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September 2014
Issue: August 1, 2010

SURVIVING AND THRIVING

By: Randi Altman
We often talk about how the economy has affected post businesses. And while many studios have closed their doors and sold off their gear, others have planned and plotted and operated in really smart ways, allowing them to actually expand their existing business.

In our “Studios” feature on page 24, you will read about some success stories — studios with enough work or potential work that they are able to add rooms, gear and talent, or branch out to other cities. Some pros have taken the leap and opened brand-new facilities.

New York’s Nutmeg Post is celebrating 30 years of providing audio post services to the entertainment industry. How did they survive and thrive over three decades? According to Nutmeg founder/owner Tony Spaneo, by hiring the right talent, giving them the best tools to do their job without being fiscally irresponsible, and listening to customer needs. “To survive, many companies had to reinvent themselves when challenged by issues such as the actors strike, 9/11, the writers strike and the recent economic challenges the world is facing,” he says. “We’ve been able to weather these crises since our client base is so diverse.”

Over the years, he says, some of Nutmeg’s clients asked them to also offer video editing, allowing for an entire project to be done under one roof. “Last year, an opportunity presented itself that made sense,” says Spaneo. “We were able to expand the business by taking on another floor and adding this service. Already owning multiple HD and Digi Beta decks helped us to avoid additional expenses. By offering packages, Nutmeg is able to provide clients with a savings of time and money.”

The Kerner Group, a collection of companies that offer creative services to the film studios, indie filmmakers, TV studios and production companies, has restructured. The group has committed to 3D production, offering technological expertise, with facilities and their own KernerCam 3D camera rigs.

President Tim Partridge, says, “We are doing three things specifically to ensure we thrive in this tough time: Staying lean — we only have a handful of permanent employees using the very talented flexible workforce that Marin, CA, has to offer,  which keeps our overhead low. We are focused on a few areas of expertise, namely destruction sequences and 3D. We are not in the highly competitive area of general post. And lastly, we are diversifying the business, taking the unique creative and technical skills of our people and using them in non-entertainment industries such as the architectural industry, and in the military and private industry through our divisions of Kerner Designs and Kernerworks, respectively.”