We had the chance to catch up with Scott Robinson of Robinson Films Inc., a full service production company based in New York City with an international network of writers, directors, photographers, DPs and editors. Read below to see what he has to say about the evergrowing world of production and the key to maintaining a successful production company.
Production Paradise: At Robinson Films you are clearly passionate about commercial production; could you tell us more about where and how it all started for you?
Scott: Robinson Films was born in a one bedroom apartment in Astoria and grew up in a huge loft on 11th Street in Manhattan. We now work out of laptops and iPhones throughout New York. Our secret hideout is Via Emilia, an Italian restaurant on 21st Street. Oops…now I have said too much.
Our founding producers are classically trained. Meaning, they started their careers working with film. We now work with producers and artists who are on the cutting edge of digital. All the challenges of producing top line broadcast commercials in New York have helped us create a sharp, creative production agency.
Production Paradise: You have gathered an international team of writers, directors, photographers, DPs and editors to work at RFi. Do you have all the aspects of production covered in house or do you sometimes look for professionals outside the team for some specific projects?
Scott: Our word for the year is “collaboration.” We are on a drive to work with new clients and new artists. So, yes, we have all aspects of production covered and yes, we are always on the look out for new brilliant players.
Production Paradise: What would you say is the key to maintaining a successful production company?
Scott: Relentless drive and clear thought. Business is brutal right now so we have to be completely flexible with a rock solid set of skills to pull off the CRAZIEST of client requests. We have to be able to make more with 25% – 45% less. (Did I mention there are crazy requests?)
Production Paradise: What has been the most exciting project that you have worked on? What made it special or challenging?
Scott: I was brought in to produce a video of Beyoncé at the General Assembly of the United Nations for RSA. While Beyoncé was singing “I Was Here” we projected an amazing animated video onto the world’s largest free standing concave single material screen. Working with Kenzo Digital (again) and Sophie Muller was awesome. What made it special – my parents were there for the final shoot/performance.
Oh…and working on the Jerry Seinfeld spot for HP at Katz’s Deli, obviously.
I would also like to say a sad good bye to TCM’s Robert Osborne. RFI was lucky enough to work with Robert during his last 5 years taping for Turner Classic Movies. He was a true gentleman and will be greatly missed.
Production Paradise: You’ve worked with big names such as Budweiser, Heinz, Dell, TCM and Playtex (to name a few!) is there a specific brand or company you would like to work with in the future?
Scott: Robinson Films is completely brand agnostic. As opposed to looking for a specific brand, we have valued these diverse opportunities. The broad range sharpens our skills and helps us achieve what we thrive on – awesome, creative and clear messaging. We survive because we provide top notch clear-eyed production service to every project we take on.
Production Paradise: Your clients vary from technology and sportswear to food and packaged consumer goods. How do you choose the best team for each project?
Scott: Discussion, past projects, and desire. Our sales team (Yo! Shout out to Sarah & Cat) and EPs discuss who has the best shot of winning a project so we take everyone’s past projects into account. We are constantly speaking with and interacting with the directors so we also take into account their desires. What they want to do, where they want to go.
Production Paradise: What does the future hold for Robinson Films Inc.?
Scott: The future will bring RFi an abundance of safe film sets and an ever-growing list of happy returning clients, with our Holiday Party and swag planned out by the end of October. We would like to be part of providing a world of quality over quantity, with connection and understanding over miscommunication.
Production Paradise: In what ways is Production Paradise useful for you?
Scott: We are new to Production Paradise and can already see that if used in safe doses, Production Paradise will keep us fit, tan, and up to date with awesome talent in every aspect of this business all around the world. Thanks for having us aboard!
We would like to say a big thank you to Scott for taking the time to chat with us. Discover more of RFi on their website.
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