Here we are in New York, working on the second MassMutual film. Photography by J. Webster Smith II.
Tag Archives: corporate video
Clutch, a leading online tool to help businesses find the best creative and technical partners, has chosen PatrickOrtman, Inc. as a leading video production company in New York City for 2018. We’re listed in the Top Five Video Production Companies in the tristate area. This is a big deal for us, because we’re not like a lot of the larger video firms in New York. We’re different because we don’t try to be everything to everybody. We’re focused on providing high-end corporate videos and commercials. So, thank you Clutch. And happy 2018!
We are often called when a company wants a corporate video that’s really special. Something that stands out, production and story-wise, from the typical corporate video.
So, I was very happy to have been asked to create the 35th Anniversary corporate video for New York’s Waitex Group this fall. We worked with a creative, smart team of people at Waitex, and together we were able to take this mega-successful company’s story and tell it in a way that engaged and excited its audience.
This project spanned two countries: we filmed much of it in New York City and New Jersey, while working with a great team of filmmakers in China for shots of Waitex’s extensive and impressive China projects.
Here’s what Ken Li, President of Waitex Group, had to say about the process of working with us:
“Patrick Ortman and his team is an extremely professional video company. From the script, to the shoot, to the editing, they adhere closely to all our needed deadlines and could grasp quickly the idea of what we wanted and created a wonderfully shot and coherent video that told a story. It incorporated all the many diverse materials that we sent to him and he was always extremely quick to respond and accomodating to all our different request and offices (from all over the world). Patrick has a great personality and was an overall delight to work with, you will always be greeted with transparency and a quick turnaround. We highly recommend Patrick for any corporate video needs.”
As 2017 draws to a close, I’d like to thank everyone who helped make this project happen. Thank you to Waitex, our awesome New York City and New Jersey crew, and our new China friends for everything. I hope 2017 is a great one for us all.
A potential client wanted to see some examples of motion graphics I’ve done, so:
All logos copyright/trademark their respective organizations. I just made them look pretty. Want to learn more about what I do? Head on over to my video production website.
And now, after a couple months’ worth of crazy work deadlines and 18-hour days, here is our Part Two. Finally! I can’t complain, we love doing what we do, and the realities are that sometimes clients have immutable deadlines. It’s been a nice week so far, enjoying a bit of downtime at SXSW while we spin up for new projects.
Our Purpose and Values:
Our corporate side of things exists to do great work for good clients that fulfills and exceeds their expectations and baselines, while making a fair profit.
We’re not interested in doing crappy work. We get calls all the time from clients who want us to cut corners. We will not. Everything we do reflects upon us, and short-term gain for putting out garbage work never ends up well (for the client, or for us). What we love is making films that tell stories which educate, entertain, and inspire your audience to action. Every project we do has to be done well.
We choose our clients carefully, as the kind of work we do tends to reflect upon us. We don’t need to always agree with everything our clients say, but we certainly will not work with a client who comes across as ‘evil’. What this means is, we will do work for clients who may not be perfectly aligned with our values, but who believe in what they do, and want to make this world a better place. We’ve worked with clients from a multitude of religious, political, and social differences. But if all a company is about is greed, or screwing people over as part of their business plan, or hurting others, then no thank you.
Fulfilling and Exceeding Expectations
Not every project we do has to win an ADDY. But everything we do needs to meet our clients’ needs and beyond. We exist to wow our clients and to give them the tools to help them further their causes.
A Fair Profit
We charge a fair price. We don’t gouge our clients, but we demand and deserve a profit from every project we do that isn’t pro-bono. Our prices are quite a good value compared to other video agencies of similar stature, but we don’t respond well to potential clients who try to lowball us or compare apples to oranges: we are a world-class video agency, not a couple of kids with DSLRs right out of film school. We take on projects that help our clients grow their businesses in a major way. That requires mutual respect, and part of that is charging a fair price for the work.
I’ve always been about purpose and values. I act in an ethical way, and I expect the same from our team and our clients. When I started my first company, it was with an almost intuitive sense of purpose and values. It was never just about the money, it was about creating cool stuff that delighted people, and that made a difference, too. This ad-hoc approach mostly worked throughout my 20s, but time goes on, and things change. For instance, my shop has grown in size and geographically, and continues to grow as we add strong teammates. And we are constantly approached by potential clients of all kinds, asking us to be involved in their businesses. The old ad-hoc approach from my 20s wasn’t cutting it, anymore. It became time to codify what we do, and why we do it. I wrote a post about that, and it really helped my team focus on what’s important to us, and it helped drive our decisions for the company.
It was fantastic, and quite helpful.
Well, it’s been a few years since my original post about purpose and values. It’s time for a redo, it’s time for an update. Founding father Thomas Jefferson suggested the need for a revolution every 20 years. I tend to agree, although this isn’t quite a revolution, but more of an evolution.
I’ve been thinking about this post since our work with PepsiCo, as their ‘Performance With Purpose’ is such a driving force for their business. It feels like companies who have strong, codified values tend to do better at the things that matter. As we’ve grown, it’s become incredibly important to me that everyone here knows what we’re about. It’s important that potential clients do, too.
I’ve recently been involved in another company’s efforts to create their own purpose and values program, as the director of their company video. Unfortunately, as the project progressed it became clear that this company didn’t ‘walk the walk’ with their values (and they really weren’t 100% sure what those values were, either). It was all just words to them, calculated to extract incredible loyalty and instill fear among employees. The company practices management by intimidation.
It made me really think. ‘We can’t be blamed for what happened’, I thought ‘How could we have known?’. Well, in fact, there were a few red flags in preproduction that I ignored: 1) they tried to lowball us, and only grudgingly accepted a fair project price, 2) they insisted on splitting the project into two videos instead of one great one, and 3) my initial dealings with the CEO and his minion made me feel a little icky inside, from his sportscar parked across 3 parking spaces, to the minion being insanely late to our kickoff meeting, at a purposefully-snooty locale.
At the time, we were just opening one of our studios, and we didn’t have much local work, yet. I ignored the red flags, and we went in full speed ahead- even when they started making adjustments to our working relationship, ignoring their part of the contract while insisting that we follow every word on our end.
Thus began my re-education about the importance of a strong, well-thought-out purpose and values manifesto. We needed- I needed- a roadmap, updated to our current business realities, that could guide us in our day-to-day dealings with clients, as well as in our more long-term decision making. We needed to revisit the core of our business, and figure out what we’re really all about. And we needed to refocus ourselves so that we can identify both good and bad opportunities, before it was too late. It’s easy to get caught up in the craziness of day-to-day life in a creative agency, and miss out on the chance to not just do cool stuff, but to do the right cool stuff. To create work that delights, and work that makes a difference. And furthermore, to build a company that radiates these values so brightly that it attracts the good, and discourages the bad.
Every company, nay, every individual should take the time to occasionally think about- and write down- their own purpose and values statement. Next time, I’ll share our company’s shiny new purpose and values manifesto with you.
Los Angeles Video Production Company PatrickOrtman, Inc. Completes High-Profile 25th Anniversary Web Video For The Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC)
(This press release was posted to the world, but never made our blog. Oops!)
PRESS RELEASE: Los Angeles, California- Los Angeles based video & film director Patrick Ortman announces the completion of the 25th anniversary promotional video for Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. based nonprofit Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC).
The video’s unique concept, traveling 20 years into a possible future where Muslims are more accepted in positions of impact and leadership in American politics, the entertainment industry, and in media, was realized visually through PatrickOrtman, Inc.’s partnership with Oscar-winning Barney Burman’s B2FX special effects company. “Working with B2FX was critical in realizing our vision. We had to age them realistically 20 years into the future, and the client absolutely did not want it to look cheesy” says Ortman “MPAC trusted us with a concept that was perhaps a bit creatively risky, so we went to the best- and we’re thrilled with how it turned out.”
Hasnain Syed, Creative Director at MPAC, added “Having had previous experience working with Patrick, I turned to him to help us create a unique video about our organization. Patrick loves to think outside the box. We needed someone who was not going to follow convention, but throw ideas out of left field – which is exactly what we got. What makes Patrick stand out is that he values ideas before execution. If the idea is great and catchy, he’ll figure out a way to make it happen within your time and budget. That there is an awesome partner to create awesome projects.”
MPAC is an American institution which informs and shapes public opinion and policy by serving as a trusted resource to decision makers in government, media and policy institutions. MPAC is also committed to developing leaders with the purpose of enhancing the political and civic participation of American Muslims.
Here we are in Los Angeles this week, at the wrap of our recent bi-coastal video production project (we can’t say who it’s for, yet). We shot in Boston, Washington D.C., New York City, Minneapolis, and in Los Angeles and San Francisco for this one, and the best thing of all about this project (besides the people) is it’s a project that can make a difference in the world, for children.
That’s a fitting project with which to close out the year.
Except we’re not done with 2013, yet. We still have three other projects in process at our various locations, and two of those are at our new Austin, Texas location.
Oh, and this next photo is how we all felt inside to wrap this amazing project:
When the RED first came out, it changed everything. The picture was stunning for the price. Yeah, it was buggy, but they eventually ironed most of that out. And today, we have a plethora of amazing choices when it comes time to choose a camera for our films. Even on the lower-budget end of things.
These days, most professional camera systems are capable of fantastic pictures. There’s a particular few cameras that I personally like for filmmaking, though. And they are these: Canon’s C-series, Blackmagic’s cameras, Sony’s recent 35mm sensor cams, and (under certain circumstances) the RED. If you’re renting, throw in Alexa, of course.
Any of these cameras can give you a startlingly fantastic image. And it’s been like this for a couple of years, now.
The difference between the images you get and the images the pros get, though, isn’t the camera itself. What really sets the work apart is your choice of lenses, and lighting. These days, assuming you’re using a good camera system, the camera you’re using matters far less than your talent and your lens collection.
I know a bunch of camera fanboys just shit themselves, and are rising up to argue. That’s fine- you guys keep on arguing stupid things like specs and resolution. We’re set on making beautiful images. The fact is, once you reach a certain threshold in camera technology, what starts to hold you back is the optics. Great optics are not cheap, by the way! And your ability as a filmmaker to sculpt the light and create a look matters a lot, obviously.
So do cameras matter in filmmaking? Yes, and no. But certainly, rather than obsessing over camera specs, I think one would be wise to spend that effort on learning how to light and getting some good lenses. Bonus: lenses are a fantastic long-term investment, unlike cameras.
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