PalmTree Productions: Video production company thrives in the background

Anne Palmer, president and owner of PalmTree Productions, stays under the radar and she likes it that way.
Her company isn’t listed in the phone book and she doesn’t advertise. She doesn’t have a big sign on her building declaring to the world where her business is and what it does.
“It just started out as one happy customer, one happy client telling another,” she said. Now, she’s having the pleasant problem of trying to figure out how to make time for new clients.
“I probably have 12 different projects going on right now,” Palmer said. “To keep all that, you have to be organized.”
PalmTree Productions specializes in producing corporate videos. Her client list includes Sweet Peppers Deli, Atmos Energy, Lane Home Furnishings, Paul Thorn, Toyota Auto Body, the Tupelo Public School District and the Corinth Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.
“I learn about people’s businesses and what they do and it’s really neat,” she said. “I now all about airport runway lighting and I can make you a grilled panini. I know the secrets of all the companies. I have to be very protective of their secrets.”
She started PalmTree Productions in 2004 after working in sales for General Mills for 16 years. Palmer, originally from Indiana, had studied journalism, telecommunications, business and marketing in college but opted out of a career in those fields after seeing what they pay.
Self-taught, She taught herself videography techniques in Los Angeles when her husband, Jason Palmer, was going to music school and playing drums.
During that time, she’d rent a VHS video camera
because she wanted to record his shows. “I wanted to capture some of the cool things we were experiencing,” she said. “He’d be playing and Clint Eastwood would walk in.” After about four years in California, the Palmers moved back to Tupelo, where Jason Palmer grew up, to raise a family. Once they got back, General Mills restructured its company and eliminated Anne Palmer’s Tupelo post. She had the option of moving or taking a year’s severance package.
Anne Palmer wanted to stay in Tupelo. She was talking with her husband about getting a job when he suggested another option.
“He told me, ‘You’ve always wanted to do the video stuff. Why don’t you do that? Use this year to see if you can sustain it,’” she said. “It’s been nonstop since then.” She worked out of her house for three years before moving into her current space with a dedicated studio. She’s invested in the company over the years, adding video equipment, an infinity wall and a green screen.
“I really need to find some help,” she said. “I
would like to surround myself with a team of people who can do this better than me so I can spend more time with the clients and making sure they are getting taken care of.”
She’s had problems keeping employees, she said, because there is a misconception about what she does.
“A lot of people think it’s glamorous,” she said. “It’s a lot of hard work and you have to be selfmotivated and driven. I’ve got clients who are like, ‘I need my video like tomorrow.’ You do whatever it takes.”
Jason Palmer, who co-owns Palmer’s Supermarket in Tupelo, is a key player in the business. He holds the title of vice president of PalmTree Productions and is responsible for keeping the gear working.
“I fix problems, basically,” Jason Palmer said. “I help her on shoots. … She also puts the responsibility on me of coming up with fees. She doesn’t like doing it and I don’t mind doing it – the good cop, bad cop syndrome.”
He’s also been editing the footage for the company’s first horror film, which stars the
couple’s 14-year-old son, Isaac.
“We do work well together,” he said. “It’s really fun at times.” Jason Palmer said the workload sometimes causes his wife to stress and when she does, he reminds her of the clients watching the finished product and how that feels.
“It’s all better then,” he said. Best part of the job Anne Palmer said the end result is one of the best parts of her job.
“One of my favorite things to do is when a client or a group of people watch it is to sit off to the side and watch their reactions,” she said. “I’ve had clients burst out laughing and cry and that’s the best. That, to me, is what drives me. It’s awesome to know that you’ve hit a home run.”
Getting to that moment is a long process. A video project starts off with Palmer meeting with the client.
“Before I do a video, I sit down with them and figure out why they want it,” she said.
“We can do just about anything. We start out with the end in mind. Why do you want this video?”
Then she works with them to determine how the video will be used. For example, in the project she just finished for the Tupelo Public School
District, the videos can be used at job fairs to help promote the schools and attract young professionals to settle in Tupelo.
Other videos are used at internal events, such as a funny series of videos for Lane Home Furnishings.
“At Lane, we did the goofiest, silliest stuff,” she said. “It was a hit but I wouldn’t want the
public to see it.”
Once the project’s goal is defined, Palmer works through the script and storyboards the video. She then has to coordinate shoots with the involved people. Then she has to set up for the shoot, shoot the video, pack up the equipment, transfer the files and then edit and package the video.
“We dive into it and just completely involve and immerse ourselves with what’s going on with that client,” she said.
Added Jason Palmer, “We’ve made a movie, corporate training videos, music videos. We’ve done it all.”
The various projects keep Anne Palmer on her toes and, often times, in her car driving to different locations.
“I don’t do the same thing every day,” she said last week. “This afternoon, I’m going to Amory and am going to get on a boat and they’ve got a
tower in the boat and we’re going to chase another boat and video it.”
Contact Carlie Kollath at (662) 678-1598
or carlie.kollath@djournal.com.

CARLIE KOLLATH / NEMS Daily Journal