Natalie Hinckley, Hinckley Productions

IB’s Professional of the Week is the premier way to meet Dane County’s professionals. This week features Natalie Hinckley, director/owner, Hinckley Productions.

1. What are the most challenging and rewarding aspects of your job and why?

I love getting to the core of a story. It’s fun and challenging to get people to let their guard down to create a genuine moment of connection on video. That paired with the technical problem solving required of the medium is what keeps my job interesting. Technology is constantly evolving; whether it’s recording a simple interview or creating a multicamera live-streaming broadcast, there’s always something new to learn.

The most rewarding aspect of directing video is being able to capture those moments of authenticity while constantly being exposed to diverse people, both in the crew that is staffed and those at the focus of our documentation. Owning a production company has allowed an amazingly range of unique experiences, from directing a concert for Reverend Horton Heat to being present at historical moments, like the anniversary of the civil rights bridge crossing in Selma, Ala. with Coretta Scott King. So many times I find myself in situations and think to myself “Is this really my job?” I find my work incredibly rewarding and meaningful. I also take a great amount of pride in being a Wisconsinite, UW alumnus, keeping my business here, and creating opportunities for others.

2. Who do you look up to or admire in business and why?

Locally, I admire Todd Streicher at 5Nines. He has built a thriving company and makes it a priority give to back to and support the community in which we live. He is receptive to new ideas and willing to take a chance, and I have a great amount of respect for that.

On the national stage I admire entrepreneurs like Sara Blakely and Cathy Hughes, women who work relentlessly to built their businesses and strive for success in the face of challenges both professionally and personally. The mindset of “this will work” inspires me to keep working hard at my goals, and that achieving them is simply inevitable.

3. What has been the high point of your career so far?

2016 has been a great year. I was extremely honored to have my company named Business of the Year by my peers at the Wisconsin LGBT Chamber of Commerce. Our team is a group of extremely talented people who I enjoy working with so it’s a great recognition. This summer I was asked to direct a series of videos for the women’s line at Duluth Trading Co. highlighting the brand’s mission and key products. I was honored and humbled to be trusted with representing such an important brand message for a company and group of people I admire.

4. Thinking back on your career, what advice would you give your 21-year-old self?

At 21 I started my business on the side, and at 23 I was profitable enough to take it on full-time so I don’t have many regrets in terms of the choices I made. That being said, I’d tell myself to learn to let go of the things I can’t control. Don’t dwell on things that don’t work out, but to keep trying other angles or just move on altogether. Find mentors and colleagues you can trust to help you through difficult situations. Finally, always be yourself.



5. What would you say are the best things about living and working in Dane County?

The community. I’ve been so lucky to develop many friendships both personally and professionally. There is an incredible amount of support and enthusiasm from just about every circle I’ve entered. I like the business climate here — even in competitive areas everyone has a very encouraging attitude toward one another and I’m constantly being inspired by other’s innovation and ideas.

6. Do you have any secret talents or abilities that people would be surprised to discover?

I play bass in the surf-punk band Venus in Furs, but that’s really not a secret. We’ve been together for six years now and in 2012 we toured nationally. We have two full-length albums, an EP, and even a release on vinyl. It’s how my wife and I met (she’s lead guitar). We still play locally, and I love it.

7. What are your guilty pleasures?

I have been known to make my own snack dips based on convenient ingredients I find in the fridge, dipping cheese puffs, chips, tortillas, or whatever I can find. I can easily consume a whole bowl of a strange concoction of blue cheese, olives, Frank’s RedHot, sriracha, mayo, etc. This usually this happens late at night or home alone, when I’m less likely to be discovered.

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