Mass FX Media is a small business that delivers big creativity in the area of video production. Shawna Schultz and her husband, Matt, met in high school, drawn together by their interest in producing videos. After they both completed their Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees in film production at the University of Colorado, they got jobs making documentaries for Group Publishing for almost three years. When faced with the opportunity to go on a four-month documentary project around the world called Unreasonable at Sea, they decided to take the leap into business ownership and started Mass FX Media. After they returned home, they found themselves without much in the bank and only a few projects in the pipeline.
The Schultzes were ready to find full-time jobs to give them some stability with their careers when they decided to consult the Small Business Development Center to learn more about running their company. They had their craft down, but had no idea what a P&L statement was, let alone how to run a business. The one-on-one SBDC counseling started at the beginning with tracking mileage and bookkeeping to the details of taxes and finances. Once in, Shawna was hooked, and she started taking classes on the basics of Quickbooks, opening an office, and hiring. Schultz felt as though learning the ropes from a business professional created a helpful experience with a human touch. She now feels confident about conducting business within all the legal constraints. She said, “The experience of working with the SBDC saved us. We were ready to throw in the towel on our business.”
The Schultzes have now been running Mass FX Media for 12 years, and they focus on creating motion design and visual effects projects for large brands like Keysight, Meta, Deloitte and Lyft. And, the other half of their work is focused on title design and animation packages for feature documentaries and non-fiction series for Netflix, Apple TV+, Disney+ and Hulu. Their work has premiered at Sundance and Toronto Film Festivals.
Today they run a full-service video production company with 12 employees and look forward to their new office buildout that will feature a screening room complete with a full sound finishing and color suite to add to their offerings.
Shawna Schultz said, “The best feature of this business is the variety of projects we complete, the people we interview, and the causes we get to be a part of. The biggest challenge comes down to the fact that we’re in a very subjective business, and getting it ‘right’ for a client can be a hard thing to pin down.” She loves her work as an artist and admits, “I can’t imagine doing anything else, and having our business allows us to do what we love with people we love for a living. You can’t beat that.”