Karen Fournier, founder and CEO of Starstream Productions, has been a client of the Loveland Center for Business Development (LCBD) since 2011. Karen has served Northern Colorado as a video producer since 2007, creating high-impact promotional and educational videos for a variety of nonprofits and businesses.
Karen is also a volunteer instructor for the LCBD. Karen began teaching The Power of Videos in Effective Marketing at the LCBD in May of 2013. If you were looking for words to describe what Karen brings to the video world you might think of passion, dedication, creativity, compassion, humor, and heart.
Notable projects of Starstream Productions are:
- Colorado Women of Influence: 12 Women of Vision spotlight videos (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015)
- Colorado Council of Independent Reading Association: marketing materials
- Northern Colorado Writers: conference-promotion videos
- Loveland Chamber’s Dancing With the Stars 2014 Flood-Relief Fundraiser: 14 videos of dancer back stories and flood stories
- Loveland Chamber’s Dancing With the Stars 2015 Fundraiser: 8 videos of dancer back stories and Heart-J Center and Habitat for Humanity videos
- A Child’s Dream (nonprofit granting children’s wishes): gala fundraiser video
- Alphabet Workout: 17 green-screen videos for a preschool reading program
- The Boo Show (children’s variety show): – multiple episodes
- A Wandering Botanist: monthly botany videos on a variety of topics
- Hope Lives! (breast cancer support nonprofit): gala video – 2013, 2014, 2015
- Project Youth and Chamber Music: promotional materials
- Pretty Brainy (science programs for girls): promotional materials
- City of Loveland: GoNoCO regional economic incentive video
In the video production world, Starstream Productions has been honored with numerous awards, such as:
2015 Telly Award-Winner:
Volunteers of America A video depicting words on cardboard signs which describe how it feels to be a homeless Veteran.
2014 Telly Award-Winners:
Hearts and Horses: Riding in the Moment (therapeutic horseback riding for those with Alzheimer’s and dementia)
Hearts and Horses: Hearts and Horses for Heroes (therapeutic horseback riding for war veterans)
Hope Lives! (breast-cancer services nonprofit): 2013 gala video
2014 Davey Award-Winners:
Colorado Women of Influence, A Meth Story: Megan Chenoweth
Dancing With the Stars with a Heart, A Flood Story: Senor Rafael at the Mexican Inn
MAH: Can you estimate how many people you have interviewed for your videos over the years?
Karen: I have interviewed almost 500 people on camera since I started in 2007. The entrepreneurial, giving spirit of the people of the Front Range make this an amazing place to live!
MAH: What words of wisdom do you have for others wanting to break into the video production field?
Karen: My advice would be to learn as much as you can in all the ways that you can. Take classes/workshops, do online tutorials, pay seasoned people to come and shoot with you and teach you all they can, and learn by doing, over and over. You’ll learn from your mistakes — don’t be afraid to make them or you will never learn a better way!
MAH: What are some challenges you face with producing a video?
Karen: Challenges can come with the location: too noisy or chaotic, too bright or dark (if you’re filming live somewhere and can’t control the lighting). Challenges can also come with people on camera who are extremely nervous, or working with children who refuse to cooperate. I have many tricks up my sleeve to get people to relax and just be themselves. You mostly just have to do the best you can and go with it — and get creative in editing. And finally, challenges can arise with equipment that malfunctions, programs that crash, or little glitches along the way — the technological stuff that drives me crazy!
MAH: What are your two favorite videos that you have produced and why?
Karen: That is a super tough question. There are so many aspects to what I do, that almost every project is enjoyable at least in some way — whether it be in interviewing someone amazing, using creativity in the graphics or design, playing with special effects and editing, nailing a script, or the sheer joy of collaborating with one of my many fabulous clients!
Of the hundreds of videos I’ve done, there is one in particular that was very special. The “Hearts and Horses: Riding in the Moment” video I did featured therapeutic horseback riding for people with Alzheimer’s. On the day I filmed, I was following different riders around and filming here and there, and this whole story unfolded before me with this one rider, Ray. He was telling the volunteers all about his experiences in the war and about his life as a farmer/cowboy. When he got on the horse, he said: “I wish I could see.” That was so powerful. Hearing him declare “Hi, ho, Silver” when he started riding made me realize that I was capturing a moment of magic. His interaction with the horse afterward truly showed how the memories come alive for these elderly riders. To top it off, he reminded me so much of my father in his looks, demeanor, and gratefulness. That touched me deeply, as well. It was one of those times where I was at the right place at the right time, and my intuition told me to follow him and capture his story. This particular video received one of four Telly Awards that I have won thus far and that was special to be recognized for this powerful video.
Another special video (or a series of them) was working as the videographer and editor on the children’s program called The Boo Show at Harrington Arts Academy with amazingly talented owner Brandon Harrington, who played 17-plus characters in the show (a little boy, grandpa, sister, scarecrow, Latino neighbor, etc.). We had different groups of 4 to 8 year-olds star in the show with him; both on location about town and in green-screen scenes. It was a complete blast to film that! We did about a dozen webisodes total (although it is currently on hiatus). It was a super creative, amazing experience, and a part of my career I will never forget. You can see these at www.thebooshow.com
MAH: What did you do prior to starting your business in 2007?
Karen: Before I started my business, I was home raising my three daughters for 12 years. Prior to that, I was a gifted/talented teacher for 12 years in Maine, Texas, and then here in Colorado, teaching high-level critical and creative thinking skills to children through grade five.
MAH: Do you have any hobbies that you enjoy when you aren’t shooting videos?
Karen: I have created several scrapbooks, and doing that gives me practice for videos in design, balance/layout, and coordinating color schemes. I created a scrapbook for my mother’s 10 year anniversary of her passing away. I love spending time with my daughters who are 10, 13 and 15. I love to read (when I can!) and to take walks and enjoy our amazing community and beautiful mountains.