Indie Atlantic Films

Indie Atlantic Films

Creativity ,Quality and a Good Story Integral to their Success

BY LORRAINE BLOETH VALERINO

Telling the story – one that gets to the heart of the message “and makes an emotional connection” – is the ultimate goal of the trio who are the core of Indie Atlantic Films. Now a Lakeland-based company, Indie Atlantic Films continues to gain attention with products that capture the imagination of its viewers.

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What started as the brain-child of Andy McEntire, 29, during his college days at Palm Beach Atlantic University, has evolved into a company that creatively handles the pre-production and post-production video needs of clients ranging from brides and grooms to Fortune 500 companies.

While McEntire is Indie Atlantic’s founder and owner, he credits his staff – specifically Matt Wiatt, 32, senior producer, and Pete Gill, 28, creative director – with the continued success of the film company, which most recently completed a project for Florida’s newest state university, Florida Polytechnic. Slated to open in August, the school hired the local film company to create a 30-minute movie. “Be The Next” debuted in late December in Lakeland and has been shown in movie theaters statewide throughout January as the key student recruiting tool for the new university. The film’s focus is on the innovations that are part of Florida history including NASA, Walt Disney World and the state railroad system of Henry Flagler that helped to develop the state. The message: “Be part of the next wave of innovation.”

Being innovative is nothing new for Indie Atlantic Films, which was originally located in Jacksonville for a time before McEntire made the decision to move to Lakeland about five years ago.

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“I originally started in the business producing travel films for wealthy clients all over the world,” said McEntire, who teamed up with Wiatt in 2008. Wiatt brings to the table a strong production background. Gill, a college buddy, came on board a year and a half ago, after working in the industry in Los Angeles for four years with Walt Disney and the Discovery Channel. His strengths are in both production and post-production. “I’m familiar with newer technology and time-lapsed photography which is a major tool in a lot of productions,” said Gill.

“There was then a shift to more commercials – brand stories and videos,” said McEntire, whose company also continues to feature a weddings/special events component for “high-end” clients. He credits his mother, Nancy McEntire, with suggesting her son take a serious look at Lakeland as a potential place to relocate his company.

“My mother told me to speak with Jean and David Bunch and check out Lakeland,” said McEntire. “I immediately saw a lot of potential here. Lakeland is centrally located near two major markets, but isn’t saturated. We feel Lakeland has the American dream with people who will support you and give you a chance,” said McEntire, whose wife, Ashley, helps with the company.

With clients located throughout Florida and video shooting venues dotting the state, Lakeland’s location itself was an attractive feature. “When we first started here (Lakeland), none of our clients were local,” said Wiatt, whose background is in traditional video production. “The film industry is growing in Florida, but like other states, Florida is competing for tax incentives. Technology has been a game-changer. You no longer have to be in Los Angeles to produce amazing products. Technology has changed everything and we have the equipment to handle most anything.”

Handling most anything has included work for MidFlorida Credit Union, commercials and web-content for Starwood hotels and boutique hotels, and a recent three-month project for Bok Tower Gardens, who has a major project in the works. “We produced six vignettes that help tell the story of Bok Tower Gardens,” said Wiatt, noting they were able to interview some of the people in a “mini-documentary” format that are tied to the Gardens’ earliest years. “In addition, we all have a heart for non-profits,” said Wiatt, adding the company has assisted with United Way and the Florida United Methodist Foundation, among others.

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Indie Atlantic Films also crossed paths with Lakeland’s famed actress and entertainer Lindsey Alley and her mother, Marcia Alley. They created more than two dozen episodes of the web-show, “On The Patio” that was produced on several occasions when Alley returned to her hometown to visit family.

“I can’t say enough good things about Andy, Matt, and Matt’s wife, Katie, who built the show from the ground up,” said Lindsey Alley, who now lives and works in Los Angeles. “The original project was for a cooking show concept called the ‘Easy Hostess,’ but it was then suggested my mother and I have a show during which we talk on a variety of topics, having ‘regular conversations’ and see what comes out. The result was high quality and the way Matt cuts (edits) it, there are some really funny moments. I can tell you, it made Marcia a star. Later when I entertained on cruise ships, I had guests come up to me asking, ‘Did you bring your mom with you?’ ”

“We can do all aspects of production and know our strengths,” said Wiatt. “For example, my strength is storytelling. Pete (Gill) is creative with the filming and editing, and Andy (McEntire) is particularly good at building relationships – making sure all of our work is consistent.”

“There’s a passion we all bring to the job,” said Gill. “We are all hard-working and doing our dream job. Lakeland is a vibrant community to be working in.”

 

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