BUFFALO, NY — Andy Donovan is the president and owner of dPost/dStudio (dpost.com) in Buffalo, New York. The studio recently celebrated its 20th year in business, and Donovan attributes its longevity to keeping on target with trends, staying a step ahead of downturns in the economy, and knowing how to strike when the iron is hot.
An editor himself, Donovan surrounded himself with talent in an effort to create a destination that would encompass all aspects of post production, including edit, color, musical score, sound design, VFX, and animation. Local work rapidly grew into national spots and a few timely international pieces as agencies took notice of the studio’s one-stop-shop approach.
In terms of talent, Donovan continually searched the universities. As an integral part of the business plan, internships and organic internal learning was heavily promoted.
“If I could bring students in, let them learn from our team, in both skill and culture, I would create home-grown employees that would service customers the way I felt was right,” He explains. The plan worked then and still does today. “Several of our employees started as interns and they’re still here.”
As the business grew, more space was needed. The old, unique mansion was being outgrown and sights were set on what is now the present site of dPost/dStudio. A “diamond in the rough” was available in the revitalizing theatre district on Main Street in downtown Buffalo. His vision for six modern edit suites, sound booths, conference space and offices was set in motion. Today visitors from Los Angeles and New York are envious of the space in both design and size.
“Our goal was to make agency partners and clients as comfortable as possible, knowing they likely had to travel to us,” he explains. “Giving them the space they needed, with amenities they wanted, made everyone excited.”
In 2010, as the business climate was changing and companies were looking for more streamlined ways to do business, more agencies were asking about production, and dPost tapped that opportunity.
Continuing in the same manner of servicing a client as dPost, dStudio was formed to create high-quality video assets, which would then feed the post side of the business.
“At dStudio, we have four in-house producers, we hire the right director for the project and the best crew based on needs,” Donovan explains. “A project might have five people or 100 — we cover it all.”
The 17,000 square-foot facility offers a sound stage with a cyc wall and a lifestyle studio with a 20-foot ceiling. On the post side, the facility is outfitted with the Adobe Suite, including Premiere for editing and After Effects for graphics. DaVinci Resolve is used for color grading and Maxon’s Cinema 4D is used for 3D work. Additional visual effect can be created with SideFX Houdini. And on the audio side, Avid’s Pro Tools is at the core.
“It doesn’t seem like a long time - 20 years,” Donovan reflects. “It’s easy to do it when you love what you do. We are proud to work with national companies like Lowe’s, Amana-Goodman, Zippo, Fisher-Price and more, yet we enjoy our local companies too. They helped us get to where we are now.”