Brooklyn is no longer just the hotspot for new residents seeking cutting-edge culture, cool vibes and an “affordable” place to crash. It’s also becoming a destination for creative marketing and design agencies seeking to harness those identical elements in an effort to garner a competitive edge.
Take 1000 Dean Street, for example: Nestled in the heart of Crown Heights, the 150,000 sq-foot building, which opened in April 2014, currently is home to more than two dozen businesses, many of which share a focus on innovation, brand strategy and design.
In the first of this series looking at five different businesses housed at 1000 Dean Street, we were acquainted with the work of Praytell Strategy. Check out the second agency in this series that spotlights Robotic Raptor, their work on a regional, national and/or global level; and the reasons they have chosen Brooklyn as their nerve center and home base.
Robotic Raptor is a full-service video and film production company located on the third floor of 1000 Dean Street. The agency offers wide range of motion graphics, including storyboards and animated videos. They also produce short films and documentaries– primarily for the web and social media– which includes original music composition, post-production sound mixing, as well as sourcing the best voice for each project.
Erick Fix founded the company in 2012 at age 27, along with two partners, Will Clark and Justin Wright. At the time, all of them were friends freelancing in their respective creative fields, including art graphics, film and music production. Then one day, they realized that their skills combined would make a pretty excellent film production team.
“We started off as freelancers, but we were constantly being asked for referrals for people to fulfill the roles in the different projects we were working on,” said Fix. “We enjoyed working with each other and realized we could put ourselves out there as a one-call, rather than three calls.”
So they all moved into an apartment in Park Slope, which doubled as their living and work space.
“It was great at first,” said Fix. “But we soon realized our clients needed a place to go, and we needed an easier environment to work out of, instead of right outside of our bedrooms. So we saw some of the earlier articles about 1000 Dean when they first started talking about the building, and we decided to call them up.”
When they saw the space, the walls hadn’t even gone up yet. Apart from the cement beams, they could see clear across the floors, said Fix. But they saw the potential, and they loved the feel. So they signed a lease in October 2013– months before the building had its certificate of occupancy. They moved in May of the following year, making them the building’s very first tenants.
Soon after, they brought on Alex Tucker as project manager at Robotic Raptor, and it has been fast-forward ever since.
Most of their larger clients generally come through ad agencies, said Fix, for video packages for social outreach for such clients as GE and Snapple. But their most recent, independent client is Save the Children, a non-governmental organization (NGO) that works out of the United Nations.
Their work with Save the Children has taken them around the globe, producing short documentary videos of STC’s program in various countries. Over the past six months alone, they’ve traveled to Vietnam, Ethiopia and China, just to name a few.
“It feels good because it is a client we enjoy working with,” said Fix. “But it’s also rewarding and feels great to know we’re doing something good with our time.”
Their schedules have been so hectic out in the field, their office in Brooklyn, ironically, has become the place where they find the most solace and creative refuge.
“It was very quiet the first few months we moved in… and it’s still pretty quiet,” said Fix. “But it’s been great seeing the place fill up. And we’re looking forward to being here as long as we can.”