WE’RE HIRING: Coordinating Producer

MAKE films is seeking a candidate for the position of Coordinating Producer.

MAKE is a group of collaborative filmmakers producing meaningful content to inspire and motivate audiences. We use the art of storytelling, strategy, logic, and film techniques to bring our clients’ passions into their clients’ hearts.


Working with MAKE means you are a part of a small but mighty team crafting motivating and strategic video content that is going to make things happen. Here, you will be encouraged by your team to grow in your craft. Every person working at MAKE is part of the creative. We brainstorm as a team, we challenge each other, and we have fun along the way.

MAKE’s Coordinating Producer will work hand-in-hand with the Video Producers on client projects. You will be their right-hand-person making sure nothing is overlooked or missed. You will handle resourcing, including booking lodging, securing craft services, and hiring shoot crew, post crew, make up artists, and talent casting. You will manage our shoot calendar and create detailed call sheets for crew and talent. You will assist with prop and set design, including purchases and returns. You must be highly detailed-oriented and organized as you will be the conduit connecting all the moving parts of our shoots.

Qualified candidates should possess the following qualities:

  • Detail-oriented and organized
  • Not afraid to ask questions and research answers
  • Friendly with good interpersonal communication skills
  • Ability to multi-task and switch between projects easily
  • Self starter and finisher
  • Ability to adopt new technology in the realm of video and resource management
  • Experience in video production a plus; interest in media production a must
  • Lover of films, movies, and television

Interested candidates should email a resume, cover letter, and salary requirements to hello@makefilms.cc.


MAKE Welcomes Lisbet Byler as Studio Manager

We would like to take this opportunity to welcome Lisbet Byler to our the MAKE films team. If you’ve called the office over the last couple of months, you’ve probably encountered her friendly voice and helpful disposition. We we’re able to steal her away long enough to ask her some questions and find out how she found her way to MAKE.

Lisbet taking a stroll in Lancaster


Lisbet (pronounced ‘Lease-bet’) brings so much to the table when it comes to her work at MAKE. She fills a very specific and crucial role. Shortly before Lisbet joined our team, we realized that we were so busy creating, we weren’t properly documenting what we were doing and sharing it with the public. In other words, we were so busy telling everyone else’s stories, that we weren’t telling our own. “MAKE is [like] my client.” says Lisbet. “My focus is on getting the word out about this amazing company and sharing the insanely talented pieces of work that are coming out of this studio every day with the world.”


While marketing is a crucial part of what Lisbet does at MAKE, through the collection of imagery and stories as well as writing and managing our social media content, it is by far not all she does. Lisbet is fundamentally our studio manager and helps keep us organized and stocked with the tools we need to succeed. Any time Lisbet hears about a hurdle for the team, she selflessly takes it on as a project to solve and overcome.


Lisbet says that she feels motivated simply by…doing! This is something that is apparent in her volunteerism in the workplace. She enjoys making, making good, and making neat. “I look forward to what can be done in a day’s time, and I look forward to the people I get to encounter along the way. My experiences and the hope of what’s to come gets me up in the morning.”

Lisbet believes film’s biggest opportunity is telling the untold stories of the world. She enjoys being a part of a team that together, uncovers, crafts, and refines these stories in beautiful and thought provoking ways.



As we are always looking to the future here and assume nothing, we asked Lisbet what her dream job was. She responded, “As cliché as it is, I’m working at it right now. I never thought a company like this existed…where the owner and all of my coworkers support and encourage one another day in and day out, and where I am consistently proud of the work that is being produced and excited to share it with the world. My dream was to eventually have a job that I looked forward to going to everyday. I just never thought it would happen this soon for me. I feel lucky to be at MAKE films.”

And we feel lucky to have you, Lisbet. Welcome to the team!


  • I am a caring sister; daughter; girlfriend; friend.
  • I am an animal lover – Pitbulls and dachshunds are my kryptonite.
  • I am a foodie – nothing fancy, just food in general excites me.
  • I am a strong (emotionally) and tall (physically – 5’ 10’’) woman.
  • I am an organizer – of everything.
  • I am a planner and list-maker.
  • I am a Netflix binger.
  • I am a dreamer.


MAKE Welcomes PSU PR Intern


Home for summer break from Penn State University (PSU), Megan sat at Prince Street Cafe searching for an internship within the public relations (PR) and marketing field, while sipping her go-to iced vanilla chai latte. Uninspired by her results, Megan took a break from her search and glanced out towards bustling Prince Street. Out of the corner of her eye, she spotted a blue sign with a large ‘M’ on it. Intrigued, she Googled ‘MAKE films’ to learn more. After viewing some of our work, and being especially moved by our film ‘DAWN,’ Megan submitted a contact form with the hopes we were looking for a summer intern.

While we typically look for interns with a focus on video production, Megan’s unwavering spirit and passion for learning new things convinced us to try something new. After a few rounds of interviews, we enthusiastically welcomed Megan to the MAKE team as our first ever PR intern.


Megan recently wrapped up her junior year at PSU, where she is majoring in PR and minoring in Digital Media Trends and Analytics. When she isn’t in class or participating in activities with the PSU chapter of Delta Gamma, Megan can be found working for TEDxPSU and Valley Magazine.

At TEDxPSU, Megan is the Director of PR. Her duties include coordinating with sponsors and the media, and scheduling interviews and photoshoots. Continuing the PR trend, Megan is also a member of the PR team for Valley Magazine, PSU’s student-run life and style magazine, where she helps promote the semesterly issues through campus events.


Megan’s PR experience coupled with her desire to learn about the film industry will make for a wonderful partnership with MAKE this summer. We are excited to have her help with a variety of PR and marketing tasks like press releases, blog posts, industry research, and social media management. Megan is especially excited for the research aspect of the internship, and turning her research into thought provoking blog posts.

On her first day at MAKE, Megan joined us at our video shoot for a local salad dressing company’s new TV commercial. Being that it was her first ever commercial video shoot, she was blown away at how much goes into a seemingly simple commercial. Megan said she was immediately hooked and eager to attend more shoots during her time here.


Recently, Megan shared her feelings about graduating college and figuring out what comes next. “I don’t think I’m a college person. I’m excited to do real work and not just attend classes. I’m excited to get to the real world and see what it holds.” Megan’s dream job would be in the digital marketing or media field, where no day is the same. Ideally, the job would be located somewhere with “hustle and bustle,” like Philadelphia or even Downtown Lancaster. Perhaps her time at MAKE will sway her dream job towards the film industry!


Favorite activity: Pizza and wine night with her friends and family.
Favorite movie: Inside Out
Favorite TV show: The Office
Dream vacation spot: Thailand
Favorite Type of food: Mexican
Favorite Book: Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson
Favorite Song: Home by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros
Favorite Quote: “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” – Theodore Roosevelt



Seasoned Animator in Awe of Kutztown Student’s Project

I had never been to Kutztown University, so I was quite excited when I was asked to make the trip to review a soon-to-be grad’s final project. Kutztown is a significant Central Pennsylvania University in a quaint setting. It is surrounded by farmland like many Pennsylvania towns, and inside has shop-lined streets catering to college students and university employees. A little early and in dire need of caffeine, I entered Uptown Espresso Bar…and then promptly exited after reading a sign that said, “We don’t accept cards. We’re not sorry.” Onward to the University!

When I arrived at the Sharadin Art Building, Denise Bosler, the professor of the student I’d be reviewing, greeted me in the parking lot. She handed me a parking pass, assuring me that she’d taken every precaution as the campus police could get a little excited about ticketing during finals. We walked into the beautiful gallery building and around a window-lit hallway, ending near Kalyn Kepner’s exhibit.

MAKE films producer reviews KU student final project

Kalyn invited me by the recommendation of one of her fellow graduating students and an old colleague of mine. She is also familiar with some of my friends and clientele from the Lancaster area, so we chatted about our small world for a bit. Then, Kalyn started giving me background on her exhibit. “I love people’s stories,” said Kalyn, as she explained the premise for her piece. She told me that she polled a series of friends and classmates using social media and asked them a few questions. Among these were, “What is the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen?” and “What is a story that someone told you that you haven’t forgotten?”. “You’re a documentarian,” I said, and she smiled. I smiled too. I am always refreshed by those who seek information and stories about humankind.

MAKE films producer reviews KU student final project

Kalyn led Denise and I toward a wall adorned with 3” x 5” postcards. Each postcard had a single, unique illustration on it that told an entire story she received from a respondent. Denise looked giddy as she had seen this entire process of discovery before and was excited that I was experiencing it.

MAKE films producer reviews KU student final project

Kalyn grabbed a card off the wall that featured a drawing of two cacti interacting in their respective pots. She turned the card over to reveal a small amoeba inscribed on the back. “It’s a technology called fiducial,” she said, and she spelled it out for me as I wrote it down. We walked over to a small, finished, poplar box and laid the card in it. (I assume) a small camera mounted atop the box took a picture and translated that into a unique audiovisual show on the screen. It featured a story, line by line, and a tastefully animated version of the illustration next to it. I sat and watched the words of the story appear and marveled at the execution and innovation that Kalyn exhibited in putting this piece together. It encouraged…no…demanded my interaction, and I loved it.

MAKE films producer reviews KU student final project


I spent the next half hour grabbing card after card, soaking in her illustrations and watching them turn into the supporting stories on the television. I imagined a foot-worn pathway like a forked tributary from the television back to the wall holding the 72 postcards.


“I wanted to do 100 cards,” Kalyn confessed. “I think 72 is perfect.” I said.

Kalyn told me more about her process and the technology she incorporated. She showed me some of her other artwork including a book comprised of wartime letters passed back and forth between her family members. It was phenomenal and I didn’t want to put it down.

MAKE films producer reviews KU student final project

Reviewing work of students, and for that matter teaching my craft, has always been a passion of mine. I had the good fortune of teaching for about two years at Pennsylvania College of Art & Design in the realms of advertising, motion graphics, and animation. I felt honored that I was invited to view this lovely and novel exhibit at this gorgeous university, and I hope that Kalyn Kepner’s dreams come true as she accepts the great honor of her degree and continues to do what she loves, inspiring people like me along the way.



About the author: Allen Clements is a Senior Producer and Animator at MAKE films, a film company based in Lancaster, PA. Allen’s professional experience in media spans 20 years and includes work in PR, creative direction, video, animation, vfx, and research. Throughout his years in these fields, he has produced several documentary films and countless corporate B2B and B2C communication pieces. He’s worked at every level of production, giving him a fundamental understanding of the ins and outs and what is required for success. As Allen says, “What I don’t know, I will find out. What I need to learn, I enjoy learning.”


6 Strategies to Improve Leadership Skills & Build a Team of Leaders

For one day each quarter, MAKE films CEO and Creative Director, Derek Dienner, ventures to Chicago for The Strategic Coach Signature Program. Curious to learn more about what he was doing, I sat down with Derek to find out about the program and get his take on leadership.

A continuous theme that came through in our conversation was Derek’s constant drive to learn. He said, “As a leader, you need to constantly be learning and challenging yourself. It is the difference between remaining complacent and staying put, and growing as an individual and a leader. Especially in the film industry which is always changing, you need to be able to change and adapt with it.” A few years ago, Derek was chatting with one of his mentors about his desire to grow and become a better business owner and leader, and it was through this conversation that he found out about Strategic Coach.

On their website, Strategic Coach defines their Signature Program as, “A total support system for entrepreneurs dedicated to never-ending growth and quality of life. The Strategic Coach Signature Program is designed to make your possibilities a reality. It’s not a quick fix. It’s a transformational change for you as an entrepreneur and as a person, building on everything you’ve accomplished up to now.” The benefits of this program are evident when you take into account that since opening 3 years ago and starting Strategic Coach, MAKE films has doubled its team and increased earnings year after year.


Derek described Strategic Coach as a program that empowers entrepreneurs and encourages you to build a team of leaders within your company. There simply isn’t enough time in a day to do everything yourself; you will burn out. If your company is going to grow, you need to hire people who are better than you at certain tasks so not everything needs to go through you. Having a team of leaders leads to a self managing company that does not always need you there, ultimately creating less stress for you and giving you peace of mind.

Derek admits letting go of some control was an adjustment for him. “Soon after hiring our first producer, I was out for a few days and one of our computers crashed. Being a self proclaimed techie, this was a problem I normally would handle. But our new hire was able to handle it without calling me, and things went on without a hitch. It was then I realized I’m not the only one people come to for solutions anymore, and it took me a moment to be okay with that…I am human after all. But this is why I’m doing Strategic Coach, because I don’t want to be the one who has to solve all the problems anymore; that gets exhausting.”

For Derek, a good work/life balance is crucial. By implementing Strategic Coach’s ideas and creating a team of leaders he trusts, he has been able to take more time off with his family without having to worry about what is going on back at the studio.

MAKE films team in a meeting


Strategic Coach encourages leaders to organize their time. Everyone has a certain mental capacity they can handle, and allocating your time allows you to put all your focus on the task at hand. Derek explains this through his lighthouse metaphor. “For years, I’ve had to be a lighthouse, constantly moving my focus around from task to task. Ultimately, my goal is to be a solid lighthouse, where my focus is on one task and if I need to adjust and move my focus elsewhere, I can and I can do it fast.”

MAKE films team at work editing


Six years ago, Derek’s friend Laura Schanz told him to read “The E Myth”, a book that talks about the need to focus on the business, not just in the business. To understand this idea, pretend you’re an electrician who hates working for someone else, so you decide to start your own company. Now you aren’t just an electrician; you’re also a marketer, an accountant, a customer service rep, and so many more roles that come with owning your own business. If you want your business to succeed, you can’t just be an electrician working in it, you need to work on it. Strategic Coach forces business owners to do just this during their quarterly meeting. It acts as a reset day that pushes you to work on and plan for your business.


At Strategic Coach, they encourage you to implement the Dream Book Program within your company. In the Dream Book Program, your employees fill out a book with their personal and professional goals at various levels, then you discuss them as a company and work to achieve these newfound goals.

Derek implemented the Dream Book Program at MAKE, and through the exercise, one of his original employees came to realize her dreams do not fall inline with his vision for the future of the company — which was towards commercial filmmaking and away from wedding/lifestyle films. The program recognizes that this may happen, and has an ‘exit program’ when it arises. Rather than cutting off ties with them, the program encourages leaders to help their employees transition their path towards their dreams; be that helping them find a new job or internship or starting a company of their own. And Derek did just that.

The wonderful thing about this Dream Book Program is it helps everyone in the company figure out if their goals are in line with the company’s goals, and if not they are enabled to explore their true passions. This opens up their role allowing it to be filled by someone whose goals and dreams are in line with the vision of the company.

MAKE films team at work


Derek spoke at length about the book, Good to Great by Jim Collins, where Collins compares business to a bus. As Collins puts it, “You are a bus driver. The bus, your company, is at a standstill, and it’s your job to get it going. You have to decide where you’re going, how you’re going to get there, and who’s going with you. Most people assume that great bus drivers (read: business leaders) immediately start the journey by announcing to the people on the bus where they’re going—by setting a new direction or by articulating a fresh corporate vision. In fact, leaders of companies that go from good to great start not with “where” but with “who.” They start by getting the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats. And they stick with that discipline—first the people, then the direction—no matter how dire the circumstances.”

A great way Derek ensures he has everyone in the right seat is by testing them using the DiSC Profile and the Kolbe assessment before he pulls the trigger and hires them. This helps him understand their work style and allows him to better determine if they are a good fit within the culture at MAKE. In addition to testing a potential new hire, Derek is upfront and transparent from the get-go about how he envisions the company growing in the future.

MAKE films team at work


Through all of his continued efforts, Derek has created a team of leaders that produce amazing content for their clients day in and day out. Even though he has his dream team, to Derek, it doesn’t matter if you’re a business owner or not, you should always work on your leadership skills. “I’m a work in progress. Everyday I challenge what I think and know as a leader and as a person. I’m always learning. And it’s through programs like Strategic Coach that I enable myself and my employees to keep doing just that.”

MAKE films team in a meeting

A Powerful PSA About Advance Care Planning

MAKE’s Senior Producer, Allen Clements, recently published a LinkedIn article about our work with Reading Health System and our process behind the PSA we produced for National Healthcare Decisions Day. 

Reading Health System has been an amazing partner for MAKE films. We’ve been able to apply our staff’s history of working on healthcare projects and assist a client who is completely bought into the need for consistent and effective multimedia communication both internally and to their healthcare consumer-base.

About a month ago, we were approached by the health system to devise a PSA for National Healthcare Decisions Day. We immediately started brainstorming what such a piece could look and feel like. In the past few years, I’ve had quite a bit of experience working on projects involving proxy selection, advance directive and other aspects of end of life planning. I was very inspired by this project and suggested that we should be bold and go for a dramatic concept.

Not speaking specifically about our client or even the healthcare industry in general, creative advertisers work in an extremely risk-mitigated business environment. This is true now more than ever. If it’s “dangerous,” we are often asked to make it “safe.” Well, safe isn’t always effective. We needed to get people’s attention and even more importantly, get them to take immediate action.

There are a number of misunderstandings about Advance Care Planning. Many people don’t know what it is. Some people think it’s for the elderly. Others don’t have any strong opinions on what happens to them if they can’t speak for themselves so they think it doesn’t matter. We wanted to try to address many of these misconceptions in a single communication.

The Advance Care Planning task force at Reading Health knew how important this information was and accepted our challenge to create an intense, jaw-dropping scene painting a picture of what avoiding advance care planning might look like.

We were driven by the idea that many people are aware of the need for planning but never start the conversation. Why don’t they start the conversation? Well, life gets in the way but, really, it’s about priorities. When faced with a sudden accident or illness, we don’t get the chance to re-assess or re-organize our priorities. It’s too late. And that’s what led to “Last on the List,” a PSA made by MAKE on behalf of the Reading Health System for National Healthcare Decisions Day. We hope it inspires you.

Watch the final product below.

Please take advantage of the free advance care planning documents offered by Reading Health System. Just use the information at the end of the film to get started on a path to peace of mind for those who love and depend on you.

View the original LinkedIn article here.


Benchmark Lights the Way for Memory Care Facilities

Through immense attention-to-detail and applying the latest in scientific research, Benchmark Construction built Brookside at Cross Keys Village.

Benchmark Construction, a construction company serving the healthcare, senior living, higher education, and commercial specialty markets, recently completed Brookside at Cross Keys Village, a state-of-the-art memory care center built with the architectural firm, SFCS.

Well-versed in video marketing, Benchmark’s VP of Market Growth and Innovation, Marcus Grimm, knew he wanted to tell the story of the memory care center in a focused and concise way, and enlisted MAKE films’ services to bring his vision to life through the creation of a case study video.

Instead of focusing heavily on Benchmark throughout the video, Grimm knew the story here was how all three partners; Cross Keys Village, Benchmark, and SFCS, came together to create a groundbreaking facility focused entirely on innovative memory care for those suffering from early to mid-stage dementia. Through the incorporation of the latest scientific research, Brookside at Cross Keys Village provides comfort, security, and continuous engagement for its residents, allowing them to age with dignity.

Watch the final product below.

Since completing the project, Benchmark uses the case study video at trade shows, for online marketing, and during marketing presentations. SFCS uses the video as well for marketing purposes.

We are very excited to continue working with the forward-thinking minds at Benchmark. Stay tuned for more to come in 2017!


Watching People Watch Sandwiches: Isaac’s TV Commercial

Isaac’s, a local restaurant chain in South Central Pennsylvania, is known for one thing: great sandwiches named after birds. According to Isaac’s website, one of the reasons they began naming their sandwiches after birds was because, “bird names were simply so much fun! People always would laugh when they ordered a Gooney Bird or a Tufted Titmouse or a Cockatoo.” Knowing this, when Isaac’s approached MAKE films last spring to produce a commercial that offered a fresh take on their brand, we knew we had to come up with a playful concept that made viewers laugh.


We believe research is key to creating an impactful commercial that resonates with the target audience. Because of this, we ventured to Isaac’s Downtown Lancaster location to taste-test a wide array of Isaac’s delicious sandwiches. (Side note: We recommend trying the Mallard – our personal favorite, which was featured in one of the commercials.)

After gathering our tasty research, we held a creative brainstorm. Knowing we wanted to highlight Isaac’s colorful restaurant and delectable sandwiches, all while sticking with their well-known bird theme that is foundational to their brand, we came up with the idea of birdwatching. Birdwatching an Isaac’s sandwich to be precise.

Some of our favorite clients to work with are trusting of our vision while also being collaborative throughout the process – and Isaac’s was just this. After presenting our idea for the commercial to Isaac’s, we worked together to fine-tune the concept, ending with a playful and creative way to showcase Isaac’s restaurant, their food, and birdwatching all at once.

In addition to research, creative brainstorms, and concept creation, MAKE handled script writing and the casting of actors and voice over talent for the commercial.


After viewing the final commercial intended for the web, Isaac’s immediately knew they wanted to increase the scope of the project and turn the web videos into TV commercials. To accommodate this change, MAKE created 30 second cuts of each video for Isaac’s to use in their TV spots. In addition to airing these commercials, Isaac’s shared the original web videos on social media.


Along with making Isaac’s happy, the videos were well received online. To date, the two web videos have received a combined total of over 136,000 views, over 900 reactions, and over 120 comments on Isaac’s Facebook page.

Watch the final product below.


MAKE films Welcomes Catlin Williams as Coordinating Producer

In late October, Catlin Williams joined the MAKE films team. Though numerous candidates were interviewed, Catlin really proved that she would fit in well with our team personally and had some great experience. In interviewing Catlin for this piece, I set out to discover specifically what it was that made her the perfect fit for MAKE. Though it was never a part of the interview process or her portfolio, I found the answer in her artwork.

Catlin holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Tyler School of Art. During her time there, she examined and deconstructed the widely held views of painting, photographs, and installation. She utilized painting techniques; such as blending, blurring, and layering; to create photographs. Her intrigue came in exploring the dynamic of painterly photographs and photo-realistic paintings. In the end, it was perspective that struck her.

Catlin explains, “When viewing artwork, it is imperative to be present to get a true sense of the artwork as an object in space… to experience the intentionality of it’s size, shape, its own presence. My practice explores the physicality of photographs and paintings… each two-dimensional mediums that elude to a three-dimensional space, and also focusing on their physical presence when installed in a viewing space.”

“I wanted to challenge the definitions of a ‘painting’ and a ‘photograph’, and test how each occupy the gallery space. Seeing artwork in person is so different than viewing an installation photo of the artwork. By playing with perspective and perception within the artwork itself, along with its installation, created a space the viewer must occupy to catch the idiosyncrasies.”

I think this conviction is one of the ways that Catlin will add to the MAKE team. Her ideas and creativity will add a level of depth to our videos, a medium which still remains challenged by the flatness of its screen, yet limitless in its conceptual possibilities.
Catlin spent her post-college years in the creative industry. She’s always gravitated toward various photography and video production opportunities in nearly every role; from photographing incoming artwork while interning at a fine art gallery, to leading photo and video production projects while at a full service marketing agency.

Catlin recounted one of her biggest career accomplishments while at Alpha Dog Advertising, Inside Lancaster; a publication created to highlight influential people who contribute to the entrepreneurial spirit that thrives in Lancaster She took a great idea and spearheaded its transformation into a meaningful project both for Alpha Dog and the Lancaster community.

“It was incredibly rewarding to use my creative direction and passion so freely to manage a magazine publication from start to finish, and an experience that I learned a tremendous amount from. To watch as locals and visitors alike responded positively to the publication and became engaged in the ideas within it was absolutely wonderful.”

At MAKE, Catlin will be contributing with ideation, film project logistics, resource management, and marketing. All of this, she seems to take on as a second nature. As a boutique film company, we tend to take on a variety of roles within our skill-set. Another perfect fit.

And Catlin appreciates film in a special way… a prerequisite for joining MAKE.

“It’s such a powerful medium, and if we can use it for greatness and for good… imagine the impact. ”

MAKE films crew

She says she appreciates the genuine, creative, and collaborative environment here, one that will truly benefit from her involvement.

So having strong and unique perspectives seems to be what binds us together here at MAKE. It’s what we all share and what we all combine to create great work. I asked Catlin what her three-month perspective was on the MAKE films’ offering:

“We’re a film production company that helps people identify their true story and how they can communicate it to their audience. We work with companies of all shapes and sizes in different industries. We have the client’s best interest in mind and seeking to understand their audience. We really care about communicating the best story… we want to make things that are influential, and we also want to be sure there’s a return, be it brand awareness, establishing emotional connections, or increasing engagement. ”

Well said, Catlin, and not everyone has the ability to do that. We’re glad you are here with us. Welcome to MAKE films.

Extraordinary Use of Video during the Extraordinary Give

Lancaster is an EXTRAORDINARY place.

Lancaster County is the most extraordinary, generous county!  We just raised over $7.1 million dollars last Friday during the 5th annual Extraordinary Give. This year was the biggest give yet! 45,478 people came together in the county to support over 400 non-profit organizations.

One of our clients, Attollo (also know as Children Deserve a Chance), had an incredible response this year.  Their organization received the most total gifts of 1,812 and the 2nd most donation total of $265,413.   They did a great job using the power of video to tell their story and to interact with the supporters.

How did video work for them?

The day of the Give: They used Facebook live to give updates throughout the day and keep their supporters engaged and involved.

Lead-up to the Give: We produced a short film for Attollo to share before the event to help generate awareness and excitement for their college access program and the amazing support of their organization – empowering the youth in the community.


Congratulations to Attollo and Children Deserve a Chance for all of the hard work you do to empower youth in their pursuit of academic achievement! Click here to learn more.



Delivering Crowdfunding to School Sports Arena with PLEDGE IT

This summer we were approached by tech start-up PLEDGE IT to produce a story that would launch their new crowdfunding innovation.

School sports programs need funding.

Whether it’s a new soccer goal, uniform subsidizing, or providing more growth and leadership opportunities for the players, it’s a simple fact that these programs need financial resources to keep moving forward and improving. In the past, sports teams have had a variety of fundraisers with buy out options. This might be a sandwich sale, some sort of gift card or coupon sale or various event-based fundraisers.

Empowering athletes with performance-based funding.

PLEDGE IT expands upon the per-mile fundraising model and combines that with rapid internet crowdfunding and shareability. The difference with PLEDGE IT is that patrons (parents, classmates, family, staff) are pledging a donation for the athletes’ performance. And that gives the student even more incentive to perform.

Changing the game – everyone wins.

We needed to tell a story that was relatable to those who are involved and invested in school sports. Challenge, overcoming adversity, failures and successes, and in the end, leaving with experience and pride in accomplishments. With this in mind, we felt is was best to approach this project with a flexible, nimble mindset to let the footage unfold naturally. We attended team practices and games to capture the excitement and dedication of athletes, team staff, and fans that drive the incentivized performance behind this fundraising platform.

The excitement of these games, the fans roaring, the heart of the players and the commitment to their team and goals – all combined with the donation-incentive of PLEDGE IT – is a win-win for everyone.

The Beauty Behind Canned & Frozen Produce

The Story of Preserved, Peak-Season Produce, Right from Our Backyard

How does deliciously fresh produce get to your table all year round? Was it mass-produced at a factory, or was it nurtured by the hands of farmers?

With a growing movement of small farming, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA’s), and other initiatives, you may wonder where the food on shelves and freezers comes from. Hanover Foods works with family farmers, real people, and local and regional fields for their food production.

In Spring of 2016, we produced a video about Hanover Foods’ packaging processes with a focus on freshness. Before we engaged in this project, we didn’t fully understand the comprehensiveness of the local sourcing, speed to package, and general quality assurance of this regional operation.

After completing this video, MAKE suggested that Hanover Foods’ take the story back one step further from the packaging processes. Before produce is canned or frozen at its peak freshness, it’s here… in the beautiful farmland of our region.

This new short story focuses on some of the local farm operations and growers that fill the freezers and pantries of many East Coast families.

The Farms of Hanover – Director’s Cut


Home Handyman Comedy Serves Lapp Electric

Lapp Electric has been a Lancaster icon in electrical service and installation for almost 50 years. Even with chops like that, there’s a lot of noise out there in media. Lapp Electric needed to energize their target market via a local broadcast campaign. They also needed something to engage customers on the web. They sought out MAKE Films to create a fun, memorable commercial spot targeting the home improvement enthusiast (DIYers) and well.. household decision-makers.

 The result?

Lapp Electric hears from their clients in person, when receiving calls, and online telling them how much they love the commercial.

This is the kind of client we LOVE doing business with.  We’ve maintained a relationship with them for several years producing lots of video content.  This client is doing content marketing right.. engaging their customer with video via multiple contact points on their website and on social media including an often updated Instagram feed!

We certainly will take all the kudos we can get!  Here’s a great one from Tim Lapp, owner of Lapp Electric:

Working with Derek and his team at MAKE films was a true pleasure. MAKE films delivered a highly professional production and brought a more nationally branded style to Lapp Electric’s TV and online media presence.  If you are looking to capture your extraordinary business story in video or marketing your brand with a tv or online commercial… MAKE Films to the rescue!!

Fun note:  The pizza delivery guy at the end is from Pasquale’s Pizza. Pasquale’s is a Lancaster restaurant that works with the community on different food giving projects.  They were happy to be a part of this commercial production and we were happy to eat the pizza when we wrapped!  We are passionate about finding innovative ways to connect people in the community. We work smarter to make the most of your budget!

Celebrating a Vibrant Community with Fig

Fig Industries is a humble but mighty media powerhouse. They are based in Lancaster, PA and produce content for a number of regions including their high-end local guides for Bethlehem, West Chester and even Columbia, SC. They provide marketing, packaging and branding services for clients who appreciate beauty and authenticity.

Fig chose to work with MAKE on this video illustrating the Lancaster culture in which we share and helping to bring unwavering clarity to Fig’s purpose.  We love giving our clients great storytelling experiences. It seems that’s what they got! Here is what Deborah Brandt, owner of Fig Industries and creator of Fig® Magazine had to say:

It’s not enough to have the latest, greatest equipment to capture a story through video—the team at MAKE listened to us, they understood the story we wanted to tell through our commercial, and then guided us through the process. In the end, we have a commercial that we are proud of, and because of the likes and shares of our first ever Fig commercialwe think the community loved it too!

Enjoy the fresh film!

YouTube: TheIns and TheOuts

When we think of YouTube, our minds are instantly filled with the idea of open-source broadcasting. It’s a world where distributing your media, your thoughts, or ideas is completely democratized.  We see babies and cats, and tween virtuosos.  We think of hours of time wasted on “remixed” videos and webcam confessions.

The way we stereotype YouTube is only part of the picture and though there IS a lot of noise out there, YouTube remains a fantastic place to host your video content.  I’d like to provide you with some of the benefits of using YouTube over other video hosting options and share some insights around video hosting and SEO.


In 2006, Google wrote out a fat check for 1.6 BILLION dollars to purchase YouTube. At the time, Google had it’s own media site, Google Video which needed some love.  Rather than fix their unappealing product, they bought one that had massive potential and had proven superior.  In the end, YouTube became more robust and innovated with HD video and now even 360 video content.  Since they are part of the google family, videos get the benefit of being under the roof of the search engine powerhouse taking advantage of it’s crawling, analytics and massive network.  Oh, and good show Google.  It’s now valued at between 30 and 40 billion.  So if Google owns YouTube, It’s got to be good, right?

Deconstructing YouTube

In our point of view, YouTube is a free, relevant, high-quality, trackable storage and broadcast option for your media.

  • Free: It costs nothing to upload a video to YouTube. Verified users can upload videos longer than 15 minutes and up to 128GB in size.
  • Relevant: YouTube is hardwired into Google’s search guts. If you pay basic mind to the title, description, and keywords, your video should be easily found both in YouTube and Google’s searches.
  • High-Quality: Users can easily upload 1080p videos for crisp and beautiful streaming playback.
  • Bandwidth and Resolution Responsive: YouTube automatically adapts quality and size on just about any computer, mobile device or web appliance.
  • Trackable: The free service provides you with data about your views and users both geographic and frequency-wise.
  • Everything (especially mobile) Friendly: Not only can you view videos on YouTube’s site and easily on a Smart Phone or portable device, You can also embed them into your own site or watch them on Television, XBOX or other “apps.”

The DownSide

About two years ago, YouTube upped their tracking of copyrighted content and strengthened their partnerships with media companies. It was a really smart move.  If you use copyrighted content, your video is flagged with overlays and advertising benefitting the copyright holder.  The automation and detection of these works is phenomenal.  Of course, there is the occasion where an organization demands an ad free channel which is available as long as your content is truly yours or properly licensed.

About a year ago, the company I was working for had a frustrating problem of removing ads and flags from an ad-free channel for a major CPG firm. YouTube had properly detected our licensed music and we had to provide proof that we purchased the license.  It slowed the video’s release down and was completely unexpected.  This is a strong call for uploading your videos early and allowing YouTube to run it’s algorithms so you can know early on if there will be an issue to be resolved.

YouTube is smart… maybe too smart.  At least this means content producers are getting paid!

How our clients should use YouTube

Even a few years ago, I would have recommended YouTube as the primary, if not EXCLUSIVE destination for all of our client’s video content. This is because maximum hits mean maximum visibility on the site and on search engines.  We wouldn’t want to spread that too thin among multiple YouTube videos or even worse, among multiple hosting sites.

Times have changed a bit.  Facebook is now a major player in video hosting and favors content hosted on Facebook over YouTube links. A cut-throat strategy perhaps, but a good one nonetheless.  So consider your target. If the goal is facebook users or generating interest in your facebook page or group, go facebook native or do both. All of these options are free!

The YouTube embed options make for a streamlined, aesthetic interface that tends to blend into your current blog or website.  It intergrates beautifully into wordpress and custom developed sites.

VS other options


Vimeo is great. It’s pretty, but it simply doesn’t have the Google power behind it. We use Vimeo primarly to host our work because it’s built in audience happens to be fellow filmmakers and creatives.  If your work is aesthetically focused and centered around creative, Vimeo has a certain perception amongst like-minded computer users. Consider Vimeo as an option. For paid hosting plans, there are lots of customizable options available. 

Self Hosted

YouTube and Vimeo are bandwidth-responsive in that they feeds the best possible resolution for the user’s internet speed.  This is DIFFICULT to do when self-hosting video. You might have to provide multiple resolutions.  That is time-consuming and fills your precious server space.  On the upside Self Hosted video does require the user to land on your page 100% of the time.  This can help in conversions as long as you have a team dedicated to SEO on your site.

YouTube targeted content

If you are going to use a platform to host your media, why not take advantage of their built-in audience. YouTube is a great place for serial content.  You don’t have to have a fancy media company produce your content but it really helps.  This series of thought leadership videos by Lancaster business Akita pest control is a step in the right direction!

Or, create a product with placement like we did with our series “Meeting & Eating” With the right strategy and creative, this can be FAR more effective than in your face advertising. We’ll be talking a LOT more about content marketing in the near future.

Let’s Do It

MAKE Films is well-versed on the best way to get the best quality HD video into your target’s eyeballs by way of YouTube’s video crunching machine.  Once uploaded and configured, it will be ready to be viewed on YouTube, by embedding it into your webpage, or by sharing the link via email marketing and social media channels.

Give us a call or email me to ask us how we can help YouTube work with your content distribution strategy!

FAA Releases New Drone Rules

New rules for small drone flight (under 55 pounds) were published today and set to go into effect in late August.

In general, the increased use of drones for video and recreational purposes has created a lot of grey areas that used to be under the jurisdiction of the FAA for strictly commercial purposes.  The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has been debating and creating the structure around which small drones can be used in U.S. airspace.  This is of significance to filmmakers and drone enthusiasts like us.

What you should know

Here are some of the most important and anticipated parts of the new FAA rules:

  • Pilots must remain within visual line of sight of the drone
  • Commercial units can only operate during daylight hours
  • Drones cannot operate over people who aren’t directly participating in the operation
  • Maximum altitude of 400 feet above ground (you can operate around a structure that is higher than 400 feet as long as you stay within 400 feet of the structure)
  • Operators cannot control drones from a moving vehicle except in certain situations.
  • As of September 2016, commercial pilots must obtain and carry a remote pilot certificate or be under the supervision of someone with a certificate.

Get the full official regulations here.

Additional information

Here are some links to other Pennsylvania-specific drone legislation:


Deja Vu: Fête En Blanc

A Visually Breathtaking Celebration

Since 2012, Fête en Blanc has been celebrating the start of summer with a ‘spontaneous’ by-invitation-only BYO dinner party. The rules:

  • You must ask for an invitation first come first serve but invites are limited!
  • You will not know the location until 24 hours prior.
  • You must wear only white.
  • You must BYO… well, everything including your food, drink, table, and accoutrements.

The idea came from (perhaps obviously) a French festival  in which they annually highlighted famous spots in Paris. Similarly, the attending Parisians dress in white and like Lancaster’s tribute, the location is not revealed until the day before.

Lancaster’s event follows the tradition in making its way around various Lancaster Landmarks.  Last year, as you will see, it was held at the Barnstormer Stadium. It’s also been at the Excelsior Courtyard, on the Lancaster Art Museum steps and even within the iron fencing of the Shreiner-Concord Cemetery which is the final resting place of Thaddeus Stevens.

“The [Shreiner-Concord] cemetery was by far my favorite one,” said Monica Berkowitz one of the festival organizers.  “At first, people were opposed to the idea of the cemetery but when you showed up it was just magical!”

Where is this year’s party?

It’s not revealed until 24 hours before the event but it will be in Lancaster and it will be on June 22nd! If you didn’t obtain an invite this year, be sure to check their facebook page regularly at facebook.com/FeteEnBlancLancaster/

MAKE helped capture last year’s event in this exciting video:

Bon fête!

Crafting the Perfect Circle with Duck Donuts

MAKE is so proud to partner with Duck Donuts. It’s a quality product associated with Outer Banks, NC and people have a nostalgic view of the Duck Donuts shop as a part of their beachside experiences. Duck Donuts wanted to access that nostalgia by telling a story that their customer can relate to. Duck Donuts sought out MAKE to develop a 60 and 30 second commercial to help spread the word as they expand to new markets and bring Duck goodness to more people along the East Coast.

Creating these commercials with Duck Donuts was very collaborative and included extensive casting and location scouting. We presented concepts, wrote the script, and worked tirelessly over the details while filming. Principal photography was executed with the Red Epic Dragon in 6k and delivered in HD to broadcast facilities and for online streaming.


Celebrating Lancaster: MAKE + Willow Valley

Willow Valley Communities wanted to celebrate their community and show what an attractive and vibrant place Lancaster is. Focusing on life, or VIVA, they partnered with MAKE to film a few of Lancaster’s VIVA examples including Music for Everyone, Lancaster Community Foundation, Attollo, Milagro House, Prima Theatre, Lancaster City Alliance, and more.

Watch the final product below.

Culinary Success: MAKE + Gazebo Room

Gazebo Room produces gourmet salad dressings and marinades. Their product was born out of a beloved Harrisburg, PA restaurant. The social media stories about Gazebo Room make an impact. You’ll see comments from folks living outside of the region who coerce family to bring Gazebo Room when visiting. Some of their online patrons order it by the case online. The Gazebo Room product is no joke and they didn’t want their commercials to be a joke either. They wanted a national look and wanted it to be taken seriously. That’s where MAKE came into the picture. This was the first commercial MAKE shot with the Red Epic Dragon. The spots were shot in 6k and mastered in 4k. We produced two spots; one targeted towards consumers and one at restaurant customers.

Sidenote: In a world where everything has a little wheat in it, these delicious products happen to be gluten free. That’s good news for our gluten free friends. Give it a try!

After we created the spot, it was deployed on regional broadcast, social media and on the Gazebo Room website. The clients are thrilled with the results and have noticed a significant increase in sales since engaging their customers with multimedia commercial content. You can too.

DAWN: Behind the Scenes

We had an amazing time shooting a short film last week in Lancaster City. A little chilly (11 degrees!) but it was a perfect morning to see a beautiful sunrise. We’re so excited for this short film and what is to come! Look out for it soon! In the meantime, here’s a look behind the scenes. Thanks so much to Matthew from Tennison Photography for the pictures!









PROLixx, Tangles Salon: Online Product Video

Kristin Green, Owner of Tangles Salon in Lancaster, PA, introduces the world to PROLixx.

PROLixx is a product that Green made in her own home. PROLixx is a blend of six different ingredients. The oils in PROLixx enhances hair color. After hair is styled, PROLixx reveals a glamorous shine to your hair, keeps hair color vibrant, and protects hair from heat damage.

Watch the final product below.