Q&A with Zack Yanger:
Tell me a little bit about yourself, who you are and where you are from.
I’m originally from Florida, and and I’ve always been fascinated by the idea that anyone, at any age, can become successful by finding creative solutions to everyday problems. When I was a little kid I got my fix detailing cars, mowing lawns and selling candy bars for 1 dollar that I would buy in bulk for 10 cents each from Sam’s Club. In high school, I rented event spaces and threw huge themed parties and promoted them to all of the schools in town. In college at the University of Florida, I started my first legitimate business with a friend. “Shinnies” are foam shin pads for ski boots that we eventually got on the shelves in over 30 ski shops across North Carolina, Colorado, Utah and California.
After school, I moved to NYC and worked for some of the biggest advertising agencies in the city, including Ogilvy and mcgarrybowen, where I worked on global campaigns for brands like Marriott, Kraft and Chevron Energy. It was during my time at the large agencies where I started to see this huge shift in the industry where brand’s content needs were growing rapidly, but budgets were also shrinking rapidly. In a world where brands must now be interacting with their followers on a daily basis, I could see a huge potential opportunity.
How do you describe the type of work you do at Break Content?
At Break Content, we help brands and agencies create high quality video content at a fraction of the price of traditional methods by tapping into the top local filmmakers and film crews in cities around the world. Our network of filmmakers and film crews spans every major US city and more than 100 countries around the world. Our unique production model allows us to gain tons of cost and timing efficiencies that only a local crew with local knowledge would be able to achieve. In addition to eliminating most travel costs, we’re also able to gain tons of local efficiencies (like cheaper equipment, faster permits, better locations, etc).
We’ve worked with many of the biggest ad agencies in the country, and continue to create content for brands like Toyota, Coca-Cola, Intel and more.
As the Founder and CEO of Break Content, what does your job entail?
For most of our bigger projects I’ll usually be the Executive Producer or Director. Other responsibilities include managing & growing the global network, assigning the right filmmakers and crew to projects, new business pitches.
What are you currently working on?
We just finished launching new TV spots for Toyota (Saatchi), First Energy (Eric Mower & Associates) and North Memorial Health (Brandfire), as well as a number of global multi-city video projects for clients like the Golden State Warriors. Now we’re switching gear to focus on shooting our first Super Bowl commercial! Very exciting.
Where/when are you most creative? Where do your best ideas come to you?
As much as I like to deny being a “morning person”, I always tend to think of my best ideas when I first wake up. The shower and the subway are two places I often get my best ideas.
What is your creative process for conceptualizing and starting to work on a new project?
I always start my creative process by educating myself with as much relevant information as I can find. Having a real understanding of your product, your target market, your competition and what sorts of things have worked and failed in the past is a crucial step to coming up with a good idea. I’m also a huge believer in collaboration when it comes to brainstorming and concepting. The more minds involved, the better.
Who inspires you? Where do you get inspiration?
I’ve always been inspired by music. In particular, very passionate musicians. The types of musicians that sound amazing on your iPod, but that truly blow you away when you see them live. Musicians that truly practice what they preach and believe in what they say. Bands like The Avett Brothers & The Lone Bellow.
Are you working on anything creative outside of Break Content?
We recently started working on a new video series called “Breaking Brooklyn”, featuring the most interesting and innovative Brooklyn artists we could find. You can find them on our facebook page.
What advice would you give to someone in a creative field, or someone interested in following in your path?
In the words of the Avett Brothers, “Decide what to be and go be it”. Anyone can do anything if they put their mind to it and don’t give up. You want to be a filmmaker? Start making films. You want to be a doctor? Start studying medicine. You want to start your own company and be your own boss? Go out and do it. It’s just a matter of trusting your gut, believing in yourself, and not taking no for an answer. You only live once, so go for it!
Check out the Break Content site here to learn more: www.breakcontent.com