We had a lot of fun filming in New York and New Jersey for NPD’s new brand video production. Here’s the photographic proof, shot by Jason Smith:
I love that talented, smart, hard-working people want to work with our production studio. Every day we get resumes and inquiries from at least half a dozen people who’d possibly make great co-conspirators in our company.
And that’s a problem. Meaning, we are a boutique video company. We don’t have an HR staff: the partners are our HR staff. And there’s not enough time in the day to watch every reel and to personally respond to everyone. Not even close.
This is a part of our business that, frankly, we’re still figuring out. So it’s not rudeness if we don’t get back to you. And it has nothing to do with your worthiness or talent. Mostly, it’s that we’re not looking to fill a position that you’d be right for at this time.
And yet, I don’t want to discourage someone from sending us their stuff. Because once in a while, someone has perfect timing and their work comes across our desks just when we’re saying something like “wow, we could really use a great motion graphics designer”, or “I wish we had a junior director/dp in xxx city”. Or whatever.
We keep your stuff when you send it to us. We have files. We tag your emails and your reels so we can pull you up when needed. It’s just, we might not respond directly to you until we do have an immediate need.
We’ll keep working on our hiring process as our company grows. I just want those who share their creativity with us to know that I do appreciate it, and you. Thank you.
We do commercials, DRTV, and higher-quality corporate/promo/brand videos for clients and agencies. We get a lot of client inquiries, and as our business has evolved it’s become clear that a percentage of these leads are not a good fit for us. There was a time when we went after every lead that came our way, but that’s really inefficient for us and it’s not right for every potential client. So, in the past couple of years we’ve been working to refer leads that we don’t match with to video production companies that might be a better fit for their needs. We haven’t asked for anything back from these companies, we do this because it’s the right thing to do.
In the past year we’ve referred maybe $80,000 of video work to smaller companies in Los Angeles and New York who could use the business. I feel really good about that. See, I don’t believe life is a zero-sum game. I think life can be a win-win. I feel like being clear about the kinds of projects we do helps us focus on our strengths and attract the right kinds of clients for us. And I feel that referring business to other companies when the lead isn’t a good match for us helps the overall communities in which we operate.
One of our core values is giving back, and we’ll keep on helping others in the new year.
I’m especially happy that one of the final film festivals for “A New York Love Story” is to be the New Filmmakers LA festival in October. We started our festival run with a screening at the New Filmmakers New York festival, which gives it a nice symmetry. But also, NFLA has a reputation for being a solid festival where indie films can get the exposure they deserve. And I’ll be interviewed by MovieMaker magazine at the festival, and we’ll get a real Q&A session. That’s pretty cool.
The other big news is, thanks to this festival we’ve been invited to license our film to TV Network ShortsHD.
Not bad for a little film we shot in two days with the tiniest of crew and equipment (we had one light!).
I’d like to thank Joanne for trusting me and being a heck of a collaborator. Sean for the same. And my talented but tiny crew Chad, Jason, and Lani, plus our day players Pat and Marilia. And our post team of Kathi, Martin, Moritz, and Brandon.
A moment from one person can make all the difference.
Steve was working at the grocery store today. He’s a bagger and he’s always working to keep things tidy. Steve has the best attitude of anyone I’ve ever met. He’s also a special needs guy.
Today, I was feeling a little wistful because it’s Isla’s last day of preschool before Kindergarten, and as I was walking out of the store, Steve jumped in front of me and high-fived me, saying “today is a beautiful day!”. “Yes, Steve it is”, I replied. He liked that. And it put me in a good, maybe more mindful mood.
Then on my drive, I saw an older lady who was sitting on the ground. A friend was with her, but something didn’t seem right. So I turned around and asked if she was ok and if she needed any help, or even a ride home. They were actually ok, and lived a couple houses down, but, like Steve taking care of me, they were super-thrilled somebody stopped to show they care.
And maybe today they’ll be more mindful of others, too. And so on. To infinity and beyond. I like to imagine a human wave of kindness overtaking the frustration and bad feelings we’re all getting exposed to on a macro level.
Micro matters, too. Thanks, Steve.
We love working with startups, and New York’s iCapital Network has been a client of ours for awhile. We’ve watched them grow and now they’re becoming a really big deal in the private equity world. They’re streamlining the whole PE pipeline, and helping investors get involved with an investment class they previously couldn’t access.
Working with startups is always an interesting ride, because the world they live in moves much faster than the typical corporate world. In a startup’s world you have to be nimble, embrace the velocity and frequency of change, and still find the authentic story that will help the startup connect with their audiences. Startups need more than a video production company. They need a partner who knows how to collaborate and craft their ever-changing story.
Here’s what they said about working with us as they’ve grown:
Many thanks for your patience, professionalism, preparation and collaboration over the past few years. Our business is changing every day and you and your team really helped us capture the spirit of our growing start-up!
– Hannah Grove, Chief Marketing Officer
We try to keep a startup or two in our client mix at all times, alongside the larger corporate video production clients and name brands we work with regularly. If your startup needs a great video, contact us at PatrickOrtman, Inc.
I’ve been working on a nice side project lately, producing a Danny Trejo thing. But you’re probably reading this and really wondering: “Is Danny Trejo as cool as he seems?”. So to cut to the chase: yeah, he really is! Plus, he is one heck of a good guy. I’m glad we got to hang out, and I hope you all go down to Trejo’s Tacos and Trejo’s Donuts. You can’t miss the latter- it’s a pink building with a familiar face on the wall. And after you do that, head on over to my company site to check out the other (mostly more commercial-y) work we’ve been doing this summer!
This one’s for my fellow video production nerds.
Smart people realize that cameras have been solved. This might be why RED’s new product is a phone. Not a camera. Cameras are done. They’re great. Today. And semi-affordable. The huge gap between “great” and what the average DP can afford is pretty much gone, and if you’re still selling yourself based on your camera instead of your work, you are way behind the times.
Put simply, the most important thing is your talent in using the gear. The gear alone doesn’t differentiate you, anymore. Pros can Read More »
I keep relearning the lesson of how important it is for us creatives to always be working on personal projects. First, they’re fun to do! Second, they let you hone new skills. And third, sometimes they show clients a side of you that they didn’t know about. This can pay huge dividends.
For instance, about a year and a half ago I was in New York more than I wasn’t. I live and work in both LA and New York, and I’m not sure why LA wasn’t clicking for me at that time, but I was grateful that New York was. New York was keeping Read More »