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 Original Six Media!

The Vitals

Name: Original Six Media
Location: Chicago
Year Founded: 2013
Specialties: Documentary-style overview videos for the web, social media video, event video coverage, branded video, product demonstration video, video for publications, editorial video, broadcast commercials, internal corporate video.

What inspired you to start your company?

Our Creative Director was working with our investor on a passion project as a freelance shooter and editor, and our investor saw that his skills for creating cohesive and beautiful online video were in demand. Together, they decided to set up shop and bring on a staff that would focus on online video. Soon, Original Six Media was off and running, working on large-scale event video, product demonstrations, non-profit video and even big-budget broadcast commercials to meet the needs of a growing list of clients and creative partners. We couldn’t have possibly imagined how this would all play out, but we’ve enjoyed the journey.

Why Chicago?

Chicago is one of the best incubators for talent in the creative industries and honestly, it’s where most of us come from. We couldn’t possibly imagine having a home-base anywhere else—we love the vibrancy of the city and our clients. But we also do a ton of travel. We have a lean crew and connections across the country, so are comfortable filming on location anywhere.

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Which work or brand are you best known for?

We have worked with USA Hockey on a few great projects. We did their viral video “From Child’s View, Parents Find Full-Ice Hockey No Fun”, a video about why playing surfaces need to be downsized for small children so that they can efficiently learn the skills of hockey. It was an educational video with a fun concept, and it really resonated with the USA Hockey audience – becoming their most viewed video of all time. The video helped continue a conversation in the community about a controversial topic —people kept sharing the video, and the views are still coming in by the thousands every month.

Which project is your most underrated?

We had the awesome opportunity to film the All Blacks vs. USA Eagles rugby tournament at Soldier Field as a behind the scenes crew. We did a suite of videos that had original music, amazing footage from the field, and interesting interviews with the players; the videos remain internal to the company that hired us, and although we won multiple creative awards for one of the videos in particular, we haven’t yet been able to display the content publicly.

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What is the smartest work you’ve seen in the past year that didn’t come from your shop?

We’ll answer this from every member of our team.

Chad Stum, Creative Director: Watchtower Over Turkey – Innovative visual risks, compelling editing and amazing use of natural sound.
Lindsay Swift, Head of Production: Illinois Luck Health Plan –  Smart strategy that appeals to millennials.
Nick Severson, Editor: Valspar’s #ColorForAll Campaign –  Taking the business of color and making it emotional.
Blaire Knight-Graves, Associate Producer: Ad Council’s Love Has No Labels –  Changing perspectives on a difficult topic with a simple, lovely concept.

What is your biggest challenge at the moment?

We have amazing contacts and friends at really good, mid-sized companies in the Midwest that are struggling to get video production budgets for their marketing efforts. It can be frustrating when you genuinely want to help them be more recognizable and have custom, slick video for their websites. There are a lot of ‘old school’ marketing techniques in mid-sized corporations that don’t include social media or video that can be hard to overcome, especially when you know you could be creating such great content for them.

What do you make of the trend where brands are skipping their agency of record to work directly with production partners?

This is a mixed bag for us. We LOVE working with agencies because they help us be a part of an overall campaign, and a multi-tiered marketing effort, often with media dollars behind it, that helps get our video in front of a broad audience. That being said, we think that there are a lot of efficiencies to be found by working project-by-project with production companies like us, and it can be a great solution for clients who just don’t have the budgets to work with an AOR. Ultimately, we can work either way to create effective branded video content.

What is the best thing about working at Original Six Media?

We’re a small, collaborative team of distinctly different creatives. All of our different strengths are emphasized by the fact that we’ve all had dramatically different origin stories. We thrive on having differing views, different styles of fashion, different music and media tastes, and everything in between. Our varied backgrounds encourage lively debates, long conversations, and ultimately the ability to create videos that each has a unique voice that is informed by multiple perspectives.

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Where is the best bar in the River North neighborhood in Chicago?

Our offices are directly above Headquarters Beercade, a bar that is also an arcade. The beer is always craft and the games are always free. Needless to say, we spend a lot of time there.

Care to share a joke?

We called Rick Astley the other day and asked if we could borrow some of his Pixar movies. He said we could borrow Finding Nemo, Toy Story 3, and Ratatouille, but “I’m never gonna give you Up.”

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You can learn more about Original Six Media on VendorDB and at originalsixmedia.com