Issue: February 2008 Issue
A Touch of Hollywood
Think Media's Brian Glazen used his experience in the move-making capital to build a successful production company in Cleveland.
In 2004, Brian Glazen moved back to Cleveland after an 11-year stint in Los Angeles, where he worked with some of the biggest names in Hollywood on films, commercials and videos. His plan? To bring a touch of Hollywood to Northeast Ohio by opening his own production studio, then called BGMedia.
What started as just one guy and a dream has turned into the now 10-employee strong Think Media Studios, a full-service video production company providing a wide variety of video and interactive media, as well as Web streaming, tradeshow and event management.
The company recently landed a contract with SanDisk, one of the world's top four mobile media companies. Later this month, SanDisk will go live with www.fanfare.com
, a media download site that rivals the scope and quality of Apple's iTunes. Think Media is now the central hub for all of SanDisk's video transcoding needs, turning programming from industry titans like NBC, CBS and Showtime into downloadable entertainment that can be taken anywhere. With the convergence of PC to TV, this certainly helps Think Media's reputation as a fast-growing production powerhouse.
"Being as young as we are, our new clients are usually surprised when they realize that we have the ability to become a full-fledged marketing partner," says Glazen, president. "We've been flying under the radar, building ourselves into the company that can support all of our clients' needs. This is our year to come out from under the radar."
With a lucrative new client and $350,000 worth of recent technical and infrastructure upgrades, there is no reason to think otherwise. Think Media serves about 25 different clients locally, including the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland, Cleveland Clinic, Medical Mutual and University Hospitals, as well as national clients like the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, NFL and Warner Brothers.
With every new project or client, employees know they must adhere to the company's motto: We start by listening.
"Often a client comes to us saying, ‘This is what we think we need and this is what we think we want,'" Glazen says. "Sometimes what the client actually needs is a different approach than he or she anticipated. We take a lot of pride in our ability to immerse ourselves in the company to figure out the strategy. This is the fun part — diving into their businesses and getting to know them, their product and mission inside and out. In the end, we may not know their business better than they do, but we'll know the best way to achieve success in communicating their message."
But as with any young company, Think Media faces challenges. One of the biggest frustrations is getting potential clients to take a chance by doing something new with their marketing and advertising. "Some clients are open minded and want to push the gamut," Glazen says. "But there are many others who are reluctant to change."
Trina Agosto, a Think Media producer, says it's hard convincing clients that using video to communicate their message is often faster and easier than traditional methods. "We live in a world that is sensory driven," she says. "People now expect an entertaining and interactive experience. It's a part of life and without that approach, you risk appearing antiquated."
Agosto says the most rewarding part of her job is helping a client grow and prosper. "I love watching clients step outside their comfort zone and see what they thought was a risk really wasn't — and now it's helping their business succeed."
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