C&I Studios

17 Feb

In a generation thriving off of creative excellence, only the passionate will stand.  C&I Studios is a media company focusing on photography, graphic design, audio, and video/film production, based in the beautiful South Florida.  Josh Miller, executive director, is the mind behind the vision, and from the moment he started sharing his dreams and aspirations, struggles and not-so-subtle realities of owning a company, it was simple to see that only the dedicated can make it in this industry.

Image As you walk through the studio, creativity can be found in every facet of the building.  From DIY decor to the graffiti lining the back walls, this is a place where the imagination is safe to venture into areas yet explored.  With a “strategically” and small picked staff, as Miller would say, these young adults strive to be the best at what they do.

“In 2006 I started finding my staff, I had two friends in their own companies and basically asked them to shut down theirs… and come work with me.” Says Miller, “so it’s really people I’ve known all my life.  We’re very strategic about it, my two most trusted camera guys came in knowing nothing a couple years ago, and we just worked together and worked hard.  It’s a drive you have to pertain, they want to learn and genuinely know everything there is to know.”

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Maybe the most interesting bit about C&I was the start and how Josh keeps it going.  “In 2005,” Miller explains, “I was in a different company and it plain sucked.  All I wanted was a company solely focused on creative work instead of being client based.”

He continued to discuss the struggles that owning a business presents, mainly that of income and resources.  “You make no money!  So while working on only creative projects is ideal, the reality is we needed to do some corporate work in the beginning.”  

One of the first questions I inquired of Miller was how it felt to be running a successful creative company, and the passion in his response was one of the more inspiring things I’ve heard. 

“It’s honestly the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life.  This gig can suck, I have a wife and little girl I can see for maybe 10 minutes out of my day.”  He starts explaining, “I think there’s this idea that gets implanted when you’re a kid, like, ‘oh, josh, you’re living your dream!’ But people just don’t realize the drama, heart ache, and frustrations of running a company.  Especially in this industry.”

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To help aid in the understanding, Josh made a practical comparison between working at a Home Depot and then for a studio.  He explained how him and his staff solely deal with the image- whether it be their own or what they are producing, the talk and response from an audience is all that matters.  If you’re working for a Home Depot, say, when a product doesn’t sell so well, or when customers aren’t aesthetically pleased, it will not fall in your hands.  Image in the final product is everything when you’re creating.

Aside from the visuals, C&I host a plethora of events each month.  These events are based off of things they are passionate towards to help get the community involved in the arts.  There’s something electric and contagious about opening up their doors to strangers and having an individual leave with a different take on how they view things.  Josh is most passionate about film, but his favorite part about films are the music.  Most of their events will have live bands, showcasing what they do best.

The most attractive part about working in a creative business is the day-to-day schedule, or lack there of one.  For the spontaneous and easily bored person, this seems to be the job for you.  “Our days change a lot.  I can be in meetings and creative directing one moment and out on location shooting the next.  It keeps you on your toes, it’s how it should be.”  Josh says.

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As for some advice for the future creative- Josh simply says, “Don’t do it.  I’ll try my hardest to sway each employee out of this job before they’re hired.  The most unattractive, gruesome details that most people won’t see, I make sure is the first thing they will see.  Only the strong-willed and completely committed stand a chance in this.”

What does the future hold for C&I? Aside from opening multiple locations and having wild success, Josh says he dreams to keep dreaming.  “I want to view the end product in the future, and not be satisfied at all, you know?  I want to keep getting better, I want my staff to keep thinking different and new thoughts.  So while it would be great to sit in a theatre and view what we have made, I just don’t ever want to be satisfied.”

With their passion and off the wall ideas, C&I can only grow and become a powerhouse studio in their area.

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