Today we have selected Ben Grody to take his interview. He is the Sr Producer at ASL Productions.
First of all, how are you and your team doing in these COVID-19 times?
Like everyone, there have been ups and downs, obstacles to overcome as a team, and the need to evaluate how we do things as we move forward. All things considered, though, we’ve been very fortunate. Our team has remained resilient, and we’re immensely proud of how ASL as a company has pivoted where needed and continued to create excellent content for our new and existing clients.
On a professional level, the disruption has required us to look at many of our practices and adapt to the changing way we create content. Some of our best services, like our Remote Video Solution package, would never have been created if it weren’t for Covid and is something we plan to use well into the future.
Tell us about your career and how you founded or joined this company?
I started my career working in reality and unscripted content for television. For almost ten years, I worked under some of the most impressive people in their development, production, and post fields. I learned the importance of trusting your team, communication, and organization. All of which have proved immensely valuable as I moved to NY and continued my journey with Adam Lebenstin and ASL Productions.
How does your company innovate?
At the onset of Covid, we could take advantage of our talented roster of the nationwide crew and create one of the most robust remote viewing workflows available to keep travel and contact down.
Since then, we have also developed a groundbreaking Remote Video Solution package that allows us to ship fully built video and lighting kits anywhere in the country that can be controlled from top to bottom by our tech and producers off-site.
How the Coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
As companies were hesitant to spend, things were tough for our team early on. However, unlike so many, we have been very fortunate over the last 6-8 months as things have begun to pick up again. Some companies and brands have been looking for creative ways to pivot away from in-person events. Others are looking for video content as a way to highlight the great work and innovation they have been doing in their own industries to be shown at virtual events or meetings.
We have also continued to create content for more traditional marketing and advertising efforts and are proud of the steps we take to ensure the safety of all cast and crew when in-person filming is required.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Unfortunately, we had to let people go or furlough employees early on when the work was not there. By the end of the summer though, we were able to bring everyone back and will always remember what we learned about how fragile even a strong industry like ours can be. We are doing so well now that we have been expanding and have since brought on three more employees than when Covid first hit.
What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to navigate this crisis?
During Covid and work at home, we started using Slack regularly. We’ve also begun using software called Airtable to help organize our projects across the company. Both have been incredibly helpful and we’re grateful for having had to adapt and find solutions that we hope will continue to benefit us long after this chapter is complete. And of course, we’ve become way more familiar with Zoom and Teams and have also figured out how to use these platforms for media production, recording Zooms in different ways and then taking those files into an edit for more professional and engaging content pieces.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
There are hundreds of choices for video production companies in New York City alone. We pride ourselves on our producing skills, which require clear communication and the flexibility to adapt to different client budgets and needs. We try not to think much about our competitors. Instead, we just want to do the best we can each day for our clients while providing a comfortable environment for collaboration with them, whether they be brands, companies, or creative agency partners.
Your Final Thoughts