The year is 2011. Prison Break had come and gone. The Deep End is over. And Chase is wrapping up. Our little group of filmmakers had delivered The Locker and The GoKart Kid to the distributors. Brennan and I are working on a web series. The two of us are pushing each episode out to YouTube. The results are amazing. We are piling on the views. Twenty thousand people are watching the show every 3 days. But neither one of us are making any money at all. It’s time to do something.
An Early Morning Idea
I end up driving a friend of mine, Clint, and his family to the airport at like 5am. On the drive, he talks about liking what Brennan and I are doing for the web series. He wants to know if there is any way we could create something for the car dealership similar to the web series. I told him that we could and we are more than willing to film it for free. With the idea that we shoot a video for free, if they like it, they buy it. If they don’t like it, we can use it to pick up another client. He agreed.
The next week, Clint and his family had returned from their vacation. I talked a couple of friends into helping Brennan and I create a commercial for Clint’s dealership. The newly formed team shows up bright and early on a Tuesday morning August 2nd, 2011. Clint gives us keys to all of the cars we ask for and we start shooting.
The First Commercial
We shoot video for 4 days. Adam, Craig, Steve, Brennan, and myself are putting in 12 hours a day, for no pay. We love what we do. We have hopes of it turning into something big. The team pulls out all the stops. We brut the jib arm. We use the dolly. We shoot a ton of car to car stuff. We go to all of the Dallas monuments. We shoot and shoot and shoot. On Friday August 5th, we are done shooting. We call wrap and all have a beer.
Time For The Edit
Next, we edit. For two weeks I edited the commercial. I worked for more than 12 hours a day cutting, coloring, and adjusting everything that we shot to make it perfect. Brennan had written a great script that we loved. I recorded the audio and set it in as a scratch track.
One night hanging out, Brennan had the idea to hire a dolly grip, Dan Clear, that we had been working with for years to read for the voice over. Dan has this wonderfully deep voice that kinda sounds like if your Grandfather was Santa Clause, but also James Earl Jones. So we called him, Dan came to my house, and we recorded. It was amazing. I was so happy with the finished product. Everyone was. Here it is:
Finishing the video, I felt really good. The team was extremely happy. I took the finished video up to Friendly Chevrolet and showed it to Clint. He watched it on my laptop. When the video was done, he stood up, picked up my laptop, and walked out of his office. I just sat, confused.
About 5 minutes later Clint came back with my laptop and said that the owner Mark wanted to speak with me. I straightened my self out and followed Clint to Mark’s office. In this hour long meeting a deal was struck for the Team and myself to work for Friendly Chevrolet as their ad agency. RPJ Productions was born.
RPJ Productions – We Can Do Anything
RPJ Productions was a ride! The attitude was “We Can Do Anything”. We have 5 guys that built this commercial on hopes and dreams and now we have a check. We divided the check up and everyone got an equal piece. I formed the LLC RPJ Productions with the help of an old friend, Shawn.
Shawn was a movie producer and knew about forming companies, shooting commercial, and business stuff. As much hard work that we were willing to do, none of us had the business know-how that Shawn did. I immediately hired a guy named Jason to work with Friendly Chevrolet’s digital efforts. Jason knew things about search engines that we had no clue even existed. Now, We had a full team. Shawn with the business, Jason with the digital, and the Team with Production.
The First Month
Within a month of starting RPJ Productions, we picked up our second client. It was a carpet cleaning company, Dalworth, and we rocked their advertising. At this time I had so many client meetings I couldn’t produce the commercials anymore. That’s when I hired Taylor Loyd. Taylor is the master of all things production. Now, we really could do anything. Six months in, Friendly and Dalworth were showing huge growth with their traditional and digital efforts. We soon picked up several more dealerships and home service companies. Things were moving fast.
Two years in, we had 30 clients. Including 3 hospital groups, 15 dealerships, 4 home service companies, and a few outliers. With the help of Katie Wade and Christie Friday, RPJ Productions was picking up clients faster than we could employ people to work with those clients. But we banded together and we always got the job done. We started working with a woman named Amy Hall. Amy could take our productions and place them on any non digital media. So she was essentially our media buyer.
The Barbershop Marketing
In 2016, Amy Hall bought The Barbershop Marketing from Liz Barber. The same day that Amy took ownership of The Barbershop, RPJ Productions merged with the newly acquired company. Together, we doubled our client base. The Barbershop is a powerhouse!
For five years, the RPJ Productions team worked for Amy Hall in The Barbershop Marketing office. Together we won amazing awards for our creative and made our clients a lot of money. The relationship between the two teams is strong and continues to be to this day.
In the spring of 2021, the RPJ Productions team decided to go out on our own again. Together with Centurion American owner Mehrdad Moayedi, we formed the company BR4ND3D. Working closely with Mehrdad and his marketing arm Caliber, we have built a client base that’s stronger than ever.
We are continuing to build amazing video and photo ads. Our SEO and SEM efforts are unmatched in the local scene. And we are still partnered with The Barbershop Marketing with all of their media buying power. BR4ND3D can be found online at whybranded.com or in our office at 1800 Valley View Ln #220, Farmers Branch, TX 75234.