110: Mountain Craft Productions – Turning a Hobby into a Career

What started with a young Ben Berry seeing a video made by a friend in Texas, would eventually become a deep passion for film that turned a hobby into a career!

Sitting down with Ben and talking about his journey into videography was very inspirational. He told us that it was after seeing a video his friend made when he was young that he got inspired to pursue film. Like many in the discipline, it did not come overnight for Ben. He spent years engaging in film as a hobby creating various projects.

Eventually, Ben made the decision to elevate his craft to a new level and enroll at Full Sail University. Ben credits his education at Full Sail for a small part of his knowledge, but says it was through experience and a trial and error process with his work that gave him the toolset he has today. While attending a creators event in Charleston, WV, Ben made a contact there who would eventually partner with him and shape what Mountain Craft Productions would eventually become.

Justin Litton has spent years in Europe studying film. Upon returning home to West Virginia, Justin immediately began finding ways to utilize his skills in video production to make a career. After meeting Ben at the event in Charleston, the two began piecing together what would become Mountain Craft Productions. Ben says it wasn’t until Justin came along that they would be solidified as a production company. The two have a very productive relationship with one another and the incredible work they produce is clear evidence of their expertise.

Ben Berry and Justin Litton

“You’re not worth any less than a person shooting film in say… Ohio, doing the same thing.”

Understanding your worth is something that Ben speaks very passionately about. He explained that knowing the worth of your product, as well as the worth of yourself as the creator, is paramount when developing your brand. The typical narrative in Appalachia would have you believe that creative works are not things you come by very often, and when you do, they’re often so region specific that they don’t stand out. Mountain Craft Productions flips that idea on its head in a big way. Ben explained that doing their work is something that can be done anywhere but there is a charm to the fact that film production work is being done on a professional level in Appalachia. Bringing eyes to the Mountain State as a place that supports and elevates creative minds is a big step toward adjusting the national perception of our state.

Justin Litton and Mikey D'Amico

Having this conversation with another creator and unpacking the ins and outs of doing creative works in Appalachia is an invaluable thing. Finding artists who choose to band together as oppose to compete for notoriety is what makes videography work in our region so special. The desire and drive that the guys at Mountain Craft Productions display is what being an Appalachian entrepreneur is all about!