IAM650- Video Producer Captures Narratives of Life Stories

Podcast Interview with Alexis Doty

Alexis has been in the video production industry for over 28 years which in this marketplace is a huge success. She started out in corporate television at Home Depot and Coca-Cola and now owns her own production company in Northern Virginia. She prides herself on her jack-of-all-trades ability to direct/produce/shoot and edit all of her videos when necessary. Her passion project is Memory Lane Productions which is dedicated to her father who passed in 2019 from Alzheimer's Disease. With that branch of her business, she aims to record loved one's life stories/journeys and capture a narrative of their life to pass down to friends, family, and future generations.

  • CEO Hack: Positive mindset and collaboration
  • CEO Nugget: Find someone to collaborate with
  • CEO Defined: One who has passion for her own craft, setting her own rules


Twitter: @F22Video


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Intro 0:02

Do you want to learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales, and grow your business from successful entrepreneurs, startups, and CEOs without listening to a long, long, long interview? If so, you've come to the right place. Gresham Harkless values your time and is ready to share with you precisely the information you're in search of. This is the I AM CEO Podcast.

Gresham Harkless 0:29

Hello. Hello. Hello, this is Gresh from the I AM CEO podcast, and have a very special guest on the show today. I have Alexis Doty of f22Video Solutions. Alexis, it's awesome to have you on the show.

Alexis Doty 0:39

It's great to be on your show. I'm excited.

Gresham Harkless 0:40

Me too. Super excited to have you on and what I wanted to do was just read a little bit more about Alexis so you can hear about all the awesome things that she's doing. Alexis has been in the video production industry for over 28 years, which in this marketplace is a huge success. She started out in corporate television at Home Depot and Coca-Cola and now owns her own production company in Northern Virginia. She prides herself on her jack-of-all-trades ability to direct produce, shoot, and edit all of her videos when necessary. Her passion project is Memory Lane Productions where which is dedicated to her father who passed and 2019 from Alzheimer's disease. With that branch of her business, she aims to record loved ones' life stories and journeys and capture a narrative of their life to pass down to friends, family, and future generations. Alexis, are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO community?

[restrict paid=”true”]

Alexis Doty 0:41

I am ready.

Gresham Harkless 0:43

Awesome. Let's do it. So to kick everything off, I want to hear a little bit more about your your passion project, what led you to get started in your business, and your CEO story as I like to call it.

Alexis Doty 1:38

Yeah, um, gosh, like, like I said, I've been doing video my entire adult life while actually into childhood. My grandfather was a radio-television lawyer, and he wanted to meet you need to do more broadcast media, but that just wasn't right. My personality type was type A. So I was really intrigued by the TV part of it, and then just went the different route of corporate. Um, so a little bit of my backstory, I went to Atlanta because all of the major corporations that had corporate television units were all down there. So there were about eight to 10 of them down there. I did the like little when I was in college and did the little pin pinprick test of where is the best place for me to go. So that was gonna go I learned a lot love corporate television down there. I was down there for 12 years. And my husband actually joined the military. So we had a long-distance relationship while he was serving his country. So that was that was a that's a different, that's a different talk for different days. And then we moved back up here to when we had kids to the Washington, DC, general area.

And I was permanently at somewhere. Well, name names, but I had been there for seven years, almost every day as a permanent means a permanent freelancer. And they decided to save some money. So they said your is not going to cut in half. So the next day I started my company, my LLC, because I just said, Gosh, you know, that's just totally unjustified. And I do the same work that everybody else does. And now I'm making half of what I made before. And it was from then on, it wasn't even like a short time. So it was kind of the new role. And so I said, I can't leave now because I've given you seven years, every day and every weekend. So little by little I got some clients. So that was basically my becoming a CEO. And then from then on, I was a business owner of an LLC, and it wasn't a freelancer anymore. So that was my trajectory. And at that point, I had been in the business for 22 years. So f 22 is a play on words, I've been in the company or business 22, And at that, f stop on a camera, everything is in perfect focus so I can play on your needs and desires and what you need to get across to your clients and for your videos.

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Gresham Harkless 4:00

Nice. I love that. Obviously, I'm sorry to hear you know about the being I guess it's not laid off you say permanence. Your permanence, as I hadn't heard that word before, but I've been laid off before. And it's definitely a frustrating time, especially if you do feel like you're doing great work. And maybe it's not necessarily because of things that you've done, why you were getting laid off. So I love that and even more so I love the name of your company. Because I think so many times people might see one of the awesome videos that you created that you edited that you do and think that she just woke up yesterday he started to work on those skills, but in reality, you're reminded every single day that this is a lot of work and time that you put in and to be that perfect focus and the hippos that perfect target you're been able to do that because of the work that you've put in.

Alexis Doty 4:43

Yeah, yeah, I mean, it was actually I started off with a different name and that's that's a different topic in terms of learning about trademarks and that whole road. I came up with a brilliant name and literally got my EIN got a bank account and I was Just about looking into trademarks, and they had just trademarked like two weeks before was established. So then I had to kind of tangent My name doing business as so. So that's another one of those, like, rough roads when you own a business.

Gresham Harkless 5:15

Yeah, exactly. There's a, there are a million things that you have to know about. I mean, you keep an eye out. So it's so much to kind of take into account but I know, obviously, you know, the thing that I always say is, if you don't know everything, at least have somebody you can turn to. And I know, video is your jam. And that's the thing that you do. So could you take us through exactly what you do to kind of help support and work with the clients?

Alexis Doty 5:36

Well, gosh, I have, I mean, basically, I am a video person, but I'm like a, like an all-in-one video person, I just, I'm not just a producer. I know a lot of production companies that I'm bringing you in, and the person that you talk to is really only kind of just the marketing person or just the face of their marketing. But, I do it all, I love it all. And I do it all, I helped write the videos, I produce and direct and shoot them myself, I own all my own equipment, my cameras, I have nine of them. And I do videos and DVDs and social media and, you know, for graduations for ballets, I mean, my client list is just extensive. But I just love doing whatever I can for videos in terms of training, education, how-tos funnel videos, and then like I said, I've done DVDs, those are going through by the wayside now, but whatever it is, in terms of video content, and obviously as the markets gone differently now it's much more, you know, small, short social media videos that are way and not this way. So I've had to tangent along the way and make sure that I'm giving my clients what they need.

Gresham Harkless 6:49

Absolutely, yeah, it makes so much sense. I can think because of technology. Sometimes people think technology is its own industry, but really, because of technology, every single industry. And I think I was listening to something the other day where I think someone said the computer in the refrigerator is more advanced than the very first computers just because of all the things that they have in place. So it's literally disrupting every single industry making changes.

Alexis Doty 7:09

Yeah, yeah, yeah. And then just a small little aside with my memory lane productions. I mean, that really kind of came to be, I started doing my grandparents' videos back in 1991 when I literally just got out of college kind of timeframe. And it was a great idea. And everyone was like, Oh my gosh, you should you know, so jump on this bandwagon. And I just couldn't figure out how to market it. I tried it again, in 2011. When I found my dad, before he had serious Alzheimer's and dementia, and supported him again, I thought this would be a great idea, but just couldn't figure out how to market it. I didn't have the connections and the context and the entrepreneur, breadth, and depth to get the message out. So now it's 2020. And I really think that I have all the missing pieces that I didn't have before so and then now I have a little bit more passion because my dad has passed and now I can really be kind of dedicated in honor of him. So, really trying to get the word out in 2020 and lay the foundations to really blossom and bloom that passion project of mine.

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Gresham Harkless 8:18

Yeah, and I'm sorry to hear you know about your father, and I appreciate you for and I'm sure he does as well to appreciate you for, you know, dedicating the work that you're doing for that. And so Memory Lane Productions is a lot more around people being able to kind of tell their stories so that it can be passed down from generation to generation. That's correct.

Alexis Doty 8:36

Yeah. I mean, it's more of a narrative, you know, me and them talking about, you know, there's, there's a couple of set questions just because those are kind of, you know, my baseline, but then he's catered directly to the person and their, you know, their life trajectory. So everybody's different. So, the questions meander to them, specifically to them. And, you know, the ones that I've done so far, and people are just so moved and touched going, you know, I really didn't think that my life was, you know, all that, like, amazing, well, that somebody would want a video and I'm going everybody's is amazing. So this is one of those like, you can really make somebody make somebody's day because they just go, Wow, you took the time to really get to know me more. So really just kind of somebody who's like, I hadn't really gone down memory lane that extensively and it was kind of a fun experience to do. So.

Gresham Harkless 9:25

Yeah, I can definitely see that. And I feel like everybody wants to be appreciated or feel like they're, you know, I guess of worth May, maybe a stronger way to even say it, but I think that their lives mattered. Yeah, exactly, exactly. That's a better even better way to say it. And I think that when you have that opportunity to tell your story, talk about what you do, and talk about those pivotal points in history. And that gets passed on from generation to generation and really cements that fact that you know, all those stories matter. And we're all kind of special in our unique way. So yeah, I wanted to ask you now for what I call your secret sauce. You might have already touched on this, but this is for your son and for your business, but what do you feel kind of sets you apart and makes you unique?

Alexis Doty 10:03

My secret sauce or that I can say that is different of me versus, you know, what you're going to Google for everybody else's, is I'm a female in a very male-centered business videography, production companies, and all that stuff are really are very, very, very valid male, heavy, I've often been in, well, almost all of my crews, I'm the only female on the crew. So um, so not only can I give that female perspective, I'm also a mom. So I have that, like, I want you to look good, I'm a good listener, I can make sure that you know, I have that compassion for the people in front of the camera, I've also jumped in front of the camera. So I have that perspective that I can offer. I know what it's like to be thinking, oh my gosh, it's a deer in the headlights look. But I've been at a company where we literally taught professors how to talk in front of the camera.

So I know the coaching that's involved with helping people get over that hump of being on camera for the first time because often we're entrepreneurs, solopreneurs, and where we're the face of the brand. So being a female and having that compassion and that. That sense of I just want you to look good and be good and feel confident and have the smiles and just really knock it out of the park. And I just don't know if men necessarily have that element or component really about when they're out in my video shoot. So I really think that that's one of my edges over competitors. So and I really am as a female, I'm a lot more into relationships, and it's check, it's not just a video, it's not just a one and done. I want to be on a journey with them, and grow and be part of their process and then growing. So we grow together. So it's not just hey, let me shoot a video. Let me finish it and adios. So I really am a strong believer and building relationships with my clients.

Gresham Harkless 12:04

Yeah, so I appreciate you for sharing that. So I wanted to switch gears a little bit. And I wanted to ask you for what I call a CEO hack. So that could be like an apple book or habit that you have. But what's something that makes you more effective and efficient?

Alexis Doty 12:16

Well, I was thinking about that, too. And that one was one of the harder questions I came across that you had. I've been to so many different women entrepreneur-led events over the last nine years. And I think the hack is really mindset and collaboration. You know, we're running out low on time. So I can't go into too much detail in either one of those. But I think the mindset is a big thing, no matter if you're, you know, how you learn, I'm more of a visual. So I have it on my mirror, you know, see something that I see every day, and when I get up in the morning and go to bed at night, and just that positive affirmation to come into the right mindset. And then the other thing I think of the CEO hack is just to find somebody that I collaborate with, either physically or just you know that your two businesses are such a great, you know, you know, they fit together really well. And it's in that you can kind of mark it together. So I think those two things are really the best CEO in terms of building your business, and really kind of going to the next level.

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Gresham Harkless 13:23

Awesome. So now I want to ask you my absolute favorite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO. And we're hoping to have different, quote-unquote, CEOs on the show. So Alexis, what does being a CEO mean to you,

Alexis Doty 13:34

A CEO, to me, means that I have a passion for my craft, um, I set my own rules, set my own schedule, but, I am my own priority. The job doesn't own me, I do what I love because I can and I want to do it, and I want to do what's best for me, my family, and my life, especially at that certain time, as I mentioned, you know, I was able to really be a mom to my kids. The job didn't only I, I did what I wanted to in the time that I wanted to, I think being a CEO means that I can, in terms of making my own roles. For my company, giving back was a huge mission. And maybe for the company that you're working for. That's just, you know, kind of one of those under kind of small things. But for me, it was a big mission to give back to my community in any way that I could with my gifts talents, and services. So when you're when you own your own business you can be able to to give back in the ways that you feel right and to the people that you really want to give to.

Gresham Harkless 14:33

Yeah, absolutely. Well, definitely. Thank you so much, Alexis, you've definitely been a blessing to us and given us so much knowledge and information. What I wanted to do is pass you the mic so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional you want to let our readers and listeners know and then of course how best they can get a view and find out about all the awesome things you're working on.

Alexis Doty 14:50

Well yeah, just you know, I wish everybody luck in terms of being the CEOs it's, it's you're kind of a daredevil category of you're just it's a risky life. If, like, what like stocks, it's risky, you know, with high-risk high rewards. And I feel being a business owner, it's kind of like that, too. So, you know, I wish everybody luck. And remember, we're all in this together. So you know, the rising tide lifts all ships kind of thing just to reach out to people, especially people that you really connect with at your networking events. So make sure you find those people that you know, are going to be the ones that help you rise.

So, so yeah, my website, F22video And my phone numbers are there, and my email is there. I'm hoping to have my memory lane productions website, linked there because it's in the process right now. So I'm really looking forward to that link will be there on my website for my brand-new passion project as well. So I'm looking forward to that. I have the Alexa website, my more creative, edgy website. So I have kind of my different versions of Alexis, Jodi, they're so so yeah, there's a lot of ways to find me.

Gresham Harkless 16:00

Awesome. And to make it even easier, we'll have the links and information in the show notes as well too, so that I can follow up with you. But definitely appreciate you and appreciate that kind of remembering reminding us of cooperation over competition, and how important that is, and we connect it at a networking event as well. So that shows the power of networking and opportunities that might arise. So appreciate you again, Alexis, and I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the day.

Outro 16:23

Thank you for listening to the I AM CEO Podcast powered by Blue 16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at I AM CEO is not just a phrase, it's a community. Be sure to follow us on social media and subscribe to our podcast on iTunes Google Play and everywhere you listen to podcasts, SUBSCRIBE, and leave us a five-star rating grab CEO gear at This has been the I AM CEO Podcast with Gresham Harkless. Thank you for listening.

[fusebox transcript]


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