Video Interview with Vitamin Production Studio

May 7, 2010

7:10 pm


In this episode, I’m chatting with Danny DelPurgatorio and Larissa Shames from Vitamin, a Chicago based hybrid production studio delivering innovative creative content for an array of media platforms.

Here’s a transcript of my interview with Danny and Larissa from Vitamin:

Vitamin, to me, is a hybrid production company.  We do everything from live action to design, animation, stop motion, 3D, illustration, anything you can think of that’s creative.  We also like to just mix it up – we don’t really have a set model.  No matter what type of project comes in, we don’t default to a specific technique or look or style.  It’s more what works for that project and what we want to have fun with.  We like to mix things up.

Being able to do what we do at Vitamin is amazing.  I loved film growing up and went to school for illustration and drawing.  Being able to do that stuff every day is pretty amazing.  It’s really tough and stressful but that’s what’s exciting about it.

Putting all this energy and focus into something, trying to figure it out and going through that crazy process is worth it at the end seeing the final piece come through.  To do that every day, we’re lucky.  We’re really lucky.

The time it takes to create the average commercial is changing.  The more complex the spot, the more time you’re going to need.  You can go anywhere from a six week, two month project down to even a week.  Clients expect the same level of creative and quality with a quarter amount of the time.  How we accommodate that has become a real part of the game.

That goes back to what I was talking about in the sense of keeping everything open and not being stuck on a certain technique or approach.  Sometimes great spots come up with awesome creative that we know we could do a great job on but they only have 3 days instead of 3 months.  What can we do for this situation that’s going to keep the quality up but that we can execute?

You have to be open and if you have to bust out the duct tape and paper clips and super glue to make a spot, do it.  If it’s gonna look cool, doesn’t matter how you got there, as long as it’s cool.  You need to be flexible and open and willing to dive in, knowing things are going to be tough and crazy, but at the end, everyone’s gonna be happy.

You also need to have enough tools in your arsenal.  We did a presentation on stop motion, because the guys here at Vitamin do some awesome stop motion.  There are different techniques for making stop motion to accommodate certain looks or styles, but doing it in a quicker way to make it easier.  It’s about compromising and coming up with a solution to make it work.

To succeed in this industry, you need to be enthusiastic about what you do.  You need to do more than what’s expected of you.  If somebody asks for this, do that times fifteen.  And be into it.  If you’re not into what you’re doing, you’re not going to be any different than the millions of other people out there.

It’s such a competitive marketplace.  Just like anything, in any field, if you don’t have a passion about it, you’re just going to be one of the masses.

We’re lucky to do this.  Be excited about what do you.  If you want to do something, do it.  Until someone says don’t, do it.  Learn everything you can, even if you’re not going to do all that stuff, learn every single aspect of the creative aspect.  I think that’s really important.  If you’re not learning every day, then there’s something wrong.  Challenge yourself every day.

If you can’t see the video, please click here. The music featured during the intro and credits of this episode is a song called “Reminders” from local Chicago band Very Truly Yours.

Editor’s Note: This video episode was created by Tim Jahn, a longtime Chicago TECH cocktailer and storyteller who produces the online video series, Beyond The Pedway focused on better telling the local business stories in Chicago. You can follow Tim on Twitter: @timjahn.

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Tim has conducted over 150 interviews on, a website he founded for creative entrepreneurs to learn from the successes, failures, and journeys of fellow creators. Follow Tim on Twitter @timjahn.

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