MRB Productions has quickly become one of Hollywood’s go-to production agencies for top-notch television, feature, new media and commercial content.
We caught up with Matthew to find out more about the company, discuss the challenges he’s faced in making it a success and to see what advice he has for others who want to start their own business.
How are today? What have you been doing before this interview?
Doing great! I’ve been booking travel for the Sundance Film Festival, where our latest movie was just accepted!
You run your own company MRB Productions. Tell us about it.
MRB Productions is a boutique production company working in every media platform. We started by producing promos for ABC and ESPN and since then have grown, doing features, docs, TV, and commercials! We grew because we’ve always been the production company that gets projects done on time and on budget.
What you made you decide to start the company?
I saw a unique need no one was filling. My clients were directors that didn’t want to produce. They hated setting up shoots, dealing with permits, finding insurance, etc. It really hurt the creative because their energy was split: they couldn’t focus on directing and catering at the same time! And our method really worked. Within our first few years we won an Emmy and my team expanded to deal with all the producing needs.
Originally you started out making sports promos but you now work across a variety of industries. Why did you decide to expand?
As our clients moved on to other things, they brought MRB with them because of our fantastic working relationship. We were doing these attention getting promos at a fifth of the budget of a regular commercial, and as the viral world exloded, we shifted our talent to promos and commercials. When ad agencies saw how satisfied our clients were with the finished product, they gave us their big commercials too!
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned in your career so far?
When I started out in this business, a lot of people had a big list of things they weren’t willing to do. And now, a decade later, most of them still live in their same apartments! I find that the people who excel are the ones willing to do anything. The ” I don’t clean windows” attitude doesn’t work in our business because the bottom line is that to be successful, you need to be an amazing producer who is willing to take out the trash if he needs to.
Tell us about the some of the challenges you’ve faced on your road to success and how you overcame them.
Most of our challenges are relate to budget – we never have enough money to do what we need to do and have to call in a lot of favors. But every time someone does us a favor, I keep a list so we can return the favor when we have a job with a bigger budget. Your directors always want more and you have to manage what they want versus how much money you have to spend.
Which piece of work that your company has done are you most proud of and why?
I’m most proud of MRB’s recent feature we produced that just got into Sundance! It was VERY hard work! We had A-list talent, but not enough money to match. And we faced every production challenge you could ever have on this film, from rain storms to talent dropping out, but we made it and it’s fantastic! I’m so excited for it to hit theaters.
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
Two major highlights: The first was when I won two Emmys! It was more than I ever could have hoped for at the time. The second was producing the film Dahmer with Jeremy Renner. It was the first movie I produced and I remember being ecstatic when I walked by the poster and saw my name on it!
What advice would you give to people who would like to follow in your footsteps?
Don’t let anyone else fool you. It really is just about hard work and making good connections.
What will you be doing for the holidays this year?
My family is coming to town and we will be tourists in our own city. I’m always jet-setting and I really do find it quite enjoyable to stay in LA over the holidays – it’s the one time our town has no traffic!
Find out more about MRB Productions by heading over to www.mrbproductions.com