We had the good fortune of connecting with Sam Swenson and Taylor Nash and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sam & Taylor, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
Prior to the pandemic, Sam and I were both stage performers. So, when the world shut down we decided we needed to find a different way to be artistically creative. This is when Sam picked up a camera and hasn’t put it down since. We fell in love with a new artistic medium and decided this would be an amazing way to put the work into our own hands. Along with that, we agreed that this business could also give back to the Dallas theater scene, who was being forced to navigate live theater through video.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Burnt Pie Productions was built less than a year ago out of artistic necessity. With Sam and I both being stage actors our whole lives, the second the world shut down, we looked for what our next step could be during that time. We were gifted an old Nikon DSLR camera from my family and just kind of ran with it. Sam never put it down. He made every event, family vacation, ANYTHING an excuse to make a video and practice. Out of this came getting hired for random gigs. With the money we made from those gigs using the Nikon and his Phone 11, Sam came to me with a convincing argument to buy our own camera and start a small production company. That’s when Burnt Pie Productions was born. Burnt Pie Productions has a passion for small local businesses and artists. We feel we have a unique perspective being artists ourselves, especially for theater where we have seen what kind of promotional video has worked vs. what hasn’t. The biggest challenges we faced -aside from a literal Pandemic- were absolutely no money and outdated equipment. I mean, Sam was editing on the Final Cut Pro TRIAL on a 2012 MacBook Pro that had to be plugged to a wall. As of today. this business has grown to 3 cameras, a drone, a full light kit (enough to light a short film), studio level audio equipment. an editing bay that a year ago Sam would ENVY, and an apartment where we have started our lives together, oh and a cat (Seymour).
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Well, first off I would tell them to hold off coming UNTIL End of September, Beginning of October because they can’t miss the State Fair of Texas (duh). But other than that, here are a couple other places we love to go.
Monday– We are gonna start their week off with a Bang with a Day Trip to the State Fair of Texas where we try all the new foods and brews. Then, exhausted and FULL, we take them back to our apartment for a night in to watch the Bachelorette – because even with friends in town we are NOT missing that.
Tuesday– We are definitely sleeping in account of the long day at the fair and the Bachelorette drama. Then to recover, we will take them to brunch at Whistle Britches to meet our Brunch Besties Vonda K. Bowling, Kyle Igneczi, and Katlin Moon-Jones. After this, we are going thrifting at a couple of our favorite Salvation Armys around town. At this point, Sam and I are definitely heading home as I am sure we are out of money for the day haha
Wednesday– Probably start the day off with Sam making breakfast tacos to save money (but I mean also they are GOOD) then head to White Rock Lake to take them on a nice walk around the lake and probably get coffee on the way. The last thing on our iternary this day would be a movie at Alamo Draft House. I mean what kind of production company doesn’t love movies.
Thursday– The morning is on them. We are TIRED. We haven’t had this much human interaction since 2019. This evening we would take them to Loteria Night at The Four Corners Brewery with Kevin Solis and Christina Austin Lopez. Which just to preface, if you have never been to Four Corners, you’re missing out. GREAT beer and GREAT food. We would spend most of the night here and take a couple pictures for the #gram at the awesome outdoor murals.
Friday– We are gonna start the morning off by going to Carrollton Town Center which is home to a lot of Asian owned businesses. One of our favs is called K-Town and they sell Kimbob and Korean toast which is a perfect little morning treat. If we are still hungry after that, we could literally walk to any of the near by restaurants and enjoy anything off their menus- Including Kadan Sushi which is another one of our favorite spots. The whole afternoon would be full of fueling up to get ready to head to Cidercade with Matt Lancaster and Tatiana Lucia Gantt where we would spend all night playing games and drinking.
Saturday– Once again the morning is on them, I mean we bought them a round last night what else do they want? We are sleeping in and regretting last nights decisions. Nothing is planned except a little relaxing pool day with lots of water. Then we will head to Bishop Arts District for drinks at Wild Detectives, dinner at Enos, and dessert at Emporium Pies (because branding).
Sunday– Brunch at Glorias before we send them off on their plane. Wow. At this point Sam and I are poor, over stimulated, and going to bed for the next week. Seriously, I’m tired just thinking about this.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
We were both starving artists, even before the pandemic. We had recently moved back from New York City, where we were chasing our dreams but draining our bank accounts. So, we have been EXTREMELY supported, financially and emotionally, by both of our families. We couldn’t have done any of this without them. Along with that, the support we have gotten from friends in the Dallas theater scene cannot go without mentioning. Special shoutout to Bryan Oliveira, who has been a mentor and friend to Sam and our business over the past year. We are two very lucky people to be so loved.
Facebook: Burnt Pie Productions
Youtube: Burnt Pie Productions
Taylor Nash took all photos P1 (Bloody Face)– Matt Lancaster. Sam Swenson behind the Camera. P2 (Puppets) — Kyle Igneczi and David Corris. Sam Swenson behind the Camera P3 (Piano Picture)– Dani Holway and Sam Swenson behind the Camera. P4 (Selfie)– Taylor Nash and Sam Swenson