M-1 Studios: Makin’ Money Makin’ Movies

M-1 Studios: Makin’ Money Makin’ Movies

(Crystal A. Proxmire, Ferndale 115 News, 01/15/2012)

Who in the Ferndale area hasn’t seen the silly, yet informative internet clips of Dean Bach of Dino’s Lounge in his various disguises talking up local events and fun? Or Frank Lanzkron-Tamarazo of Chazzano Coffee cleverly teaching viewers about important coffee features?  The online commercials appear on the entrepreneurs’ websites, Facebook pages, You Tube Accounts, Twitter Feeds, embedded into online news articles and blogs, and other places on the web.

But what you may not realize is that it’s yet another Ferndale company working behind the scenes to make those clips happen.  From concept to upload, M-1 Studios know how to give small business owners the medium for their message to shine. Plus they have a story all of their own.

M-1 Studios started five years ago in Ferndale by three independent filmmakers whose talents, and personalities, meshed perfectly for a film start-up.  Matthew Peach is the President.  Rob Gulley is the Post Production Manager and as Operations Manager Mike Madigan is the production coordinator for client production shoots and crew scheduling.

They’ve worked with other local creative types, like screenwriter Chris Lepley and production assistants Krystle Kusiak and Richelle Witbrodt.  Kusiak and Witbrodt were on hand to help with Dino’s latest shoot on Jan 10, 2012.

The filming usually takes a couple hours to a whole afternoon for a clip, and can be more fun than work for the business-owner.  “I look forward to this every time I do it,” Bach said.  “I wouldn’t say its work at all. It’s like a play day where we are playing ‘TV Show,’ but it’s with real cameras. I believe that to have effective social media marketing, a small business owner should ‘get into it’ and enjoy. I like doing this and I’m told it shows. It only takes up about 2 -3 hours of my time once a month.”  Bach has always wanted to be a star, and said that as a kid he used to use Push-up Pops for a microphone while imitating Johnny Carson.”

For Lanzkron-Tamarazo, the camera presence was not ingrained in him from childhood as it was for Bach.  Lanzkron-Tamarazo  is a Cantor at the synagogue he founded in Farmington Hills, Congregation Hava Nashira, where he routinely will sing in front of over a thousand people.  Yet he was still camera shy the first time.

“When you’re performing in front of people you get a reaction.  It may not always be good, but it lets you know that someone is there and listening. There’s no reaction with a camera.  But all three of the partners did such a good job making me look good that after the first shoot I trusted them and there was a lot less pressure.”

The videos M-1 makes are part of a larger social media plan that has been paying off.  “Without getting into our finances too much let’s just say business has been steadily increasing since we begin investing in video production for social media,” Bach said.

Gulley explained that social media requires some instinct and skill.  “You need a balance between posting something and overkill.  Dino’s knows how to put things out in a way that doesn’t turn people away.  They’ve got a lot of ‘likes’ on Facebook.”

“Video productions are a great addition to a business / organization’s marketing efforts online.  With video, you don’t just talk about your story, you get a chance to see your story being told in a visually compelling format, along with other elements, such as interview segments, testimonials, and product  or service demonstrations,” said Madigan.

Lanzkron-Tamarazo said he cannot say enough good things about M1and the professionalism of their work, but that he was most impressed with the way they help others as their business grows.

“They mentor students and they hire apprentices which is a great way to get back.  You can see they are excited about helping those they work with learning about film,” the coffee-roasting guru explained.  “When they did the 48 Hour Film Project, they started and ended at Chazzano Coffee.  Each summer it’s a contest where teams meet up and get a line that is supposed to be used in a short film and they’ve got 48 hours from start to finish.  Well one problem a lot of the teams have is rendering the film into the right format to submit to the contest.  So they decided to help by holding a class so these other young, independent filmmakers and students could learn to how to do it right for the contest.”

He added that the return on investment “was almost instant” as people began sharing his videos online and talking about them at the shop.

The small businesses that M-1 works with tend to do a new video once a month. They also work with other clients to do training and promotional videos for industrial and corporate needs.  They offer screenwriting services, voice over narration, and musical scoring as well.  For Chazzano Coffee they’ve done You Tube videos as well as cable television commercials, including one that got yet another Ferndale business involved when PJ Jacokes of Go! Comedy was filmed explaining why there is no whipped cream on Chazzano Coffee.

To find out more about M-1 Studios visit http://www.m-1studios.com/index.html.  To see more work by M-1, including commercials for Treat Dreams, Luna, and Blumz, go to http://www.m-1studios.com/index.html.

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