We had the good fortune of connecting with Alex Mehra and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Alex, how do you think about risk?
Risk is a part and parcel of life. The biggest risk is not taking risk at all. This is what I have experienced and learnt from experience. It was not always the case. Everything is uncertain and could lead to success or failure. In my mind, risk was the biggest fear factor to overcome. It’s this big block of uncertainty standing in your way, and it’s up to you on how you choose to get around it. Starting my business was a risk, so many questions arose. How can I survive without the stability from my previous corporate job? How can I convince people to give me work, with not much experience and track record to show for? What happens if I run out of my savings? All of these questions fell under the umbrella of “risk” and quite frankly, I answered all those questions with, “you’ll figure it out”. If you bet on yourself, no one can control the outcome except you. I’ve always been able to perform when backed into a corner. Risk in a sense, was a motivational element that drove me to work harder, think deeper, and become more confident with how I build a successful business.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’ve always been someone who tries to think creatively in any project I work on. When I was about 10 or 11 years old, my Mom & Dad gave me one of those old school RCA camcorders, and I instantly fell in love. I was always making short films, or funny scenes with the neighborhood kids. My background as a child actor also plays a huge role into the creative I am today. In 1996 I became a member of The Screen Actors Guild, after working alongside Halle Berry and Kurt Russel in the feature film “Executive Decision”. A few years after that movie I starred in a national sour starburst commercial. I had been a busy child actor and was learning so much at a young age. I was exposed to creative environments very early in life, and I think that’s a key reason to my successes today. I started my business after working with CBS Television for almost 5 years, and was the biggest challenge I had ever faced. Leaving stability, great vacation & medical benefits, and of course the job was in the industry. A lot of my earliest mentors told me, the hardest part about the industry, is getting into it. So in a way I was a little nervous of how I could stay in the industry, as my own entity. Everything reverts back to the question of “risk”, asking myself…can I take the risk? My answer 100% of the time, “hell yes you can”. The internet has so much information. I graduated from USC with my BA in Dramatic Arts, yet I learned even more about being a creative videographer/editor from YouTube! I encourage entrepreneurs, and freelancers to YouTube any questions they have about cameras, programs, plug-ins, software’s, etc.…There are thousands of very helpful videos that you can learn and apply to your work. Sunny Creative was inspired by my middle name and fathers name, “Sonny”. I started as a videographer with a cheap Nikon camera and a small laptop with Final Cut Pro 7 on it. That’s all I had. However, I was able to convince enough people that I had a company behind me, and we could deliver high quality content that would provide massive online growth. I drove that narrative into existence and a year later…I was so busy I had to start building a staff & growing the firm. If you put your mind to anything you want to do, and you’re passionate about, and go all out from when you wake up, to when you sleep the world will come to you. In 2016, my first clients as a freelance creative was a fertility clinic in West Hollywood, where I developed patient testimonials & vlogs, and an event company where I produced sorority party recap videos. The more I created, the better I became. Even if you don’t have work, do something creative to keep your skills and instrument tuned. Today, one of our biggest clients is AT&T where we’re in post-production on several projects. I started my business from nothing, just previous life experience, a little bit of savings, my father helped me out with some seed money as well, and gallons of ambition. The dream is still unfolding for me. Despite what’s happening now with COVID-19, productions have slowed down and our shoots have all been paused because of the disaster. I didn’t let that stop us, I invested in a really nice box studio where you can develop content by placing any kind of product and/or apparel into the box, and creating unique types of video ads to market for businesses. I encourage others to look at what the market is presenting and how you can navigate it with your creativity.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If you’re in LA and you don’t visit this spot, shame on you. It’s an LA Landmark called “Philippe The Original”, home of the most amazing French dip sandwiches & homemade pies. Afterwards in the summer time you can grab a few drinks, maybe a cabana at the rooftop of The Dream Hotel in Hollywood. For dinner some of my favorite spots in Studio City would be Katsuya, Black Market and/or Firefly. Any of those restaurants are great weekend dinner places. Universal City Walk, The Grove, The Glendale Galleria are great spots to vibe, walk & shop. Anything else, just google away!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My family and friends have collectively given me so much love, encouragement & ideas that have given me the ammunition and drive to keep elevating my hustle every day.