Luke Fletcher is the videographer behind Ratio’s latest video series, so we were extra excited to learn more about how he got hooked on creative video production. Luke inspired us with a pure dedication to the craft of making work with emotion, and how family is a key part of making his work projects a success. Luke also provided a lot of helpful insight for others who are interested in combining their artistic passions and career pursuits.
What initially got you interested in creative video production? Do you have a specific moment where you knew it was the path you wanted to pursue?
I’ve always had an obsession with cameras. As a kid, I made countless “movies” with friends and family.
I think the moment I decided I had to make films for a living was the first time I met a filmmaker. I was probably around 10-years-old, and my brother and sister were in a bonus scene for some movie or tv show. My mom told the director that I made videos all the time, and wanted to do it when I got older. The director looked at me and told me that filmmaking is harder than anyone thinks, and suggested I choose a different path. Then he walked away. I was so shocked by that response because as a kid you are expecting to hear, “you can be anything you want to be,” or something fluffy like that. I have no idea who he was, and I don’t even know what he did with what he filmed, but I’d love to thank him, because from that moment on, I was so driven to prove him wrong and I realized I had to take this thing more seriously.
Can you tell us more about when you started your own production company? What was the process like?
The first money I ever made with a video camera was when I was 14 and filmed my cousin's wedding for $50. After that, I kept chasing weddings, and did that every summer while not in school. In college I met some like-minded filmmakers and we began shooting free commercials for a bunch of different brands in order to build our reels. We learned together how to take what the clients need, and shape it into a commercial. This eventually led to getting some paid commercials and I finally formed an LLC in 2019. From that point on I started specifically shooting commercials and narrative story-based films.
How would you describe your creative aesthetic and process?
I guess I’ll sound like a total film snob, but I try not to have an aesthetic as much as possible. I want every project to have an individual aesthetic that’s most suitable for it.
The process begins with just learning as much as possible about the brand. If we don’t know who we’re shooting for, and what they need, then we won’t be able to make the right film for that company. If we don’t do this we might make a cool film or even a great film, but it probably won’t be the right film.
Do you prefer to work on specific types of video production projects?
Our favorite types to work on are definitely story driven films. I love trying to evoke emotion from the audience. Whether it be a 15 second commercial, a 10 minute documentary, or a 2 hour feature, emotion is everything.
What is your dream creative project?
My dream creative project would be making a movie with all of my closest people. Nothing sounds better.
How do you and your wife Annie collaborate on the business?
Originally Annie was going to work in an entirely different field, but immediately after graduating college together we realized I could never run the business by myself. She’s amazing at all the things I’m horrible at. Taxes, scheduling things, hiring crew and actors...I don’t know what I was thinking when I thought I could do it all alone.
How do you both balance raising your young daughter, Rosie, and focusing on your creative business pursuits?
Rosie will always come first no matter what. A younger Luke would never have imagined saying that. But starting a family has completely changed the way I think about everything. We bring Rosie around to most shoots because we want her to see what we do, and I think it will be a great learning experience for her as she grows up. She is a critical part of the team and we want her to know that.
What does your coffee routine look like? Do you have a favorite brew method or go-to roaster?
Annie and I wake up most mornings at 5:30 and sip our coffee on the couch from our Ratio Eight. As pitiful as this will sound to any coffee experts, we taste no difference whether it is a certain roast or grind, and very rarely grind our own beans. But thanks to the Ratio Eight, the coffee tastes great no matter what.
What advice would you give to other young people interested in creating a career in line with their artistic passions?
As cliche as it sounds, start right now and put your absolute everything into it. Some more practical advice would be to find people who also love doing what you love. Do some free work for some smaller brands that will really appreciate what you can do for them. Don’t worry about any money at first; if this is what you’re meant to do with your life, the money will come.