Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Irv Blitz model of business

Irv Blitz is director in LA. I’ve worked with him on a couple projects. Really nice guy. Very hard worker.

From what I understand, Irv owns all his own equipment – the lights, the cameras, everything. So while most directors have to rent their equipment from the studios, Irv rents everything from himself. He gets paid as the director, and he gets paid through his rental company when he uses his equipment. I’m not sure, but I imagine the margins on that help him outbid competitors when he needs to.

Shouldn’t agencies be doing this? Why couldn’t an agency have an in-house production company. For every project, the agency would see two streams of income: the clients pay them for a concept, and for production. It could work in broadcast as well as print.

One reason might be the hedgehog and the fox theory of business. It would be tough to be a Wieden-caliber agency and have a Smuggler-caliber production wing. Still, that’s not a reason to try it.

Last thought: An agency/production house hybrid – I think that’s exactly what digital agencies are.

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