- Friday, Oct. 20, 2000
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Bicoastal/international @radical.media has acquired New York-based Outpost Digital, a digital editing and postproduction company. Outpost will operate as a division of @radical.media. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Outpost was founded in 1999 by partners Evan Schechtman, Jon Messersmith and George Yaghmour as a digital design/ visual effects studio, and has expanded into being a provider of digital video (DV) consulting, training and support services for producers of digital media.
The Apple-authorized solutions expert boutique is proficient in Apple's desktop editing software Final Cut Pro. Comprised of its founders and four additional staffers, Outpost operates a post facility featuring several analog and digital editing suites. The firm has produced a Final Cut Pro training series available on VHS and soon to be available on DVD, and recently produced digital animation sequences for Saks Fifth Avenue's Web site.
According to @radical co-proprietor Jon Kamen, Outpost will continue to service its more than 300 clients, including Calvin Klein, American Express, BBDO New York, ESPN Magazine, Lions Gate Films, and Ogilvy & Mather, New York.
"Outpost brings an expertise and takes us to the next step in becoming a digital studio," said Kamen. "Final Cut Pro is the next generation desktop editing platform, and Evan is a leading expert and consultant. Outpost complements a lot of things we're already doing in terms of broadband, television and commercial production, as well as traditional Internet applications."
For instance, Kamen and @radical.media co-proprietor Frank Scherma reported that their company is producing a 32-episode television series in DV for a "significant cable network." More details about the project will be announced shortly. And @radical is about to go into production on Antennae, a series of Web shows for Icebox.com. Next month, a Web initiative that @radical produced for Absolut vodka via TBWA/Chiat/Day, New York, will break. The project includes footage captured and posted on DV. And earlier this year, the production house teamed with Outpost on a Sam Adams spot campaign edited on Final Cut Pro. Ralf Schmerberg of @radical directed the ads for Princeton, N.J.-based agency The McCarthy Co..
"Joining with @radical. media is a great fuel for our growth," said Schechtman. "Both companies believe that together we will create amazing content in new ways."
@radical.media maintains offices in New York, Santa Monica, London, Paris and Sydney. Kamen said the company will soon announce the opening of an office in Berlin, and that it will integrate Outpost's digital editing and networking capabilities in all of @radical's facilities: "In all our offices, we will have the capability of Outpost's office to use for our internal applications. Producing in a DV platform is a very efficient system for exchanging information. This will be an important production, management and sales tool."
Messersmith explained that Outpost will "create a seamless global studio" for @radical, "harnessing broadband and information technologies and applying that to media management and creative pursuits." He added that this global network could be characterized as an Intranet, and that it will be "based around the production process as well as the creative process. But it's not an administrative tool."
Scherma noted that while digital production technologies "won't eliminate traditional production tools," they do significantly enhance them. "Things are changing in advertising and film, and we need to work on many different levels. [Various production platforms] are going to be used in the future, and we need to be experts in all of them." He said the advantages of Final Cut Pro are its open architecture, its digital file management system and that "the portability factor is huge. It runs on a laptop."
Schechtman studied editing at the School of Visual Arts, New York. Prior to forming Outpost, he worked as a video engineer for Cablevision, Long Island, N.Y., and as a technician for Machattan, Inc., New York, an Apple authorized reseller and service provider.
Messersmith focuses on growth management and strategic planning at Outpost. Holding an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School, Philadelphia, Messersmith has served as a consultant to Sony's retail entertainment division, and has held staff positions in financial planning and corporate development at Walt Disney Studios, Burbank, Calif., and TVT Records, New York.
With a computer science degree from St. Johns University, New York, Yaghmour specializes in workflow design, systems integration and high-speed networking at Outpost. He has served as a computer consultant for Salomon Smith Barney, New York, The New York Times, Saatchi & Saatchi, New York, and Young & Rubicam, New York.
@radical previously had an alliance with the New York office of Atlanta-headquartered global new media firm iXL (SHOOT, 9/11/98, p. 7), which was geared toward the production of interactive content for television and the Web. Kamen characterized that affiliation as "very different" from the Outpost acquisition. "That was a year-long, temporary deal," he said. "This is a complete integration of Outpost into the @radical family." He added that the types of projects being developed with iXL were unlike the synergies being pursued with Outpost. The iXL collaborations "were mostly interactive projects, which we've elected to do internally through our Emerging Media Group (formerly the New Media Group)," he explained.