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VOL. 130 | NO. 105 | Monday, June 1, 2015

VIA Productions Expands With Acquisition

By Andy Meek

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Growth is the name of the game these days at Memphis-based VIA Productions, which in the last 30 days has grown by 25 percent with five new hires.

The company also announced in recent days the acquisition of Memphis-based Otter Creek Productions, a company that rents cameras and equipment to production companies throughout the U.S., a service that VIA previously hadn’t offered.

Terms of that deal were not disclosed. But VIA has announced that Otter Creek will continuing to serve its existing client base, and that the new unit of VIA will be branded as VIA Camera.

Otter Creek founder Steve Tammi is staying on board and will act as director of VIA Camera and facilities in his new position. He’s also a camera operator and will be available for hire, along with the camera packages a client might need.

VIA is a full-service production company with a focus on commercial production service. According to Tammi, Otter Creek’s team-up with VIA is a great fit that will bring new, elite-level camera equipment, a larger client base and the opening of new doors in the industry.

Beyond an expanded assortment of camera offerings and the like, the deal – and other recent news out of VIA – also underscores the mission that president John Haun says drives his company.

HAUN

“We’re plugging along with our vision,” he explained. “We want to build a company that’s among the best in the industry, not just the best in Memphis or the best in the Southeast. And we’ve said all along that we think that includes keeping production in Memphis and raising the bar for production in Memphis.”

For an indication of how the company is pursuing those goals, he points to things like recent hires of a few new programmers, plus the investment of “a significant amount of money” into hardware and software to develop technology that he says will improve production overall.

It also includes the recent launch of its service platform, Spothub by VIA, which streamlines production workflow from concept to delivery.

VIA says Spothub is a “one-stop shop to view creative, customize messaging, and deliver content.” Creative agencies, franchises and buying groups, the company says, should find the platform appealing because it provides quality control and brand singularity, streamlining every step of the process.

Other organizations use Spothub because of its automated delivery system, and all spots are delivered using VIA’s in-house HD delivery system.

Haun said the deal with Otter Creek came about partly as a result of working with Tammi for years and renting equipment almost exclusively from him.

“Part of our strategy is we want to bring more work to Memphis,” Haun said. “At some point, we’ve got to build something that makes people want to come here. We have such a great film community here. We said, ‘Let’s take a great company like Otter Creek that focuses on client service, that knows the industry really well, and let’s put some firepower behind it to create an offering that people don’t have to leave this market for.’ Memphis is not a stepping stone for us.

“That, plus the growth spurt we’re going through right now, makes this as a really fun time, that’s for sure.”

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