Film it. Edit. Host it.
Kevin and Kelle Oeste own the V8 Speed & Resto store in Red Bud, Ill., Just outside of St. Louis. Kevin started by producing original content of unique car restorations before the store opened. After the success of its original productions, it is only natural that the store opens. But let Kevin tell you about his business and the benefits of original content for V8 Speed Shop.
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Carolyn Gray: Tell us a bit about your business, including your specialty.
Kevin Oeste: The V8 Speed & Resto Shop is a full-service classic and muscle car food court located half an hour from St. Louis in Red Bud, Illinois. We are staffed with 22 talented people ranging from technicians, manufacturers, bodywork and paint technicians. , the upholsterers, as well as the administrative team and the video production team. Our team has produced some of the highest quality restorations and modified performance cars, many of which have been featured in leading automotive enthusiast magazines and have won awards at national shows and events.
It all started in 2005 as a small operation on private property, which served as a store and production studio for the TV show V8TV. V8TV has been broadcast nationally on various cable / satellite television systems. At that time, the small team was building one car at a time as content for the TV show. Soon people watching V8TV started calling and asking how the V8 team could build their dream car, and things took off from there. We currently have 42 cars from six different countries in our workflow.
We specialize in “resto-mods”, or cars that look original or restored but hide modern technology for better handling under the skin. We also perform maintenance and repairs on older cars and correct original restorations.
We document every restoration with thousands of in-depth photographs and videos, allowing remote customers to follow their car from start to finish from their desktop or mobile phone. Some cars even become the hallmarks of V8TV videos.
Today, V8TV is broadcast nationally on the TUFF-TV and REV’n television networks and The Action Channel, and the video team is streaming YouTube web episodes of V8TV as well as our latest show, ” Muscle Car of the Week “.
CG: How long have you been in the business?
Kevin: We launched V8TV Productions, Inc. in early 2004 and V8 Speed and Resto Shop in 2005. This is our 17th year in business.
CG: V8 creates a lot of original content. When did you start doing this? And why do you think this is an important aspect of your business?
Kevin: We actually started out as a Muscle Car TV show that turned into a store. It all started in 2005 in a small store on private property, which served as a store and production studio for the nationally broadcast V8TV TV show on various cable / satellite TV systems. At that time, the small team was building one car at a time as content for the TV show. Soon people watching V8TV started calling and asking how the V8 team could build their dream car, and things took off from there. We’ve been creating content from day one, and that content brings us customers all the time.
Today, as soon as we post a video or series about a particular car we’ve built or modified in our store, our inbox is filled with requests from enthusiasts around the world wanting a similar job on their car.
CG: Do you have training in film or television production? And if so, how did it help?
Kevin: Yes. My friends and I were making video “movies” in college in the 1980s, and my high school had student-run cable TV and radio stations, so I was always involved in broadcasting. I graduated from Illinois State University with a degree in Audiovisual Communication and worked for years in Los Angeles for Hot Rod Magazine, producing their nationally aired TV show on SPEED Channel. Today, in addition to producing our own media, we operate V8TV Productions, Inc., a full-service video production company creating commercial content for clients. In addition, we provide training services for businesses on how to create video and digital content and how to effectively deliver their content with the best reach possible.
CG: You include both video content and podcasts in your media offerings. Why both?
Kevin: I love to produce all kinds of visual media including television, web video, and photography. However, I also have a background in radio which was a lot of fun, but also difficult to do. Today, our V8 radio podcast is scratching my head but still promoting the store. It allows for longer stories of the store, events, or other topics that our customers and listeners find interesting. Our V8 radio podcast was recently ranked # 1 muscle car podcast by the Player FM streaming service.
CG: V8 has hundreds of thousands of subscribers on your social platforms, including YouTube. And the content you create is great. How did this affect the business?
Kevin: Thank you for those kind words! Today, about 70% of all customers come to us after watching our TV show or web videos. Sharing our message and our work around the world has been crucial to our success.
CG: V8 is in a small community in Illinois. What do you think about how the availability of content attracts customers from a global audience?
Kevin: We launched our store on TV and online, so we never really cared about local business traffic. In fact, we opened the store on private property – Kelle’s parents’ farm – where the general public was not even allowed. Today, even in the small town of Red Bud, we are still growing and busy. Without the global distribution of our content, we would never have the customer base – or level of projects – that we have today.
CG: How far has an owner traveled for the V8 to restore its drive? Do you know if they have heard of you from your shows?
Kevin: We have had clients from Australia, Belgium, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Mexico, Canada, Qatar, and all over the United States. Almost all of these clients have heard about us through our media, with the exception of one in Saudi Arabia who we met. while exhibiting at the Global Auto Salon in Riyadh.
CG: What could a bodybuilder learn without restoration from what you do with the original content?
Kevin: It has been said that people retain 70% of what they experience on video, much more than pictures or written words, so we know the medium works. One of the great things about a video is that the message never changes, never leaves anything out, and is accessible 24/7. We tell businesses that anything they find themselves repeating more than twice is a great candidate for a video. And while it is not difficult to create videos, there are some basic technical elements that help ensure the successful transmission of the message. Learn some basic techniques and you can create an effective and quality video with minimal equipment and time. At the end of the day, it’s the artist, not the brush that matters.
CG: Kevin, you are a great host for your shows. Has it always been comfortable for you? Has your ease of being in front of the camera changed over time? And what advice would you give a business owner who may not be as comfortable with on-camera tasks as you are?
Kevin: I’ve been fortunate enough to grow up in front of an audience, to be active in church and school performances since I was 5, so I was never really nervous on camera. Today I do a lot of work in front of the camera, but I also host live events like the SEMA Banquet and Hall of Fame Induction Gala and other national car and truck enthusiast events at across the country. For me the video is a little less dynamic than the live events because you can still get a second take!
Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Tell a full story. People are story driven. If you can turn your post into a story with a cohesive start, middle, and end, it will not only be more compelling to the viewer, but also easier to tell.
- You are talking to a person. Although there may be 100,000 subscribers online, the video is consumed by each person individually. If you speak to the camera as if it is just one person, it is much more likely that the viewer will respond as if they are speaking directly to them and feel a connection. It’s not always about selling, but rather being a priority when making a buying decision.
CG: And is it fun? How great is creating your content, and what is your favorite aspect of it?
Kevin: It’s funny. I’m fortunate that our video work has given me access to people and places I never imagined, from celebrities, athletes and industry leaders to multi-million muscle cars. dollars. It’s a lot of work to get it right, but it’s rewarding when people say they resonate with the content or call us in to work on their own dream cars because they liked what they got. seen on screen.
CG: Thanks Kevin! Hopefully, your story will inspire a store owner to create their own content.
To view the different V8 shows and platforms, click here.