by Mark Hengel
Posted 8/24/2009 12:00 am
Updated 2 years ago
The market for production companies in Little Rock - and Arkansas - is becoming more crowded.
Stone Ward's two-year-old, in-house production unit, 360 Filmworks, recently took home 20 Tellys for six clients from the National Telly Awards, which hands out silver statues for winners and bronze for finalists. The awards judge commercials, programs, video and film productions, and content generated for the Web. (Roughly 10 percent of the 13,000 applicants in 2009 earned a statue, a NTA representative said. The representative could not provide a total number of winners.)
"We now want to bring in more than just existing clients" of Stone Ward, said Tommy Walker, head of 360 and Stone Ward's director of broadcast.
Up to this point, 360 has produced video spots for Stone Ward's existing clients, including Snap-on Inc., the Arkansas Attorney General's Office and Entergy, to name a few. Outtakes was treated to a private viewing of many and will say 360 does some pretty good work.
360 Filmworks will be competing with quite a few existing production companies, though. The companies include CJRW of Little Rock's in-house production company, Jones Production Inc., Waymack & Crew Inc., Dempsey Film Group, The Producers Studio, Shadowbox Video Productions, Rizon Media, George Creative Productions and Fried Green Media, all of Little Rock. Dogtown Picture Shows also does healthy business, but is based in North Little Rock, hence the name. Dogtown also did filming for several of 360's Telly-winning spots, though 360 Filmworks' employees did not mention Dogtown's involvement while showing Outtakes around its digs.
It's unclear exactly why so many Little Rock production companies exist, but quite a lot of quality work comes from the area.
"For a market of Little Rock's size, there are a surprising number of large, well-regarded production companies," said Jonathan Epstein, principal at Running Pony Productions, Memphis' largest production company. Epstein cited Jones, Waymack and Dempsey as the main players.