Michel Moskal
On Starting An Aviation Filming Business
Just Planes
from Boston, MA, USA
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Start An Aviation Tv Program

My Name is Michel Moskal, I'm the production manager at Just Planes. I run the production department where we plan, execute and complete aviation filming trips all over the world.

Our main series "Flight in the Cockpit" consists of filming in the cockpit on board airlines with 285 of them having joined our series so far including many of the world's leading airlines like Emirates and Qatar Airways.


What's your backstory and how did you get into entrepreneurship?

I had been working for the airlines for about 10 years when I decided to pick up a camera and start filming thinking there might be some potential to producing some aviation videos. In 1991 I released my first video which was a pretty simple program of Boston Airport, the place I was stationed at the time, and showing the various airlines that flew in and out of the place. In all honesty, everyone around me, family, friends, and aviation enthusiasts alike told me this would never work, no one would be interested or buy my videos.

Be original, anyone can copy what's already being done but your customers/audience will appreciate your work more so if it's original.

I proceeded anyway with a video camera I owned so there was really little to no startup investment. I figured let's give this a shot and let me document what I like about aviation, sure someone else would be interested.

Take us through your entrepreneurial journey. How did you go from day 1 to today?

I released my first video on VHS in 1991 and took out an ad in an aviation magazine. I sold a dozen videos the first month. Set up a copy system at home with a couple of video decks and added a label to the video all done at home. The first year things grew nicely. I added several copy machines and ended up running them nearly 24/7 to the point where it was no longer possible to do this at home and I contracted a company to do the duplication as well as print labels and video sleeves. The business continued to grow every year and when the switch was made to DVD I rented a warehouse as we were starting to need to stock up on product and have serious shipping set up. Several years later we also added Blu-ray. By now the warehouse had grown to 2 levels and around 150,000 pieces in stock. We shipped orders to nearly all countries around the world 5 days a week.

In 2012-13 we made the next move to downloads and we slowly discontinued the sale and shipping of DVDs and Blu-rays as more than 90% of the demand was for downloads. Today we only offer downloads and run an online store with more than 750 titles, the only one of its kind in the world!

How are you doing today and what does the future look like?

Today the Flight in the Cockpit series is our most popular series and our “bread & butter”. The series now features 285 airlines who have joined us and they include many of the most prestigious airlines in the world such as Emirates, Qatar Airways, and Etihad Airways.

We are the most popular aviation channel on social media have received more than 500 Million views in 2020. Airlines are eager to join our series because they get tremendous exposure and publicity which they cannot reach themselves on their own Youtube channels or Facebook pages.

Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?

First and foremost if you have an idea you need to run with it. You’ll never know if it's a good idea unless you do this and you’ll be glad you did. One important thing at Just Planes has always been our customers. We take excellent care of them and answer them no matter what. They’re still with us 30 years later and I feel that's the main reason along with delivering a great product.

Personally, I’m never 100% satisfied and therefore we continuously try to improve things partly by getting new and better equipment anytime we can as well as bringing in new things into the programs to keep things fresh or as fresh as we can considering we keep filming the same thing.

What platform/tools do you use for your business?

Our main baby right now is the download store where our customers can read about each program, see photos and some short videos then decide which program they want to download.

Our other babies are the various social media outlets with Youtube and Facebook being the 2 major ones. Between the 2 we have around 4 Million followers/subscribers and not far from half a Billion views in 2020. They allow us to show off our work and promote the airlines we film.

What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?

Our customers and subscribers/followers are not only our most influential resources, they’re our only ones. We judge our work by their reactions and comments and improve according to what they want to see and how they want to see it.

Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting?

Take a little time to work on your idea, nowadays you can get some sort of direction by watching things online, and don’t let yourself be influenced too much by others. Don’t be afraid to make a mistake, that's how you learn and move on.

Be original, anyone can copy what's already being done but your customers/audience will appreciate your work more so if it's original.

Where can we go to learn more?

Michel Moskal,   Founder of Just Planes
Pat Walls,  Founder of Starter Story

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