Ken Ashe is the new GM at ZapBoomBang Studios in Houston, an audio and video production studio and post house that specializes in commercial work, and one that hopes to expand into long-form and corporate work too. When I spoke with Ashe, he’d been at the studio for just three weeks, but his career actually spans more than three decades. He founded Match Frame in Texas many years ago, which later became 1080, Inc.
“We created a production and post facility in the middle of America and were extremely blessed,” he says of the San Antonio studio. “We came along at the right time and had a lot of terrific clients help build us up.”
In 1998, Ashe moved to manage the company’s Austin division. In 2007 he headed to LA, where as an executive producer, he helped bring in long-form work, including programs for National Geographic and Discovery. There was even a time that 1080 considered expanding to Miami, but Hurricane Katrina ruined those plans. “We were so close to doing that, but it was going to be too costly,” he recalls. “The hurricane drove up the cost of supplies. Literally, that’s what pulled us out of that deal.”
Change, says Ashe, is the one constant he’s witnessed. “The model for the kind of business we had done for so long just doesn’t quite work anymore. You see post houses around the country that are struggling to survive. It was a good model for many, many years, but as the equipment decreased in cost and editors became ubiquitous, the challenge was to keep up with the competition.”
Today’s business, he feels, is being increasingly driven by talent. And that’s one of the reasons he joined ZapBoomBang.
“We have a pool of talent that we are really proud of,” he notes. “It’s all about talent management these days. The ultimate goal is to get the creative onto the screen. Technology changes every week. It’s getting that guy, who has in his head that fantastic thing. That’s the most important thing — that creative talent.”