Hollywood Post Production Studio survives and thrives amidst two decades of industry change – gives insight in surviving the next 20 years
The post production industry has seen significant change in the past few decades to accommodate their clients evolving needs – from major studios and advertising agencies, to broadcasters, streaming content providers and independents. The overwhelming access to on-demand media, anytime and anywhere via the internet, streaming portals, handheld devices, radio and television has forever changed the time-to-market and monetization model for businesses. Content providers and distribution companies are faced with the growing challenge of seamlessly and efficiently delivering high quality digital content in multiple tape and file formats across a myriad of media platforms and outlets to targeted destinations. All-the-while ensuring its quality, security, and reducing the distribution time gap. In addition, large production budgets of the 80s and 90s are now a thing of the past as studio budgets are scrutinized to ensure the most expedient process in delivering timely content to consumers. This has resulted in major consolidation across the industry, coupled with technology advances in streamlining workflows to improve time-to-market efficiency.
Advanced Digital Services, Inc. (ADS), located in Hollywood, CA, is amongst the few post production studios that not only has survived the consolidation wars, but has grown in step with the changing times. I recently had a chance to sit down with the studio’s owner, Andy McIntyre and Brad Weyl, Chief Operating Officer, to discuss how they’ve overcome and prospered during the past few decades, along with their vision of the future.
“ADS is a leading global provider of digital mastering, encoding, restoration and duplication services and is celebrating its history as one of the first post production studios in Hollywood to offer digital video and audio services now in continuous operation for over 20 years,” said McIntyre. “Our company’s two decades of relentless focus and commitment to service, quality, and value has made ADS one of the few go-to post houses for major studios, broadcasters, independents, advertising agencies and the like.”
In explaining the company’s rich history, McIntyre noted that ADS opened in 1994 with a mission to build the best digital services company in the industry. He added that his career began as a cameraman in the early 1970s and then moved to post-production where he fine-tuned his skills working in a variety of Hollywood’s best studios. Eventually he founded AME, which he grew into the largest video post-production facility in the world. In 1989, McIntyre sold AME to an investor group, but a few years later it was clear to this industry visionary that the digital era had begun and he then founded ADS with a vision of becoming one of Hollywood’s premiere post production one-stop-shops that would be able to cater to the evolving ‘digital based’ global audience, while being able to service clientele that still had a large investment in legacy formats.
During the ensuing years, ADS has attracted and retained the best post production talent in the industry while diversifying into a wide variety of digital services including HD/SD encoding and conversion; electronic distribution and verification; closed captioning, audio restoration, new media services and digital duplication. Continued McIntyre, “We owe our 20 years in business to our ever growing family of clients, from major motion picture studios and global ad agencies to independents and walk-ins. With a commitment to service, quality and value excellence, we strive to build on our steadfast pledge to being the best digital services company in the industry. We continually invest in our personnel and equipment and we are well provisioned to deliver advanced digital media services to any client and in any volume, now and for the next 20 years.” ADS also maintains a wide array of post-production equipment capable of handling a variety of projects – from cutting-edge 4K systems to the largest working supply of legacy audio and video machines that support near-obsolete formats, a must have for many international and catalog clients.
The ADS commitment to service, quality, and value started when McIntyre opened the doors in 1994 and has been institutionalized by one of its first employees, Brad Weyl, a 40 year veteran of the post production industry. Weyl explained that all of their staff understands how critical each asset is to their clients and how compressed their delivery schedule and budget can be. “We encourage our personnel to take initiative, to learn workflows from beginning to end and to continually strive for excellence,” stated Weyl. “As such, our unique integrated workflows for each service department allow for our individual service specialists to take on projects from beginning to end – ensuring consistent quality and timeliness. Our 20 years in business delivering the industry’s highest-quality movie trailers, electronic press kits, episodic television programming, motion pictures, restoration projects and television spot advertisements is a testament to our continual commitment in providing the best service to our ever growing clientele.”
Penny Johnson, founder and post production supervisor of Equinox Productions affirmed ADS’s commitment to quality, service and value, who concluded, “ADS provides the highest quality in terms of product, service, and price. I consider them an integral part of my company. On a scale of 1 to 10, I get an 11 in service from them. Frankly, I can sleep at night knowing ADS is on the job.”
With a complete end-to-end digital workflow built to maximize flexibility, efficiency and quality coupled with a customer-centered approach to projects resulting in the delivery of consistent high-quality assets, on time and on budget – ADS may well be one of the few standing studios to boast its next 20 year anniversary.
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