Manchester scene draws in video producers

Parkwood Creative, led by

Parkwood Creative, led by Brian Bartusiak and Heather Garrett, has relocated to a new production space. Photos courtesy of Parkwood Creative.

A local video production company has jumped across the river to Manchester for its new base of operations.

Parkwood Creative has moved out of a home office near Carytown to a 1,400-square-foot space on the ground floor of Warehouse 201, a mixed-use building at Hull and Brander streets.

The 2-year-old company chose the Manchester spot for its proximity to collaborators and local production talent, said Heather Garrett, the executive director who formed Parkwood Creative with fellow principal and producer-director Brian Bartusiak.

“We were already doing business with different folks in Manchester, and there are a lot of other creatives that are moving to the area. We just loved the space,” she said. “All of it just really suited us well.”

Warehouse 201 is leased by Property Results, whose website describes the building as the first apartment renovation in Manchester. Fourteen apartments fill the floors above the building’s ground-level offices. The building is owned by Cheek-Neal LLC, which is tied to Property Results owner Sam McDonald and Chris Dillon.

Garrett and Bartusiak founded Parkwood Creative after working together for years at what she described as “big-box” production companies: “One-stop-shop production houses where you’re tied to use all their in-house resources because of their business model,” Garrett said.

Parkwood's new office

Parkwood’s new office sits in an apartment building at 201 Hull St. Photo by Jonathan Spiers.

“We knew there were ways that we would like to see a production company grow and be able to utilize a lot more talent than we were being able to utilize with that business model,” she said. “We decided to give it a go and definitely never looked back.”

Garrett said Parkwood specializes in customizing projects – such as broadcast commercials, digital ads, motion graphics pieces and web content – by pulling in talent according to each project’s needs and aesthetic, as opposed to doing all of its production in-house.

“We set up Parkwood to be able to have the freedom to bring on the best shooter and best editor and best audio engineer that’s suited for the project on a per-project basis,” she said.

The firm has produced video and broadcast content for such clients as WestRock, Amtrak, Ferguson Enterprises and Hamilton Beach. It was also recently awarded five projects with the U.S. Navy.

Garrett said the company’s business is evenly split between direct-to-client work and ad agency contracts. She said its client reach extends outside of Richmond to Northern Virginia, Washington, D.C., and beyond.

Garrett, a JMU grad, met Bartusiak after moving back to Richmond from Australia, where she picked up a master’s degree in media production from Griffith University. Bartusiak is a graduate of the College of William & Mary.

Previously, the duo rented out space from other local production studios to film their commercials and other video content. With the Manchester space, Garrett said they’ll be able to build their own post-production suite.

With the additional space, Garrett said she and Bartusiak would like to expand the company’s staff to include some part-time help, but no full-time employees.

“We don’t want to have any full-time post-production staff or anything like that, because we still want to have that ability to bring in who we would want per project, (based on) who has the best sensibilities to do the project,” she said. “We don’t want to get away from that at all.”

The company joins other recent Manchester transplants, such as shipping company Shipvine, which moved there in May. It’s also not the only production firm on the move: An apartment project recently pushed The Park Group’s Shockoe Bottom studio to the Boulevard.

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