The partner spotlight is a weekly series where we go behind the scenes with some of the companies that make VendorDB great. Next up is Caviar!
Locations: Los Angeles, Brussels, Amsterdam, Prague, Paris, London
Year Founded: 2004
Specialties: commercial, music video, film, branded content, television production
What inspired you to start your company?
Caviar began as a merger of two production companies – Roses are Blue, Caviar CEO Bert Hamelnick’s company, and Pix and Motion, which was owned by the Belgian media group Corelio. The reason we did the deal is that while we had a very successful commercial business, we were already thinking about the future and the fact that there were big changes happening in the industry. We knew that producing our own content would become a very important part, and that by merging we could focus on film and TV as well.
How did the partners meet?
Around 2002 Bert came to LA to shoot a commercial, and Michael Sagol, the partner who now runs Caviar LA, was then advertising in Europe offering a service for European companies who wanted to shoot here. The two got on great, and Sagol wanted to move more into production. Bert felt that by coming from a small country like Belgium, it’s always difficult to grow in Europe and the UK, so he suggested Michael take several of our top directors and sell them here instead. Needless to say, the plan worked. In 2010, Caviar welcomed current EP and Managing partner Jasper Thomlinson to the team after having worked as a freelance producer exclusively with Caviar for several years prior.
What emerging tech trend will have the biggest impact on your business?
Branded Content has been a big one, with focus now being put on non-broadcast multi-platform storytelling that organically integrates a client’s brand identity, we’ve had to shift gears and adapt. Which we have done-so successfully by creating branded content for brands such as Ford, Nowness.com, GQ to name a few.
Earlier this year we moved from our offices in mid-wilshire and relocated to what used to the the Wells Fargo building next to the Arclight theater. We opted to move to Hollywood for several reasons. We looked at a lot of buildings, all over town, and we loved this location and the fact we could take an empty space and put our own identity on it. Is it a gamble? Not really, as Caviar has always been successful by not doing what everyone else is. And while there are other companies that might be similar to us, they’re either very successful in the US with a smaller operation in Europe, or vice versa. But we have two very strong bases, in both America and Europe. We threw a party to celebrate our opening which wound up hosting 1400 people in the industry!
Any wild party stories from that night?
Now, if we told you we’d have to kill you.
Where is the best bar in Hollywood?
We love Stella Barra Pizzaria next door!
What is the best thing about working at Caviar?
We love what we do and we think that energy is infectious. At the end of the day we are just a group of storytellers trying to save the world one bad commercial at a time.
left to right: Managing Partners Michael Sagol, Depot Thomlinson, Jasper Thomlinson