that make our very own Media Production Associate, Steve Hollingsworth, well, Steve.
Originally from Las Vegas, Steve grew up in Prescott, AZ. Upon his early high school years, Steve was a skateboarder and rock ‘n’ roll creative at heart. His love for entertainment drew him into video production. When we asked him what, specifically, sparked his passion, he hesitates for a second before responding with “Remember that show Jackass?” Come on, Johnny Knoxville and his band of daring clowns were everyone’s role model at the age of 13.
The rest you could say, was history. “From there on, I always had my camera on me. My friends and I were really into making stupid short films,” Steve continued.
His work ethic is probably most impressive on his list of characteristics. After taking a video production course at the age of 15, the local television station offered up an internship to the entire class. Everyone initially jumped at the opportunity, including Steve. However, the enthusiasm faded quickly when the station announced it was going to be an unpaid position. Steve was the only one to accept the internship. “I didn’t care I was working for free. I knew I’d be able to use the equipment, learn how to use the equipment, and get the hands-on experience I needed. I mean, to be around what I love all the time was enough for me.” Steve recalled. Little did he know, his career in broadcast was about to begin.
He worked in television broadcasting for 5 years before being presented an opportunity to work as a content creator for a helicopter company. Yeah, his job was literally to hang out of helicopters in some of the most beautiful places and film. But the coolest part might not be his actual employment – it’s how he got there.
Around the time DSLR video was introduced to the main population, Steve bought his first digital film camera and began shooting music videos and getting more creative behind the camera. He shot a music video for his heavy metal band, Storm of Perception, that began to generate a buzz, and eventually attracted the big-time helicopter company to court him for video production and photography.
Now, Craf2M has him to create some killer content for our digital partners. *Cue evil laugh* His love and passion for cinematic videography and creative lighting lends a unique perspective for our client’s digital content needs. We can attest to this. When you work with Steve, you can practically feel the passion behind his work. It’s fun and you know that 100% of the time, you will get 100% of his talents.
So what’s next for Big Time Steve? He loves traveling with his fiance. They’ve explored places like Japan and Indonesia, and he hopes to continue adding to his list of experiences. “It’s the culture I love. Learning about how other people live, and being a part of it is really cool,” he says. But he hasn’t totally thrown his rock-dreams to the wayside, either. Eventually, he admits, he wants to tour with his band internationally.
Rock on, Steve.
Have you ever heard the phrase, “Your business is only as good as your team”? Maybe not, because we just made it up. Sure, we churn out some pretty awesome work (no bias here, whatsoever!) but what makes the biggest impact for Craf2m, is the relationship we have with our clients. Our team members are the center of that. Not only are they super talented and passionate, but they treat every client’s business as if it were their own – and that level of dedication is a rare quality to find. Every month, we’re going to spotlight something unique about one of our Craf2m team members. This month, we’re highlighting our Account Director / Super Cool Digital Guru, Chalease Linderman. No literally, she’s cool.
Chalease hails all the way from the snowy abyss of Alaska. Living in igloos most of her life, she’s new to the deserts of Arizona. For anyone who thinks Alaskans really live in igloos, they don’t, she assures. She defies the rugged, beard-wearin’, bear shooting, clam-diggin’, igloo-livin’ stereotype we’ve come to expect from the Alaskan reality shows. She loves fashion, is heavily involved with hip hop music, is a mom of two spunky girls, loves traveling to new places, and actually despises clams and fishing. Here’s a shot from her more recent excursion to Mexico!
Above all, she cares a lot about people.Before moving to Arizona, she helped volunteer for homeless and at-risk youth organizations, and spearheaded several fund development initiatives for Alaskan nonprofits. That same passion for helping people carried over with her to Arizona. The first two years of living in Prescott, she helped pull together the strategies of the now rapidly-growing teen center, The Launch Pad, as Marketing Chair. She’s worked with Yavapai Food Bank, Yavapai Humane Society, Prescott Creeks, and facilitated workshops for Women’s Empowerment Breakthrough. She truly cares about her community and the people living in it. “For me, I love making every day better for other people. From marketing projects, to buying someone a coffee behind me, to massive volunteer projects – I love it. I’ve learned that all the details count – no matter how big or small the gesture is. This same principle carries over to my work,” she says.
The level of drive and digital marketing expertise she has makes her an invaluable asset to Craf2m and our clients. She’s so much fun to work with, has a creative mind that always offers a unique perspective on every project, and is always transparent and honest. We’re excited to have her on board, and look forward to you all meeting her so you can experience what we get to everyday!
Bears, beards, and brewskis. This is what manhood is all about. Sprinkle in a dash of patriotism, rock ‘n’ roll music, and bro-tastic haircuts – now what do you have? John Hancock Barbershop.
We work with some pretty awesome clients, and we’re shining a spotlight on them to acknowledge the great work they’re doing in our community. Building a successful business means putting your customer first, and we’re proud to highlight John Hancock Barbershop this month.
In 2014, military veteran Grant Quezada moved back to Prescott, only to find there was no place that catered specifically to a man’s grooming experience. Sure, you could find a place that offered a decent cut, but it didn’t feel like anything special. It was that moment he made the decision to pioneer a masculine haven for Prescott’s men.
Quezada crafted a space designed to emulate a classic ‘man-cave’ experience unlike anything else. The result? A slam-dunk with all who enter. One look at their raving Facebook Reviews, and you’ll see they don’t just have happy customers – they’ve acquired a cult-like following in a short amount of time.
So what has created this type of loyalty? Grant chalks it up to John Hancock’s “Consistency and ability for customers to just come in and be themselves. Our quality of service, authenticity, and immersive experience has created a loyalty that’s rare.” One glance at their shop’s interior, and you totally get it. The barbershop exudes the classic masculine character. You’re surrounded by wood and metal textiles, there’s a shuffleboard and darts upstairs, televisions plastered on the wall, and cold beer awaiting guests. This is every man’s dream. In fact, a woman once entered into the barbershop with her husband and declared that she “felt like she was walking into sacred ground,” Grant reminisced.
Starting a business like John Hancock Barbershop can be a daunting task. A new concept in a specific market, with a unique brand personality, and starting from ground zero – it’s scary. “If you’re going to do something, go big or go home,” Grant advises. “Work hard, strive to provide better products or services than anyone competing against you, focus on your customers, and above all: pay attention to the details – they matter.” Boy, does his shop embrace this philosophy. His commitment to his customers supersedes anything else. He doesn’t just sell haircuts, he sells the experience. The environment and the culture he’s created, and the passion he puts into everything is what makes the difference for John Hancock Barbershop.
There are a lot of things that can take business owners away from their true passion, but for Grant, he’s more passionate now than ever before. “My favorite thing is connecting with and learning from the interesting men in my seat. These guys are business owners, government officials, community champions, and everyone in between. Being able to learn from them is incredible,” he says. “It’s also cool that our barbershop chair creates a way for these guys to network and collaborate in the future,” It’s these types of interactions that push him to pursue bigger endeavors. Like their upcoming expansion into a 9,000 square foot building in downtown Prescott by the end of this year. “There will be a full bar, barbershop, secret speakeasy, and even gun shop,” Grant gushes. “The goal is to make it the ultimate cornucopia for men.” Are you stoked yet?
Leave your professionalism at the door, gents. Sneak out of your dress-up tea parties with your daughters. Break away from the perils of everyday life. It’s time for some much-deserved ‘you’ time at the shop. Go and grab your favorite brewski, hang out for a bit, and enjoy being treated like the king you are. You can book your next appointment online – so skip the lengthy waits and soak up all the awesomeness that is John Hancock Barbershop.
This video was produced for our local High School as the centerpiece on a bid they entered to host the Arizona Association of Student Councils at the State Convention. Prescott High School entered the bid against 2 other schools and won!
To win this bid, we had to show more than just the beautiful scenery of Prescott, AZ. We had to show how much fun, diverse and spirited our community is, and through the eyes of our high school kids.
We worked on this concept with Alexa Rosdahl, head of the Prescott High School Student Council, and probably had way more fun shooting the scenes than all the students involved in the production :)
Client: Prescott High School
Producer/Writer: Craf2m and Alexa Rosdahl
Cinematography: Craf2m, Bruce Dorn, Alan Davis
Y Tire Sales is a tire and auto repair shop with multiple locations in the US. They’re proud of their history and wanted to produce a corporate brand video focused not on their products and services, but their story.
You’ve hear that “people buy your story, not your products.” This is a great execution that demonstrates that, to effectively connect with your audience, you shouldn’t focus too much on the features of your products and services, but rather on your story and the emotional benefits and solutions you offer to your customer’s problems.
This production was shot in two steps: first the interview, then a collection of b-roll footage captured around one of their facilities in Los Angeles, CA. In post, we first built the overall story by pulling the most compelling bits of information from the interview. Then we populated the timeline with masterfully captured b-roll clips to enhance the storytelling. Watch the resulting brand video:
Client: Y Tire Sales
Producer/Writer: Bruce Dorn
Cinematography: Bruce Dorn
Cinematographers Bruce Dorn and Alan Davis spent some quality time shadowing US Forest Service Hotshots this past summer “fighting fire with fire.” Readily upon their return we got busy putting together this video montage to tell their story.
This project was shot in 4k, so the challenge was not only choosing the best clips among hours of great footage, but figuring out the complex post-production workflow necessary to handle the images.
The resulting video montage gives us a glimpse on what goes on during a prescribed burn, with impressive details provided by the stunning 4k imagery captured by the cinematographers.
Client: Bruce Dorn
Producer/Writer: Bruce Dorn
Cinematography: Bruce Dorn and Alan Davis
We got a text message from our good friends at Captain Crossfit on Thursday asking if we could come to their 4th Annual 19 Hotshots Memorial Event that weekend and “just do what you can to capture some footage.”And of course we said yes!
Our goal was not to “just capture some footage” and cover the event, but also capture the essence of their brand, the “blood and tears” and hard work that their members put into their workout. And especially in this case, they paid homage and supported the families of the fallen 19 Hotshots who died in the 2013 Yarnell Hill Fire.
Want to build a strong brand? Support a cause that aligns with your core values and show your customers what your business is all about. Want to engage and build stronger relationships with your customers? Share your stories – especially through video!
Client: Captain Crossfit
Cinematography: Craf2m and Big Picture Video