Welcome to Establishing Shots, an interview series that turns a spotlight toward the diverse talent that comprises MNTN’s Creator Collective, emphasizing the personality and artistry behind some of our top video content creators. Today, we’re talking with RC Walker, founder and co-owner of La Storia Productions and LSP Film Rental.
Can you tell us a little bit about your creative career and how you got started?
I was born and raised in Aspen, Colorado. After graduating from CU Boulder with a degree in Finance (of all things), I decided to play “hookie” and spent a few years living in various places before making my way to France. The place I was working at in the Alps had an old camcorder and my roommates and I started making short films. I had always been inspired by films, but this moment of creativity behind the lens ignited a deep love of cinematography for me and changed the trajectory of my life.
Fast forward, my business partner, Geoff and I opened our production company in Charlotte, NC. Thankfully, our love and passion for storytelling, along with lots of hard work, introduced us to some incredible people (who we still consider some of our closest friends), and they helped us tremendously. But perhaps the best of these introductions was that Geoff and I each met our wives on film sets (and still get to work alongside them today).
As the business grew, we found ourselves traveling all over the country for work and loving it. I am someone who is deeply inspired by the geography around me and I could feel something stirring inside me again. By 2016, the Colorado siren call was too hard for me to ignore, so we decided to trade in our terrain and moved shop to Boulder, CO.
After being in Boulder for a few years, a space became available and allowed us the opportunity to build out a production studio and film equipment rental shop, LSP Film Rentals. Owning a studio had always been a dream of my wife’s. With a rental studio, it’s been awesome to see how other creatives in our community are using it for their projects and clients, but for the La Storia team, the studio has created a fun space for us to experiment, fail, try out new ideas, and offer more unique photo and video campaigns to our clients.
Looking back, I’m deeply grateful for the path this career choice has led me down. It’s enabled me to meet and work alongside my beautiful, incredible wife (who has tirelessly helped us build and grow La Storia over the years), and it’s brought some truly amazing people into my life that have become life-long friends.
What does your creative process look like? Does it differ from project to project?
Our creative process is always evolving. In some projects, we take from creative concepting all the way through final delivery, while others, we hop right into the middle. We like to work collaboratively with our clients, as they know their brand more than anyone but also try to push them when we think it’s in their best interest creatively. Our clients are also incredibly different. We’ll go from filming for an outdoor brand and camping in Moab for a week to a clean, polished studio shoot for a food client the very next day, so we’re always adapting to the creative needs of a project and the best execution strategy.
Can you tell us more about a project you’ve worked on recently?
I enjoy problem solving, especially when it comes to MacGyvering a setup. We had a fun project recently where we were filming colorful powder explosions in slow motion. We could have done it all with CG but it was important to the authenticity of the brand that it be practical. So we got a high-speed camera and rigged up an elaborate setup of tubes connected to an air compressor, and then let the colors fly. The densities of the different colors led to very different results, so there was a lot of trial and error to figure out what looked best on camera.
What advice would you give to a younger creative who wants to follow a similar path as you?
This industry is incredibly rewarding but also just as equally difficult. When everything comes together on a project, it’s a feeling that is so gratifying it’s almost inexplicable. But with most creatives in this field, this kind of passion for the craft also comes with a crippling degree of self-doubt and insecurity. The best advice I can give is to become a master of self before you become a master of the craft. It has taken me a good ten years to look deeply inward and address the insecurities that come from putting your heart out there publicly in the creative process and to learn how to separate what others think of my work, from how I value myself. I love what I do and I’m grateful for it, but the more balanced I am outside of work, the greater the craft.
Is there anything else you would like to share about yourself, your experience, or your inspiration?
I have become a huge fan of testing ideas and, more importantly, failing. If every creative idea was brilliant, there wouldn’t be much enjoyment, the fun is in the growth process.
What do you look for in new projects and potential clients?
One of the core things that we look for with new business is a collaborative mentality. We don’t like to work for our clients, we like to work with them as partners and I think that creates a more grounded model for creativity and best results. With the clients and projects we work on, we take on a sense of ownership, their successes are ours and so we want to pour our hearts into creating really great creative work.
Where do you find your inspiration?
A little bit of everywhere. I try to balance things out between time outside, podcasts, reading, watching videos, and, of course, some mindless scrolling.
Outside of being a video creator, do you have any other passions or hobbies that inform who you are and what you create?
I’m a husband and dad first, so that informs a lot of who I am and who I want to be. I spend a lot of time enjoying the fruits of the Colorado outdoors and playing outside. I also love woodworking and building things with my hands.