Dwane Muncy is funny.
That’s a good thing, because he likes to make people laugh.
“There’s no better feeling,” he said. “I don’t know how else to explain it.
“I’ve always been the class clown, the guy that makes jokes.”
Muncy, 32, is the owner of Cucumber & Company, a Beckley-based video production and Web design company. He started the business from his parents’ home in Cucumber, McDowell County, in 2001.
Now housed in a fourth-floor suite of the United Bank building on Main Street, Cucumber & Company boasts high-definition video production equipment, a studio, powerhouse computers and a team that Muncy says is “one of the best” at producing commercials and designing Web sites.
“There’s not much time for joking right now,” he said. “It seems I’ve been getting a lot more video work.
“Maybe I’ve got a better price than the people in Charleston,” he added. “Right now, you’ve got to be really careful because if the big companies like GM can go bankrupt, anybody can.”
A 1996 graduate of Big Creek High School, Muncy grew up in Cucumber.
He said when he watched music videos and TV shows like “The Late Show with David Letterman” as a kid, he knew he wanted to work in television.
“I began a DJ business in 1992,” he said, “with a Sony boom box and a ‘Color Me Badd’ CD. I would play the ‘Color Me Badd’ CD on the Sony boom box and I got to DJ the high school prom as a junior high student. I didn’t own a microphone for the first couple of years of my business, so I really didn’t get to say a whole lot.”
When he was a high school student, an empty elementary school building in Newhall beckoned to him as a good place for a crowd to get together.
“I would rent it and have these big events,” he said. “I was very proud of them because I got a lot of people to go to those while I was in high school. I would hang up signs. I had these teachers that really didn’t trust me. I don’t know what they thought I was up there doing.”
Muncy said he would DJ the events once or twice a year, and 200 kids would often pile into the building to dance and have a good time.
His parents, Earl Muncy and the late Stella Muncy, were supportive of his goals.
“My dad said the only way I could DJ the New Year’s party (at the Newhall school) is also if I played (music) at the church. So I would start the music at the party, have somebody there (to take over) and then I would run to the church and play. Then I’d run right back up there to the school and play ‘The Hot Stepper.’”
Muncy’s father is his hero.
“He never says die, never quit. That his motto.”
Muncy’s mother had Alzheimer’s during the last 12 years of her life, and Earl served as her caregiver, Muncy explained.
“For five years, the Alzheimer’s was full-blown and she was bedfast,” he said.
Earl was patient, often taking three hours to patiently feed Stella.
“He’d do it,” Muncy said. “He’d stand there and do it, and it’s like that with everything. He’ll find a way to figure it out. He had very little money and always was a great money manager.”
When Muncy began attending Concord College in 1997, he found his niche in the communication arts department.
He quickly distinguished himself among his peers, producing a top-rated show on WMLT, the college television station.
He credits his professors with giving him top-notch advice that helped him as he began building Cucumber & Company after his college graduation in 2001.
Muncy started his video production company from his parents’ home. His equipment was a far cry from the studio at the United Bank office.
Several years before “Bridezilla,” Muncy began videotaping weddings.
“My first wedding was with a camera I borrowed from a neighbor back home,” he said. “It was a consumer camera.”
That wedding is memorable — not just because it was his first Cucumber & Company gig. Muncy fell in front of the church while taping the ceremony. The camera had an extension cord.
“I was at a wrong angle,” he said. “I got tangled up in the power cable. I almost knocked down the preacher. Everybody was laughing. The bride wanted to deep fry me in oil after that. It was awful. But the shot never went out of focus.”
Over the next few years, Muncy built Cucumber into a company that boasted major clients in southern West
Virginia and several states and Canada.
His dad, who often gave Muncy “loans” that didn’t have a pay-back deadline, still gives him business advice.
“A lot of times, he tells me I should just quit this and get a real job, but I said, ‘It’s too late for that, Dad,’” joked Muncy. “But I think he’s pretty happy with (Cucumber & Company).”
Although he offers video, Web design, brochures, billboards and radio commercials, video is still his “baby.”
“I’ve only gotten good at video in the (past year),” he said. “I’m nowhere near knowing what I’m doing, but I’m getting better at it.
“It’s a combo of better equipment, graphic abilities, the fast computers and the eight or nine years of torture.”
A longtime fan of wrestling, Muncy produces “Mountain State Wrestling,” a weekly show that airs on FOX WV on Sundays at 11 a.m.
Muncy is also grateful to his staff and office manager and to his clients for trusting his company with their publicity needs.
His future goals are to continue meeting the needs of clients and produce short films and music videos.
— E-mail: email@example.com
‘Class clown’ likes to laugh, create videos and Web sites
Dwane Muncy is funny.
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