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Meet Danny Robak of Overland Productions in Venice

Today we’d like to introduce you to Danny Robak.

Danny, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I am a Chicago native trekking my way through LA’s competitive video production industry. At 18, I realized college wasn’t for me yet, I needed to move somewhere where I can start working and make enough money to eventually go back and pay for college. I wasn’t sure what exactly I wanted to do with my life, I considered joining the military, or moving to another state to do manual labor work or to pursue one of my hobbies like video editing. Videography and video editing had always been a passion of mine since I was ten years old working on iMovie making goofy videos and I kept that passion alive through high school, so a few months before graduating high school I figured I might as well try to move to LA and see how far I can get.

I worked a lot and saved up my money to make the move when I was 18. Once I got to LA, I managed to land a job as an office PA for a production company called Golden TV. Golden was a newer company that mainly works in the advertising industry shooting commercials and also doing post-production all in one house. It took a lot of patience, many 12 hour workdays and persistence but I eventually started making my way up the chain past being a PA. About eight months in, under very lucky circumstances, I ended up getting my first chance to prove myself by sitting with some clients and doing a live edit session with them. This is where I made my debut as an editor cutting a Subway commercial. From then on, I was consistently given more responsibilities, getting more involved in the post-production process little by little, project by project. I have now worked for Golden for about 3.5 years and at 21 years old I am working as their Technical Director. I am running the whole creative post-production pipeline and helping produce every job as well as Edit, Assistant Edit, Assistant Animate, and Assistant Color Grade every job. We work with companies like Toyota, AT&T, Snapchat, TikTok, Netflix, and Fiji Water to name a few.

Being able to skip school and learn from working in the industry itself was extremely beneficial and gave me the opportunity to learn and gain experience at a much faster pace. Now that I am comfortable and confident in what I do, I began to pursue side work of my own and eventually created my own digital production company that I Produce and Direct for called Overland Productions. The company is still building, I started it back in April of 2019, and we are gaining a bigger network and setting up bigger jobs every day. Right now, we work a lot in the clothing industry, creating ads and helping with marketing. Overland is in the talks with a few big cannabis companies as well as some other new start-ups in the LA area. Big things are coming in 2020 and I am very excited to see where my story continues to go as I push my way more into the industry.

Has it been a smooth road?
No road is ever smooth. Patience is the biggest thing I have had to learn. I spent every last penny I had to get to LA and I have not borrowed money or gotten help financially from my parents or anyone else since. I pay my own way and that motivates me to never give up because the last thing I’d ever want to do is end up back at my parent’s house in the Chicago suburbs. This town is very expensive so financially that has never been easy.

Another struggle of mine was making friends and meeting people once I came out here. It isn’t easy finding friends or growing your network when you move out here alone and don’t go to school. Eventually, some friends of mine from home introduced me to people they knew out in LA and that was a major help.

Another tough speed bump I had to overcome was keeping motivation. Like I said I don’t have anyone helping me out living here and no one watching my back so if I don’t work and make money I ain’t staying out here. I think that is my biggest motivation is to prove to my family that I am not going to quit and I will make it.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Overland Productions – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
Overland Productions is a digital production company that focuses on content creation, marketing, and branding for companies. One of the biggest things I am able to carry over from my work experience at Golden TV is how to get the highest production quality and best videos with the smoothest and most cost-efficient pipeline. Making commercials for big companies holds a very high standard and I hold that same standard to myself and my company and I think that is one unique thing that makes up Overland. I also think being younger, I have an understanding of the look and feel and how to advertise to Gen Z a lot better. Most advertising has become online and on Instagram and I know what attracts and catches the viewer’s eye. I have also partnered with a digital marketing analytics agency called Metaplug that helps back up advertising campaigns with numbers and shows how successful and how to grow our advertising and content and what attracts the most viewers/customers.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
I think LA is an amazing city in the aspect of how many young creators there are out there. There are a lot of truly talented men and women chasing their dreams and I love being surrounded in this motivated, creative environment. It’s a truly unique feeling that you only get in LA. Also, LA’s location is amazing. I am a big traveler and I love going on road trips and there is so many great places you can go to within two hours of here. Literally, every type of environment is around LA from desert to snow and forests to beach.

Things I don’t like…hmmm…there’s a lot. But I’ll stick to the shitty traffic, lack of public transportation and the asinine laws and props that LA county somehow gets passed. But there’s no reason to focus on the negative.

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