If you haven’t heard of Indie Atlantic Films, you’ve probably seen their work. From developing local pieces like this celebration of Bok Tower to serving enterprise-level clientele like Publix and Red Bull, Indie Atlantic is a wonderful story of a passion turned into a thriving business.
We sat down with Andy McEntire, founder of Indie Atlantic Films in Lakeland, Florida, to find out what makes this full service production company so successful. Andy shares with us a few of the top lessons he has learned along the way.
1. Plan for the future, take advantage of the now.
Owning and operating a full service videography company has been a part of Andy’s dream ever since college. When he was a junior at Palm Beach Atlantic University, Andy knew he had to get started on his company right away if he wanted to be self-sufficient by graduation. With a goal in place, it was time to take action.
Palm Beach offered a unique market for Andy to tap into: filming montages of high-end parties. The beginnings of Indie Atlantic came from these opportunities to network, gain experience, and have a little fun along the way. Even if this was not part of the final vision for the brand, it was the perfect first step.
Always take the time to set long term goals in your own business. But once you have a target, set the planning aside and dig into the work. You never know what might change tomorrow, so maximize the impact you can make today.
2. Surround yourself with the right people, places, and things.
When Andy was ready to take Indie Atlantic Films to the next level, he needed to find the right location. At this stage, most artists choose to head to Hollywood. Instead, Indie Atlantic found a home in Lakeland, Florida. Andy stated he wanted to “make it before Hollywood made me.”
There’s something special about the culture in this city. The community members are always excited and proud to rally around new artistic business ventures. When Indie Atlantic moved into the Dixieland Mall, the brand found a great support network waiting to help.
Andy was happy to talk about his experience working with Baron Realty as they searched for the right location. “Baron Realty gets what it’s like to be an entrepreneur. They offer so many services that made the process much less intimidating. The Baron Realty team is one of the biggest reasons we are where we are today.”
Indie Atlantic is also learning that other companies and hopeful filmmakers are looking to see what kinds of products the company is using. Whether the team is shooting with Canon technology or fueling up with Clif Bars, they are proud to showcase their sponsors and choices. Working with top quality equipment throughout the entire process really shows in the finished pieces.
3. Stand by your core values.
Managing a team, signing new clients, overseeing projects, budgeting for equipment… In a functioning business, there is no possible way everything is going to go right all of the time. Andy talks about each day as a fresh challenge. “You’d be amazed at the strange phone calls I get sometimes,” he says happily.
Through all of the surprises, there is nothing more important than sticking to your core values. For Indie Atlantic Films, this means quality and integrity. Above all, the work the client receives has to be exceptional. As you can see from one of Andy’s favorite projects below, Visit Central Florida, it always is.
4. Empower your team.
When it comes to family members who entered the business early, new hires to manage growth, or freelancers around the country, every Indie Atlantic team member brings specific strengths to the table.
As Indie Atlantic ramps up future plans, Andy knows how important it is to push each team member to do their best work. Without an empowered team that feels valued, a company culture suffers. But when you give good people the ability to do great things they enjoy, you’ll be amazed at how quickly things grow.
5. Give back.
When you reach a certain level of success and stability in business, you’ll find that nothing brings more joy than giving back to the community or world at large. When you can use the services your company already provides as charity work, all the better.
Indie Atlantic partners with a few nonprofits each year to create a brand story. “Lakeland is filled with so many nonprofits that don’t get enough exposure,” Andy states. These branding videos help organizations showcase why they exist and what they do in a powerful way.
We wish Indie Atlantic Films the best as they continue to grow, and we’re proud to have tenants that make this community great. Take a look at some of the other pieces of art they have created, and share this article with your entrepreneurial-minded connections!