NAME: David Jasse
COMPANY: Cedarhurst, NY-based DMJ Digital Media (www.dmjdigital.com, @DMJDigitalMedia) is a full-service new media production and editorial boutique for broadcast, commercial, and corporate clients.
WHAT’S YOUR JOB TITLE?
CEO, Creative Director.
WHAT DOES THAT ENTAIL?
It covers forming the company 15 years ago, to sales, to producing, to production and creative. At times I’m in an entirely supervisory role, and other times I pick up a DSLR or sit down at the controls of the creative edit.
WHAT WOULD SURPRISE PEOPLE THE MOST ABOUT WHAT FALLS UNDER THAT TITLE?
That I’m still a great shooter and editor after all these years of new technology and young kids. I’ve kept up very nicely, and it’s even easier now than ever to express myself creatively and create amazing offline versions myself with the advancements in technology.
WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED OVER THE YEARS ABOUT RUNNING A BUSINESS?
There’s a huge difference between working on it, than in it. It’s like the relationship between a good producer and director. The director watches the creative – works in it — and is not so attached to the dollars/profits. The producer is working on the business side more, watching the dollars/profits.
I’ve further learned that watching the profits, creating and managing a company have nothing to do with being a great “technician” as Michael Gerber calls it in the book The E-Myth. Gerber defines how most small businesses are founded during an “entrepreneurial seizure.” The entrepreneur says, “I can do it better than the boss and management.” And often, he or she is wrong. Running a company and producing the widget are two very different things.
HOW DO YOU BALANCE KEEPING BOTH CLIENTS AND EMPLOYEES HAPPY?
Delegation is how I keep everyone happy, I can’t do it all myself, nor do I want to. DMJ, for example, has a wonderful production/office manger Sloane Cooper who does it all much better than I could ever do it. She’s wonderful with clients and talented at managing our clients and staff.
Although I have quite a lot of experience as a shooter, I hire shooters and support crew better than me who take care of everything out in the field so I can work directly with clients and focus on the end goal. We’re constantly on the look out for talent as it’s always a team effort.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PART OF THE JOB?
Seeing win/win/win. Good client, meets good profits, meets great product with great results. It takes a lot of work to make it all happen. There are tons of details involved, from office to production issues to editorial issues. When you get a great end product that exceeds the expectations it reminds you why you’re knocking yourself out to make this all happen.
WHAT’S YOUR LEAST FAVORITE?
When I hire someone and give them a lot of control and it doesn’t work for the client. That’s when I need to step in and take more control. I need to be super picky in the hiring process.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE TIME OF THE DAY?
All day. The early morning before it gets busy is great. The middle of the day is great because the work is so exciting, and the end of the day is awesome because I appreciate how much we love what we do, and there’s never enough time in the day. So I am very fortunate compared to those who watch the clock and can’t wait for the day to end.
IF YOU DIDN’T HAVE THIS JOB, WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING INSTEAD?
A lot of our work is on fundraising films for a variety of causes. And I have realized just how much I love being part of helping to raise money for these good causes. So I think I’d be an executive director in charge of a non-profit and I’d work on fundraising using my video, Web and today’s media skills. You would be surprised but so many are in the dark ages when it comes to using today’s tools to raise money.
In fact I have that offer out to a client right now, where we’re getting paid for some work, but also offering to raise the funds for more much needed up-to-date PR materials.
CAN YOU NAME SOME RECENT PROJECTS?
One is for BINA – Brain Injury Assistance (pictured below). It’s provides information about what the organization does, along with meaningful and heart-wrenching stories, and big thank you’s from very grateful people.
SINAI Special Needs Schools is another one. Our films played to a packed banquet hall of over 800 people. This year they raised 1.8 million dollars. We truly partner with our clients, and it’s wonderful.
NAME THREE PIECES OF TECHNOLOGY YOU CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT.
The Internet. When it goes down, oy! DSLR cameras — they are so cost efficient and help us create beautiful images relatively quickly. The other I guess is the Kuerig coffee machine… no mess, good coffee.