We had the good fortune of connecting with Shawnre Tieuel and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Shawnre, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
At the University of Texas at Austin, it was a requirement to write in detail at times when I didn’t want to write. Even my advanced math courses were based in writing. Therefore, it took several years after college to realize that I enjoyed writing creatively. My decision to pursue filmmaking followed shortly thereafter.
The story behind my company name “Tieuel Legacy Entertainment” was simple. As a financial advisor, my focus was to assist with leaving legacies for my clients. I wanted to do the same thing with my name “Tieuel”.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Creating art is what you make it. You get out of it what you put into it. Anyone can take photos or make a short video. The business of it is tougher because it causes people to quit before they attain the goal. It takes skill but it also takes thick skin and the will to try again when you “fail”. You WILL fail at something but failing means different things to different people. Therefore, it’s important to define success and failure.
It wasn’t easy for me to become the filmmaker and photographer that I am today. It was easy capturing candid photos here and there but it wasn’t easy to step outside of corporate America to fund my own film projects. My biggest downfall at the time was waiting for Hollywood or independent grantors to fund my movies and supply equipment.
One day, I had a small Hollywood opportunity to operate the “b” camera in a 2006 movie called “Steppin'” but I declined it. I was comfortable making money at my day job and I figured that another film opportunity like that would follow shortly. I was wrong. However, quitting that job would’ve left a 2 month void in pay because the production was delayed for that amount of time.
I would tell any filmmaker to focus on these things early on:
a) raise money for your own projects
b) write your own stories
c) put yourself in the position to meet people locally that are willing to act, buy food for a set, or setup/carry equipment.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
If my best friend came to town, I would:
a) take them bike riding through and around downtown Houston (namely Memorial/Allen Parkway).
b) take them to my favorite seafood and bbq locations.
c) take them to Galveston for more seafood.
d) drive them throughout places like the Galleria, River Oaks, and Midtown.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I love to credit my grandmother who I affectionately called “Big Momma”. She was one of few photographers in a small segregated town called Lufkin, Tx throughout the 1940’s and 50’s. A week ago, I was able to locate numerous photos that she took at the Dunbar High School, a historically Black school that opened in the 1920’s. As I learned more about her over the years, I was able to piece together why I was drawn to certain art.
Tieuel Legacy Entertainment.