Students pair up, create video production company

Sam Kirby, 21, of Union, is a WKU senior broadcasting major and co-founder of the video production company VidMonster. Starting as a simple love of making videos for the internet, Kirby and friends coined the name VidMonster in 2010. From there, the work VidMonster produces has grown from YouTube comedy videos to a professional business providing video and photography services for a number of different platforms, such as weddings, events, graphic design, branding and product work. Kelsea Hobbs/HERALD

Forde Womack

A new competitor joined the advertising world this summer when WKU seniors Sam Kirby and Will Berry collaborated to create their own company, Vid Monster; a business offering various video and advertising services.

Kirby said he came into the video production world at a young age through shooting videos and editing with friends. He now studies television and film production in the School of Journalism and Broadcasting.

Berry learned technical video skills through a high school broadcasting class, where he learned how to edit video from a news standpoint. Kirby gained experience from working for the PBS station in Bowling Green.

“Working in the TV and film program helped me build myself professionally,” Kirby said. “And if it weren’t for the staff at the TV and film department, we wouldn’t have what we’ve made.”

Kirby and Berry have worked freelance for weddings, commercials and other projects, building their new business from scratch.

“We didn’t even have to take out a loan on this; it was all funded through me,” Kirby said. After forming the business idea over the summer, both Kirby and Berry worked together to handle legalities and acquire equipment.

“So Sam [Kirby] has a really good spin on a lot of the creative ideas, and I have a good spin on the concepts for the branding and commercials,” Berry said.

In its first two months, the company had gained around 20 clients; Vid Monster offers video services for short films, documentaries, commercials, music videos, weddings and more.

“The local thing is super important to us,” Kirby said. For example, he said they did a documentary for Operation P.R.I.D.E., a non-profit organization dedicated to community improvement. Vid Monster will also be working on projects for Orchestra Kentucky, Hope House Ministries and United Way of Southern Kentucky in coming months.

“We have an expansion plan to take place over the next 15 years to expand into three other locations in Kentucky and Nashville,” Berry said. Kirby added that Nashville would be “hard to get into because of the saturation of advertising, thanks to the music industry.”

Berry said the plan is to expand the company to Florence, where it will be able to generate funds needed to expand to the more competitive markets in Louisville and Nashville.

“We have geographic reach to Cincinnati from [Florence],” he said. “It’s a cheaper cost of living than any of the other places we want to expand, and a better competitive landscape.”

“If business keeps going the way its going in the next three to five years, it would be a no-brainer to start [in Florence],” Kirby said.

Kirby and Berry work almost 80 hours a week to accommodate their growing clientele.

“We’re bringing two contractors soon to help us with certain things,” Kirby said. “We’d like to hire someone full time by next year, but we’re playing it by ear.”

Reporter Forde Womack can be reached at 270-745-2655 and [email protected].

Ed. note: A previous version of this article stated that Berry worked at Bowling Green’s PBS station. Kirby worked there. The article also stated the pair hoped to have the main location of their company in Florence, when they actually wanted to expand there. These errors have been corrected. The Herald regrets the error.