We had the good fortune of connecting with Greg Hasty and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Greg, every day, we about how much execution matters, but we think ideas matter as well. How did you come up with the idea for your business?
Before launching Hasty Storytelling, I was an account executive at a global market research firm and had been working on projects for Fortune 500 clients regularly. My role was quantitative – quality checking survey data and analysis – but I had always been interested in the qualitative – or in person discovery – side of the business.
After volunteering for a few focus group projects for major automotive brands, I realized that everything was being recorded, but those recordings were never utilized for our clients. It was easy to identify the pitfalls; poor quality video, poor quality audio, lack of reliable video producers who understand research, and time. I wanted to explore the idea of bringing quality video editing to even the lowest quality research footage to elevate research deliverables and improve the caliber of research for our clients.
After about a year of going home late after work, teaching myself video editing, working alongside freelance graphic designers and documentary producers, I started tackling internal projects and creating some added value edits to compliment our PowerPoint style decks. The response was positive, I recognized the opportunity and started creating this new niche in the market research community.
It is important to note that there were a few small shops with a similar concept. Mostly freelancers or researchers working on video in their spare time. Additionally, there were creative teams at larger agencies that would provide better quality footage and edits, but when freelancing, I was one of the few market research professionals re-evaluating what it meant to provide high quality video deliverables for research projects.
From there, I quit my job after getting my first client. I did my best to prepare for going freelance, but it never seems to work out perfectly. I had my share of 48 hour working sprints and over promises. Additionally, I underestimated how much of a need in-person videography would be. While balancing edits, I would also spend time with wedding videographers and photographers to learn how to capture moments with only one chance.
Within a year, I was receiving consistent editing work and eventually caught the eye of global companies such as Facebook, who would hire me to work on projects all over the world, studying families in rural India to wealthy business owners in Rio de Janeiro. My business continues to evolve, develop and adapt to the needs of the industry and the obstacles of working in a global community, but now established with a studio in Downtown LA, a group of colleagues and business partners that have elevated our process and quality, and a network of top-tier professionals around the globe, it’s something I’ve become incredibly proud of for taking that first leap.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
What sets Hasty Storytelling apart from other businesses is our passion. I know this sounds cliche, but I didn’t start my career in video production for research to start a global business. The only plan I had was to freelance until the well dried up and I would have to find another job. I have been honored and humbled to meet a group of people that not only wanted to work alongside me, but grow my business and constantly explore ways to help our clients stand out more.
Looking at my 10th year since the early stages of my business, the challenges that I had to overcome seem almost impossible, but at the time I didn’t have time to think about the “impossible”. When a client put their trust in me, my job was to deliver, no matter the cost. My hardest struggle to this day, is understanding my limits and saying “no” when I’m overburdened. I can recall nights in New Delhi, India, sweating over my 5 year old laptop after a 12 hour day filming inside homes and trying to finish an edit back home before going to bed and starting all over again. I recall managing my first contractors in Denmark, while working in Brazil, and chatting with clients in Japan. At the time these moments were all exhausting, probably not smart or efficient, but I knew if I kept moving forward and kept doing my best, that better days were going to come.
I want the world to know that our brand story is a global story. Hasty Storytelling is about trying new ideas or new concepts with a goal of improving the human story and much of that is influenced by our own personal experiences. My team and I know the difficulties our clients go through, we understand the pressures of working in Fortune 500 company environments, and we recognize that there’s a world of misinformation and cutting corners out there. Hasty Storytelling, in my eyes, is a collection of creative professionals that strive for a global community of conversation.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I absolutely love taking people from outside of LA around town.
Currently, I live in Silverlake, which is always a great starting point for a newcomer to LA. Silverlake is walkable and always entertaining. Specifically I like to take visitors for lunch at Say Cheese or Edendale. Later in the afternoon, you can find us relaxing at a local bar such as Trophy Wife or Ye Rustic Inn.
For a more lively visit, I’ll take visitors to Good Times at Davey Waynes in Hollywood, for it’s great balance of the 70s house party vibe without the stress of higher end LA clubs. No Vacancy in Hollywood or Sassafras Saloon are also wonderful spots, assuming the lines don’t get the best of us.
Finally, my heart lies in Koreatown. I could spend a whole day taking a friend from a Korean BBQ lunch at Quarters, followed by the batting cages and beers at Strikezon, a very hidden gem for cocktails and squid at The Prince, and ending the night with karaoke at Cafe Brass Monkey.
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?
When launching my business, the support of my colleagues and family were paramount. The freelancers that allowed me to pick their brains, encouragement from creatives at research agencies, those who went off to start their own businesses and gave me a chance to prove myself kept me going. Jennifer Jung – graphic design freelancer – was a big advocate and helped me learn editing. Neva Shah & Gasia Kazanian – leads at Bastion DB5 market research – were my research managers and pushed me to pursue my passions, even as I was supposed to be focusing more on the work I was doing for them. I also want to give recognition to the amazing research team at Talk Shoppe, LLC in Los Angeles, for giving me a chance to go freelance with very little to show at the start, other than my word.
As Hasty Storytelling grew there are 4 people that I not only owe my success to, but I also owe our survival of the company through the COVID-19 pandemic – Longtime friend and mentor, Stephanie Burns, creative execution genius, Dennis Lovelace, the tireless talents of Victoria Billones and the most reliable of contractors and partners, Max Weiland.
Not applicable, all photos are internally/Hasty Storytelling