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Locally owned: Chris Cotter, Integrant Sights & Sounds

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Since childhood, Chris Cotter has known what he was born to do. Growing up, he found TV, film and live performances fascinating, as he imagined the many elements that had to come together to make compelling art. This fascination eventually led him to start his own business, Integrant Sights & Sounds, so that he could tell engaging stories through the medium of video.

His art takes several forms. Chris produces music and entertainment shows, and also develops video marketing content for small businesses.

On the entertainment side of the business, Chris has been involved with shows for a few “big names” in the music industry. Earlier this month, Chris was the technical director for Sammy Hagar’s charity concert celebrating the grand opening of “Sammy Hagar’s Rockin’ Island Bar & Grill” in Roseville.

Chris started planning for the show in June. There were hundreds, maybe thousands, of pieces that had to come together at the right time to capture the action on big screens. Technical decisions and equipment needs (cameras, audio, communications) are just a few aspects involved in producing the show.

During the show itself, Chris was hands-on in the thick of things, monitoring the event and calling in different cameras and angles.

Now, Chris has a big smile as he talks about the Hagar event. He says that he is a huge Hagar fan, and producing the show was “a phenomenal experience” and “one of the highlights of my career.”

This last weekend, Chris was the technical producer for the Aftershock Festival held in Discovery Park. The festival featured concerts by such artists as Stone Temple Pilots, Bush and the Deftones.

On the other side of Integrant Sights & Sounds’ services, Chris helps small and mid-size businesses develop video-based marketing content. He says that businesses need dynamic content on the web or they will fall behind the competition.

“By virtue of having video on a webpage, a business is 50 percent more likely to show up high on a Google search,” says Chris. He adds that, “YouTube is the second-most popular search engine, and if a business has a tagged video up, it’s very effective marketing.”

His marketing and communication work with businesses spans a diverse range of creative assignments. Projects have included a video commercial for Windsor Diamonds, a recruitment piece for UC Berkeley Haas School of Business and an investor relations video for the Monica Hall Spa Collection.

Chris provides a full range of services, depending on the client’s needs. Some clients have a fully developed concept and only need their content to be recorded. Most clients seek help in developing their business message and creating effective content from scratch.

Integrant’s project workload has been strong this summer, and Chris hopes that the momentum continues. The road has not been rosy since starting his business in 2007. Trying to survive when the economy fell apart in 2008 was particularly tough, and Chris says, “I was hanging on by my fingernails.”

Chris says that he tends to be optimistic and philosophically accept what is around him, but there have been many times that he was just days away from being broke. He explains that if he didn’t have contacts, such as those from his former employer Entercom, he wouldn’t have made it.

As for the future of Integrant Sights & Sounds, Chris hopes to keep building his business. His dream is to eventually take his skills on the road (“Amazing Race” producers, take note!) and see the world.

“Integrant” (pronounced in-teh-grant, with an accent on the second syllable) is a word Chris coined to describe a person that embodies integrity in his or her actions. The word also perfectly describes Chris Cotter, who comes alive when doing the work that he was meant to do.

Integrant Sights & Sounds is located in Sacramento, and Chris can be reached by email at chris@integrant.tv.

"Locally Owned” is a regular column highlighting local business owners — the backbone of our community and economy. Each column explores the personal story of an owner and the business he or she built.

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