Cody Hall, 27, and Max Rowe Beebee, 26, have known each since eighth grade at Keene Middle School. They drifted apart after high school, but one day, during a fateful walk around Goose Pond, they rediscovered their friendship and realized they could be the perfect partners to start a business in Keene. DeadBeats, located in 17Rox Artist Studios on Roxbury Street, offers services such as photography and videography, audio recording of podcasts, the mixing and mastering of music, personalized graphics and studio made backing tracks for multiple uses.
Their path to becoming young entrepreneurs wasn’t planned, but it seemed almost preordained:
Hall: I was going through a breakup a couple of years ago, and I was all depressed. I called Max and said I don’t feel good; I need to go out and do something. He said, “I’m going to take some photos around Goose Pond.”
Beebe: I had just bought a new camera and I wanted to test it out.
Hall: He invited me out for a nice walk to clear my head. As we were catching up and talking, we realized we wanted to do the same things.
Beebe: We share the same passions and the same beliefs. I said, “Yeah, let’s do this.”
Cody: When we ended the walk, I said, “I guess we’re starting a company.”
What were you guys doing before you reconnected on that walk around Goose Pond?
Beebe: I was doing photography and videography on my own. I didn’t go to school for that, but I did go to college here in town at River Valley Community College for business.
Hall: I went to college in Orlando for audio recording. I came back to Keene because my little sister was pregnant, and I didn’t want to miss out on being an uncle.
Do either of you have a background
in your chosen careers?
Beebe: I didn’t do this in school. More like, I’m going to play around with cameras and do a bunch of different things on my own. I learned from others. My mom’s good friend, George Kalinsky, was the official photographer for Madison Square Garden, and he taught me a lot of different things while I was growing up. So I caught the bug early.
Hall: My grandmother lived next door to us while I was growing up. She went over to Ireland to visit her brother, who had a home studio. She caught the bug from him and set up her own home studio. I was there all the time. So I’ve been playing around with audio since sixth grade. Next thing I know, I’m going to college for it, and I’ve been doing it ever since.
Is this the career path you
had envisioned for yourself?
Hall: I had done some internships at some studios, but it’s tough to break into the audio field. If you go the traditional route of finding a job, applying for it, working your way up … it’s very hard to do. There are only a few spots for a lot of people. My path didn’t pan out that way. I was just doing odd jobs here and there. When I talked with Max, I said, “Why don’t we just do it ourselves?”
Beebe: Growing up, it was work, work, work all the time. But then, just like you need a workout partner, you need somebody to help motivate you, and that’s why we got together, just to build something on our own so we could pursue our passions. We were like this perfect fit. The plan and the dream was always to have our own business to do these sorts of things.
Now that you’ve established yourselves,
what’s your main focus been?
Beebe: Mainly right now, we are focusing on real estate. We’ve been doing a lot of Airbnbs, taking photos and videos of them and posting the video on the web. It’s so that real estate agents can sell their homes and for Airbnb owners so they can keep people coming into their homes.
Hall: When you first learn about recording or taking photographs or doing videography, anything like that, you always dream of wanting to make movies or albums or work for bands. And you can, but there’s so many other small aspects that you don’t even realize. There’s a big need for those things. With the audio side, we learned there are a lot of people who want to do that. While we still work with musicians and artists, the biggest audio market we’ve seen, and we are capitalizing on is podcasts.
Beebe: That’s something we didn’t expect. We are doing one, like a punk/pop show where they talk about the shows they’ve seen and interview the artists. We have another one called “Read to Me.”
Hall: That’s being done by a woman here in the artist space, Becky Karush. She does readings, finds a book that she reads from and talks about, breaks down the writing. We also have people who just want to talk about their days or popular culture. That sort of thing. Sometimes people just come to us with an idea, whether it’s audio and video, and ask, “How do I get there.” That’s what we do.
Beebe: We also sell instrumental music and do stock photography. That’s another big niche.
When you graduated high school, was
your first thought to leave Keene?
Hall: I thought I did want to get out of Keene, which is one of the reasons I went to Orlando. High school was rough. I thought I would go to Orlando to learn and then either move back to Boston or Los Angeles, maybe go overseas. But then my sister got pregnant, and I was, “OK, I want to be there for my nephew.” I think it took going away to realize what’s so special about Keene. It’s that feeling of home. All four seasons are right here. Everything you need is right here. It has the potential where you can open a business like this. That’s something it took going away to realize.
Beebe: I’m originally from Vermont and moved here with my mom in eighth grade. Keene was a big transition for me from Manchester. It was a tough transition, but it was always just me and my mom. So it almost seemed normal to move. I had to get new friends, but that wasn’t hard.
Cody: It comes naturally to him. T
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