MADRID--How do media get worldwide coverage without financing an international staff? How can multinationals find and hire freelancers in Chile from their London offices? Philip Stark and his Stark Content & Crew of 400 video journalists have the answer, as they pursue "global video production with local crews."
Stark has transformed his personal and professional network into a business that he says is almost instantly ready to work in any country in the world. When negocios need footage and faces from the other end of the earth, they only need to contract Stark, who will do all the legwork.
McGraw-Hill publishers recently needed videos of people with six different accents from six different countries for their English as a foreign language on-line course management system. Instead of the publishing company needing to pay to fly staffers to these places to find and videotape the subjects, while shipping and providing all the gear, McGraw-Hill chose to outsource to the Stark Crew, who contacted a cameraman in each desired city, who then found and recorded the voice-on-street talent. "Otherwise, they (McGraw-Hill) would have to hire and find six people in six different countries," from their New York office, Stark said. Using the Crew is an option that saves the corporation both time and money.
Stark's biggest request is for corporate and customer testimonials. At the same time SmartPlanet was sitting down in a Madrileño cafe with Stark, he was managing a live play-by-play coverage of the transportation and arrival of a product shipped from Germany to a seaside village in Chile, which will then be edited by a company in Singapore.
"A lot of Web sites need local site content with local English-speaking commentary," Stark said. He takes care of the search for video journalists, coordinators or "fixers," and on-screen talent for this on-site content.
Stark said that Crew's new focus is on being the middle man, not just in video production, but with creating, managing and distributing content for companies. "We are creating content all over the globe, (and) we are now focusing more and more on distribution of that content with new services, such as managing multimedia on-line magazines for our clients and their blogs, (and the) generation of search engine optimized content, viral campaigns, social networks," Stark said. In this vein, they are going to create twice-daily video press releases for the FITUR International Tourism Fair this January.
Stark says his Crew's services have "grown organically." Sporadically, Stark has created and coordinated video content for British and American news sources, but now he is making it the new direction his company is headed. They are now driven towards creating their own content internally to distribute externally. Stark's goal is to follow a vertical model, where he or his future staff is in charge of all text, videos and distribution.
"What I really want to do is find really good people because good people sometimes can't market themselves," Stark said. He has essentially built a company out of his network and wants to introduce and intermingle the talent he has met over the years, round the world.
Stark Crew's first major in-house project --Go Spain TV--was launched last week. Go Spain TV has recorded and is in the process of editing over 200 "evergreen" videos all over Spain to create a comprehensive site for interested tourists and potential expats. Their first video is a 12-minute guide to visiting Madrid in just two days. It focuses a lot on the most important Spanish export--the food.
Stark, a guy from Toledo, Ohio, who has lived in Spain for about a decade now, has found a way to turn his passions for a profit. There is no doubt that there's a constant need for globalized content in English and that's a niche that Stark can fill.
Photo: Eva San Juan