Two founders turn their photography and Web-design studio into a movie production company.
As applications for the 2009 Inc. 500 | 5000 arrive, we thought it would be worthwhile to shine a spotlight on some of the companies that are vying to appear on our ranking of the fastest-growing private companies in the U.S. (For more information and to apply, go to http://www.inc5000apply.com.) One that caught our eye was Columbia, Missouri-based Photo-Kicks.
Racking up five awards and four nominations at the 2008 Action on Film International Film Festival is Adam Boster's and Ken Chamitoff's lifelong dream. They finally achieved it with a feature-length film titled "The Red Canvas," set to release at year's end. Both are credited as producers and directors for the project, and the endeavor called upon their extensive experience in the film industry, their marketing skills and even their statuses as black belts for the film's martial arts theme.
Although the project was three years in the making, Boster and Chamitoff were somehow able to keep afloat their photography and web-design business, Photo-Kicks, from two locations: Boster operates in Columbia, Mo., while Chamitoff works out of the Palm Dale, Cali.-office. This long-distance relationship has worked for them since they formed the company in 1992.
Even in different time zones, Boster said the combination of their interests allowed the company to explode into a niche. Its success then helped to secure funding for the movie. "We had always worked on other people's projects," he said. "We didn't have the profit margin at all to make a feature film off our photography business, but we did build integrity."
So when his Photo-Kicks clients learned he was crafting a film that catered to their martial arts interests, Boster said they were eager to invest. Luckily his serial-entrepreneur father, Eddie Boster, stepped in to help with the business while Adam worked on the movie.
"Anytime you take away from that [original] focus, you experience a decrease in growth," Boster said. "But then again, this film was part of our growth. We weren't focused on going out and finding more clients; we were focused on developing a new product line."