We had the good fortune of connecting with Randy Murray and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Randy, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
I once heard that we like spicy food so much because the sting in our mouths tricks our body into thinking we are being poisoned. Whether it is jalapeños, rollercoasters or taking risks in business, thrill seeking is in our DNA. But more than just exciting, I think taking risk is a necessary business practice. That is why I have taken more risks over the years than I probably should have.

My career is littered with failed attempts at heights I was not ready to achieve. But each failure offered lessons for the next attempt, and I am still shooting for the stars. My career in television started when I sold my senior project, a pilot for a weekly rock and roll TV show, to the local ABC affiliate. I clearly was not experienced enough to show-run a series, but the station manager took a risk on me and the show was a hit. With the station’s commitment in hand, I started my first video production company, another risk beyond my experience. The show earned national recognition and huge ratings, but the math did not work and the company failed. But those risks/failures launched my career. A career that has provided for my family, a business with a desk next to my wife’s, and days full of creating stories instead of actually working.

I think successful risk taking is dependent on the work done before the risk is made. I always ask, what do you know that others do not? What do you see that others can’t? What is the upside and what is the downside? What does your gut think? Then, my wife and business partner, Theresa, and I ask ourselves if the risk pays off will this success be good for our family, our community, the world? We understand that there are risks to failing, and risks to succeeding. So, we do our homework before we leap.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Basically, I am a storyteller. I mostly use the tools and technology of filmmaking and television. I try to surround myself with really talented people who make my ideas and work so much better than I could alone. And because I believe what we do is important, I will only use my skills and connections to tell stories that are good for the world or at least do no harm.

I am most proud of the work we do that supports good causes like Boys & Girls Club, Arizona K-12 Center and United Way. Most of our income comes from our work on television shows and documentaries for networks and streamers like Discovery, National Geographic and Netflix. We are very grateful to get to work with local adverting agencies and corporations. We really enjoy creating our own content like the documentary “The Joe Show” and the television series “Deadly Dentists”. But the work that has earned the most views is one of our political ads. An attack ad aimed at Arizona congressman Paul Gosar went way viral. They report that the ad was seen five billion times! If I don’t say so myself, the ad is beautiful, funny in its own way, and has one hell of surprise ending. It was re-played by news organizations all over the world, on every morning show, every late-night talk show and even on the NPR show “Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me”.

Over the years, I think there are two constants that has worked to my advantage. One, I strive to bring art and truth to every frame, every moment, every story.

Two, everyone likes a little “crazy” in the creative mix and I have a flare for that.

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.
Boy that is a tough one. Phoenix is a wonderful place to live and play. I suppose I would want to include a bike ride on the canal to old town Scottsdale. So many great places to grab a bite and/or a drink. Depending on their likes, we could lock up the bikes and venture to Fashion Square, to the art galleries and shops, or over to the museum and/or theater on the mall.

I would definitely take them to a First Friday. Our building, First Studio, is a great place to start. It’s very close to the action, but not too close. We always have great local art hanging in the hallways and great local artist hanging in the lounge. I would try to get to Pemberton early, a fun open-air maze of delicious food and drink. And then there is so much more delicious food and drink on and around Roosevelt.

It would be nice if they came during the Phoenix Film Festival. It is a bit of a bus-driver’s holiday, but so much fun see and hear the filmmakers and their films.

Got to have dinner at Barrio Café, a drink at the bar in the Arizona Biltmore, and a morning hike at Piestewa Peak Park from the 32nd street trailhead. And of course, a lot of time just hanging at our home enjoying our wonderful weather (in the pool if it is summer).

And then I would try to squeeze in a drive to flagstaff. Drinks at the Rendezvous Lounge and dinner at Shift or Lotus Lounge. Toss in a hike or the drive down 89A. I think that would be a great taste for what this part of the world has to offer.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
There is no question that my success in both life and work is due to my partnership with Theresa. I shoutout to my teenage sweetheart then wife, the captain of our family and businesses. It is rare when a goofball like me lands a partner who delivers a lifetime of balance, support and love. We were dirt poor without family support, so she worked fulltime enabling me to go to college. She stood by me when my career sputtered. She keeps me grounded as my head is almost always in the clouds. She runs the business that enables me to play for a living. She is the anchor of our family. I love her.

Website: randymurrayproductions.com

Image Credits
These photos are the personal property of Theresa Murray

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