Want Celebrity Clients? Here’s How To Think About Your Business

WITH Chris & Toni Wheaton of Heart Stone Films


When you hear the phrases “multi 6-figure film business”, or “celebrity clients”, do they sound like unattainable goals from your current vantage point? If so you’re going to want to hear what my good friends Chris and Toni Wheaton of Heart Stone Films and Portico Pictures have to share with us today.

Married in 2008, Chris and Toni are a power couple of film business gurus. Heart Stone Films began in 2007 and has since captured the wedding moments of numerous NFL, NBA players, NASCAR drivers as well as Emily Maynard of The Bachelorette. Over time, their connections, connections and jaw-dropping work allowed them to branch into commercial video, and Portico Pictures was born.

Chris and Toni share tips on growing a thriving film business including dealing with staffing and outsourcing, working with your spouse, how to build a great portfolio, pricing and how to move up in the filmmaking world to a higher creative standard. Originally posted as a Facebook Live video, look out for the bonus Q&A with live viewers in today’s episode on our Facebook page!

What do you feel is standing between you and the next level of your film business? Let us know in the comments!

In this Episode

  • Comparing and contrasting the wedding and commercial industries
  • What it takes to work effectively with your spouse
  • Who your first hire should be as you grow your business
  • Why a replication system can help your business maintain quality
  • The importance of putting measurables on your business
  • Defining your team’s individual roles in the business and charging what you are worth


“We just felt like [Portico Pictures] was necessary because our wedding brand is really romantic, really geared towards the bride, and marketed that way. So, we just felt that we didn’t necessarily want that to be the language and the brand that any potential commercial clients were seeing off the bat when they went to our website or found us or heard about us.” 
“Were both in every seat right now. A year ago, when we had full-time staff there were different people in all the seats and it worked beautifully, but we’ve just redefined those seats now to where it’s mainly just the two of us.”
“I think the big myth or lie that we believed is that ‘no one can do this but me, no one is creative but me, no one can make these films the way that I do’, and it’s just not true. There are plenty of people out there who can do it.” 



Ryan Koral

Ryan Koral is an entrepreneur, producer and business strategist from Tell Studios, a video production agency with a big heart for authentic stories that build brands and inspire action. He’s a husband (mostly happily for like 16+ years), has 3 kiddos, and has an annoying – but infectious – laugh.

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