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Creative Agency Partners With Tech Provider

While attending last year’s television industry trade show MIPCOM in France, Peter Martin was struck by how much programming was being released in 4K and ultra-high definition formats. That gave him an idea for his new business, Flex Creative, an agency that makes TV promos, episodic spots and syndication campaigns in advanced formats. But rather than putting up the money himself for the expensive equipment needed to handle this content, he decided to partner with Roundabout Entertainment, a post-production house in Burbank. “Roundabout promotes themselves as being future-proofed because they keep investing in whatever the new technologies are so their clients that come through can take advantage of that,” Martin said. Flex handles the creative, while Roundabout’s technology meets the protocols set by the big Hollywood studios, such as secure servers, firewalls and restrictions on copying files onto flash drives. By mid-November, Martin anticipates having 12 employees at his company. He will also bring in temporary workers when needed, a common practice in the industry. One benefit is the synergy as both Roundabout and Flex count Walt Disney Co. and 20th Century Fox Television among their clients. “We are working with the same people,” Martin said. “ Martin, 56, started his career at Los Angles television stations KCOP-TV Channel 13 and KTTV Channel 11. He was later recruited to Disney-ABC where he worked on original and syndicated programming and consumer advertising campaigns. Prior to founding Flex Creative, Martin started another company, United Front Media, and did freelance work. What will make the new company stand out from other agencies, Martin said, is that it does all types of advertising and marketing – print, video, radio, online digital and social media. “We do brochures, one-sheets, trade ads,” he said. “The person at the studio who we’ve been dealing with can make one call instead of four or five.” West Valley Filming The staff in Los Angeles City Councilman Bob Blumenfield’s office is making a concerted effort to better market Reseda, Canoga Park, Winnetka, Tarzana and Woodland Hills for filming. In late August, Blumenfield staffers and representatives from FilmL.A. took a group of about 30 location scouts around the district to highlight areas available for filming that are like other pockets of the city that production companies use. Among the stops were Reseda Park, Lanark Park, Remmet Studios and the Topanga Police Station. “Our scouting tour not only highlighted diverse facilities, but also allowed location scouts to walk around, embrace the history, and experience firsthand what the West Valley has to offer,” Blumenfield said in an emailed statement. One interesting observation the scouts made was how quiet the West Valley was without freeway traffic or airplanes flying overhead, said Jake Flynn, the communications director for Blumenfield. That tour has resulted in phone calls to the councilman’s district office from the scouts interested in filming there. Another example is the former Costco retail building on Roscoe Boulevard in Canoga Park that was left empty by the opening of a new store at Westfield Corp.’s Village at Topanga center in adjacent Woodland Hills. The reality cooking show “Hell’s Kitchen” needed a large space for filming and is close to a deal on using the Costco site. Staffers plan future tours with location scouts to visit other sites in the district. Marketing Think Tank Entertainment industry research firm Screen Engine/ASI has teamed up with marketing executive Neil Goetz on a new think tank to provide creative marketing strategies to filmed entertainment. The Engine Room will be based out of the Valley Village offices of Screen Engine/ASI. Goetz called the approach of his new company simple – that every film and television project needs a clear marketing strategy at the outset to succeed. Too often, movie trailers and TV spots are cut and recut based on testing results, he added. “Clients can achieve their core positioning strategy faster, can provide clear direction to all partners more efficiently, and can better disseminate these strategic findings across their campaign’s publicity, promotional and media outreach initiatives,” Goetz said in a prepared statement. Clients of the firm include Sony Corp., Weinstein Co. and Lions Gate Entertainment Inc. Goetz has served as vice president of worldwide marketing for Sony Pictures Entertainment; vice president and worldwide creative director for Samuel Goldwyn Co.; and director of on-air promotions for movies and mini-series for CBS Corp.’s television network. Screen Engine/ASI is a research and analytics firm for the entertainment industry providing services such as focus groups, studies measuring awareness of upcoming films, and testing of trailers, TV spots and other advertising with targeted audiences. Staff Reporter Mark R. Madler can be reached at (818) 316-3126 or mmadler@sfvbj.com.

Mark Madler
Mark Madler
Mark R. Madler covers aviation & aerospace, manufacturing, technology, automotive & transportation, media & entertainment and the Antelope Valley. He joined the company in February 2006. Madler previously worked as a reporter for the Burbank Leader. Before that, he was a reporter for the City News Bureau of Chicago and several daily newspapers in the suburban Chicago area. He has a bachelor’s of science degree in journalism from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
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