Technology drives video firm merger
rise in local use

July 17, 2009
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It used to be that if a company needed a video made, it hired one person to shoot the video, and that person then passed it along to someone else to edit.

That is how Larry Melton and Ralph VanKuiken spent much of their career: as two separate entities that collaborated on production and post-production.

New technology, however, has changed all that.

Melton and VanKuiken recently brought their two companies, Triangle and Postworks, together to form 1041EAST. Named after its address at 1041 E. Fulton St., the new media company offers a variety of services such as ideation, content creation, video production, animation and more.

"My business was focused more on the front end of producing, and at that time, the cost of getting into the post-production side was very prohibitive. It was a very specialized field and the barriers of getting into that field were very high. That was Ralph's expertise and that was the direction he went in," said Melton.

"Over the last few years, technology has made it possible to blur that line we used to have."

Melton and VanKuiken formalized their new business identity this month.

The two have been working in the industry since the 1980s and have seen many changes.

"What's happened over the years is computers have just gotten better. Software has gotten better, faster, cheaper. The distribution has changed considerably," said VanKuiken. "The distribution has changed in a technology way. We're talking about the Web; we're talking about even handheld devices — you can send video to your phone."

Across town at 40 S. Division Ave., Creo Productions is a full-service media company specializing in writing and video production. Creo, led by Aaron Carriere, creative director, and Andrew Tingley, chief cinematographer, editor and animator, will celebrate its third anniversary in August.

In that time span, Carriere has seen a rise in the amount of videos that businesses are using, especially for their Web sites.

"It gives voice to small and medium-sized businesses that couldn't afford to do advertising before. It allows those types of business to engage with their customers," said Carriere.

"So much commerce is done on the Web now. I think it's an added tool."

Tingley also pointed to the direction business-to-business communication is going.

"We're moving away from talking heads and using more 2-D and 3-D animated pieces that can communicate complicated ideas. 2-D and 3-D can allow you to communicate directly with a brand and a Web presence, (keeping) fonts and colors and all those sorts of things consistent," Tingley explained.

"It's a way to communicate differently. You have unlimited possibilities in those worlds."

The advancement of 2-D and 3-D animation along with using cinematic techniques has been part of Creo's success. The company uses storytelling to bring a company to life and pass on its message.

"People remember stories. People have communicated through stories for a long time. If you can draw a narrative out of a business, it helps define who they are, and it also engages the viewer to say, 'I'm going to remember something about what I just saw,'" said Carriere.

"I've always said when people watch something we've created, let's give them something — not just try to sell them something. Let's give them a story or some kind of information. Then, if they want more, they can make their purchase."

Despite how the industry is changing, Melton said the core of being a successful video production company remains the same.

"No matter how you receive it, the process of creating good communication is not that different than it always has been," said Melton.

"It's like writing a story: No matter how I view it … you still have to write it well for me to understand it. What's going to help us grow and stay viable is to continue to be good communicators."

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