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Thursday, April 24, 2008

Companies Roll out the Red Carpet

I used to live in L.A. and to me, this company epitomizes L.A. There’s a company called Lights, Camera, Interaction, which was started by David Wendell, a former TV producer. Wendell realized companies spend lots of money on corporate retreats and team building exercises. He thought instead of the usual cheesy team building exercises like running an obstacle course or going on a scavenger hunt, it would be more fun to film a faux commercial. Members split up into groups and write their own script, shoot and direct their own commercials. Wendell’s partner Sterling Lanier claims this is the most fun team building event there is. The company charges between $15,000 to $200,000 per three to four hour event, inclusive of a final screening and awards show. The business was started in 2001 on a shoestring budget of $2000, which they used to build a funky cool website and to advertise. Additionally, they worked out of Wendell’s apartment and hired freelancers to keep down costs. The company has stayed debt free. In 2007, they had revenues of $1.7 million and this year they are projecting sales of $2.5 million.