Alumnus’ production company thriving

Full-length feature films, videos for Coca-Cola and award-winning productions are normally things that describe a major production studio in Los Angeles or New York. However, in the case of Red Productions, they are the characteristics of a studio just minutes away from campus.

The award-winning Fort Worth video and film production company, started by 2004 university graduate Justin “Red” Sanders, is preparing to film its second feature length film in early May, Sanders wrote in an e-mail.

The new comedy “Searching for Sonny” will be shot right here in Fort Worth, Sanders wrote.

The company won multiple accolades at the local ADDY Awards earlier this year, said Chris Rodriguez, the company’s director of photography. The ADDY Awards honor the area’s best advertising campaigns each year.

Red Productions took home three gold ADDY awards, Rodriguez said, and also a Special Judges Award for self-promotion for its annual electronic Christmas card. The short video gained popularity with the help of Internet sites such as YouTube and Vimeo.

Matt Munson, a senior film-TV-digital media major, said he got to help write and produce the popular video that was sent out to friends and clients. Munson said the small full-time staff at the company has really allowed him to learn many different parts of the industry.

Sanders wrote that he originally created the company when he was just 12 years old and reorganized it to become a limited liability company just weeks after he graduated. He wanted to establish a company in Fort Worth rather than having to start all over in Los Angeles, he wrote.

“I had a hunch that I could keep my roots planted in Fort Worth and grow a production company here where we could maintain control of our projects,” Sanders wrote.

Richard Allen, chair of the FTDM department, said the production company’s location and success has helped out the department and students immensely.

“It gives them (students) a place they can go locally and feel comfortable setting their foot in the door,” Allen said.

The company brings in a lot of workers and interns from the university and gives them top of the line experience without having to go to Los Angeles or New York, Allen said.

Preston Culver, a senior FTDM major, is an intern at the company and said the experience has given him an opportunity to strive at a top-rate studio. The work has given him a chance to be involved in the production side and the business side of the industry, while still allowing him to focus on school, he said.

Red Productions does videos for everyone from big corporations to nonprofit organizations. The company has produced videos for Coca-Cola, Samaritan House and the Dallas Cowboys, as well as numerous other companies, Rodriguez said.

The company also helped to make and shoot the university’s “Ahead of the Curve” campaign videos. Munson said the opportunity to help the university was huge for the mostly Horned Frog staff.

“We love when we get to do projects for TCU because we love to give back to the school,” Munson said.

Employees of the production company have been able to travel all over, Rodriguez said, including Arizona, Vancouver and even Africa.

Red Productions’ first feature film, “Karma Police,” premiered at the AFI-Dallas International Film Festival in 2008 and can now be found on Netflix, Rodriguez said.

To inquire about becoming an extra for the “Searching for Sonny” film dates between May 5 and June 2, contact Red Productions with age and gender at [email protected]

For more videos, visit Red Production’s Vimeo page here.