Very Nice Industries

December 1, 2012

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You can't very well call your company Very Nice if you're not totally serious about living up to the name.

To us, it's more than a name. It's an ethos. When we began working together as Very Nice Industries in 2002, we banded together around a clear set of principles and a vision of what our work and life should be.

The short story of Very Nice is that we've been around since 2002, creating custom content for advertising, industrial and entertainment clients. We're directors, DPs, editors and graphic artists, and we approach our business with light egos and heavy skillsets.The longer story, for those with the time to read it is below:

As told by Danny Ameri: I met Howie in 1999. At the time, he was working for Broadway Video's IT Dept. doing Y2K system updates on computers throughout the company to prevent our descent into post 2000 "off the grid" darkness. I was VP Production at Burly Bear Network, a fledgling college cable network I co-founded in 1994 and sold to Lorne Michaels in 1997. As Howie made the rounds on our computers he also began a campaign to badger me until I gave him a job. He had recently graduated film school, finished an internship at Troma Films and was looking for new opportunities. At the time, we were producing 4 hours of programming per week. Music, sports, comedy, short films and custom sponsor-driven programming was being pumped out at Burly and Howie knew there must be a place for him to fit in.

Little did i know when I hired him, that I was hiring one of the smartest people I'd ever met and my future business partner. At Burly Bear, he quickly established himself as one of our most valuable players, a jack of many production trades and a fountain of creativity. Burly Bear, however, ran out of capital resources in 2002 and closed the doors along with so many other new media companies born in the 90's media explosion. We probably should have just been an internet content company, but hey, live and learn.

When Burly Bear sold the network operation to National Lampoon in 2002, Howie and I were brought on as consultants to help them launch their first year of programming.

The birth of Very Nice and our approach to business was, in some ways, a direct response to a lot of the negativity we witnessed at Burly Bear in the last two years of operation. Executive leadership changed, founders were marginalized and the fresh flavor we originally had instilled in the company soured. It's a pretty classic story of a small company acquired and both helped and simultaneously cannibalized by a larger one. You've all seen the same thing happen at some point. You founders out there know exactly what I'm talking about. So, while Burly Bear morphed into a larger, more bureaucratic enterprise and lost its way on the creative landscape, we began joking about a fantasy company called Very Nice Industries. Our good friend Scott Honig began picking up his extension, answering, "Hello Very Nice Industries" and we loved it. We envisioned a company that would always play "nice" no matter what the circumstances. So, when Burly Bear closed shop in 2002, we decided to take our fantasy vision and turn it into reality and to prove that sometimes nice guys finish first. VNI was born.

And, what is it that we consider nice? Well, first and foremost, we approach business and clients as authentic humans. What you see is what you get. No games. We still laugh when we're in certain corporate environments and we see people who maintain a work facade every day, keeping their true personality at bay and politicking their way through business affairs, not always exactly saying what they mean, beating around the bush, changing good concepts merely to apply their stamp, etc. ey, we're not saying that corporate politics isn't effective when the environment calls for it. We know that it's a necessary evil. It's just not our way. We believe that we bring the most value to clients via complete transparency and honesty. It's what builds relationships for us. If you're looking for yes-men who tell you your ideas are great when they're misguided, we're the wrong guys. Clients don't always listen, of course, but we're honest with our opinions.

Solid working relationships are built around positivity. Positive results, positive interaction, and positive, honest communication. From the vibe of our name down to the humor and levity we bring to production, we strive to make people smile, to crack their corporate facade and conduct business as authentic human beings as opposed to automatons or game pieces on a board. We're on a mission to make the world a slightly better place, one project at a time.

For the last 12 years, we've been helping Fortune 500 clients and advertising agencies create highly engaging video content for delivery across the ever-growing spectrum of consumer touch points. We have an unquenchable thirst for technology and spend most of our free time buying new gear and figuring out how to squeeze every last bit of goodness out of our clients' video productions.

We don’t blow smoke up our client’s asses - we’re honest. We don’t placate our client’s - we collaborate. We don’t claim to know more than we do. We aren’t afraid to challenge ourselves, take risks, and find practical, viable solutions. We’re flexible and confident and happy to lead or follow.

We are Very Nice.