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Becoming a Digital Media Machine | Aaron David Roberts (Rising Tides Creative) | DH045

How does a business become a media company? One of the first steps is by hiring a creative team to help you turn your life into digital content.

In 2019, Aaron David Roberts, the president and founder of Rising Tides Creative, was called upon by restaurant owner and podcast host Shawn Walchef to help him and his talented media production team transform Cali BBQ into a digital content machine.

The Cali BBQ Media crew on location in San DiegoBy adding high-quality video footage and production value to the Digital Hospitality podcast, Aaron’s low-and-slow industry upbringing has allowed him to produce savory storytelling in new spaces.

“It was ingrained in me,” notes Aaron Roberts in an interview with podcast host Shawn Walchef on the Digital Hospitality show. “I had a camera and I’d been making movies with my friends since junior high. I figured, well, let’s start my own production company.”


A Filmmakers Journey:

Aaron Roberts grew up on film sets. The Rising Tides Creative creator said that his upbringing inspired his future career path.

“My dad has been in the industry since he was 18,” Aaron said. “He got out of high school and got into the film industry. He moved his way up to be a production manager, started his own production company and that’s what I grew up knowing.”

Aaron Roberts Rising Tides Creative Digital Hospitality Interview DH045 - Aaron talking wide shotGrowing up, the young creative would watch his father produce video content at every step. Budgeting, ideating, hiring, editing and delivering, Aaron’s upbringing was a live master class on content creation.

“I was going out on those sets for these long 12, 14, 16-hour days,” recalls Aaron Roberts. “I didn’t get any time to go play video games but what I really did like was seeing how my dad ran a set. My dad’s got a crew of ten people and he’s telling everyone where to go.”

Aaron Roberts Rising Tides Creative Digital Hospitality Interview DH045 - Aaron talking one shot

Seeing his father’s leadership skills, hard work and confidence in real time was inspiring to a young Aaron. When younger, Aaron’s dream was to play for the San Diego Padres or be in a band. Soon, he was drawn back to the sets he grew up on.


Storytelling with Video:

Only 21 years old at the time, Aaron was ready to jump in the industry he was raised in headfirst.

“We started getting into TV production,” Aaron remembers on his start. “We produced a pilot about working in a movie theater and it got like a half a million hits. That kind of launched the production company into bigger things. We were able to start with an ad agency in town and last summer we joined the Cali BBQ team.”

At the time, Aaron was aware of Shawn and his podcasting work. Aaron and Shawn’s visions matched and they transformed  version 1 of the Digital Hospitality podcast into a high-powered visual production which is unusual for the traditionally audio-only medium, let alone a podcast series published by a restaurant.

Jeff Fenster helps record Digital Hospitality at the 2020 Farmers Insurance Open with Cali BBQ Media“We started covering events,” Aaron explains on the pivot into video podcasting. “At these events, we would interview the vendors and network. It kind of became like a little ad spot for all these different vendors at this one event.”

Event videos and behind-the-scenes episodes put the Digital Hospitality podcast in a whole new category on YouTube. The Digital Hospitality thesis and host Shawn Walchef’s interviews translated well to video and saw synergy with each guest he encountered.

Shawn Walchef interviews Dave Palet in Dave's garage

“It just started to click,” says Aaron Roberts about the Digital Hospitality episodes in 2019. “Not a lot of people are doing this and they’re not doing it this way. Every business can become a Cali BBQ Media. Every business needs to identify what’s important to them and the message that they push to their customers.”


Every Business Can Become a Media Company:

The idea that every business can become a media company is core to both Rising Tides Creative and Cali BBQ Media.

While Aaron’s soaring success has had Hollywood calling and industry insiders pushing for him to make a move to LA, he is set on trying to make San Diego a filmmaking hub much like Atlanta has become.

Shawn Walchef interviews Ed and Walt from Uncle Ed's Damn Good VodkaBy building his brand in San Diego, and thus that of others, each entrepreneur that follows in his footsteps can create a presence in their own city without submitting their identity or dollars.

“The Digital Hospitality thesis that every business needs a strong digital presence is equally true for any creative trying to grow in their field,” notes Aaron. “I don’t ever want anyone to sacrifice their own individual brand identity. The idea is that we’re partnering and we’re advising all these people. We want them to join the Rising Tides Creative team because that’s how you get leverage against Hollywood in five years, 10 years, maybe less than that.

Aaron Roberts Rising Tides Creative Digital Hospitality Interview DH045 - Aaron talking

“We want to connect the business and arts community to work better together because as we’ve seen in 2020, they’re interlinked.”

In 2020 and beyond, Rising Tides Creative wants to be that link that turns businesses into digital media empires.

-Article by Cali BBQ Media content producer Ian Stonebrook




Rising Tides Creative

Rising Tides Creative promises to be the single best resource available for your creative needs. Whether you’re a business looking for creative services, an artist looking for resources, or anyone who wants to create, they are available to get your creative ship sailing.

Get in touch online at or by emailing

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Aaron David Roberts

Aaron David Roberts headshotAaron David Roberts (founder/president of Rising Tides Creative) has been working in the film industry since his pre-teen years as a PA/Grip on his father’s award-winning commercial production sets. Since then, Aaron has worked with award winning and experienced Hollywood talent in productions like Chartered (2019), and The Cast Members (2017), both of which have small cult like fan followings on Facebook. With the team Aaron has assembled at Rising Tides Creative (formerly Blue Vision Entertainment), he plans to pave a new way for independent artistic success that changes the relationships artists have with businesses, the entertainment industry, and their own local art communities.

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