The Stark Crew Story: from a Craigslist Ad to a Global Video Agency
I moved to Madrid, Spain from Toledo, Ohio in 2004. After completing a Masters Program in Documentary Film at the Madrid Cinema Institute, frankly, I was broke and had no idea what to do.
As they say, necessity is the mother of invention…
I decided to put an ad on Craigslist Madrid in the video/tv/film section, advertising myself as an “American Video Producer” in Madrid. There was no competition there – Spaniards were not using Craigslist Madrid at all at that time, yet it was probably the first place an American would go to find something or someone in Madrid.
Jobs came in right away.
My first client: Travel Channel. Second client: Discovery Channel. Other big brand American clients kept coming in. And they all said the same thing:
“Help us – we can’t find anyone local who speaks English!”
Bingo #1- I had discovered my market. I would be the English-speaking, American video guy in Spain helping American companies with their local video projects.
I did whatever they needed: cameraman, video producer, location scout, fixer – anything and everything. They felt comfortable because not only was I American too – a strong competitive advantage – but because I busted my ass to get what they needed, answered emails fast, took calls at any time of the night, and just got it done. I can’t tell you how many clients told me that one of the reasons they hired me was because I was the fastest to respond to all of their questions. Straight up good customer service was key to it all.
Over time, something interesting started happening. In the beginning, I was getting work from TV networks, news crewing services, and agencies. But then I started to notice a growing trend: more and more global companies were contacting me directly. In other words, a lot of big companies who you might think have their own video production capabilities or agencies – well, they didn´t!
After completing their projects successfully in Spain, they started asking me if I could do the same work for them in other countries.
Bingo #2 – new markets!
At this point, I figured I was on to something. I could leverage the fact that my clients were global companies to offer them the same services that I was offering to them in Spain across the globe. I decided to grow my video team worldwide and we started helping big multinational clients to shoot videos across the globe with our locally-based video crews.
Since then we’ve been growing, offering more and more companies the best video locally-based video crews anywhere in the world, anytime, as well as offering full-service solutions.
That´s the Stark Crew story in a nutshell.