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20 Jan 2020

The Fuel Behind Coal Creative’s Videos

Believe it or not, our video department (or the “Video Bois” as they like to call themselves internally) did not exist a little over three years ago. Our Creative Director, Samuel O’Connell, joined Coal Creative as a freelancer to help finish off a one-off video project for the then Luzerne County Visitors Bureau.

When he experienced the budding culture, and the opportunity to work and grow at Coal Creative, he claimed the corner of first employee (now Lead Designer and Developer) Matt’s desk and began to build the foundation of what would become the award winning video team.

Sam began to insert himself into client meetings and began to attend networking events, and the video work continued to expand. When the workload, between shooting and editing became too much for one person, Sam reached out to William McHale to jump in, with his first video shoot being the tomato fight at the Pittston Tomato Festival.

In 2020, William became Coal Creative’s first ever “Post Production Manager”. “When I began working with the Coal team over two years ago, I had no idea the amount of growth I was going to witness within the company and myself,” shared Post-Production Manager, William McHale. “I was brought on to help handle Coal’s growing workload of video work, and thought I’d just be helping edit a few projects. Fast forward to today and I’m happy to be the Post-Production manager of our video team. In that time, the team itself has added multiple members in various roles, and worked on countless projects that I’m incredibly proud of. With every video project, we’ve honed our skills and redefined our mission to tell the meaningful stories of our clients, clients that continue to become our partners and friends.”

Production Manager, Alex Manganella, came to us one summer when our video department once again had an overflow of video work. At that point in his life, he was weeks away from his final semester at Temple University and he was searching for an internship in LA (which he totally landed). He left us for a few months and when it came to decide “what’s next”, he knew he always had a space here at Coal Creative waiting for him. Alex truly gets our vision, our commitment to storytelling. “I live for storytelling. Movies, books, standup comedy- whatever form somebody is able to tell a story with, I’m always hypnotized by it. When a person grants you access to their lived experience, it’s important to recognize how valuable that is.”

Alex’s professional journey as a storyteller began in shooting weddings alongside Samuel and other local videographers and photographers.Through this work, he had the opportunity to preserve some incredible moments on screen. When the time came to once again grow the video team at Coal Creative, Alex joined as a production specialist. “At Coal, I gained access to a wide range of clients, and with that countless opportunities to grow as a storyteller,” Alex explained. “In my current role as Production Manager, not only do I get to help tell the stories of our 100+ clients, I get to be a part of the story of Coal Creative. From where we started to where we’re headed, I’m grateful for it all.”

Most recently, we have had an influx of consistent video work so we put out a call for a part-time, freelance position. Fairly quickly, we had our newest Video Production Specialist, Jordan Ramirez, in the office getting the Coal Creative scoop and jumping right into his first project. “Working with Coal Creative these past few months has been a great experience both personally and professionally,” Jordan shared. “I began working from home and gradually transitioned to coming in the office once or twice a week. The nature of the work affords me the opportunity to evolve as a video editor by way of collaborating with true professionals on several types of projects and ideas; and more still, this work sharpens and refines skills that I use every day in my other jobs.”

Since 2016, the video team has grown tremendously, evolving from a one-man production and editing crew, into a full-fledged, award winning team who collaborate on a daily basis to share the stories of our clients. In 2019, we upgraded our complete production suite of equipment to empower our team to channel their insane creativity, utilizing industry standard tools. While it is amazing what we were able to accomplish with lesser equipment, what our team has created since the upgrade has been nothing short of incredible.

Check out our portfolio to see some of our favorite video projects to date!

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