Maker Table is a Texas based Production Company who work to produce a wide range of content, from narrative work to branded commercials for Budweiser, and spots for the Texas Women’s Foundation. To power their cameras and monitors during production, they rely on both Hypercore Slim 98 and Hypercore 9 Mini battery packs. After they caught our eye on Instagram with their behind the scene photos, we caught up with Co-Founder and Director of Photography, Daniel Routh. Learn how they got started, what they enjoy most between branded and narrative work, and how the battery packs power them through their productions in our latest Client Spotlight.
1. Tell us a little bit about Maker Table and how the company got its start.
Ryan and I started the company in 2014 after both of us had grown tired and unfulfilled with shooting weddings. We were roommates at the time and we named the company after a table we called “The Maker Table” that we had built together and put in our spare room to edit our wedding video projects on. Neither of us had any prior experience or knowledge into how the commercial world works and we were fortunate early on to have had a passion project of ours get noticed by an agency that then started passing us lots of work. We were so busy our first year that we didn’t have time to make a website. Then in 2015 we brought on our third partner and producer Grant and we’ve been grinding ever since.
Today we are fortunate to do some really fun and exciting commercial projects with brands and agencies. We also have been doing more and more original content because we’re creators first and business-people second. We usually do about two short films a year and hope to produce our first feature in 2020.
2. What do you enjoy most that’s different between your branded and narrative work?
With branded work, we really enjoy the opportunities for things we get to see and the places we get access too. We’ve had opportunities to meet former presidents, travel to foreign countries, see how railroad cars are made, shoot in locker rooms and on the fields of professional sports teams, to work with a-list celebrities, and to go behind the scenes with some inspiring non-profits, just to name a few. It’s not something we take for granted and is definitely our favorite part about working with brands.
As for the narrative side, there are just very few things more satisfying and fun to us than making movies with our friends. Since there’s no client to please and often a very small budget we have the freedom to be (and are sometimes forced to be) so much more creative and thoughtful with how we go about the project. We get to stretch creatively and be very intentional with how we want to run our production and with what kinds of stories we want to tell. At our core, we’re creators collaborators, and we’re most passionate about telling stories that inspire others in some way or another. And narrative work scratches that itch for us, so to speak.
3. What’s one of your most memorable projects you worked on?
We recently did a short film as one of our passion projects that I think is definitely high on the ‘most memorable’ list. It’s a 7 minute horror/thriller that takes place in a convenience store. We shot it over two overnights and it was so special to be able to get so many of our favorite crew members out to volunteer their time (and sleep) to help us make a passion project like this.
There were times through the night when everyone was tired but yet everyone is so happy to be on set and to be making something purely for the passion of filmmaking. For us, there really is nothing like making something special with your friends just for the love of it.
4. What Core SWX gear do you use and how is it beneficial to your productions?
We currently use the Core SWX Hypercore 98wH and HC9 Mini’s to power our camera and monitors. For us it’s been super handy to have the large readout screen right there right on the face of the battery. It makes knowing when to switch them much quicker and easier than other batteries we’ve used in the past. And at 98wH we can carry on our batteries anytime we fly.
5. Aside from your achievements and accomplishments so far, do you have more you’re working towards for the future?
Along with continuing to grow the commercial side of our company we’re also starting to grow the narrative side of our company to create more original content. In essence, we’re shifting our mindset from being a boutique production company to being a content creation studio. We hope to be making full-length features and series based content within the next five years and hope to be able to support, inspire, and encourage many talented filmmakers beyond our current core team.