Creating Connections and Content in Video Production | Creatives Grab Coffee 59

Sam Rossiello from Captiv Creative shares insights on building and maintaining client relationships in the video production industry. They focus on creating a positive on-set experience and building personal relationships with clients. They also use outbound sales strategies, such as email campaigns and phone calls, to generate new leads. Sam emphasizes the importance of persistence and follow-up in the sales process. The typical time from lead to contract signed and project started is under two weeks for their company. The conversation in this part focuses on the process of completing projects and the market in Houston. Dario and Sam discuss how they have streamlined their sales funnel and project timelines to shorten the time it takes to complete a project. They also talk about their payment structure and the importance of getting paid on time. Sam shares insights about the video production market in Houston, highlighting the dominance of the oil and gas and medical industries. He also discusses the mission of Captiv Studios to fill the gap in studio space and foster a creative community in Houston. In this final part of the conversation, Sam discusses the importance of leadership and learning from mistakes in their business. They reflect on their experiences in business school and how it didn’t provide the practical knowledge they needed. Sam also shares the structure of their current team and the roles they have. They talk about the need for versatile team members in the production industry and the importance of having directors with specific styles for certain projects. The conversation ends with Sam expressing gratitude for being on the podcast and sharing their website and social media information.

Creatives Grab Coffee is produced by Lapse Productions, a video production company based out of Toronto, Canada. Reach out to them for your video production needs.

Watch: Creating Connections and Content in Video Production | Creatives Grab Coffee 59

Listen: Creating Connections and Content in Video Production | Creatives Grab Coffee 59


  • Building personal relationships with clients is crucial in the video production industry.
  • Creating a positive on-set experience can help maintain client relationships.
  • Outbound sales strategies, such as email campaigns and phone calls, can generate new leads.
  • Persistence and follow-up are key in the sales process.
  • The typical time from lead to contract signed and project started is under two weeks. Streamlining the sales funnel and project timeline can help shorten the time it takes to complete a project.
  • Having a clear payment structure and ensuring timely payment is important for smooth project execution.
  • The video production market in Houston is dominated by the oil and gas and medical industries.
  • Captiv Studios aims to fill the gap in studio space in Houston and foster a creative community.
  • Houston has a growing freelancer network in the film industry. Leadership is crucial in running a successful business.
  • Learning from mistakes is an important part of growth.
  • Business school may not provide the practical knowledge needed for entrepreneurship.
  • Having a versatile team with members who can take on multiple roles is valuable in the production industry.
  • Directors with specific styles are important for certain projects.


  • 00:00 Introduction and Background
  • 05:14 Building Client Relationships
  • 08:05 Creating a Positive On-Set Experience
  • 12:42 Strategies for Finding New Business
  • 16:31 Outbound Sales and Lead Generation
  • 27:02 Payment Terms and Cash Flow
  • 28:52 The Houston Market
  • 29:17 Closing Deals and Completing Projects
  • 29:20 Opening Captiv Studios and Tapping into Houston’s Markets
  • 32:08 Hosting Workshops and Events to Bring Creatives Together
  • 42:24 The Importance of Leadership and Caring in Business
  • 50:58 Efficiency and Growth with a Team of Six
  • 59:07 Expanding the Team: Hiring Producers, Directors, and Editors
  • 01:02:31 Outro


Dario (02:18)
Okay, well guys, welcome to another episode. And today we have Sam Rosello from Captive Creative. Sam, welcome to the show.

Sam Rossiello (02:27)
Welcome, welcome to me. It’s actually Rossie Yellow. It’s a hard name. No one gets it right. Don’t worry, don’t worry. It’s good to be here. Thank y’all for inviting me on.

Dario (02:30)
Rossie L. O. Sorry.

Kyrill (02:31)

It’s all good. You had some trouble with my name as well. But to be honest, every guest has a little bit of issues with mine. I’ve gotten all the different kinds of iterations. Cal, Kyle, Kyrell, you know. Luckily, Dario’s is pretty easy.

Dario (02:38)
for coming.

Sam Rossiello (02:52)
Yeah, yeah, I totally understand.

Dario (02:52)
You’d be surprised though.

Kyrill (02:56)
So where you let, yeah, actually, go Dario.

Dario (02:56)
So I was just going to ask him to do a quick intro. Like, what all of our guests, we just need a little bit of backstory. So Sam, just tell us a little bit about who you are and I guess how you started your company.

Sam Rossiello (03:12)
Yeah. So, uh, I’m Sam. I’m creative director of captive creative and also co-founder of captive studios, our, uh, our sister company. And, uh, we started captive creative about.

11 years ago now. So we’ve been going strong for a while, almost a little over a decade. And Captive Creative started as a wedding film company. We only shot weddings. We probably did about 15 of them before we decided that was too much work. Don’t wanna do that, high stress. And yeah, we didn’t get that deep into it. But…

Dario (03:44)
That’s very little.

Kyrill (03:47)
That’s such a small number.

Dario (03:50)
Sounds like you experimented with weddings and decided that’s not for me.

Sam Rossiello (03:54)
Yeah, yeah. Well, my cousins and I were all in school and it was a side hustle for us, but kind of quickly became a became a full-time thing. Within five years, we were both, we were all three, there were originally three of us, all three making enough money to get by and

Yeah, Captive Studios on the other hand is brand new. We just opened Captive Studios in June of 2023. So not even a year old. And yeah, we’re a captive creative.

Once we got out of weddings, we immediately started doing commercial stuff, small businesses first. That slowly took off. There’s a there’s a pretty large sporting goods retailer in the U.S. called Academy Sports and Outdoors. They found us, which was like our big break. And.

They hired us to do a couple projects and that was in 2016. And we still work with them today doing even bigger stuff. So from then, from 2016 onward, we really cut out the events, cut out the weddings and really just focused on commercial work.

Dario (05:03)
Yeah, a lot of companies we spoke to, they always have that one project that really helps them get to the next level. And I guess that was what happened with you with that sporting company, right?

Sam Rossiello (05:14)
Yeah, yeah, that’s the one. We don’t share that first video we made for them because it’s bad. It’s real bad. We’ve made much better stuff for them.

Dario (05:23)
I’m sure it’s fine like I’m sure it’s fine. We’re all our worst judge, you know

Kyrill (05:27)

Sam Rossiello (05:31)
I’ll show you the link after this and you can be the judge of that.

Kyrill (05:34)
Sure thing what I like to hear though is that you they’ve stuck with you for eight years you know like the one biggest challenge a lot of people in our industry faces is the Turnover rates sometimes with a lot of clients and even if they’re good relationships that you have with people sometimes marketing needs change Companies change people move around But it sounds like there has been kind of like you’ve really grandfathered yourself into your relationship with them Which is which is great, which has allowed you to really?

Sam Rossiello (05:55)

Kyrill (06:02)
expand into your studio and even having the capability to buy a Cinebot, which I saw on your website and not a lot of production companies or studios even have that in their inventory when you think about it.

Sam Rossiello (06:09)

Yeah, yeah, we were the first ones in Texas. There’s another one now, I think in Austin. But yeah, the client relationships is very, very important to us. We’ve actually, we try to make more relationships with the people rather than the actual company. That has actually gained us even more clients because over the course of five, 10 years, people change jobs. Like our original…

Dario (06:41)

Sam Rossiello (06:43)
main point of contact at Academy is now with Capital One and we work with him with that Capital One. So we, we definitely build those personal relationships with people, not the companies because people move and we maintain that relationship and they bring us with them, which is really cool.

Kyrill (07:02)
What do you think you’ve done that has helped you maintain those relationships? Do you think that there’s something unique that you’ve done or what are, what are some tips that you might have for people?

Sam Rossiello (07:13)
Yeah, we as a company, as Captive Creative, we really, really focus on our on set experience. We make sure our clients have a great time while they’re on set. We hear from a lot of our clients who have moved video production companies that we’re one of the most professional and fun.

crews to be on set with. We provide lunch. We crack jokes. We have a very lighthearted vibe on set. Even when things are tight and stressful, we maintain a positive attitude and we really push that on all of our vendors that we work with. And yeah, I think the thing that’s kept people coming back to us, even as they move to different companies is we’re people people. And we really focus on the relationship.

almost above the content that we create.

Kyrill (08:09)
Yeah, well, it’s part of it. Like we’ve discussed on the show before where you’re trying to cultivate an experience for them. They’re also looking for that too. If they just wanted a simple video project, you’re right. They can go to anywhere if they wanna get to the process of just shopping around for the lowest price and that’s all they care about. There’s that avenue too, but you’re giving them something beyond just what they would get with any other company, right? Your onset experience is gonna be unique to you.

Dario (08:09)

Kyrill (08:36)
It’s gonna be unique to everyone else. It’s gonna be unique to us just because of the people that we are. And I think a lot of times people in this industry can forget that you yourself is what you’re selling, not just your product, not just your company.

Sam Rossiello (08:51)
Yeah, yeah, and that’s actually something we’ve learned semi-recently in the past few years is that it’s who you know. It’s the people you know. Yeah, your work will do some good for you. Win some awards, show some good stuff on Instagram. It’ll do good things for you, but really getting to know the people you work with and building a relationship with them is what has driven us the most. Even though we still try to win some awards and make great content.

But yeah, it’s the people that keeps us going.

Dario (09:24)
What do you do in terms of developing that relationship like after the project is done?

Sam Rossiello (09:30)
Um, yeah, we, we have a process around it. Uh, we have, uh, we use a, we use a platform called for all of our project management. Um, really, really helpful. I, we’ve been using it for probably seven, eight years now. Uh, haven’t even looked anywhere else for another platform. Um, just to all the creators out there use There’s a free version of it. You can track all your projects. It’s very, very flexible. Um,

This has been sponsored by Just kidding. No, it’s a great platform. It’s a great platform. But the process we use is built into that platform where once we have a relationship with someone, they’re in our system. And we make sure we have regular monthly follow ups for the clients that we really like to work with and we wanna keep working with. We’ll actually go visit them in person.

Dario (10:01)
discount code

Sam Rossiello (10:23)
Kari, my business partner, is really, really good at this. He’ll go and grab a few of our team members, pick up some donuts, pick up some coffee, and just show up at some of our clients’ offices. And that’s, surprisingly, that old school way of doing things works really well. And that’s just one of the things we do. But mainly it’s just reaching up, reaching out, checking in, commenting on video content that…

clients put out themselves, because we have a lot of clients that do their own social, but really they come to us when they need a bigger project done. But yeah, reaching out, making sure their content’s working, following up on how things are going. Personal questions are always great too. Knowing someone’s family and their pets and asking about those things, people really, they like talking about themselves and it’s good to know those things too.

Dario (10:57)

Kyrill (11:18)
They wanna see that you care essentially, right? That’s what a lot of the time people do. I don’t know why I just thought of this, but it reminded me even of this one office episode of when Michael was going from business to business with the, what was it? The gift baskets with the truffle turtles and everything. Yeah, I was gonna say, do you guys go back and take those donuts if they don’t wanna go into business? Great.

Dario (11:30)
Oh yeah.


Sam Rossiello (11:35)

Dario (11:36)
Where are the turtles?


Sam Rossiello (11:42)
No, no. We leave them, we leave them. It’s fine if they don’t take them.

Kyrill (11:49)
Granted, those are clients that you actually have worked with, that’s the difference. He was trying to find new business, right? Ha ha ha.

Sam Rossiello (11:52)
Right. Yeah, yeah, new business is a whole different ballgame. Whole different ballgame. Yeah.

Kyrill (11:59)
How have you got about that in terms of finding new business down in? Oh yeah, we haven’t mentioned on the show, but you’re from Texas, you know? So for all of our listeners, yeah, he’s based in Houston, Texas. Yeah, yeah.

Sam Rossiello (12:05)
I’m from Texas.

Dario (12:06)

Sam Rossiello (12:09)
Yeah, yeah, that’s right. If you can’t tell from my accent and the fact that I use y’all all the time.

Dario (12:15)
You really don’t have an accent though, I couldn’t pick up on one.

Sam Rossiello (12:18)
Okay, well that’s good to know. Sometimes I hear that I do, sometimes I don’t. Today I guess it’s not as thick. But yeah, I’m from Texas. Do we have something specific to ask about film down here?

Dario (12:32)
I do, yeah, like how is the market down there?

Kyrill (12:34)
Yeah, well first the previous question was just more so like how do you go about looking for new business down there, right?

Sam Rossiello (12:36)

Yeah, so really at first it started referrals, referrals. Then we started running Google Ads a long time ago. We’ve given Google a lot of money over the years, but it works. It works less than it used to, but it works. And Google Ads is really how we’ve gained most of our new clients. We haven’t done a lot of outbound sales until the past year or two.

Dario (12:55)
Same here.

Sam Rossiello (13:10)
Luckily we hadn’t needed to, but now we’ve Google isn’t doing as much work as it used to do. So we’re doing a lot of reaching out. We have some we have some outbound sales help that we that we use a outsource sales team that helps us make calls, send emails and set up calls for us. It’s it’s been really, really helpful so far. That’s been about two months that we’ve been doing that.

Dario (13:22)
Oh, really?

Kyrill (13:34)
Oh, okay.

Dario (13:35)
Can you tell us a bit more about that? I’m curious about that.

Kyrill (13:38)

Sam Rossiello (13:38)
Yeah, it’s actually, it’s a company called Munzai and they reached out to us over and over and over again. They were very persistent and that was a good sign. We were like, okay, if they can do that to us, then they can probably do it to potential clients as well. And they have a very organized system. We use another platform called Zoom Info, which is a, it’s a data collection platform. You can find, yeah, you can find emails and phone numbers for…

Dario (14:02)
Yeah, it’s where you got like emails and phone numbers, right?


Sam Rossiello (14:07)
pretty much anyone at any company. It’s a little scary, but it works for us. And we’ve made calls, the team at Munzai has made calls, and we’ve actually set up probably five or six meetings in the past couple of months that are in our opportunities pipeline now that hopefully will become sales in the next couple of months. So yeah, that’s the route we’re going with outbound. Kari, my business partner, he’s the one that’s like really focusing on that.

Dario (14:09)


Sam Rossiello (14:37)
I manage more of the inbound stuff.

Dario (14:39)
Do you pay them or do they get a portion of whatever you guys close?

Sam Rossiello (14:44)
For them, it’s a monthly retainer. We pay them the same amount every month. Doesn’t matter how many sales they close, which is great for us. We don’t have to pay out commission. And they work really hard and give us updates all the time. But yeah, typically salespeople require commission, but with this route, they didn’t need it, which was nice for us.

Dario (14:47)
Monthly retainer, okay.

So they get in touch with the client and then they like once the client’s warmed up, they pass them over to you or like you like, that’s the part I’m curious about because when you’re doing outbound, you’re kind of like, I’m curious what the funnel looks like. Do they just get in touch with the client and then transfer them over to you or like, how’s that work?

Kyrill (15:07)
I mean, I guess.

Sam Rossiello (15:13)
That’s, no, that’s…

Yeah, so there’s a there’s a series of things that happen there. First, they start with some warm up emails. They send some emails that they know we’re going to go to the spam account of whoever they’re sending them to. But once I guess once you send a few emails to someone, it starts getting filtered into the real inbox. And then they start another flow of emails. I think there’s probably about five to 10 that go out before they kind of give up on a lead. They also reach out on LinkedIn and they make phone calls.

So there’s, there’s a lot of touches that happen before someone actually responds. I think typically like seven or eight touches before someone actually responds and wants to set up a meeting. Yeah.

Dario (16:03)

Kyrill (16:06)
I guess with the cold approach, yeah, you gotta, it is really kind of like being persistent, you know, it’s not a matter of just one email and then it’s like, oh, they’re not interested, move on to the next. And I was gonna say though, like, I mean, it’s only been two months, so it’s hard for you to gauge, I guess, how effective it has been at this point. Like when you’ve…

Sam Rossiello (16:12)

Dario (16:23)
Well he’s got like five, he’s got like five to six meetings already so he’s, as long as he does his job, like, it’ll pay off for him.

Sam Rossiello (16:27)

Kyrill (16:31)
Yeah, yeah, of course, of course. So it’s like five, six meetings from two months, you said, so far? Okay.

Sam Rossiello (16:32)
That’s right.

Dario (16:36)
That’s pretty good.

Sam Rossiello (16:36)
Yeah, approximately. And those, those some of the, I think maybe half of those have one and a second meeting. The rest are like, oh, we’re not quite ready right now. Because I mean, outbound sales, they’re not people that are looking for the work. You have to convince them. You have to ask the right questions and understand what they need and then suggest the work. So it’s a little different than inbound. Right.

Dario (16:50)
Yeah, exactly.

Kyrill (16:51)

Dario (16:58)
But now you’re in their radar too, right? So like you’re in the discussion, so that’s good.

Kyrill (17:03)
You’ve planted a seed essentially.

Sam Rossiello (17:04)
Yeah, and now when they, yeah, we’re kind of getting in their heads, like, like kind of like Geico’s advertising. I mean, they, they’re not looking for someone to sign up as soon as they see a commercial. They’re just looking to someone, looking for someone to just think of the name when they think of insurance. So yeah.

Dario (17:17)
Yeah, I like that because normally how I always thought about it is like, okay, if I have to do all that before I net a result, like it’s almost not worth it, I might as well focus on something else. But the fact that you have like another company focusing on that is pretty good actually because they’re going through all the BS and all the no responses and sending out the emails and the phone calls and the yada yada. But

Kyrill (17:42)

Dario (17:48)
If they just send you the warmed up leads, that’s not too bad either. Are they very expensive? Like how’s their rate?

Sam Rossiello (17:54)
They’re roughly inexpensive. They’re actually not in the US. So rates are a little bit cheaper. But yeah, I’d say it’s pretty reasonable for what we’re getting.

Dario (18:06)

Kyrill (18:06)
Yeah. I mean, at least at this stage, right? And honestly, like some leads, it really does take time. Sometimes just getting the, like as Dario said, getting your name out there and being on the radar is more than enough. Even leads that reach out to you can take quite a while. Like one of our longest, not our longest, but like one client of ours that we’ve been working with now for almost three years, they first started off with like a cold call from them to me actually. And just having,

Sam Rossiello (18:10)
Yeah, yeah.

Kyrill (18:36)
conversations periodically over email and a few Zoom calls for like about two, three months before they felt ready to kind of dive in. Then they finally were ready to get started and we kind of moved through, right? So just seeing how long it can take on that side, it can take even longer on the opposite side because they’re not looking for video at that point, right? And again, it’s unique to every company and all it takes is that one lead that you can sign that.

Sam Rossiello (18:55)

Kyrill (19:02)
will become very useful over time, right? Because if you get a long-term client, it’s definitely worth it in the end.

Sam Rossiello (19:05)

Dario (19:08)
It pays itself.

Sam Rossiello (19:09)
Oh yeah, oh yeah. I’m curious for y’all, what is the typical like new lead to contract signed project started time? What’s the window there for y’all?

Dario (19:20)
Like how long it takes usually.

Sam Rossiello (19:22)
Yeah, yeah.

Dario (19:26)
Not that long for us, actually. I would say.

Sam Rossiello (19:28)
Okay, nice.

Dario (19:33)
under like to get them to sign is usually under two weeks once we have a lead.

Sam Rossiello (19:38)
Oh nice. That’s good, that’s good.

Kyrill (19:39)
Yeah, Darrell’s become a whiz with the sales process on that end.

Dario (19:42)
But our pivot is slightly different. Our positioning might be different from yours, because for us, we’re positioned in the middle, in terms of pricing and everything. So people that come to us, they already have a project in mind. And it’s very easy to just tell them, OK, these are our rates. This is your budget. OK, let’s just get it done. One thing we focused on a lot this year is just shortening down on the amount of time it takes to complete a project. I guess that also factors in the

Sam Rossiello (19:52)
Okay. Yeah.


Dario (20:12)
the sales funnel as well, because instead of going through too many meetings, like we just kind of simplified it. Like we used to have like the intro call, then a followup meeting, then, you know, like proposal stage, and then another one after that. And I just kind of simplified it to just, okay, let me see how the lead is. If I don’t get what they’re asking me, I need more information. I might do like a quick 10 minute call. If not, I might just go through. Like

the final stage is literally like I’ve kind of prepared like a proposal and I’m going through it with them during that first meeting and then by the end of it, I have the proposal done and I just send it to them. So after that, it’s like you either want to sign or you don’t.

Sam Rossiello (20:51)

Yeah, no, so you build the proposal on the first meeting sometimes?

Kyrill (20:55)

Dario (20:59)
I have like a template that I use and then based on the email, I can understand kind of like what case studies I need to showcase in that proposal and then I just go through it and then during the meeting if they don’t like those case studies, I can swap them out quickly by the end of the meeting or either during the meeting or after that call is done. Then by the end of it, I just send it to them and I just don’t have to worry about it. Either they want to move ahead or they don’t. And then I just.

Sam Rossiello (21:08)
Okay, yeah.

Yeah, that’s efficient.

Kyrill (21:27)
Like, whoa.

Dario (21:28)
Yeah, I leave the ball in their court. And then for our whole production process, like, again, I want to wrap things up quick. So it’s like, okay, I need all this information. Let’s quickly get started on that. And then set up the production to the production date post. Again, I’ve spoken to Carol about this and we’ve, we’ve simplified that process as well. So like when we ask an editor, like how long would this project take? And they say two days. Well, we’ve kind of let them know it’s like, I want it.

within two days, like can you make it work? So if I give it to you, yeah, if I give it like today’s what the third, April 3rd or whatever, like I give it to, we shoot on the third, I give it to you by the fourth, you say two days, I want it within two days. Cause then after that we review it, send them the first draft. Cause our projects used to take too long, right? That’s one thing that I noticed was like causing a lot of issues was that it’s taken too long and then it would take, take up more time on our end. But again, like because of our market positioning.

Sam Rossiello (21:58)
And you’re done. Yeah.

Kyrill (21:59)

Sam Rossiello (22:14)

Kyrill (22:16)

Dario (22:25)
We can kind of get away with it like that because it seems like you work on more complicated projects, like your timeline is going to be way different from ours. Right.

Kyrill (22:30)

Sam Rossiello (22:34)
Yeah, yeah, for sure. Uh, yeah, some of our, so our, our time to, from like, when someone reaches out to closing, unless it’s like a rush project, like we need you to shoot on this day. Uh, it typically takes anywhere from like two to four weeks, uh, discovery call, maybe one follow-up call proposal meeting. And I mean, sometimes our quotes can be

30, 40, $50,000 plus. And that’s a big decision for someone to make. So they have to run it up the chain. Typically, we’re working with a marketing department or an ad agency, and they’ve got three people that need to look at everything and other options to consider. Yeah, it’s that beginning stage of the process takes a while. We’ve been trying to shorten it for sure. And we’ve definitely cut out a couple meetings and gotten our proposal platform.

Dario (23:03)
Yeah, yeah, it’s gonna take longer. Yeah.

Kyrill (23:13)

Sam Rossiello (23:27)
working a lot more efficiently. So, yeah.

Kyrill (23:30)
It all depends. There’s always gonna be factors that can extend the timeline for a lot of projects. What we’re talking about, what Dario and I are talking about is more so trying to simplify it in the most ideal circumstances. Like in our most ideal client project, this is what we’re gonna be aiming for in terms of moving things along. Of course, if it’s a much bigger project, where there’s a lot of moving parts, a lot of deliverables, things can take a lot longer.

And like even now, like we have like a project where a lot of people have to look at certain drafts of like say 10 to 15 videos. They all have to put their input on it. Then they have to discuss to agree what input that is gonna be. And then they have to come to us to let us know what’s doable. And then we figure it out. And then the project can start. And just getting the feedback. Yeah. Yeah, yeah.

Dario (24:18)
That’s on the post then. On the post, we kind of like guarantee them like, look, one week for the first drafts. After that, yeah, after that, yeah, after that it’s in, you control the time. Yeah, you control, yeah, you control when it gets done type of thing.

Kyrill (24:26)
Yeah, if it’s like one video and simple, yeah.

Sam Rossiello (24:31)
It’s in your hands. Get us the feedback and we’ll get it done. Yeah.

Kyrill (24:35)
Exactly, exactly. So there are a lot of factors in it. And the reason we simplified the project in the pre-production, or sorry, not so much the pre-production, with the leads, was because like Dario said, we noticed that there were too many touch points where a client, or sorry, a lead could fall off. You know, if we’re artificially creating this need to do several follow-up calls and then create a brief call as a separate thing.

it provides more opportunity for them to kind of get busy and not be able to move forward for it sometimes as well. And so that’s the other thing.

Dario (25:06)
Go with someone else.

But go with someone else especially because it’s like if they need to get it done by a certain day But yeah, and then especially on the production side like we were looking at the projects we were doing and I was like this It’s not at a level where it should take this long. Do you know? But again, we’re dealing with less complex stuff and Once we streamlined everything

Sam Rossiello (25:24)

Yeah, well, we have the same problem, even with our more complex projects. Like we just wrapped up something that we’ve been working on for a year. If things were moving quickly, we probably could have wrapped it in like a month. But client back and forth, clients got busy. A lot of our clients…

this is like a minor thing for them. They have a lot more responsibilities on them. And we try to be understanding, but we also try to be a little pushy. We wanna get your project done, you wanna have your assets to use. And that’s the way we kind of go about telling them to hurry up. It’s like, you want this, you came to us, you signed up for this, you wanna get your assets and we wanna get those to you. See, I know we have the same issue, but just stretched longer, I guess.

Dario (25:51)

Kyrill (25:51)

Yeah, it all depends.

Dario (26:19)
But are you getting paid on time at least? Cause that only becomes an issue at least for me if they don’t pay on time. That’s usually when I tell them, like I let them determine the timeline, but my payment timeline does not change. So if they want to extend things, sure, but I need my money now. Ha ha.

Sam Rossiello (26:26)


Yeah. No, I’m glad you brought that up because we used to not do that. We were like, okay, when we give you the final deliverables, you’ll pay us the final invoice. We don’t do that anymore. It’s the if you want to know exactly what we do, I mean, we invoice. We usually do 50 upfront 50 when the project’s done. But we’ve added a new clause that’s it’s the second half is due 30 days after production, no matter what, whether we’re done or not.

Dario (26:39)
Okay, same here.

Yeah. Yep.

Kyrill (26:54)

Sam Rossiello (27:02)
which has been very, very helpful for us and I highly recommend doing that for sure.

Dario (27:08)
I think we have, I’m pretty sure we have, I gotta double check, but I’m pretty sure we have a similar thing. I just, no, we do have the, we have the exact same thing. I break it up into, usually I break it up into three, sometimes two, if it’s like an easy project, I might do two. But I do project management and pre-production as one, production as its own, and post as its own, right? So I issue them all.

Kyrill (27:08)
It keeps the cash flow going.

Sam Rossiello (27:10)

Kyrill (27:15)
Pretty similar, yeah.

Dario (27:37)
when they signed the contract, but they’re all due at specific dates. And they’re usually, I think the latest is like the post one is like 30 days after production.

Sam Rossiello (27:47)
Yeah, yeah, that’s a great way to go about it.

Dario (27:50)
Because I was like, okay, it’s three smaller ones, like instead of like two big ones, it might look easier for them to swallow that pill. But one cool thing I noticed is that a couple of times they ended up paying all three at once because they’ll send them to accounting, right? And accounting sometimes might not check the due dates on each one. So they’ll just pay them all at once. So it’s great. We get all the money right away.

Kyrill (27:50)
Yeah, if there’s a…

Sam Rossiello (27:57)
A little more digestible, yeah.

Kyrill (28:04)

Sam Rossiello (28:07)
Ah. Mm-hmm.

Just run him.

Kyrill (28:14)
Like, yeah.

Sam Rossiello (28:15)
That’s not a bad idea. Maybe we should do that.

Kyrill (28:19)
Obviously, like if it’s like a bigger project and there are some potential unforeseen costs that come later on, you could always reissue another one or something like that. But again, it all depends on the project, but that’s what we’ve been doing up until now. And like Darya said, it’s a nice little bonus when we get paid a little bit earlier for projects.

Sam Rossiello (28:31)
for sure.

Yeah, yeah, we love that.

Kyrill (28:43)
You mentioned.

Dario (28:43)
I want to go back to, sorry girl, can I ask him about Houston? I’m curious about the market there, because we kind of touched on it earlier. I’m just curious, what’s the market like down there?

Kyrill (28:47)
Yeah, yeah, go for it. Yeah.

Sam Rossiello (28:52)
Yeah. So the film industry as a whole here is pretty small. We’re, there’s, everybody knows everybody. That’s the kind of community we have here is in the film industry. All the video production companies know of each other. We like personally know some of them. And I’m not frozen, am I? Just checking. Okay.

Dario (29:17)
You are, but I think the recording should be fine. Yeah.

Kyrill (29:20)
But I could still hear him.

Sam Rossiello (29:21)
Okay, cool. Great. I’ll keep you on here. But yeah, I know everybody knows each other in the film industry. There’s definitely a lot more commercial work to be done over the more film narrative documentary type work. If y’all don’t know, Houston is like the oil and gas hub of the country. And it’s also the medical hub of the country. We have the…

Dario (29:44)
Mm-hmm. Yeah.

Oh really?

Sam Rossiello (29:50)
the biggest medical center in the country here in Houston. And pretty much all the biggest hospitals are based here that are across the country. So there’s a lot of work to be done in oil and gas and medical. We don’t really do any of that. So we haven’t even tapped into those markets.

Dario (30:03)


Kyrill (30:11)
You haven’t even tapped into the biggest markets, that’s hilarious. That’s awesome though.

Sam Rossiello (30:14)
Yeah, well tip, yeah, it’s great. We, I don’t wanna call those industries boring, but there is creative stuff to be done in those industries. But we tend to lean towards the retail, more of the alternate services that people have in Houston, real estate, products, technology. Those things are more up and coming in Houston. Oil and gas is like the…

the old guys, the old guys that have been here forever. And a lot of video production companies work in oil and gas and work in medical and they’re very successful and that’s all they do. We’ve kind of stayed out of that industry, I don’t wanna say on purpose, but our creative vision and where we wanna go as a company doesn’t really align with that. But overall, Houston’s got lots of opportunity for video.

which is one of the reasons why we decided to open Captive Studios. We saw the lack of studios. There’s very few professional film studios here in Houston. And Captive Studios is now the largest. I hope it’s almost the largest. I think we compare with one other studio in size, but we are the largest virtual production studio in Houston.

Yeah, so the lead into that was as a video production company, we saw the lack of studio space in Houston. There’s very few big film studios here. We’re one of two of the largest spaces here in Houston, and we are the largest virtual production studio in Houston. We open captive studios initially, or we thought of the idea initially because of that lack of studios.

But that was about two years ago that we really started thinking about this in a serious way. And as we got into it, we also realized that the creative industry here in Houston also needed a place to live and to collaborate and have workshops. And there really wasn’t a place to bring all the creatives together. And that’s one of the other big missions of Captive Studios is to host events, host workshops.

educate the people of Houston and to show people in Houston that there are other creatives out there. Something that we’ve realized a lot with Captive Creative is agencies come to us and they see our work. We show a proposal and they’re like, oh my gosh, I thought I had to go to LA for this. I thought I had to go to New York for this. And that’s very common. I mean, we hear that like monthly at least from people.

That’s something we’ve realized with Captive Studios is Houston doesn’t have the infrastructure that it needs to be on that level of LA and be on that level of Georgia. So we want to help get Houston to that point where films want to come shoot here and TV shows want to come shoot here. And that’s the big hope with Captive Studios is to make Houston more of a hub for film production. So that’s kind of the genesis of Captive Studios.

Since we opened, we’ve probably had about 10 workshops since last June. We actually just wrapped up our biggest one about a month ago, a month from, yeah, the beginning of March. We had a big event with Red Digital Cinema and a YouTuber named Brandon Washington. He’s pretty big in Houston. He’s got over 100,000 subscribers and he’s pretty popular and he helped host that with us. And he pulled…

Kyrill (33:55)

Sam Rossiello (34:08)
He’s got a lot of connections to the camera and film industry. And he actually got a couple of red digital cinema trainers to come and teach people about red cameras. We probably had about 70, 80 people here and 16 red cameras all in the building, which was super cool. I’d never seen so many red cameras all in one place before. But yeah, that’s the kind of thing we’re doing in Captive Studios.

Dario (34:27)
That’s great.


Sam Rossiello (34:37)
And it’s working. We see it. People are getting excited. People have great things to say when they come here. They’re like, I’m so glad that y’all are here and putting on these things for people. And we’re hoping it’ll be fruitful for us and for the city in general.

Kyrill (34:57)
One really unique thing that you did that a lot of other companies dream of doing is that is creating a studio space because the problem is a lot of people, a lot of production companies who want to open up their own studios and their own spaces and things like that. They’re doing it in cities and locations where there’s such an abundant number of options, especially on the medium to small end of things. There’s so like here in Toronto, there are so many spaces that people can rent out for.

anything like from small to medium sized projects. And even on the higher end projects, there are massive studios here, right? So if you wanted to open up a studio here, you’d be throwing money down the garbage, essentially at that point. Luckily for you, you found a huge gap in the market in Houston and went all out. Instead of just creating a smaller studio space that’s more unique to you, you know, that you could use, you went above beyond because you knew that there actually is potential here for growth. And

Really, like you said, there really is only one other studio there that is competing with you and you can set the standard for the industry there. So, like that’s, that’s the, that’s the reason why I think yours will definitely, will definitely be a success down there. Because it’s been how long now? Like how long you’ve had the studio for now? June.

Dario (36:10)
I like the…

Sam Rossiello (36:12)
June. We opened up in June. We really didn’t even start taking bookings until August. So, six months, seven months.

Dario (36:13)
two years.

Kyrill (36:19)

Dario (36:21)
I like the community aspect you’re doing with it as well. Like it’s something you don’t often see or hear about.

Kyrill (36:21)

Sam Rossiello (36:29)
Yeah, we’re trying to make that a big part of Captive Studios. The goal is to have a legit, very educational workshop once a month. We’ve almost maintained that cadence since we opened. But we want to have bigger guests come. We want to have people who are bigger experts than us. We’ve hosted a lot of these ourselves and done the trainings. We’ve had some people come in. But we want to invite people from out of the city to come in here and talk and give their insight.

Kyrill (36:29)

Sam Rossiello (36:58)
And yeah, we think it’ll do great things for Houston and the film industry here. Might take some time, but we think it’s worth it.

Dario (37:07)
How’s the freelancer scene down there? Like, actually before I go into that, like, is Houston the biggest city in Texas? Or…

Kyrill (37:07)
Everything you’re-

Sam Rossiello (37:16)
Yes, some people will say the Dallas Fort Worth area is bigger. Technically, it’s two cities. But Houston, Houston is the highest populated city in Texas.

Dario (37:25)
And how’s the, cause you mentioned the, with production companies, it’s kind of like small, everyone knows each other. How’s it with the freelancers? Are there a lot of them or?

Sam Rossiello (37:35)
There are. We’re learning that more now that we’re hosting these workshops, we’re seeing new faces that we’ve never seen before. I mean, we’ve worked with probably 200 plus vendors over the course of the past five years. And in these workshops, we’re seeing people we’ve never seen before, like 50, 60, 70 people we’ve never seen before who are in the film industry and wanna learn about it and wanna grow in it. And…

Kyrill (37:55)

Sam Rossiello (38:02)
It’s really cool to find out that there’s even more than we thought there were here. But I’d say that the vendor network is still pretty small here relatively. When you get into Austin and Dallas, Dallas has got a little bit more of a commercial film industry. They’ve got more finished out studios, few more commercial film production companies. And Austin, on the other hand, is very film, film heavy.

As you all know, South by Southwest is like one of the one of the biggest film festivals in Texas. If not, it’s probably the biggest in Texas. But there’s a lot of film people in Austin, directors, DPs, people who want to make movies. Houston and Dallas, I think a little bit heavier on the commercial side.

Dario (38:52)
Have a great day.

Kyrill (38:53)
Wow. It definitely sounds like Texas altogether is kind of booming at this point in terms of growth. And a lot of the things that you said that you’re doing has been all pretty recent too. You know, studio six months, sales team two months. Like it’s pretty crazy how things have kind of progressed. Like, did you find with, cause you said you’ve been in business now for 10 years. Did it, do you find like a lot of like the push that you’ve been doing has been.

Sam Rossiello (39:10)

Kyrill (39:22)
something like since say like the pandemic or is it has there been kind of like a bigger push even before that say for you?

Sam Rossiello (39:29)
Uh, there we were, uh, I’ll say we’ve learned some things since the pandemic. Uh, right now we have a team of six, uh, before the pandemic, we had 10 people, um, which, uh, was actually too much. Uh, we, we realized we’re, uh, we’re not educated in business. Uh, all three of us went to school for different things. Uh, I went to school for geology, uh, Justin, I

Dario (39:55)
Oh really?

Sam Rossiello (39:58)
I forgot what he went to school for, but Kari, he went to school for something to do with web design and that kind of thing. So none of us are technically educated in business, so we’ve done a lot of learning along the way. Unfortunately, it’s causing problems in our business. Not knowing things does lead to mistakes, and you’ve got to learn from those mistakes.

Dario (40:25)
I don’t think business school would have helped you because we went to it and they don’t teach. Yeah, like, here I did marketing, I did business and law. Doesn’t help.

Kyrill (40:27)
It wouldn’t have.

Sam Rossiello (40:29)
Yo, went to business school.

Kyrill (40:34)
It’s funny, I did a minor in entrepreneurship there and a lot of the stuff that I got from it, it just, I couldn’t apply any of that to our business or anything like that.

Sam Rossiello (40:34)

Dario (40:45)
Well, you know why? Because you had someone teaching it that is not an entrepreneur. That’s the biggest problem.

Kyrill (40:49)
That was the thing that I noticed. That was the funniest thing that I noticed is that the people who teach a lot of these classes are not people who actually have gone through it. And I mostly learned just how to delegate or work with other people in projects. So that was probably the only thing that I got out of those classes, honestly. But in terms of hiring, running a business and things like that, you’re only gonna learn by doing it. And you said now you’ve kind of like gone down to six people. Actually, before we get to that, you said like you.

Sam Rossiello (40:50)
Ha ha


Dario (41:11)

Kyrill (41:18)
made some mistakes along the way that you learned quite a bit from. Like what would you say is one of the biggest learning experiences that you’ve had in your business so far?

Sam Rossiello (41:28)
Um, it sounds like a hard question, but it’s actually easy. Uh, leadership, really, really simple. Uh, being a good boss, uh, has been the biggest thing that we’ve overcome, uh, as the owners of this company. Uh, it was when we had 10 people, uh, we, we had never had any, like, we didn’t read any leadership books, we didn’t really read any business books and, uh, we, we lost a couple of employees due to bad leadership.

And we almost blame every issue that happens in our company on leadership. We’ve done some coaching and we’ve learned a lot about leadership in the past few years. But yeah, I’d say having a team, you have to be a good leader. If you lead the correct way, your business will grow. It’s almost undeniable. And before…

before like 2020 is when we started doing some business coaching and leadership coaching, read some books, got some insight, learned some hard truths about ourselves and how, how we lead in our issues. And really made us much better and better people in our personal lives as well as in our business. There’s a book that I can’t remember the name of, but it’ll come to me that, that really

kind of spurred it for me. And the main point of the book was that being a leader, the most important thing that you do is caring. And it seems so simple. I mean, obviously I care about my employees and I care about them as people, but I wasn’t the best at showing people that I cared. I would think it, I would be like, yeah, this guy did a great job. She did fantastic on the project, but I wouldn’t communicate that. So no one knew.

that I was really appreciating their work. And that was the biggest hurdle for me is being more vocal and telling my team when they were doing a good job. But yeah, I mean, financial struggles are one thing. Dealing with employee problems is another thing, but if you have a good leadership foundation and you understand what you need to be for your employees, you could pretty much get past any issue.

Financial or personal. That’s really been the biggest thing that I’ve learned in the course of the whole business.

Kyrill (44:00)
I’m sure a lot of people will take quite a bit away from that. Cause yeah, like when you think about it, a lot of the time with any organization or company, it starts at the top. If it’s, if it’s not good at the top, it’s going to trickle down to the rest of the team. If morale is low from the leader, morale is going to be low for everyone else. That’s why you see a lot of CEOs and heads of companies, a lot of the, like some of them are very, make it a point to be very energetic. Like we have, we had one guest from, uh, from the UK Rupert from

Dario (44:01)

Kyrill (44:31)
He’s like an adrenaline junkie and he shows that anything can be done. And then I feel like that really trickles down to a lot of his team as well. And you can kind of see it in the work and even in the marketing material that they put out. Like that’s a video production company example but you mentioned now that you’ve kind of solidified yourself to a team of six. How is the structure in terms of your business like with those six and are you looking to add more people or kind of keep it the same?

Sam Rossiello (44:57)
Yeah, so we’re actually doing the same, if not more, amount of work now that we were doing when we had 10 people. So we’ve become more efficient. We’ve hired even more talented people. But our structure now is I’m our creative director. I kind of oversee projects. I’m not producing any projects. And we have two producers. One’s a senior producer. One’s a producer. They are the ones that run.

Our whole they’re getting more into the sales process. So they’re taking discovery calls. They’re building proposals Sending invoices sending contracts, but they also run the projects. So our two producers Take a client from start to finish They’re kind they kind of act as account managers and producers at the same time So they hire vendors they do everything that needs to be done to get the project done

And it’s also their responsibility to maintain that relationship with the client and make sure they’re happy with us. With my other two business partners, Justin. Justin is our feet on the ground guy. He’s our he’s our lead director of photography. He’s he’s directed a few projects as well. He’s also a bolt operator and will be our virtual production tech moving forward. So.

He’s very much production hands-on. He loves getting his hands dirty, getting his hands on the camera, traveling and going to shoot wherever we need to shoot. And then Kari is our president and he’s very much our PR guy and our outbound sales guy. He does a lot of networking. He’s on the board here in an advertising organization and he’s really, he’s…

He’s amazing at building relationships. He’s, uh, he’s, he inspires the rest of us to do a better job. Uh, and when I say inspires, I mean, he tells us do a better job. Um, he’s, uh, he’s very persistent and keeps everyone else on top of, on top of that side of things. And, uh, yeah, he, uh, he’s, he’s a networker. So we got a networker, creative director, boots on the ground, couple producers, and lastly, our editor Stewart, he’s, uh,

Dario (46:58)

Kyrill (46:59)

Sam Rossiello (47:18)
He’s a workhorse. He’s, he’s fantastic. He, he can handle almost all the editing we have. Um, sometimes we’ve got to outsource a little bit, but he’s, uh, he’s very fast, very efficient, knows what he’s doing and, uh, yeah, really, it really helps us get done and post a lot faster.

Kyrill (47:24)

Sounds like you got yourself a team of Swiss Army knives, essentially, which honestly in our industry, I feel like you need to, you can’t just get one person that only does one job and then that’s it, right? It’s hard to hire for that. If that’s the case, then a lot of the time you hire freelancers for that, right? I’ve seen even like some guests in the past have had people on their team where their on-set person was an audio op, but then behind the scenes, they’re…

Sam Rossiello (47:49)
It is.

Kyrill (48:04)
producing or they’re editing, you know, like they’re They got like a lot of hybrid roles and I think I think that’s like hard to come by these days so it’s better to have a tighter knit team with people were willing to do more and willing to learn more a lot of the time like I mean Dario and I have had to do that over the years and take on roles that we that we never really thought we would do and Honestly, even like through this podcast. We’ve learned a lot. It’s like oh, this is what we should probably be doing

a little bit of this, a little bit of that. It’s like, oh, we’ve been doing it wrong this whole time, just even discussing these ideas. And I think sometimes production companies just need to talk about their business to even figure out what’s missing, what’s working, what isn’t working, and just share the ideas, right?

Sam Rossiello (48:50)
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. And we try to do that with our whole team too. Like we have a, we try to have a monthly meeting. Meetings get moved all the time, it’s all the time. But we call it our team collab meeting. We do it once a month and we open the floor to our team and we’re like, what are we doing right? What are we doing wrong? What are the steps it takes to fix it or get better at what we’re doing good?

And each one of those meetings, we look at the last list we made. We’re like, did we do this? Did we not do this? A lot of the time we get caught up in projects. I just, you really get caught up in your business and you, you got to step back and look, look on your business. But yeah, we try to do that once a month and hearing from our employees, what’s going on in the business is a lot different than what you think is going on in the business.

because they see things way different than you do. So it’s important to get that perspective for us.

Dario (49:50)
What were the four positions that you no longer have? Because you said you went from 10 employees to six. I’m just wondering, like, are they similar? Like, was it just extra producers, extra editors, or was it like a different position entirely?

Sam Rossiello (50:06)
Yeah, so we had two editors. When we had 10 people, we had two full-time editors. We also had someone dedicated to behind the scenes and creating blog-style content. We also had a full-time on-set person. So their main job was to kind of manage our gear and to be our…

our crew member, whenever we needed a cam operator, a DP, an audio person, a PA, like they were there to be that person. We’ve realized that some of those roles couldn’t be filled 40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year. And it was just, it was the right business decision for us to scale back a little bit, switch to use a little bit more freelance work, a little less in house work. And now our model is…

Producers we look for the best producers Producers that have the ability to direct as well as something we really look for when we’re hiring We want a producer that not only can manage a production but can also Push the creative behind it as well Someone who can who can write who can direct and who can who can know what the edit should look like so Moving forward will probably be looking for producers directors and editors

Kyrill (51:14)

Sam Rossiello (51:27)
Those are really our main roles as we see ourselves growing into the future.

Dario (51:32)
That’s really all you need. That’s like the heart of a production.

Kyrill (51:32)
That is the… Yeah.

Sam Rossiello (51:35)

Kyrill (51:36)
And the producer-director hybrid has become the biggest need, I think, in this industry, where you have to be able to do both, you know, just to kind of help move projects along. Because not every project is going to be 100k plus, where you can hire a producer and a director, which has to manage a lot of things. There’s like a growing need for things to be more efficient, to be…

more running gun even sometimes. And even on the bigger scale projects, I hear from other people where they’re trying to kind of expedite processes, you know, be a little bit more lean. And that is one of the first roles that it kind of happens. And it makes sense because the producer knows everything that the client needs. And if he’s able to all, or he or she is able to do the, the what’s it called? The creative as well and understand the vision and help execute the vision. It’s a lot more efficient on the pre-production side because then you don’t have to

communicate that with the director, figure out their needs, and then communicate it back to your client, and back and forth, back and forth, just on that side of things, it can get a little bit, it can slow down the process essentially at that point, right? And so that’s why I think that’s probably been the biggest role that, you know, I think if anyone wants to kind of get into this industry, being able to produce and direct as a, like together, is a big asset. So, you know.

Sam Rossiello (52:58)
Absolutely. Yeah, it really is. And one thing we have been looking for though is on the larger projects, we do look for directors specifically, because we know we’re not, we know we can’t direct any type of project. We don’t, we don’t have the, well, I won’t say that we can do anything that the client asks, but there are directors out there that are better than us.

that are better than us at certain things. And so there’s a, some of our clients even ask for a portfolio of directors to choose from. And we’re like, okay, here’s the people we’ve worked with before, here’s a couple people from our team that we think would fit great. And we let the client decide which director, which creative mind they want on their project. So that has become a little more common for us actually is people looking for directors to choose from when they’re working with us.

Dario (53:55)
It makes sense because they’re probably looking for a specific style and you know, we can do everything but sometimes by doing everything you don’t really have a style because you can mold to whatever the need is, right? But versus with directors, they have a certain style and I often notice it when I’m trying to do outreach for the show and a company is like they have a roster of directors like each one has a…

Sam Rossiello (54:06)

Dario (54:18)
unique style and you see it on like the portfolios and you’re like, oh, okay. If you want that type of video, you got to go with that guy over there.

Sam Rossiello (54:25)
Yeah, yeah, exactly. And we’re trying to build that roster. We already have quite a few directors that we work with, but we want to make it easier for our clients to see and make it easier for them to make the decision. And we kind of run the production. Director runs the creative. Yeah.

Dario (54:43)

Kyrill (54:44)
Yeah, again, it depends on the scale. And if, like you said, if it’s a lot bigger and a lot more specific mind is needed or vision, then that is the best way. Cause like Darius said, being a chameleon can be useful, but you don’t get a lot of face time with one certain kind of project, right? Like if we need to do a food type project that’s very specific about how to make a food product pop,

Might not be a bad idea to bring in someone who has worked very specifically on those kinds of projects, because there are people who only work strictly food. There are some people who strictly work on maybe like virtual commercials or something like that, with those sound stages, right? But you just need people who have experience in that particular area. If it’s something that is a little bit more, you can kind of like step into that’s similar to a lot of other industries you’ve worked in, sure, but.

Sam Rossiello (55:30)

Kyrill (55:44)
It really depends. Everything really depends.

Sam Rossiello (55:47)
Yeah, yeah. No, an example of that is we recently did a project for an agency for a large online retailer. You might know it starts with an A. They sell almost every product you can imagine. You can get it delivered in a day or two. We did this project for them and it required us to have seven different animals on set, including a couple of dogs, a cat.

Dario (56:14)

Sam Rossiello (56:15)
a bird, a lizard, and a rabbit. And when, it was a bit crazy. It would, one per animal, one per animal plus like the manager of the whole crew or the whole cast of animals. But yeah, that was a very, very much of a learning experience for us. We had never booked professional animal talent like that before, but we found a professional.

Kyrill (56:19)

Dario (56:19)
Oh my god, that must have been a nightmare.

Kyrill (56:24)
How many handlers did you need there? Alone.

Dario (56:26)

Sam Rossiello (56:44)
that that’s all they do and that’s like their job and they made it really easy for us. They they provided us options just like a talent agency would do and we presented them to the client. But it was the point of this is that you need a professional to do things that you don’t know how to do. It’s going to make the client happier. It’s going to make the project go better. If we would have tried to pull our own animals, our own pets in, it would have been chaos.

Kyrill (57:12)

Dario (57:12)
Oh my god. A nightmare.

Sam Rossiello (57:15)
It would have been chaos. I have two dogs and they can sit still, but that’s about all they can do. Other than that, they would have been running off and barking and yeah, it would have been chaos. Playing, yeah.

Kyrill (57:23)


Dario (57:29)
They wouldn’t sit still with like a 20 person crew that’d be running around the whole time.

Sam Rossiello (57:33)
No, especially with a cat and a bird in the room, it wouldn’t have worked out. Yeah.

Dario (57:35)
Oh my god.

Kyrill (57:38)
Yeah, oh my God, that reminds me of that one dog food company that we worked with last year. And the client, the client essentially makes a certain brand of dog food and they wanted a, yeah, treats. Yeah. And they said like, all right, we’ll get some shots of like some of the people who work here with their pets. So they brought their own pets. And I remember it was, I mean, we actually did pretty much all right with the animals. Yeah.

Dario (57:38)


Oh my god. Yeah.

No, they were well behaved, those pets. But I mean, like the extent of the shots was also very minor as well, but yeah, they were well behaved.

Sam Rossiello (58:05)

Kyrill (58:06)
Granted, that’s all it was. That’s all we could do.

Sam Rossiello (58:09)

Kyrill (58:12)
I mean, Dario, it was easy. It was easy because the whole point of what we were trying to do is showing dogs like certain dog treats. And so it’s just filmed them getting fed. You know, it’s a natural thing for a dog. But I guess if you’re needing the dog to do something very specific, like jump a certain height or go through, I don’t even know what you probably had to do for that ad, Sam, but.

Sam Rossiello (58:23)

Yeah, we needed some like little head tilts and things like that. The bird had to look in a certain way. The lizard had to run across the backdrop that we had set up. It was fun. It was fun because we hired a professional that knew what they were doing.

Dario (58:37)
Oh no, yeah that’s dumb.

Kyrill (58:40)


Sam Rossiello (58:53)
Yeah, yeah.

Dario (58:54)
Alright, we’re at the one hour mark. Should we tail slate this?

Kyrill (58:59)
Well, before we do, Sam, is there anything else you kind of want to share or talk about, or even if you have any questions for us?

Sam Rossiello (59:07)
Um, I think I shared a lot, uh, the, the biggest things I wanted to get across. Um, but I am, I am curious. I saw the company called I fly on your portfolio. Um, we’ve also worked with I fly. I’m just, I’m just curious how, how that project went with them. And, uh, have y’all, have y’all gotten to fly?

Kyrill (59:31)
Oh, no, we didn’t get to fly, but that came about through like a partnership with a local wind tunnel in Ontario. So we were working with the wind tunnel and they wanted to do a workshop for like skydiving and things like that. So part of that workshop was going to iFly. So that’s what we did.

Sam Rossiello (59:39)

Gotcha, gotcha. Cool, cool. Yeah, we… I might be able to hook you up.

Dario (59:53)
I would have loved to go fly. That would have been really fun. Ha ha ha.

Kyrill (59:56)
I mean, Dario and I already went skydiving. Dario and I already went skydiving for real, so I feel like it did look fun. It did look fun.

Dario (1:00:01)
But that looked fun. It looked really fun in there. I actually wanted to book two tickets, but oh my God, it’s expensive. It’s like over 200 bucks or something.

Sam Rossiello (1:00:01)

Yeah, that was-

It is. Yeah, our client hooked us up and let us let us fly at the end of our shoot day there. And it was the first time I’d ever done any kind of skydiving. And I was I was beat the next day. I had no idea how much of a toll on your body it takes to be in that kind of wind. Yeah. Being in there, so maybe probably about two minutes. And I was sore. Yeah, I bet it’s different than tandem.

Dario (1:00:14)

Kyrill (1:00:15)

Dario (1:00:19)
Oh really?


How long were you in there for?


Kyrill (1:00:36)
Maybe because Dario, he was, yeah, cause we were in tandem, like we were hooked up to someone. So we were kind of like, just, we were at the mercy of what they were doing. Maybe there are certain muscles that need to be used to kind of maintain a level, like fall, like kind of like pushing down on the, a little bit on one side or like this to kind of like turn. And to be honest, like if you’re also in tandem and someone else is attached to you, you have to compensate for that too, a little bit maybe. I don’t know. Yeah.

Dario (1:00:46)

Oh, oh yeah, yeah.

Right, right.

Sam Rossiello (1:00:57)

Dario (1:01:02)
That’s interesting, I never noticed that. Cause after we went skydiving, like as soon as we landed, I was like, woo, let’s do it again. This is so fun.

Sam Rossiello (1:01:03)

Kyrill (1:01:10)
Yeah, because we didn’t do anything. We just hung on to someone. That’s it.

Sam Rossiello (1:01:10)
Yeah, no, it’s… Yeah, you gotta try the tunnel. The tunnel’s fun. But yeah, no, I do wanna just end this by saying thank you guys for having me on. I think what y’all are doing with this podcast is exactly in line with what we’re trying to do here at Captive and Captive Studios. Educating people on the industry, getting people connected with each other. That’s…

It’s perfect. I’m very glad y’all have me on.

Dario (1:01:42)
Thank you.

Kyrill (1:01:43)
Thanks for jumping on and we appreciate it. And honestly, we’ll probably make our way down to Houston, Texas again. And when we do, we’ll definitely hit you up and come check out the space.

Sam Rossiello (1:01:54)
Yeah, yeah, if y’all need referrals for other people, let me know, I’ll send some recommendations.

Dario (1:02:01)
Nice. Thank you. Sam, before you go, where can people find you? What’s your website, your socials?

Kyrill (1:02:01)
That would be great.

Sam Rossiello (1:02:03)

Yeah, so, captive with no E, that’s important, and, captive with no E, same on Instagram. Both companies are on there. Give us a follow, check us out. We’ve got some entertaining content out there.

Kyrill (1:02:24)
Awesome. Cool. Thanks, Sam. You too.

Dario (1:02:25)
Great, well thank you for coming on.

Sam Rossiello (1:02:25)
Yeah, yeah. Thank you all. Have a good rest of your day.

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