Just a Minute with Steve Muckerheide, president, Backlot Imaging

Last updated on May 13th, 2019 at 02:33 pm

COMPANY ADDRESS: 233 N. Water St., Suite #303, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53202
COMPANY WEB SITE: http://www.backlotimaging.com
INDUSTRY: Motion pictures, television and multimedia
NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES: 11
EDUCATION: Bachelor’s degree in broadcasting and film, Marquette University; MBA, Pepperdine University.
FAMILY: Wife, Barbara, who is an accounting manager in downtown Milwaukee; daughter, Katherine; and son, Michael.
WHAT IS THE SMARTEST THING YOUR COMPANY DID IN THE PAST YEAR?
"We maintained a willingness to adapt to changing forms of production and distribution for the pictures, television and interactive media segments of our customer base."
WHAT IS NEW AT YOUR COMPANY?
"Custom-built computer rigs for image manipulation, graphic design, navigational layout and authoring. We are steering away from off-the-shelf equipment to pursue greater capacity and faster processing at lower costs. In short, we’re engineering more bang for the buck."
DO YOU PLAN TO HIRE ANY ADDITIONAL STAFF OR MAKE ANY SIGNIFICANT CAPITAL INVESTMENTS IN YOUR COMPANY IN THE NEXT YEAR?
"Yes. On the staffing side, we are looking for good graphics artists and creative directors from the Midwest. In addition, we anticipate expanding the sales staff to reach further into the Chicago, Madison and Green Bay markets. Regarding capital investments, we see ourselves adding additional workstations and a render farm to handle more work on shorter timelines."
WHAT WILL BE YOUR COMPANY’S MAIN CHALLENGES IN THE NEXT YEAR?
"The biggest challenge will be to stay ahead of marketplace demand for more complex projects, on shorter turnaround timelines, with tighter budgetary constraints. We are strategically aligned with Tri-Marq Communications in Film, Video, Multi-Media, and Business Theatre Production. Our partners, Chris Johnson and Jim Culhane, have been in the pre-production, production and editorial business for the past 16 years. Together, this venture will pursue more ambitious projects. We sell added value to every component of a project and re-engineer our work methodology to meet client expectations to be on time and on budget."
WHAT IS THE HOTTEST TREND IN YOUR INDUSTRY?
"One of the trends right now is the continued evolution of image capturing using Super 16mm motion picture film and a high-definition television production standard of 1080 lines, that are progressively scanned, at 24 frames per second rate of record. These two record methods are now working into a ‘digital intermediate process’ that allows clean-up, effects, editorial and final versions to be made for movie theatres, high definition or standard broadcasting, Web-application, as well as, any consumer pre-recorded format like CD, DVD, or VHS."
DO YOU HAVE A BUSINESS MANTRA?
"Externally, to educate the client and facilitate solutions that meet the perceived production value of shows, timelines and budgets. Internally, to create an enjoyable work-hard/play-hard environment that stimulates creativity and inventiveness."
FROM A BUSINESS STANDPOINT, WHO DO YOU LOOK UP TO?
"Craig Kornblau, president of Universal Pictures Home Video. I worked for Craig when we were at The Walt Disney Studios. He showed me that anything could be accomplished in the global market place, especially through a large corporate bureaucracy, if you understood the political landscape and showed ‘what’s in it for them and the company.’"
WHAT WAS THE BEST ADVICE YOU EVER RECEIVED?
"Opportunities are never lost, just passed on to someone else."
WHAT WAS THE FUNNIEST THING THAT EVER HAPPENED TO YOU IN YOUR CAREER?
"My wife, Barbara, and I met in the personnel department at Columbia Pictures on our very first day starting new jobs, she in accounting and me in post production. A year later, we started dating while attending grad school at Pepperdine University."
WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO IN YOUR FREE TIME?
"Activities with the kids, flying my airplane and golf."
February 4, 2005, Small Business Times, Milwaukee, WI
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